Do you guys take notes when studying?

Hi All - As the subject stated, do you guys take notes when studying? I have done it for Quant and Econ (for each LOS) and it takes me considerably more time than to read the sections. Any suggestions? What works best for you guys personally?

Ideal world would be that I read, highlight and practice CFAI eoc questions. However, I am more worried about review for the final month when surely I will have forgotten a good deal of stuff. Anyway, any well-to-do input is much welcome!

For the record, I am studying for L2, but figured your input will be very much appreciated since you guys have actually beaten L2.


I take two kinds of notes.

1)Notes on blank pages, around 1 or 2 pages per reading. Even if i will not use them a lot during the review, it helps my focus during the learning process.

I write the notes while reading the CFA books.

2)I take notes of formulas/important ideas on a kind of index/adress book (not sure of the name in English), where for example, i will put the Dupont Formula on the letter D , the Cobb-Douglas production function at the letter C , the Yardeni model at letter Y etc… I use this for review purpose

This is my plan of attack.

First read done as of end of Dec.

Reading through again with notes/cue cards until end of Feb.

March/April/May. I will drill down do all the EOC/BB/CFA questions and Mock exams in May.

Key is to drill down on areas of weakness and practice and practice.

Also, taking a class on Sundays and praying at church.

whatever you all do - practice writing a ton. your hands have gone soft using the keyboard, and you will have trouble writing a sentence for a meaningful length of time …

practice by making your notes, even if they are throwaway. write down while you regurgitate lists, mnemonics, flowcharts, diagrams, anything while studying.

also do not make the mistake of saying out aloud answers to an AM question - and then checking mentally as to whether you said what the guideline answer said. let it be written, then mark against the guideline. your mind plays tricks when you do the mental comparison of your intended answer against the guideline.

I do take notes.

Very time consuming for L3 vs L2 but I agree that it gets you comfortable hand writing. It forces you to synthesize the material, and of course understand it. I expect to see the payoff in the final innings during review.

Thank you, guys! Really appreciate the input!

My experience just a couple of weeks into studying: With such a heavy focus on qualitative content, I ended up highlighting entire pages and taking notes as extensive as the readings. I’m realzing that that’s just making me inefficient. I think I’ll focus on the summaries and keywords that I pick on as I go, rather than taking notes.

I agree with that, for me the material is just too qualitative and wordy to even know what to make notes on when I’m on my first go through. My aim is to finish first run through the curriculum by second week of February, then hit some mocks and see what the focus seems to be for each different topic. Then when I go through it a second time I’ve at least got a basis for whether to judge things as important or not from a memorisation perspective.

God I hate all this wish washy qualitative crap…give me formulas and calculations over this any day!! Eeeuugh