Corp Fin vs AI, which one to put more emphasis on?

I’m revising my study plan for the remaining three weeks and it looks like I need some extra hours (about 3-6 hours more) on Equity. So I am thinking of cutting hours from either Corp Fin or AI. Just curious which section do you guys think I should put more emphasis on? Corp Fin seems easier than AI but lower chance to get tested (probably only one vignette on M&A). AI has a higher chance to get tested (due to the new topic private equity firm which is pretty testable). But do to well on AI, the sink in cost could be high. Assuming I am doing fine on the other sections (maintaining 70% or above), which one would you pick to invest more time on? Comments are welcome, thanks in advance. :slight_smile:

I’d say you’re definitely better off studying Corporate Finance. There were two vignettes on CF last year and I think its highly likely that there will be two again this year, as compared to AI where I would be really surprised to see more than 1. I don’t think either topic is particularly difficult as long as you spend the time and do enough practice questions - the PE stuff in AI is annoyingly long but the concepts aren’t too bad if you get the formulas down. If you get through corp finance (which is relatively shorter) and have the time, the real estate/commodity/hedge fund stuff is pretty basic and you could get a handle on at least half of AI without too much time investment.

Corp Fin does have the temptation to be the lower hang fruits on the exam. Off the top of my head though. In last year’s exam, I believe there was one vignette on each of AI and Corp Fin respectively (I have to double check my notes after I go home tonight). I know if I am to spare hours from AI, I would concentrate on PE, commodities and hedge funds and probably go easy on the rest. How about Corp Fin? Which sections would you guys recommend to put more emphasis on?

I wouldn’t skip AI. Brand new material there… highly testable since CFAI knows Schweser and other 3rd party vendors most likely don’t know what to put in and what not to.

I was there, it was two vignettes - promise. (I keep my failing score handy to remind myself :slight_smile: ) In any case, even if they were both equal weight, I would still pick CF because I think its something you can get on top of quicker. I think learning one section thoroughly is preferable to doing two halfway, though… I wouldn’t try to pick from each section because if you master say, half of each of the readings in each, there’s still a good chance that the items you focused on never get tested. If there’s time left, go for the low-hanging fruit on the topic you don’t focus on, but IMO its better to be sure on one than iffy on two. (There will always be some questions you can pick off or at least narrow to 50/50 even if you don’t go over it heavily). If you have secret sauce that’s probably a good guide as to what the low-hanging fruit is.

I agree with Aimee. CF is much easier than Alternative, you know pretty much how they would struct the question. AI is pretty new this year, so, hard to prepare for canadiates. IF you are confident with CF, then look at some basic of AL, if not, make sure you get CF marks.

Good point. I think it’s better to have a well revised section under my belt, than have two half baked sections. I think I will put effort to make CF one of my top 5 areas then. If I cut hours on AI I probably would cut on the real estate stuff and focus on PE, commodity and hedge funds. (Never like the real estate stuff myself and doesn’t seem trivial.)

Agree 100% with Aimee. Also, IIRC there are a fair number of really good item sets in the CFAI Corp Fin book so those should provide a decent proxy of what the CFA wants us to know. With AI, it just seems like such a shot in the dark… who knows what we’ll get tested on there.

I double checked my notes and you guys are correct on both counts. There were two vignettes of CF last year and CF are indeed more predictable than AI.