CFAI Study Books

Question for all that have used the CFAI books as a primary study tool instead of the a 3rd party provider.

  • What approach are you taking?
  • Are you thoroughly reading each and every page of the curriculum?
  • If so, on average how many study hours is it taking for you to read through the curriculum and ultimately be prepared for exam day? 300, 400, 500 hours (honesty please)

I recently was informed that I not only failed Level II, but I failed miserably. I primarily used Schweser Notes, and qBank as a primary reference for studying along with Schweser mocks and the CFA mock. I have identified several reasons as to why I failed, but I am thinking not relying on the CFA materials enough was part of it.

Logic would tell you that if the CFAI administers the exam that it would be in your best interest to work on CFA EOC problems, online sample questions, mock exams and the CFAI books to perform well, but of course reading the CFA books means reading about double the material compared to the 3rd party study guide.

Any thoughts here would be great.

My plan is to scan topics of each book work through EOC problems for areas I already have knowledge in to confirm that my knowledge equates to what the CFAI is looking for. The other topics that I an weakest in is where I plan to spend most of my time reading etc. I relied on Kaplan as well, no fault to that program, time constraints on study was my weakness. I was not impressed with their Q-bank, I worked every question available and did not feel that it sharpened my knowledge for the exam. I am not going to rely on third party this go around other than Mocks. Obviously making note cards and formula sheet as I go. Good luck!

Mind you, I barely passed L2 by the skin of my teeth so take this advice at your own peril, but I would not study any Kaplan questions. I find that, on the whole, they are much easier than the actual exam content. I like how Kaplan condenses the readings, but I’d read Kaplan and stick to CFAI questions.

Sorry you did not pass. I did pass and i used

Schweser Notes, and qBank, read all the blue boxes in the CFAI curriculum and did the EOC problems.

Generally I would read a section in Schweser and do problems in the Schweser Notes then read all the blue boxes and do the EOC problems. If I had trouble with those I would review the relevant sections.

As I was reading the next section I would do some qbank questions from the previous section to keep the information fresh.

After I finished all the readings I went back and did some more qbank questions for a section then did the CFAI online questions. If i had trouble with a certain section I would review again in Schweser and if it was still not clear I would go to official text.

Then I did all the Schweser Mocks and CFAI Mocks.

I put in 400+ hrs and started studying in Jan. 1-2 hrs every weekday until April then 2-4 hrs every weekday. I have kids so not much on weekend.

Everyone bashes Schweser but I think they worked pretty well. 70+ on everything except quant.

Hope it helps Good luck next year.