Did you use Schweser or Elan for 2014?

Just found out that I passed Level I Whoo!

Anyway to those who took Level II this year, did you study with Scheweser or Elan (or something else). If you did, feedback please


I used Schweser notes + Qbank software. In addition, I purchased Elan’s 11th hour guide which was useful as a tool to keep concepts fresh in your mind for quick study periods such as during lunch, in the car etc.

Alot of people recommended to use Schweser/Elan as a complement in addition to reading the CFAI books.

My personal experiences: I ONLY used Schweser books and took notes on the summaries at the end of each chapters, only portion I read from the CFAI books is Ethics. I then made a packet of these “summaries” and kept browsing them whenever I get a chance.

For reference, I did >70% in all sections except Economics (51-70%), good luck!!

Just use Schweser and CFAI EOC and you will be absolutely fine. I didn’t read the CFAI books and I have a non-finance, non-accounting background.

Passed L1 (Dec 2013) and L2 (June 2014) on my first attempt and scored >70% in all sections at both levels.

I primarily used schweser q-bank and took my own notes based off it, (around 200 pages worth) then revised as I learned.

Had a hand-written packet of about 40-50 pages of just formulas I drilled myself on daily for the final month

recorded my notes aloud to my phone and listened to them every day on my commute for the last 6 weeks

drilled schwesers quick sheet into my brain every chance I could get, including during lunch at work

took every schweser mock exam, plus cfa mocks, one every Saturday in the 2 months leading up to the exam. Thoroughly reviewed my answers and took more notes off what I missed.

God I did a lot, maybe more than I needed. But I passed and I don’t have to do it again…just for level 3 :slight_smile:

Schweser, CFAI EOC questions and multiple mocks (6) is kind of the bread and butter prep for Level II. I think it’s hard to go wrong with that. I did use Elan Guides lecture videos (you can buy them separately) and their practice questions and found them to be helpful – Elan did a fantastic job teaching FRA and Derivatives with their lecture videos, in my opinion.

Some will argue otherwise, but I think reading CFAI text is a waste of time. You’ll need it for Ethics and for greater detail on topics you’re unsure of, but it’s an inefficient use of time.

Get your hands on as many practice problems and mocks as possible

Elan was great, except for the delays in delivering the material. Hopefully they’ve sorted that out going forward. I exclusively read their notes, watched a couple of their videos, reviewed with 11th hour, and did some of their practice problems. I also did CFAI EOC 2x.

I feel that the only reason I passed (based on my score matrix) is the fact that I drilled Elan’s practice questions on FRA and Equity in the last 3 days before the exam. I nailed those sections (and Ethics by some miracle) and I believe that is what saved me.

I used entirely Schwesser and passed L2.

One thing is that the QBank is fairly worthless because the questions on L2 are in vingette format and not usually as straightforward as the qbank. Also the ‘easy’ questions are bound to be just a waste of time.

I use Schwesser notes + Elan video, pass level 2 on first attempt. Also suggest you to get the eleven hour guide, which is very useful for last week revision.

IMHO,elan guides is by far the best prep material in the market. I exclusively used elan guides for level 2 along with irfanullah and it made cfa level2 actual paper look like l1. Elan Notes, 11th hour guides, videos, mocks all were masterclass and basit/peter did brillllliant job!! Once i started using elan notes it made schweser notes look like a review of cfa l2 material…lol! I am hoping elan comes up with l3 ths year…once you elan youll never go bk to schweser period! i also took irfanullah classes watched its videos quizes, Irfanullah study advise which i feel were also really good. His quizes are close to actual paper content and videos do justice to grill key concepts Ps: i feel only good thing abt schweser for l2 is their practice exams…you must do them along with elan mocks (which r more difficult than schweser mocks n hence useful)

I used Elan and passed this year and Schweser and failed last year but felt that the materials were equally good (Schweser felt more professional). I don’t think the choice of study guide made as much of a difference from one year to the next as the quality of my study time.

Random question but on élan guide books does each volume have an index at the back so you can quickly search at the back for the right page number? I seem to recall seeing a copy of l1 book from élan that didn’t have it and it annoyed me.


I was a HUGE fan of the Elan materials. I found that many people on here complained about Schweser errata, but i didn’t find any in Elan. The biggest complaint people had about Elan was the delayed delivery, which didn’t matter for me since i just printed the notes at work, but i can absolutely see that as being annoying.

If i were to do it again, i would:

buy: Elan Notes, Videos, PQ, PT, Schweser Secret Sauce and PT

sell: 11th Hour Guide, Schweser Qbank, Schweser Flashcards

I thought Secret Sauce was more useful than the 11th Hour Guide since it was much more compact and easier to read on the go, but not the reference guide that 11th Hour is.

Schweser Qbank and Flashcards were a total and complete waste.

The only thing that boosted my chances to pass was the schwesser quizes online for each topic.

In case you’re considering the Stalla app as well. Don’t.

IMO the questions are not comparable to the CFA exam, the questions are sometimes referring to a text box that is nowhere to be found and the app crashes quite a number of times (on my iPad), after which all progress is lost, so you end up answering the exact same questions.

Nothing good about it? Eh, the summaries are actually ok, but so are the schweser/ elan ones I suppose.