3 hours past paper or 3 hours memorizing

So i’ve done a few past papers already and was thinking it would be better to spend 3 hours writing out concepts/formulas similar to what will appear on the morning session. Anyone else doing the same? Is this a useful approach?

I have a yellow legal pad that im spending about 5 hours today writing out the answers to an ever growing stack of flash cards.

Squeeze in the mock later in the afternoon?

Memorize - on L2 in the last week I spent the last 3 days mostly memorizing and going over a few questions that I had trouble with. The memorization was key as there were more than a few places where I was able to finish an 18 minute item set in 6 - 8 minutes. This greatly helped me as I had more time to answer item sets where I was weak.

The answer to that question depends on your readiness level at this point. If you are scoring well on CFAI past exams and PM mocks (65%+ on AM and 85%+ on PM) then I’d recommend just doing more practice questions/mocks to keep your eyes fresh on each subject. If you aren’t scoring that high on practice/mock exams, the. I would spend the time memorizing/reviewing flashcards - it’s pointless to do practice exams if you aren’t comfortable with the material, and it’s pointless to spend 3hrs flipping through flashcards when you are comfortable with the material. Just my opinion.

Also, fyi, for L3 first timers, what worked for L2 will not necessarily translate to L3. Practice is just as important as memorizing. Guessing between 3 answer choices is a cake walk compared to writing out your answer justifying the use of dynamic hedging, for example.


Are you telling us from experience what worked at 2 won’t work at 3? Regardless, I agree what worked for L2 won’t translate to L3 in its entirety, but if you have a formula memorized to perform a calculation, whether it is for an item set or constructed response, you’ll calc the right answser.

Also, knowing formulas helps you deconstruct them to potentially be able to come up with the answer for a constructed response question, for example, if they ask the difference between the Fed and Yardeni models, looking at the formulas you can tell Yardeni includes a term for equity risk premium and long term growth. Just my opinion, good luck all.

Dopple- yes I’m speaking from experience (failed Band 9 last yr). You can know the Fed Model, but still get a Fed Model question wrong in the AM. Being able to effectively write down a justification, under pressure, without having sufficient time to “think” about the “best way to explain what you mean” is a different experience than memorizing that the mkt is undervalued if the earnings yield > govt bond yield and circling answer choice B.

It seems you feel good with your approach and I’m not arguing to change that - my original point was mostly for others to not get complacent and feel comfortable because they have formulas and concepts memorized. For Level 3, that alone simply isn’t enough.

Junior - makes sense about not being able to write a justification under pressure. I sincerely hope you pass this year, good luck!

FYI, yardeni doesn’t include ERP. default risk is different than ERP. Don’t want you making the mistake in case it shows up on the exam

jmsp - you’re right - meant to say risk premium only, due to yield on risky debt. Good looking out!