Difficulty of The Actual CFA exam

Please people give advice on the difficulty of the actual CFA exam

Compared to CFA Mocks, Schweser Practice Exam and CFAI EOC(case lets)

Personal feeling CFA Level 2 can’t be as tough as CFAI EOC because EOCs are lengthy

CFA Level 1

The level of CFA level 1 was of similar difficulty compared to CFAI mock ’

Please people give some advice on this …

I never did CFAI EOCs. For me, the actual exam seemed slightly easier than the CFAI and Schweser mocks. Perhaps because I was continually becoming better prepared in the last month.

^Finally, someone who admits to passing w/o doing the EOCs. Did you cover the material using Schweser or CFAI text? How many times? It would be REALLY helpful if you share exactly what your “last month” strategy was for L2 - i.e. did you just focus on mocks/qbank/re-reading/etc. Thanks!

I talked to many they never opened the CFAI books and still passed. Schweser is enough. I am sure no one can recollect everything after reading schweser because for L2 also schweser is vast

Yup I personally know someone who never opened CFAI text . passed all 3 levels using only schweser and another who has passed 2 levels and is appearing for level 3 this june. He too never touched CFAI books for any subject for any level. Reading entire CFAI text is a challenge for most.both in terms of time taken and the sheer volume of material you have to wade through.

I’ve never opened CFAI texts. Only Schweser texts and QBanks. Final month I did many QBanks - like 2000 or something. Final 2 weeks I did strictly Schweser Mocks and CFAI mocks from current and previous years. I think I had maybe 12 full length mocks in total. Of course review all your questions carefully.

For L1 i think I only did EOC’s for equity and fixed income…other than that just schweser notes, schweser mocks, and a little qbank. For level 2, again primarily using schweser and have done EOC’s for quant, econ, and FSA…have also done two schweser mocks so far. Honestly not finding the EOC’s extremely helpful in terms of value addition but of course it does not hurt…I will probably continue to do them for practice sake between mocks but am going to start squeezing in some qbank because theyre shorter questions and the repetitiveness is helpful in learning concepts and formulas.

very helpful, thanks.

CFAI test makers are lazy, they set the questions based on schweser notes thats why the scheser only ppl are passing


I followed a very similar approach. All of my CFAI texts are still sitting in unopened boxes… one day I may put them on a bookshelf.

I used Schweser to study and found it sufficient to pass comfortably. The key, in my opinion, is to crank out as many practice problems as possible. None of the material on its own is excessively difficult - the problem is the AMOUNT of material. That’s where repetition comes in. Do as many q-bank, Schweser mocks, and CFA mocks as possible, re-read and take notes on areas you are struggling with, and then do more problems.

On a side note, the usefulness of the q-bank does decrease with each level. By level 3, the CFA mocks are by far the most helpful practice tool, just because they give you a better feel of how the questions are structured.

And to answer the original question in this post, I found the actual CFA L1 and L2 tests easier than the CFAI mocks, but the actual L3 test was harder than the CFAI mock.

really appreciate the input from those who have passed. just confirms what I have felt…put the pencil to work over and over again.

Thank you both! I’ve been struggling with the CFAI BB/EOCs vs. Q-bank/Mocks as I feel like I don’t have time for both and this provides a bit of clarity/guidance.

I’ve never used Schwesser (I just used the CFAI texts) but found it you cover about 1 LOS every 2 days or so and do the questions it’s really straightforward. It’s reading like 30 pages a day, sometimes less.

I thought that the Level 1 mock and Schweser mocks were much tougher than the actual exam. I’m hoping for the same thing here at Level 2 because I’m getting nuked (55% on the Volume 2 practice book, 75% on Volume 1, 70% on CFAI mock). By the way, I didn’t pass a single mock at Level 1 and did very well.

With one month left, you’re down to simple repetition. But I disagree that you should avoid the EOC’s, as the test is drawn from the stuff in the books. I would drill those hard, circle the ones you missed and do them again. Throw in Q bank and Schweser EOC–but those both are way too easy to rely upon for exam day. I think you’ll set yourself up for a difficult road if you only do Schweser. Review time is over, so just do nothing but problems and choose the three or four areas to abandon (know the basics only and focus on the larger topic areas).

I personally think that it is a waste of time to read cfa books and that it is imprudent to not do CFA EOC questions.

I would encourage you to read the Ethics material in the CFA Institute books; they do a good job.

Thanks guys, this thread is very helpful to me.

I have explained to many how I am very crunched for time, and only have on average 16 hours a week to study. Just completed Schweser readings and the thought of going through the text book to do BB questions seems daughnting and time consuming (I have done EOC CFAI texts). I think I will focus the rest of my time on Qbank and other Schweser questions.


I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but if you actually believe that, you really have no clue what’s going on in the CFA-world today. The CFA Institute intentionally develops all their actual test questions to be completely different from Schwesser sample questions, and from all other test prep providers as well. They don’t want you to memorize the questions from the test prep providers, and pass the test, when you really haven’t learned anything at all (other than memorizing some random stuff). A couple years ago I went through every sample test I could find; I worked through each one over and over, until I was getting at least 90% correct on every test. Sometimes I’d get 100% correct. Nevertheless, on the actual CFA test, I got every single question wrong…according to the CFA Institute.

That has to be some kind of record.