Are you guys changing your approach? I was successful reading the Schweiser notes and supplementing with the CFA books for tougher topics and doing as many practice questions and exams as I could. Are you guys planning on changing your strategy? I’d also be interested in hearing from repeat LIII takers… Thanks
for whatever reason, i didn’t feel like schweser with CFAI supplementation worked as well. seems like they may have targetted schweser when they did up the exam. and for whatever reason, the material doesn’t seem as amenable to CFAI supplementation. i think you need full, complete read of CFAI with good notes.
westbruin Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > for whatever reason, i didn’t feel like schweser > with CFAI supplementation worked as well. seems > like they may have targetted schweser when they > did up the exam. > > and for whatever reason, the material doesn’t seem > as amenable to CFAI supplementation. > > i think you need full, complete read of CFAI with > good notes. from all the former L3 (now charterholders) and charterholders i’ve talked to, they say that schweser is good for l1 and l2, not so for l3, stalla is supposed to be better… however, i used cfai text exclusively for l2 and used schweser for only the q-bank questions. this year for l3, i will use the same strategy: curriculum only, eoc questions, at least 8 practice exams and some schweser q-bank/test questions…anybody else wish to share their strategies?
I’m a first time L2 taker. For L1 I used Schweser notes exclusively, L2 I used Schweser notes & QBank exclusively until review time when I started taking a few EOC questions (I passed both on the first try). For L3, I’m planning on using Schweser notes and CFAI EOC questions.
westbruin Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > for whatever reason, i didn’t feel like schweser > with CFAI supplementation worked as well. seems > like they may have targetted schweser when they > did up the exam. Funny, I thought the same thing about Stalla! In any case, I plan to start much earlier than I did last time, read the textbooks cover-to-cover, and use Stalla or Schweser (haven’t decided which yet) to review.
I will be retaking the test next June. I failed this past June (Band 9) and I would attribute it to downward trending study hours (from Level 1 to Level 3). Anyway, I used Schweser exclusively and will be using Schweser again, but definitely doing end of chapter questions and reading Fixed Income and Derivatives in the curriculum. They were tested in multiple choice on the exam this year and absolutely killed me. I did quite well on the essay portion, so I don’t think the curriculum is vital to doing well in the morning. Schweser Q-bank for Level 3 is an absolute waste of time. It was my saving grace for Levels 1 & 2, but is junk at Level 3. Also, I didn’t use the Schweser Practice Exam books enough this go around and will definitely put them to use next year. Finally, I am giving myself at least 3 weeks to focus solely on answering questions from Schweser practice exams and prior CFA exams. Good luck to all…
are your employers paying for study aids stella, schweser?. I thought the whole point of CFAI giving you curriculum as package was because you guys are thinking that external study aids are a substitute for the curriculum. As for me, for all 3 levels i’ve been using curriculum exclusively. Taking LIII 2010. note: I appear to sound like a CFAI soundpiece, but there are just as many Stella or Schweser proponents out there.
Schweser (almost exclusively, though did read CFAI ethics/GIPS) plus CFAI practice exams worked very well for me at level 3. Just as well as L1 and L2, in my opinion.
misterfridge Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I will be retaking the test next June. I failed > this past June (Band 9) and I would attribute it > to downward trending study hours (from Level 1 to > Level 3). > > Anyway, I used Schweser exclusively and will be > using Schweser again, but definitely doing end of > chapter questions and reading Fixed Income and > Derivatives in the curriculum. They were tested > in multiple choice on the exam this year and > absolutely killed me. > > I did quite well on the essay portion, so I don’t > think the curriculum is vital to doing well in the > morning. > > Schweser Q-bank for Level 3 is an absolute waste > of time. It was my saving grace for Levels 1 & 2, > but is junk at Level 3. > > Also, I didn’t use the Schweser Practice Exam > books enough this go around and will definitely > put them to use next year. > > Finally, I am giving myself at least 3 weeks to > focus solely on answering questions from Schweser > practice exams and prior CFA exams. > > Good luck to all… q-bank for l3 is that bad? thanks good to know, what was so bad about it?
For the vast majority of the topics, the questions were from “fluff” aka irrelevant parts of the Schweser notes. It’s as if they created questions verbatim from the notes just to round out their question inventory. The questions contained in the Schweser notes were good, it was just Q-bank that wasn’t helpful.
I find Qbank helpful as a tool, not as an exam or study supplement. It is a useful way to review what you have already studied. I wouldn’t rely on it for much else. That said, I’m first time LIII and have no idea yet what I’m in for.
