Difficulty level of questions in exam

I am studying the curriculum books. I read the whole chapter and do the EOC questions. I recently finished studying FRA. Then I happened to do self-test quiz from Kaplan for FRA. Honestly 24 questions in that self-test were much harder than EOC questions in book.

So I am wondering, are the questions in test similar to EOC questions or Kaplan questions are more indicative? Someone who has sat in the exam and studied both will have an answer.

Please advice.

Do you mean Kaplan Scheweser?

I find that Schweser tests the theory while CFA EOC is more conceptual.

I find the CFA EOC self test more difficult.

Yes I did mean Scheweser.

I feel same about CFA EOC qquestions. They are harder than Scheweser EOC questions. But when I did Scheweser Self test for the whole FRA (24 questions), they were in different category all together. I am going through each chapter again to make sure I did not overlok anything.

i studied with schweser and here is my take:

-Self-tests in Schweser at the end of each topic have harder questions in them than the EOC’s. But this makes them all the more valuable, as I feel that these self-tests are comparable to the Schweser practice tests in terms of difficulty.

-CFAI EOC’s are harder than the concept checkers but not as consistently challenging as the Schweser practice tests.

-The CFAI mock is harder than all of the Schweser practice tests, though i can get with the argument for the exact opposite viewpoint.

-The real exam is easier than the CFAI mock and any of the Schweser practice tests.

This is my hierarchy, and while others may disagree, im not stating it as fact.

While going through the readings, I would dread the Schweser self-tests and, actually, never scored over 50% (except on rare occasions). These really discouraged me but i quickly pushed them to the back of my mind and proceeded to trudge through the rest of the readings. The practice tests (Schweser and CFAI mock), were harder than the real exam, IMO. This is for the simple reason that, on the real exam, you either know it or you don’t. There are some distractors here and there in the questions (I found the greatest distractors were in the answers), but, for the most part, the questions are extremely straightforward and simple to understand (its your ability to remember the material that’s challenging). In the practice tests, though (especially in Schweser) there are more distractors and longwinded questions. At times I would find myself wondering what exactly we’re expected to find, and could make arguments for more than one answer.

I’ll leave you with this advice: don’t let the self-tests get you down, and DO NOT be afraid to jump right into practice tests (this almost held me back two months out from the exam, but i bit the bullet and was pleasantly surprised).

An aside: In all practice tests (including CFAI mock) i found myself finishing morning/afternoon sections in 150-175 minutes. At the real deal, I finished the morning in <70 minutes and reviewed several times and the afternoon in roughly 80 minutes.

i should add, do not let the concept checkers or self-tests serve as a substitute for EOC’s…when in doubt, EOC’s are most valuable!

Thanks a lot cgottuso8190. You answered my questions in very detail which is going to help me. It’s comforting to know that actual exam are easier than self tests. I did horrible in selft test for FRA and it killed all the confidence that I had built. But in a way it is good that I did test now so I can prepare for the worst. I am surprised it only took you close to hour each session to finish the exam. It kinds hints towards less calculation and more conceptual questions.

-The real exam is easier than the CFAI mock and any of the Schweser practice tests. - I found this to be true at level 1 also

The only reason I think people would think the CFAI mock is easier is because once they see the mock, it helps the regular test (remember that these variables are influencing each other). At least from my experience, the CFAI mock was exactly like the Level 1 test. The guy siting next to me remarked the same thing.

I left each session of the exam after 40 minutes roughly. For the first session, I went back through and checked the questions I marked as ‘iffy’. The second session, I was exhausted and could care less. I had crashed from the adreneline rush.

Thank you for response. I used to think 3 hours wont be enough but consensus so far seems it is more than enough.