Advice for last 10 days

Ok folks, here’s my dilemna. There are 10 days left. I’ve taken off the next 2 weeks of work. However, my wife is being induced for labor on Saturday (she’s already 2 weeks late for our 1st child). So I’m assuming Sat-Sun are basically no-study days, leaving me with 7 days essentially. I know, I planned that so well…

I’ve taken the 2007-2010 AM sections from CFAI. Have not done any afternoon sections. Last AM score was 60% and I’ve been trending up (easy when your first score is a 48%).

I’m torn between doing full CFAI mocks from 2011-2013 or Schweser practice exams vol 1&2 (6 exams total). Also need to hit GIPS/Ethics which I’m trying to knock out today via Schweser notecards.

If you were in my shoes, would you do a full exam every day and review it each night or just try and do the CFAI mocks and maybe one volume of Schweser? Running out of time…

Hands down, do the CFA PM mocks over Schweser PM mocks. And unless you have boatloads of study time left,

I’d also recommend you skip the Schweser AM practice exams if you’ve already done 3 CFA prior exams – they’re more likely to confuse you than educate you.

On GIPS, hit the blue box examples. Be certain you can identify weakenesses in a GIPS report and you’re practied in the return calculations.

For Ethics, obviously know the code and standards well, but also look at the Pearl cases – those helped me with some of the finer points.

Don’t forget to cover AMC.

Why is Schweser so bad? I did 2009-2013 mocks from CFAI and with 10 days left finishing up re-doing the EOCs and was going to also weave in some Schweser mocks.

ANy reason why these are so bad?

They miss all the subtlety of the AM exam. They send you off in directions that CFA Institute never does leaving you guessing, wondering and frustrated. This was my experience last year.

Well since i’ve done all the CFA mocks since 2009, I rather do Schweser than none at all. At a minimum I could run across a topic that I dont have down cold. I actually like some of the explanations and guidance in the answers. Time permitting, I will go back and redo IPS q’s from CFAI mocks.

Have you done any of the CFA AM exams?

yes 5 of them

Then I think you’re good. When you said “mocks” above, I assumed PM sessions only.


I have a little experience with the newborn thing. If it were me, I’d set up a prioritized punch list of things I could knock off in 1-2 hour bursts. A few item sets from a mock exam for example. Practice problems or flash cards from your weak areas. Then just get as far as you can. I would not count on getting six straight hours to simulate exam conditions. Not to say you won’t get it, but you might not (I didn’t). I would also categorize stuff by “can still be productive while exhausted” and “don’t attempt unless fully alert” and select work accordingly. For example, I can do a lot of the quantitative stuff in my sleep, but don’t have a prayer in terms of memorizing a list of assumptions. Figure out what that is for you.

And finally, do not feel guilty about blowing off studying… your kid is only a week old one time, and you can’t get those days back once they’ve passed.

Hope this helps; best of luck to you.

Agree with mdranchak. Certainly dont let this exam miss out on birth / first days of you child’s life. My wife had twins in May when I was prepping for L1 and I basically all but stopped studying with the exception of during my commute to work.

Appreciate the support/advice mdranchak & andy! Hoping I get a little ahead by the weekend and just get in what I can next week. Best of luck to you both.

Is there more than one CFA PM mock available? I thought there was just one? At least of the full exam variety.

“CFA PM mocks”? I just have one. Are there more?

I may or may not have something(s) you may or may not be interested in…what’s your e-mail?

Several years ago I had a student whose wife was scheduled to give birth on the day of the Level III exam he was taking.

He brought his cell phone with him and asked the proctor if he would hold onto it, and alert him (the candidate) if it rang; if his wife were in labor, he would (obviously) leave the exam room and meet her at the hospital. The proctor agreed. (See: some of them are human.)

The phone didn’t ring. His wife didn’t go into labor for a few more days. He passed his Level III exam. They now celebrate their oldest son’s birthday on the first Saturday in June.

Hang in there: others before you have surmounted this sort of obstacle; you can, too.

Apparently, you would have been able to download mocks for all levels anytime you were enrolled for an exam. So, the 2012 Level 2 and 3 mocks were probably available to you last year.

Good luck buddy. My suggestion for the last week is just to do light review and make sure you know all the formulas. Perhaps read the chapter summaries and your notes.

This will make a good story when you pass.

Congrats! hope the induction goes well - I was late with my first 2 and induced with both. Good thing she went late so you got in studying and sleep ahead of time. You can likelyl read notes and memorize stuff while you hold the baby since that is what takes up a lot of the first days. Good luck!

Spend sometime going through the blue box examples as well. It really helped me last year.