3 Practice exams taken and getting worse?

I got through the material at the end of March with 8 weeks left before exam day. My general plan was to take 1 Schweser practice exam each weekend along with the CFAI mock towards the end. Each week I’d study what I got wrong, study the topics that I was doing poorly in and then ideally I’d improve a little bit each exam. Well, the plan so far isn’t going so well.

Exam 1: 70.8%

Not bad for a first exam. I felt like it was relatively easy --the problems I got wrong were dumb mistakes but overall I was pleased. My weak areas were FRA and Corporate Finance (60.4% and 60%) so I studied those all week.

Exam 1 Ethics 75.0% Quant Methods 75.0% Economics 70.8% Financial Reporting 60.4% Corp Finance 60.0% Portfolio Management 66.7% Equity Investments 70.8% Fixed Income 78.6% Derivatives 91.7% Alternative Investments75.0% 70.8%

Exam 2: 71.3%

Not the improvement I was hoping for, but again, I felt like this was a relatively easy exam. After going through the exam I felt like I made a lot of stupid mistakes and really need to tighten up. Both FRA and Corp Finance went up this week (66.6% and 65%) so perhaps there is progress. Unfortunately, this means other ares went down.

Exam 2 Ethics 80.6% Quant Methods 67.9% Economics 58.3% Financial Reporting 66.7% Corp Finance 65.0% Portfolio Management 66.7% Equity Investments 70.8% Fixed Income 85.7% Derivatives 66.7% Alternative Investments 87.5% 71.3%

Exam 3: 67.9%

Well, I feel terrible now. I felt like the exam was hard. There weren’t a lot of the gimme questions that I was accustomed to. Instead, there were a lot of tricky questions (for me at least) and I got a ton of ethics questions wrong this time which concerns me. Ugh. I just took this yesterday and haven’t gone over both exams in detail yet but I will be doing that today.

Exam 3 Ethics 63.9% Quant Methods 75.0% Economics 54.2% Financial Reporting 64.6% Corp Finance 55.0% Portfolio Management 66.7% Equity Investments 75.0% Fixed Income 78.6% Derivatives 91.7% Alternative Investments 62.5% 67.9%

Big dip in areas that I was doing well in. I really need to get like 20 questions more correct in order to feel better about the exam but I don’t know how I can get there. Obviously I need to review the areas I am doing poorly in like Econ but aside from that I am kind of lost. I have this general plan each week to review this and that but in the end I end up doing the same or worse. Anyone have any tips they’d like to share? I really need to make a big improvement quickly.

Tonight I am going through all the questions in the practice exam that I just completed, not just ones I got incorrect, clearly you have some weaknesses in Econ, FRA and Corp Finance. If you pull these up a bit so they are all 70 then that should be you close to the 20+ marks you are looking for. I think also that you need to study what you got right as well, because you move have not known the concept and simply guessed. Just my two cents though.

I go through the ones I got right as well as long as it wasn’t an extremely obvious answer.

Last night I started something new that I will continue to do while going through these exams. Instead of just trying to understand what I did wrong I took notes on the ones I got wrong in hopes that it will help me to learn why I got something wrong so that I won’t make that mistake in the future. I have a notepad of all of the things that I don’t know frontwards and backwards and this still will get added to that list once I organize it. Hopefully that helps.

I think your results are fine, given that you have one further month to study. I would trust your plan and stick to it.

It doesn’t make sense for you to get worse despite studying more, does it? The Schweser exams are probably just getting more difficult. IMO the CFAI mocks are easier than the schweser.

Yeah, like I said, I’m going to keep at what I’ve been doing and just try to focus on my weak areas more. Taking schweser mock 4 on Sunday so we’ll see how that one goes.

Yesterday I took exam 4 and the good news is that I improved overall but the bad news is that I only improved a little bit and I did my worst ever on FRA despite spending practically all week reviews it and taking notes. Ugh. I also did horrible on Alternative Investments for the first time which was odd. I haven’t reviewed the exam yet to go over my answers but here was my breakdown:

Exam 4 Ethics 75.0% Quant Methods 75.0% Economics 66.7% Financial Reporting 54.2% Corp Finance 85.0% Portfolio Management 100.0% Equity Investments 79.2% Fixed Income 78.6% Derivatives 66.7% Alternative Investments 37.5% 71.3%

So, another piece of good news was that my corp finance went up a lot which felt good considering that I spent some time on it this past week.


i just took schweser practice #3 in book #1 on saturday and finally broke 80. that feels good goin into the cfai mock this weekend.

Yeah that’s a great score. You have nothing to worry about. So you’re planning to take the CFAI mock as well? I really hope I can do well on it.

btw, on this recent mock 4, I got a 67 on the a.m. portion and a 76 on the p.m. portion. That was both comforting and discourging!

I have been ranging around 67 as well. My best sections are actually ethics and FRA–scoring around 80%. I guess I didn’t focus as much on the smaller sections. I’m going to review the 2 tests I have taken and hopefully will improve this weekend. We still have a month so I’m not too worried yet…


Last weekend I took the CFAI mock and thought it was a good test. There were a good amount of easy questions that you could solve in 5 seconds and also a fair amount of hard ones that I spent too much time on and eventually got wrong. I gotta just learn to skip those. Anyways, I was pleased with the outcome of the outcome since I got a 72% on it. I would have liked to have done better but it was an okay start.

Today I took the 5th full Schweser mock and thought it was definitely the hardest mock yet. I felt like there were very few 5-second questions and a fair amount of poorly worded questions that I had to reread many times. I didn’t even want to grade it today at first but decided to in the end and was pleased with the outcome. I got a 74.5% which is my best score yet.

Did others think that exam 5 was hard?