CFAI Topic Tests


Are the CFAI Topic Tests all vignette, or are some of them in item set format? I am just beginning now and am wondering what they are. Also, is too early to begin the 6 Schweser exams or past CFA exams if the preliminary study is concluded?


Yes, they are all in item set format. Starting to practice AM/constructed response format is never too early.

okay-so i have a bunch of old exams 2010-2016, like the majority of candidates do, and schweser’s q-bank constructed response an their 6 mocks. i have done the q-bank C.R. questions, multiple choice, class discussion questions (schweser) and Schweser EoC, but have not taken the Schweser practice exams nor the past exams nor any official mock.

at this juncture, what is the best way to get more constructed response? does it make sense to purchase something from or another prep company? or just tackle all 32 End of chapter questions in the CFAI books? I have not done that yet…

a little overwhelmed. thanks for the advice.

Agree with Onward.

Based on what I heard, it is recommended to use some exact same morning papers to write a couple of times since that is the good way to get comfortable doing the essay questions.

I have the Kaplan Constructed response questions and in class discussions as well. Didn’t even touch those since there are plenty of previous real exams I can use. I have 2009-2016 so 7 of them on top of Kaplan 6 full exams. So, I will will feel lucky if I finish all of them and do some twice in addition to the EOCs and topics tests by exam day. At this point, I finished EOCs, most topics test and first Kaplan mock and 2012 paper.

Not too early. I’ve done Schweser first mock and CFAIs 2014 AM exam so far. Well, obviously all BBs and EOCs too.

BBs back of the book?

and many thanks googs, onward, and dududu

Well if you have 7 previous CFAI AM exams, then that’s 21 hours of practice right there. Plus Schweser’s 6 full mocks adds up to another 36 hours of practice. So you’ve easily got 57 hours of practice accessible to you. I think what candidates forget is that learning from your mistakes is actually just as important, if not more important, than doing all the past exams and mocks. In the next week or two I will start compiling a document that contains my most frequent mistakes, and that will effectively be my studying dossier going to exam day. What you know is all fine and dandy, focus on what you don’t. p.s. you’re very welcome!

you are absolutely right, i avoided doing the mocks in level II until mid may because i thought it would benefit me by saving them. learning from mistakes and noting them is great advice. no reason to delay any longer, as i feel i am ready to start taking tests. thanks all. very generous of you all to accommodate my questions.

Our pleasure, and hey, just a heads up, don’t get discouraged if you don’t do so well at the get go, that’s the whole point, learning! best of luck and keep us posted on your progress :slight_smile:

No problem!

Totally agree! Revising the questions and review the sections I am not good at after the mock exam takes longer time. Actually, this is what I have been doing since today. Going though all the questions I have missed before no matter they are from Topics Test, EOCs, Question Banks or Mocks (I just printed all the topics test and QB questions I highlighted which is almost has the same height a Kaplan Book 3). Going to have some fun with them in addition to mock exams now.

Also, I just started to do something similar to what Onward said as well. I am listing three sections in my note book now which are: formulas, concepts (terms) and exceptions I always forget. So, by the time I finish doing these, I can always go back to check them.

Good luck to us all :slight_smile:

It’s good thing to do all possible mistakes at home especially at AM.

I have categorized mistakes as one when I just misunderstood the question and another when I had no idea what should I do.

Among first one the stupidest is one where they said

“$250.000” each and I did not read they meant each year not $250.000 each child as I read.


It is the perfect idea. I will do so as well. I will extract all low points and zero points questions from AM session into excel file and then carefully go through each one with open guidance answer on second monitor.

I mean, if we are ready for all possible traps on real exam, we should know how to avoid those traps.

I would add, underlying important facts in each question while solving it what is especially crucial on IPS questions to concentrate only on relevant information. We are permitted to do so on exam.

Blue boxes - the examples in the CFAI chapter

Yeah practice makes perfect. My rule of thumb is 1.5 to 2x reviewing a mock or past AM paper as it took to complete it, although I’m finding the AM papers to be a faster review for some reason. Probably because it generally takes the full amount of minutes to complete one and my mistakes have often been missing or misinterpreting something simple in the case or it was a concept that I knew but just didn’t come to mind at the time.

With the AM exams, I’m finding much less “fluff” or distracter information in the vignettes. If a sentence is written beyond the intro paragraph, there’s a good chance that it’s information that is related to one of the set of questions in some way, even if it’s very subtle. I’m now finding myself really paying attention to every word and reading the case in full before moving to the questions, as opposed to Level 2 where I basically read the questions then scanned the vignette for the relevant information and inputs.