Did you pass Level 3 solely using Schweser notes?

Hi All,

Passed level 1 and 2 only using Schweser notes (and the Schweser online classes for level 2) and never used the CFAI books. The first time I tried to read the CFAI notes I found them to be dense and I didn’t like the writing style (too much like an academic peer review).

Though many who have passed level 3 recommend using the CFAI materials as it covers absolutely everything. I’m sure many of you have seen that recommendation in this forum. So I’m curious if anyone passed only using Schweser? Or if you used Schweser as your primary source, how did you use the CFAI materials as your secondary source? (only to read trouble areas? only for blue box questions? only for end of chapter questions?)

Thank you!

Used Schweser for the readings and one book of mocks (3 tests). Used CFAI for EOCs, Topic Tests, and mocks. I did refer to the CFAI readings where my testing was showing that Schweser wasn’t cutting it. I only did Schweser EOCs for specific questions related to a concept or formula I wanted extra practice on. I felt my time was better spent drilling than reading, and reading CFAI would have taken too long. I did refer to parts where I needed extra help. Passed on first attempt.

I did.

But that was in 1999; the curriculum wasn’t the organized set of 6 volumes that it is today.

Never used Schweser for anything besides the practice exams (which I found decent at best). Used CFAI material followed by the Wiley 11th Hour Study Guide. And of course AnalystForum…

All 3 levels using Schweser + Blue Boxes and EOC from CFAI books.

I am sure a lot of people on here used the CFAI books alone, but for me personally they would have been a waste of time as I barely retain anything from reading thick text books.

I am presently using Schweser and Wiley, will resort to CFAI from January for enhanced understanding. For Level 1&2, I used both the Curriculum and Schweser for both Level 1 and

I passed in June 2017 using 95% Schweser and 5% CFAI (filled in the blanks where i was struggling with a concept.)

I relied exclusively on CFAI EOC/Blue Boxes for practice questions- no Qbank or schweser notes concept checkers.

Took L3 with a guy who used Schweser exclusively and passed L1 and 2 first time. He was shell-shocked after the AM and admitted to me that he felt ill prepared; I later learned he did not pass.

Nevertheless, this and the rest is purely anecdotal - only you can make the call on what you want to risk. I used CFAI for all levels and felt well-prepared because although the material is dense, it forces you to really study well because at L3 there is no guessing in the AM, and even if you know the material you can score zero points …I can say that I knew there would be parts on the exam that I’d struggle on but that CFAI material provided me the best chance to pass, and I still think that it is infinitely better to spend an extra 200 hours and pass the first time than repeat the exam … but that’s my experience.

Also look at the immediate post-exam reaction of candidates that prepped with Schweser (or any other provider for the matter), and see what they though “in real time” about their prep level … not their recollection once they passed.

Best of luck!

All 3 levels using Schweser only and their Practice Exams. Purchased IFT’s Crash Course for level 3 but that was mainly so that I can get the CFA past papers for 10 or so years.

Schweser was fine for me but it may not be for other people. I wouldn’t recommend you to base your decision on tallying how many No’s and Yes’s you get on this thread for Schweser. Pick one topic area, read through Schweser and try attempting a CFA question on that topic area. If you didn’t understand the concept fully and were unable to solve the CFA past paper question, then Schweser isn’t for you.

From my understanding so far, Wiley is a no-no for Level 3, you should only use it for last minute revision. Schweser seems good, goes through the material more throughly than Wiley and made available multiple examples to back the concept. So, for me, it is Schweser + CFA Corriculum.

I have a friend who used solely Schweser for Level 3 last year and failed, so he adviced against sole use of Schweser. So, best bet is to use the Corriculum or the mixture of Corriculum and Schweser.

They KEY is to master what you got. It’s ok to use different sources but just be sure to master them. A lot of people focus their attention on to many things and never get a full grasp of 1 way to do something. There was someone on here who scored like top in everything and he used like 3 different resources and went to 2 different review classes but he studied A LOT like A LOT!!! I could never do that so I just really digested Schweser Notes and 10 years of CFAI Mocks and 6 Schweser Mocks. My score wasn’t as high but I passed. There really isn’t a best product because each person passed using different things. some people swear by IFT but some have failed by it too. I only used Schweser but I doubt the IFT people are any worse or better than Schweser teachers.

Used Schweser notes for studying and nailed PM. Barely passed AM. Used official material for practicing, past AMs, EOCs and portal Mocks and TTs. Good luck! AM was very hard for me. I’m happy it’s now behind me.

Used Schweser notes, and the live early start classes. Felt that the live classes were very beneficial as all the questions we went over and were assigned as homework were directly from the CFAI text. Did no questions out of the Schweser book and only did CFAI tests, BB, and EOC. Felt the Schweser practice tests were poorly worded and overly confusing.

Didn’t solely use Schweser however used it for most of my studies. Used CFAI for blue boxes, practice questions and Individual and Insitutional IPS.

For me I used mainly Schweser. I used CFA books for end of the chapter questions and reread the summary while I was reviewing. In addition to this, I used all the questions on the CFA website and past years exams.

Good luck with level 3 :slight_smile:

This is what got me through. Base understanding then practice, practice, practice from the source.

Read Schweswer x 1


Topic Tests x 3

Last 5 years of AM Exams x 2

Solely read schweser for level 3. Did a bunch of q-bank, mock exams and CFAI online questions they provide. A lot of people recommend blue box questions from the texts but I didn’t touch them. I did also watch the schweser chapter videos, and they provide videos going over the past AM exams which I found useful.

In terms of being ill prepared by Schweser, in the entirety of the exam there was a single part to one of the AM questions that I didn’t recognize at all. All other questions were covered in some aspect of my preparation (not saying that one question wasn’t covered but I certainly didn’t recognize it).

If you know the material as provided by schweser you’ll pass the exam. Someone saying they failed because schweser material didn’t cover everything is clearly wrong. They failed cause they didn’t know the material.

I used schweser notes for prep, don’t think I read anything from CFAI. I did do the CFAI topic tests and mock exams going back to 2006/2007 (when relevant). I also attended the Schweser 3-day review workshop . I don’t like CFAI material, as I like to to get through the readings quickly so I can focus on practice problems. I only read through Schweser Notes once and then reviewed when I felt I needed to grasp a concept better, but this may not be everyone’s learning style. I did not feel like there was more than a few points worth of questions that I was not familiar with, the key concepts are covered in both and will always be tested.

Schweser only for L3… for all the other levels I at least looked at CFAI EOC but not L3. For L2 I actually tried to decipher the chapter on pension accounting… lol

90% Schweser, 10% CFAI plus EOC questions, mock exams (Schweser and CFAI) and CFA online questions. No QBank, no blue box questions. Passed at first try.