Discouraged - Prep Provider Recommendations?

Hi All-

I have appreciated the feedback from the forum over the past several months. After failing with a Band 8 last year, I found out that I failed the June 2017 exam with a Band 10 this morning. So discouraging. I have utilized Schweser (weekly online class, Q-bank, etc.) for the past two attempts along with reading the full CFAI curriculum. Looking for the perspective of those who passed today. What prep providers did you use? Is Level Up Boot Camp a better option? It seems to me you would lose the practice exams and Q-bank questions without Schweser. Either is a significant investment. Thoughts? Thank you.


LevelUp Bootcamp-the BEST for level 3

GoStudy notes and AM Prep course helped me in handling the AM session better than last year and clear this time …Did 7 Prev AM papers

LevelUp lead me to a “Congratulations! We are very pleased…”. Their top notch proprietary prep material and staying the course with the actual CFAI curriculum prepared me as well as I could have expected.

I didn’t use any official study note packages. My study plan included 1) Curriculum - Full read through with highlights and some notes and EOC questions twice 2) GoStudy Notes - Consolidated notes for review as well as tips on areas to focus on and content the author felt is too “in the weeds” to spend too much time on and 3) IFT Crash Course - Past AM exam question videos and audio of his summary videos every day on my drive to and from work. I listened to the GIPS lesson audio on a loop probably 8 times.

One of the keys is doing and reviewing many past AM exams. I personally did 9 full AM exams (2008 - 2016) and reviewed the more recent ones multiple times.

Same boat here, band 5 last year and band 10 this year. Schweser is not working for me apparently. I don’t care for their Q-Bank but I do like their CfaI pass exams section.

I have never heard about LevelUp. How good are they? Anyone?

I am looking for a change. Does levelup has the cfai pass exam video as well?

I personally give LevelUp lots of credit for me passing. Marc is a former employee of Schweser who decided to go out on his own and put together REALLY quality study material (slide Book, IPS Book, previous exams and video instruction) that follows the CFAI curriculum rather than over simplified summaries. I actually like schweser for L1 and L2. I failed band 10 with Schweser on L3 first attempt but passed this year with LevelUp. I found the videos and the bootcamp extremely helpful and worth the $.

sign up for levelup bootcamp.

also, go back to one of the original marc lefebvre threads i started

marc will physically beat the shit out of you during bootcamp. but then you will pass after.

Beside the CFA mocks I just used the wiley Guides (No Videos,Just Print)


I used Kaplan and CFAI curriculum and watched the free CFA videos on Youtube.

LevelUp videos + boot camp do a great job of guiding you through the actual curriculum without dilution. That was enough for me - passed my first shot at Level III.

LevelUp, no question. I was a band 9 re-taker, who was confident going into the exam last year using Kaplan, and ended up with no 70+ in the morning session. This year I passed with 6, 70+ topics in the AM. All due to Marc’s teaching style and material. His AM binder = elite sauce.

Materials used: Schweser Notes and Mocks; CFAI EOC, Topic Tests, Mocks.

I didn’t knock it out of the park, but I got a pass on the first try. I think most of the major providers will cover the material sufficiently for a first read through. I think the real key is working problems to identify the topics you need to work on. For this I stuck with the CFA materials (with some add’l mocks from Schweser). I read the Schweser books, but did the CFA EOCs twice (once along with reading and again after finishing), all the CFA Topic Tests (some more than once), and 7 AM and 2 PM mocks. And I hit the flash cards hard (something I wish I had started earlier, tbh).

I second GoStudy - very cost effective and targeted! Helped me to write in a more focused way in the AM and the videos are good as I also aced the PM.

CFAI all the way. I hate prep providers as questions phrased are not congruent with official questions on exam day.

Echo everyone here by saying LevelUp boot camp is amazing. Wish Marc produced material for level 2. The videos and material he gives you is priceless. You really need to go through the CFAI material and not take any shortcuts. LevelUp does exactly that. I felt very confident walking out of level 3 this year (great feeling).

Here’s another whole-hearted recommendation for Marc LeFebvre and his LevelUp Bootcamps. I was also a Band 9 retaker … was absolutely shocked at how poorly I did in the AM last year after having studied Schweser materials diligently. This year, I signed up for Marc’s videos and the San Francisco bootcamp. Marc teaches exclusively from the CFAI curriculum and his videos were engaging, funny, and thorough. The bootcamp experience was exhausting -be prepared to *work* the entire time- but it was also fun. He’s super high energy and he really got us really prepared for game day. If you scored poorly in the AM, his coaching will definitely help you understand where you may have missed points and how to cope with common pitfalls. My AM score improved tremendously this year and I can honestly say that Marc’s coaching helped to get me over the finish line!

I’ve been band 10 for the last two years and I really need help to get my over the line. My PM is fine, good results in both years, it’s the essay that’s really letting me down. sub 50 in so many sections and i know my knowledge is there, just poor execution.

This year was terrible, there were no clocks in the test center and I stupidly misread the time on my watch thinking I had an extra hour - beyond silly but unfortunately I took things too slowly, ended up scribbling to finish and left like 3 questions blank. completely rushed it’s no wonder I failed, it’s more the burden of having to wait another year to resit along with the study.

Other than sorting out how to read the time, I need help to write great essay answers as I know I can pass the MC if I just keep at it. I’m in Australia so lectures are limited but of course there are classes available. Is this the best choice? I read people have spoken about GoStudy and they mark your essay questions and give you feedback. I don’t want a complrehensive study set as I know my knowledge is ok to get to the pass mark, however I think I’m just lacking the expertise/approach to successfully tackle the essay portion of the exam. Any suggestions would be appreciated, along with some motivation as I’m pretty disheartened about being band 10 two years in a row :frowning:

Schweser is boss. Highly recommend.