Final Review Plan

I am finally just about through with all of the books and will be completely finished by next Saturday. I read every page of every book, worked every problem, and took notes on index cards. At this point I am wondering the best way to go about reviewing to make sure I pass. My plan right now is to take the mock exam online provided by the CFA institute on May 12th which will give me 3 weeks to go back and review my weakest areas. I have scheduled to take off the whole week of work before the exam to spend 10 - 12 hours per day studying as well. What I am wondering at this point is if this is a plan that should work and also what other materials would be helpful to get at this point? I looked at some materials on Schweser such as the Quicksheets, Secret Sauce, and also the Flash Cards so any thoughts on which would be best would be helpful. Please feel free to add any other thoughts as well. Thanks!

Sounds like a solid plan you have there. I think the Secret Sauce is useful. I read it for 15 minutes every day. I am on my second reading now. If you made your own notes, then there isn’t much point in buying the flash cards.

I did a second reading of all the material, as I didn’t remember enough of the first reading. But a lot of people seem to go straight to practice exams after the first reading.

Good luck!

Thanks for the info, I had a another couple of questions too. Would it be worth it to purchase a pack of practice exams from Schweser at this point and maybe take one every Sunday to help review? Also, how are those test compared to the one test from the CFAI we get with or registration? And how are all of these tests in relation to the actual exam as far as how the questions are structured and the level of difficulty? Thanks again!

Doing practice tests definitely helps. You can get Schweser’s or Elan’s.

I would recommend Elan’s Eleventh Hour Guide over the Secret sauce though. The EHG contains a lot more stuff and costs less.

I can’t speak to the Elan’s Guide vs. Secret Sauce but I found secret sauce helpful to re-hash some details and it is a pretty quick read. I think a big recommendation is to read through the CFAI text on ethics, I did this and now test quite highly in ethics 75%+ every time I qbank or in practice exams and it is the 2nd biggest section on the exam…

For me, it’s all about the practice exams. I, like you, read through every page, did pretty much every problem and took notes (in the form of questions). I recorded my notes for ethics and some other summaries on an MP3 and listen to them while I’m commuting - this really helps me and mixes it up.

I started doing practice exams last week and thoroughly recommend doing this… the more you do it, the more it sinks in and you pick up new tricks and efficiencies every time. If you’re anything like me, you’ll also work out that you have to read the questions VERY carefully! I’ve done four practice exams, am scoring comfortably in the 70s and intend doing a lot more. Upon review, I use the Ebook to look up any topics that I didn’t do well in as I go and then feel confident next time those questions come up. I would also recommend finding out what your calculator can do, if you don’t know the full capability as yet. Quick calcs is freeing up lots of time for me so I can go back to some of those ethics questions in the exam and spot the subtle word!

Probably TMI but that’s what’s working for me and I’m happy - let’s hope it pays off come 3 June!

i agree with libero, well said. i have found, after taking four practice tests, that i tend to miss “least likely” quite often. i’ve gotten to the point that i read a question, choose what i deem to be the best answer, and then check the question again to make sure it’s not a “least likely.”

ive also tightened up weak areas every week and have really improved my consistency in FRA, Equities, and Fixed Income to the point that I’m disappointed with a score in the 70’s. right now, i’m really lackin in Econ & QM. Ethics is hit or miss, and I will address that as the exam approaches.

“least likely” keeps getting me too. I have to take a few more seconds to think in reverse for such qns.


Yes, I found “least likely” a bit of a problem too. What I do now is put an X over answers that aren’t right, regardless of what it asks, and a circle around ones that I think are right. I then review the question, double check my crosses and move on. These kind of questions usually don’t require calcs so take your time!!!

The thing that is getting me is reading the bloody question!!! I’m starting to get better at not diving in from the outset and moving to the next question though. I cover all three answers with my calculator and, if it doesn’t require calcs, work through the three options, crossing and circling as mentioned above, before reviewing.

Happy to report I hit 81% in yesterday’s exam - seems to be working - but still make dumb mistakes (just fewer).