To those that have taken the L1 exam, did you have enough time to finish? Did you feel like you had enough time to properly read through the questions and think it through?
That’s a great question kroop81. Can anyone reply to this msg please. Thanks.
Finished the morning section in about 90 minutes, including reviewing roughly 10-15 questions I was skeptical about. Afternoon half took me roughly two and a half hours, which left half a hour to nap since you can’t leave the testing facility once half an hour remains. Yes there is plenty of time, but as is life, everything is relative.
definetley agree with lakai…i was concerned going in that there wouldn’t be enough time, I didn’t finish quite as early but definetley had the morning done with 30 mins to go and the afternoon with maybe 20…the exam is far less calculation based than you probably expect so it leaves plenty of time
I tried the Schweser exams. It took me about 160min to finish 120 questions without recheck. Glad to see that the real exam takes less calculations to finish.
I finished both morning and afternoon in about two hours, and that was with double and triple-checking many answers. If you understand the material time will not be an issue - even if you have to try to logically figure out a formula on the spot or play with some numbers it still shouldn’t be (I had to do that a fair amount on the test and still was done with an hour to spare both sessions).
Just to echo everyone else: Time is a non issue, if you know the material… (for Level 1 at least)…
So is Schweser exams much harder than the actual exam? I find that Schweser exams are reasonable. I can get 65% easily. Does that mean I can pass the real one with ease?
Depends which book you’re talking about - if you’re getting 65% on Book 6, you’re low-borderline. If you’re getting 65% on Book 7, you have an outstanding shot at passing. If you’re talking about Qbank, you have a ways to go.
TheDubs Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > definetley agree with lakai…i was concerned > going in that there wouldn’t be enough time, I > didn’t finish quite as early but definetley had > the morning done with 30 mins to go and the > afternoon with maybe 20…the exam is far less > calculation based than you probably expect so it > leaves plenty of time This is what worries me. I’ve only gone through Econ, but many “random” questions in qbank require a calculator. If we understand the concepts, do we really need to know the calculations? Or is knowing the calculations understanding the concepts.
How many practice exams did you guys do to pass the test? I plan to do 10 exams, ie 1200 questions. Is that enough?
As mentioned above if you know the material well, time will not be any issue. I had about 45-60mins to spare at the end of both sessions. Used about 10 of this to check then got my head down for a nap. The book 6 questions were pretty easy i found, although some were far to calculation intensive compared to the real thing. I was getting 80-90% in book 6 and about 60% in the 2 book 7 ones i did and passed the real one easily. Don’t get hung up on book 7 though, it tests your knowledge of obscure areas that are unlikely to come up. Just make sure you can nail the bread and butter stuff and you’ll fly through.
BosyBillups Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > TheDubs Wrote: > -------------------------------------------------- > ----- > > definetley agree with lakai…i was concerned > > going in that there wouldn’t be enough time, I > > didn’t finish quite as early but definetley had > > the morning done with 30 mins to go and the > > afternoon with maybe 20…the exam is far > less > > calculation based than you probably expect so > it > > leaves plenty of time > > > This is what worries me. I’ve only gone through > Econ, but many “random” questions in qbank require > a calculator. If we understand the concepts, do > we really need to know the calculations? Or is > knowing the calculations understanding the > concepts. The second part is what i think counts the most… When you got the calculations down cold, you start to develop intuitive sense to how they move in relation to other variable in the equation. The only way, in my opinion, not to struggle with the concepts is to be able to do the calculations quite well and fast. So if you are not struggling with the calcs, you will be able to breeze through the questions when they ask you about a specific variable change. Link the concepts together. i had plenty of time left when I finished (both am and pm). What I think the key was the fact that I did most of the Q bank and that drilled all the concepts in. When I looked at book 7 few days before the exam, I almost cried. I thought there was no possible way I would pass the exam. When I got to the center all the questions were pretty much straight forward (aside from ethics of course). Best regards,
Nobody can answer that. If you do 10 exams and get in the 30s, is that enough? if you do 5 exams and get in the 90s, is that enough? etc… you get the idea what matters, is not the amount of questions you do, but the amount of questions you need to do to be comfortable with the material. how many that is varies by your individual ability to grasp concepts and apply them properly. all in all, i did about 2000 questions (as far as I can remember)… by the end, I was getting in the 70s or 80s on the Qbank and thats when I knew that it was probably enough… Best regards,
As far as practice tests go, -4 CFAI sample exams (70-80%) -3 Book 6 exams (70-80%) -2 Book 7 exams (65-70%) -roughly 3,000 q-bank questions (80ish?) After my initial pass through all the material, I only did advanced questions in q-bank to help solidify the material. On the actual exam I did fairly well with all topics over 70 except econ. Hope helps give you an idea of the amount of practice it took one person to succeed on the exam. I also did have an undergrad degree in finance. Best of luck
I took level 1 in June, and am back for a second attempt. I had a bit of trouble finishing the morning session in time. For the second session, I actually changed the order in which I attempted the different sections. I started with Econ, and moved to FSA, Quant, Ethics, and so on. I felt that helped considering I was still fresh from the break while I was working on portions of the exam with significant weights.
