Candidate December 2012- Study plan help?

Hi guys,

I know most people who are probably amping up for the big push for the next 2 weeks but if anyone could help me out for a dec 2012 candidate i would really appreciate it.

Ok, I started getting into the lv 1 material from early Feb. With Schweser notes and the whole study package.

So far I have read and covered:

  1. The Schweser video instructions every reading (except ethics)
  2. The Schweser notes every reading (including ethics)
  3. Completed the Schweser end of chapter questions (except ethics)

I finished this a week ago (so it has taken me around 3 months), and I’m taking a 1-2 weeks off before ramping up again.

What I have left to do is:

  • CFA Institute end of chapter questions
  • Q Bank Questions
  • Schweser practice exams books 1 and 2
  • CFA Institute Mocks
  • Read the Schweser Secret Sauce

I know for a fact that you need to read the material more than once… I want to read it but I want to know your thoughts about my next steps to attempting to smash the December exam.

Read the Schweser notes and write notes

At the end of every reading, do the CFA Institute end of chapter questions

QUESTION: is writing notes really worth it? I have a really bad habit (starting from my university dates) of feeling “comfortable” after writing notes. I’m afraid I will run out of time to do the questions (which is what really counts if you want to pass – As I gather). Should I just bite the bullet and write really concise notes, maybe with assistance with the secret sauce. Or just read the whole thing again. i’m a little lost… either way i’m going to read it again and again (looking around another 3 times) but I’m just trying to find out how best to use my time.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks guys

You have more than enough time. I took notes too becuase that’s whay I am used to. Relax and keep up the good work.

Ive been taking notes as Ive progressed and it has been extremely helpful for retention. Having to rework things to make them more concise, grouping things for charts, and generally laying things out in an outline have really helped concrete the concepts. The plan was to be finished it by now so I could read it every day until test day (2 weeks) and have a 50 page ‘cheat sheet’ committed to memory. I do have a few pieces of advice if you plan to make one yourself:

Do it after you have covered the whole book. It is easy to get bogged down in meaningless details. Now I take notes while im taking/grading the CFAI EoCs. I combine the notes at the end of the whole topic.

Use charts and focus on contrasts. I have the same info in multiple places that each group things differently (ie one chart that starts with the ratio name/formula and lists what they are influenced by, and another that lists accounts and then shows what ratios might be impacted by a change).

Plan your format out ahead of time and type your notes. Ive reworked my format several times and would have wasted a lot of time if I couldnt just copy/paste things.

If you make it, review it. Frequently.

thanks guys for the input. I think I will really have to plan out my notes. Hock especially made a good point on focusing on constrasts,

@hock, what do you mean by charts? was it the formulas you were refering to? I’m assuming you were doing this whilst writing notes for FRA?

thanks agian everybody.

Ive just been using tab stops and bar tabs in MS Word to cram info into charts. For example, the following might be the top (title) line:

" Activity Ratios | Formula | Reflection of | Value in relation to Industry Avg"

Then I fill it out like below :

Inv Turnover | f(x) | Amt of Inv Carried | Too Little > Industry Avg > Too Much

And ill continue through all the ratios. Its a lot easier to make sense of in a real chart but you should be able to get the general idea. The charts are very powerful when you have several with overlapping data because it shows relationships. In the example above, your focus is on how everything is related to that ratio but if you were to make another that examines by account instead youll be able to see cause and effect better (Increase in Inv | Increases x, y, z ratios | decreases a, b, c ratios)