CFA Level 3 - Review of Prep Providers, Post 2019 Exam

Nobody was safe.

I did not use any prep provider, and in hindsight I think it was a mistake.

For levels I and II I used Schweser as the core material, and read the curriculum when going through the BBs and EOCs. So reading it not in order, but focused around the specific questions, which I think is more efficient.

For level III it was my understanding that better to stick to the curriculum, so I did not spend money on Schweser. I must have suffered from several biases, because I got the idea of no need for prep provider (at least for interpretation of the material) out of here the AF, and now I see that many did use prep providers.

However, the curriculum is too wordy for me and it lacks the structure (for me) so I ended up practically creating my own “notes” - handwritten also.

This took much longer than it should have, hence I did not have the necessary time for practice.

Still if I have to resit the exam next year, I’m wondering what to do. Curriculum + video lectures take too much time, video lectures w/o reading the curriculum not the way I can study, so I might end up buying Schweser - in case there are significant changes in the material.

Who dares to bash our man S2000?

You might be surprised.

2017 : trial version Wiley (Darren Miller still here) + Level up video + Adapt prep (1 mock essay only)

2018 : Adapt prep automatic renewal due to free pass guarantee (2 mock essay) i only use the mock exam + IFT + Bluebox focus

2019 : Adapt prep free pass guarantee 3 mock essay + Darren Miller grading services 2 mock + MM Mock exam only writing the answer just 14 days before real exam (no timing) + Fitch learning (sign up on early May 19 only cost $50) + Bloomberg 8 mock exam (just open it 10 days before real exam)

You tried almost every thing… what about your scores in CFA past AMs and CFA mocks have you noticed improvement in comparison with 17 & 18

i did try to write answer 2006-2018 CFA past using ACE Level 3 style and review them twice just few days before real exam but never do timing mock. i only do timing mock once for 2nd mock Darren (3 days before real exam).

Having a charter is not necessarily guarantee that passing rate of his students. I think the key factors are yourselves and the teaching methodology of the provider.

Both Mark and Marc are great in my opinion

they are great, Darren also. that bloomberg tutor also, everything i can ask (i have 20 credit questions), every time i confuse i dropped the question he always come back to me less than 24 hours.

the reason i try so many provider is one day i also wanna open the same service on my local country.

I used Kaplan much less actively. I only purchased the “Essential” package (most basic) and intended primarily to rely on the Kaplan materials to break down hard concepts to the extent I needed supplemental/alternative explanation from the curriculum. I felt that Kaplan does a good enough job summarizing things and highlighting content that they feel appears more frequently on the exam, but for Level 3 it’s best to rely on the actual CFA curriculum (it’s not nearly as logn as L1/L2, so more manageable). Many people will tell you not to do Q-banks for Level 3, but I found them to be a good way to ensure you’re actually grasping concepts. I studied with Kaplan for Level 1 and 2 and felt very well prepared, which is what drew me to their Level 3 materials, but in the end did not get quite as much value out of the materials for Level 3.

I didn’t dive into the past CFA AMs until mid-April/early May, which I thought was probably a touch late. I was planning to use them more casually as study guides, but after taking Nathan / Chalk and Board’s essay writing workshop I realized how behind I was (the class was a huge wake up call for me), and after that I started timing myself on essays and using them more seriously, at which point I started noticing a meaningful improvement.

It is amazing how much people are spending to prep for this exam. At some point CFAI will need to consider how un-level the playing field can get before they provide better test prep materials or just rein in test prep providers.

CFAI has always emphasized the idea to put the curriculum as first priority when studying for the exams. i dont think the playing field is uneven. we all receive the curriculum materials. thats my thought though

agreed. prep provider only help make learning experience more “user friendly”, if spend $50 can got access for colourful quiz all study session & 3 mock exams like what fitch learning have, why not ? think about some hours we can save to stay focus on our current job while prep this exam.

Level Up has a bit of the hedge funds problem…when you charge a lot, people don’t have patience when things don’t go right.

You sound conflicted. This is a global exam, having an employer who will pay for 1 test prep is a luxury most don’t have. So signing up for multiple sounds like an unfair advantage or as you call it, user friendly…

Or people realize that your HF (LevelUp) provides the same performance as index fund (MM, IFT…), but has substantially higher fees…

I used Level Up videos and boot camp to focus on the curriculum and I thought it was a great program. The materials provided were excellent, as was the boot camp itself. Everyone learns differently and there are a variety of reasonable ways to study for Level 3. At its core, you have to gain a broad understanding of the topics, as well as master the details, and Level Up did a great job with both. This exam isn’t plug and chug, so a broad understanding and background are critical.

I also used KS practice exams, which I thought were a decent supplement to the CFAI Topic Tests, Mocks, prior essay questions and EOC questions.

I’ve seen some support for Nathan Ronin I watched a few of his sample videos for Level 2 and he made a sexist joke in one of them, so that was it for me So inappropriate. So unnecessary. So classless. And, he knew he did it because he defended it as a joke in his video. That asshole will never get my money.

For candidates wondering what method is best, I wouldn’t take any advice until results are out.

Editing for results - I passed near 90th percentile and fully recommend Marc and Level Up.

Used IFT, thought it was fair in lecture and quality wise. Especially going over the blue box questions was helpful.

Nonetheless these online lectures are just a boost up to help you understand the curriculum better but the most important thing is how many times you go over the EOC and CFAI questions to understand the concept when the actual questions have many traps. I think those are key.