I’m at L3 now, but I can tell you it felt like I came out of a war for my L1 in Dec 06. It was much tougher for me than L2 was last June. It came down to the wire for both the AM and PM exam. This included about 5 minutes to go over questions that I marked as “unsure” on my scantron. Was able to solve about 5 more questions by doing this which was crucial since I barely passed. Bottom line: L1 has 240 questions, thats 2X more than L2, so you will have to work fast. There will be “familiar” questions which for some reason or another will not work as planned. Be sure to spend time reading the question carefully (CFAI puts alot of distractors) Time management will be key. Cut your losses when the time is right and go back when its appropriate! All the best!
quorky Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > When you got the calculations down cold, you start > to develop intuitive sense to how they move in > relation to other variable in the equation. > > The only way, in my opinion, not to struggle with > the concepts is to be able to do the calculations > quite well and fast. So if you are not struggling > with the calcs, you will be able to breeze through > the questions when they ask you about a specific > variable change. I agree wholeheartedly with quorky. I’ve found Schweser practice exams to be more calculation-oriented than actual CFA exams, but agree that exercising your ability to read, interpret, and calculate various problems quickly and accurately is crucial to achieving the level of understanding and aptitude for detecting critical detail (and ignoring noise) that allows you to breeze through the real exam, confident in your responses and with time to spare. At LI, I was borderline on my practice exams but passed the real exam by a very comfortable margin. The real exam’s relatively lighter emphasis on calculations should not be confused with simplicity. Exam questions contain subtle detail, multiple similar but distinct terms and figures, and just-plain nonsense to distract the unprepared. Your practice calculations will serve you well, but inevitably some questions will require you to remember specific passages and details from the official CFA Curriculum. To echo the posts above, I’ve found that I had adequate time to complete the exams, given a generally sufficient level of preparation and a few simple tactics like saving lengthy questions for last.
Hiredguns, can you explain to us what sections we should especially pay attention to in CFAI as opposed to Schweser? I’m just finishing up Econ, and wondering if I should have paid more attention to the CFAI text rather than the Notes. Thanks!
BosyBillups, I can’t answer that with probably the level of specificity you’re seeking. Ethics is the only certainty. Beyond that, many other candidates (particularly this year’s Level II Candidates) will strongly recommend you rely primarily on the official CFA Curriculum for portfolio management too (many of them were caught off-guard by a vignette focused on very specific details of an asset allocation model known as Treynor-Black, which JoeyD recently posted an informative thread on in the Level II forum if you’re interested). The most accurate, but probably least helpful suggestion I can make, is that if you choose to rely primarily on your Schweser notes and encounter any discussions that, based on your intuition, seem inadequately addressed, or for which you simply desire a more thorough explanation, you refer to your CFAI volumes. Alternatively, you can allow your prior academic/professional experience, and/or your degree of success on Schweser end-of-chapter questions/practice exams to dictate which topic areas you choose to examine in more detail using the CFA Curriculum. I’m actually in the process of reevaluating my entire strategy for these exams. Without going into too much detail (and hopefully sparing those unfortunate souls who dare actually read my posts, a boring repetition of things I’ve already posted). Here’s a quick background on my candidacy to date: - failed LI in June 2006 after relying solely on CFAI volumes, no practice exams, inadequate practice - passed LI December 2006 by a wide margin using Schweser notes only - I waited for my official LI results in January of this year then finally began studying for Level II using Schweser notes only, knowing it would be a race to the finish but thinking I’d finally found a recipe for success. I failed by probably a vignette (4-7 questions, estimated), close, but no cigar. Now I’ve got these godforsaken official curriculum volumes again and have been debating how best to utilize them. Frankly, I’ve all but resigned myself to actually reading every single volume, cover-to-cover (except optional material), and then racing through Schweser notes again. This is based primarily on my near-certainty that I can’t stomach the prospect of a third Level II attempt and desire to leave nothing to chance this time around. Ultimately, you’ll have to experiment to determine how best to balance your utilization of the official CFA Curriculum vs. your Schweser notes, but hopefully I can add some value to your decision by speaking from the perspective of someone who’s had to earn every inch of success in the program, perhaps with more difficulty than some in this forum. Oh well, there’s always the pursuit of a life in the arts, maybe I’ll start with a precious-stone encrusted skull http://www.abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/popup?id=3234825 Good luck on your upcoming exam.