How do you make the material stick?

The amount of material is vast. I am reading through the Kaplan books but I’m not sure how much of it has stuck.

What method do you use to make sure that you will remember everything you read?


But seriously, repetition is probably your answer. You just have to keep reviewing it and doing practice problems. Don’t set your goal as learning 100% of everything. That’s pretty much impossible.

PRACTICE PROBLEMS!! Do all of the QBank questions.

Re-read the material and practice from Qbank questions, if you are using Schweser. Chapter end questions of CFAI Text are the least which you should do before appearing into the exam. They are exam proxy questions with almost similar difficulty level, and question framing style.

At The Money here. Repetition. Rinse, lather, repeat. Keyword is repeat.

I read it all and im going to take all April and May to do ALL Schweser QBANK and practice exams, i feel this is the most effective way to remembering the material.

Practice problems and try revieing the whole syllabus atleast once before giving any mock. Do appear in the mocks and review them thoroughly to highlight areas in which you are weak and reinforce areas in which you are strong.

Practice problems… do all of them in the ones from your study guide (i.e. Schwaiser) AND the ones in the CFA books. I won’t even think about taking the exam without at least attempting all of the problems.

Work on getting a deep understanding of topics (like why a formula is the way it is). Once you get an intuitive feel you won’t have to memorize so much.

How do you manage to be comfortable with the material after going through it?

For example, I don’t feel as comfortable when I finish an SS and I don’t feel as if I can recall the information. Do you ever get that feeling? How do you get comfortable with ALL the material? Or is it just something that you will recognize when you see it on a test?

I guess this is where doing the questions comes about. Right?

Yep, just keep doing questions and re-reviewing the material. It is what it is, the volume of material is somewhat overwhelming for everyone, just put in the hours and you’ll be fine.

for me its all about doing questions. i understand most of what i have learned so far, but for whatever i havent grasped naturally, i just do the problems and memorize why the answer is the what it is. im halfway done with fixed income , and than derivitives and AI. after that its review review review with questions every day for atleast a month.

Nice work, khaykin, keep up the good work and stay focused!

Skid, you gotta calm down first.

You must realize that suboptimizing ruins prep. Don’t focus too much on one topic. Brush up everything and then plan accordingly.

If you’re not sure how to skim through it, you can visit, they’ve got videos that cover everything and summarize things quite well. They’ve got some free tests too so you can test yourself and know your position.

You may also wanna follow @pathfinance on twitter. It sends out CFA prep related tweets everyday. It really helped me remember a number of concepts.

In a nutshell, don’t freak out, keep your cool and continue with your prep.

This problem will dog you throughout all levels, and it’s even worse at Level II when the amount of formulas is much more vast. You really cannot memorize the curriculum – you have a learn it by doing practice problems.

Go through all the readings once (and skim it a second time if time permits), then start doing practice exams. At the first practice test, you’ll feel that you forgot nearly everyting and you’ll get discouraged. Do it anyway, then afterward review the sections you did the worst on. Then do another test, and repeat the review process.

Do this again and again, and eventually you’ll get your mind around enough of the material to pass.

There was some stuff in Level I, that, god help me, I never could figure out (like the formla for kurtosis). You’ll be pleasantly surprised that the test is not as hard or as deep as this.

I highly doubt the exam would ever ask you to calculate kurtosis. And if the questions were at that caliber, the pass rate would be like 5%…

Hey Shashank,

Nice tips mate. Great help. i liked the website and tweets.



Here is one technique you might consider…

After completing a readings set of questions follow this review schedule…it can also be applied to notetaking reviews too.

  1. Initial Run through

  2. Review questions in 24 hours

  3. Review questions in one week

  4. Review questions in one month

  5. Review questions in 3 months

  6. Review questions in 6 months

  7. Review questions in one year

This schedule comes from “Mind Mapping” creator Tony Buzan…you can find it in his text “The Mind Mapping Book” and his study skills book. This seven step schedule can be tracked in excel. Put the Readings in one column vertically, put the review schedule horizontally at the top of the spreadsheet. Put dates in the cells…in this manner Cell A 4/12/2012 Cell B =4/12/2012+1 Cell C = 4/12/2012+7 Cell D = 4/12/2012+30 and so on. In a matter of minutes you can develop a complete review schedule for all 67 readings. Update the schedule as you complete reading EOC problems. Next, apply this to Levels 2 and 3. This should solve any review issues.


there are 4000 questions in the kaplan q bank… memorize them all and you will pass