This is good feedback, thanks guys. Obviously everyone is different but I think I’ll be sticking to Schweiser + CFA material only when I don’t understand a concept. I think the key thing, which unfortunately a lot of people don’t spend a lot of time on, is doing as many practice questions and exams as possible.
abcd01 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > This is good feedback, thanks guys. Obviously > everyone is different but I think I’ll be sticking > to Schweiser + CFA material only when I don’t > understand a concept. I think the key thing, > which unfortunately a lot of people don’t spend a > lot of time on, is doing as many practice > questions and exams as possible. that’s fine. i think you need to have an idea that you are in the top 15-20% of L3 candidates to go this route because the vast majority of people were clustered in 67% range on 40/60/80 and if you are in that group you absolutely need every mark possible… one thing i would caution on is don’t take schweser’s or CFAI LOS word on formulae being testable especially if the calculation is fairly straight-forward (basically just learn it). obviously you won’t need to know the life insurance formula (which you won’t have seen yet). similar to some L2 formulas which basically weren’t testable. there were a few others in this category in L3 (factor models i think, for one) one thing i would caution on is that it’s hard to get into studying for L3. the sections are mostly portfolio management 1, 2, 3, 4…, whereas L2 was more subjects and you could grab an easy one (economics or corp finance) to start and gain momentum.
Past CFAI essay exams and the CFAI E.O.C. questions are VITALLY important for L3.
Passed Level II in June – but it was harrowing. I used only Schweser for 6 months. Read every line and took notes like a maniac… Thought i knew the material. Then 2 weeks before the exam I took a real sit down practice test and would have failed… so i went back to CFAI and realized that there are simply many areas that Schweser doesnt / cannot go into detail about that the CFAI text obviously does since CFAI has no “weight limit”. And reviewing using original text was very helpful to me. Using the CFAI and EOChpt problems I took my game to another level and did very well on the exam. It was all poor planning and misguided focus – but I wont be fooled again. Maybe some of you can do it with the Schweser / Stalla notes, but i wont forget the pit in my stomach when I realized I was a deep sh*t 2 weeks before game day… just my 2 cents. I dont think you have time to read CFAI and Schweser unless you start WAY early… That is alot of pages to read. But just in case, I bought Schweser this year…
After some thoughts, I think I will still register for L3 even though I may not sit for the exam in 2010. It looks to me the major challenge of L3 is that it is actually two exams in one (instead of the same type of exam executed 2x as in L1 and L2). If (unfortunately) you have bombed the AM session, the chance of you performing well in PM session could be lowered (confident / moral issues). So I think my plan for L3 would be different from L2 that I would focus on AM preparation exclusively first. I observed from several previous experience report that AM session is pretty hard (it’s qualitative) and time consuming. I believe the remedy to these problems is long term learning (instead of memory retention). Hopefully having an one year buffer would be enough to “rewire” my mind for a different mode of operation. BTW, is SchweserNotes useful in preparation of the PM session? I saw people are selling the L3 2009 notes and I am considering buying an used copy (since the curriculum didn’t seem to change much from 2009 to 2010). Let me know what you guys think, thanks!
From the guys I’ve talked to the biggest challenge is not to underestimate L3. A few people I work with that had to take L3 a couple times to pass admitted they slacked off after L2 believing the hardest part was over. While they were right, all said L2 was harder, they needed to devote just as much time to L3. I guess the point is, study however works best for you. Do whatever you did to get here and don’t take L3 for granted.
I only had four months to study for LII; my attitude for III is that I am not going to underestimate it and study even harder and devote more time. In the past I had only used the Stalla notes and Q-Bank, tons of tests, and secret sauce and the Stalla CD lectures. To be honest, I don’t even think I read the full notes for LI and LII - dont get me wrong, I studied a ton, and was well prepared but got most of it by doing tons of questions and lectures (was familiar with most of the material). For III - I have already started to read the CFAI texts (the reading is actually more enjoyable and much more applicable than a repeat of my MBA LI and LII) and plan to finish reading the CFAI text by January (I know I will not retain most of it, but it will be there in my mind somewhere). I then plan to do the Stalla LIII class, do tons of past exams and essays (I will skip the q-bank this year), will also get the Secret Sauce. Overall, I am not leaving anything to chance and my goal is to kick this exams ass.
I am changing my strategy…for L1 and L2, I used mainly Schweser notes except for ethics…except by mid-april last year (for L2) I started to panic…I then read over my weak areas from CFA text and started doing the CFA EOC then…and made notes at this time… but felt like I rushed through my review leading up to exam day… This year, I will read the CFA text first, make notes as I go, and do ALL of the EOC…I will still get Schweser, but use it as the supplement and for more questions. I am thinking of getting the practise tests from Stalla (which I have never used)as well as Schweser, as I think the more practise questions will help. I am also starting earlier. This is the exam that I am most worried about, simply because I am much better at quantitative questions, and it sounds like it is more qualitative…so I think I will have to work harder…