How do you study?

I have been studying for Level 1 in June. So far I have come to find that I hit a wall at about 3 hours of studying. At this point it becomes very difficult to focus and retain what I read. Sometimes listen to my MP3 player while I study. I’m wondering about the rest of you all. Do you listen to music while you study? How long of a session can you put in before your exhausted? Do you study in front of your computer at all? How do you combat the fatigue? Just trying to get a feeler from everyone else regarding the most effective studying methods. (I understand this is different for everyone)

KJH, whatever you do make sure you do some related multiple choice questions to further strengthen your concepts. It makes you retain the concepts for longer time as compared to just reading. MP3 and other stuff you are doing is just fine. It is also recommended that you do 5 sessions of 2 hrs each rather than 2 sessions of 5 hrs. - Hari

Everyone is different. Whatever works for you dude. I find for more relaxed study sessions I will be listening to music, though I’m extremely particular about listening to music that doesn’t contain any lyrics/vocals, so I tend to listen to more instrumental type of songs as it just makes the session more enjoyable and I’m able to focus moreso on the material being studied vs having lyrics in the background distract me. I used to study as a kid with lots of crazy music playing (and loud), but I find that I’m not able to have a great degree of focus when I do that, thus the switch to instrumentals. I’m pretty versatile when it comes to what kind of music i listen to, so finding enjoyable songs that have no lyrics isn’t much of a problem… other than that, I’ve also picked up the habit of drinking a lot of green tea, especially for longer studying sessions. I’m addicted. When it comes to real serious studying, or if I’m having focus problems I like complete silence. I also prefer to be in complete isolation when studying with no one bugging me. Which also means I hate group studying, though I could see myself not minding it if it’s to go over things I’ve already studied and am not understanding something, but for the most part I’m usually pretty last minute with studying anyways that group studying for me is just useless.

I saw a study on one of the many nightly news programs. (Can’t remember which, 20/20, 60 minutes, NBC nightly) Anyway, the results of a researched performed stated if you must listen to music while studying/working, listen to music with no lyrics, just music. It has something to do with the brain trying to retain information from both the music and whatever you are studing at the same time. I break my study time up into two sessions per day. When I first began studying, I tried to sit down for long hours and read but I wasn’t retaining the info. That’s why I read early in the mornings before work and again at night after dinner.

Usually I listen to trance/techno type of music. I dislike music with lyrics too. I will be recieving the Q Bank CD shortly so questions galore will be available after finishing a reading. I really like studying so far. Quite enjoyable.

i heard that classical music (think Mozart/Beethoven) is good for your brain… i listened to classical music while doing prac exams, writing notes, etc…

Bluey 1.8T Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > i heard that classical music (think > Mozart/Beethoven) is good for your brain… > > i listened to classical music while doing prac > exams, writing notes, etc… That was what they initially thought, but turns out it’s actually any music that you enjoy…doesn’t have to be classical.

I don’t know why, but I can only study at late night. I usually start at about 11 and end at two. It’s been like this for the last couple of years and my grades have gone up dramatically. Whatever works. :smiley:

Make some tea, prevaricate for a couple of hours, make more tea, possibly a sandwich, check this forum, try a couple of questions, prevaricate some more, check the latest cricket scores, check how my mates have done in their leagues, prevaricate a bit more, pet the cat, make some tea. Then I look at the clock and realise that if I don’t start actually studying soon, I’ll have done nothing, make some more tea, then study hard for a couple of hours, do some questions, go to bed. Repeat ad tedium.

You’ve got 6 months so no point to panic at this stage. Just cover all the material asap once, do some questions, and re-cover all the material a second time. Then spend the last few weeks just on questions. As posters repeatedly state, questions are as integral if not more to your study methods as is covering the material.

I concur, after about 3 hours my ass gets fidgety. I do an hour and a half in the morning 6:00 am until about 7:30, then about 8-10pm in the evening after the kids finally stop looking for me (Mon-Fri) and about 2-3 hours Sat & Sun. I use my head phones to block out any house noises, then I’m in my zone.

do you guys just read the text and highlight the text, or do you guys make notes. In university i alway wrote notes when reading, and reviewed them for the test. But the CFAI material is so extensive that any notes i write just won’t get read again :P. Just to be clear though, i’m still doing practice problems while studying. Just curious how you guys go through the text.

Read Standards of Practice Handbook…9th edish I think…helpful.

I’m not the note-taking kinda guy. I’ll write down important things that require to be remembered exactly how they are (ie: formulae) and the relationships between different variables and what not, but I try to refrain from note taking. It definitely makes my study time more efficient, that’s for sure. I’m also a slow writer in general, so I just hate writing, although I can type 80+ wpm.

i don’t. i’m just THAT badass.

I just read over the schweser materials from to back answering all questions at the end of the chapter while making flash cards along the way. Once I had memorized the flash cards and understood each of the questions I started over again. However, this was a mistake. I later purchased QBank (Schweser Pro) and took test after test after test and did the sample exams. I felt this adequately prepared me for the Level 1.

i think i did the same thing as you Askajan. Now i’m just skimming the schweser material, to get a quick refresher on the material (I took most of this material in school). and when i found stuff i just keep getting wrong, or have trouble with, i study the material on that more closely. I use to love taking notes for studying. Like what you said SomewhatDamaged, it is slow, even if i was typing. But when i was studying for school, it alway allowed time for material to really sink in while i thought about the item as i typed.

I am going to use the same strategy that i used through out undergrad. Read the books the first time around very thoroughly, making notes, copying down all the formulas, etc. After every book i do a reasonable amount of questions and then move on to the next book. After I am done with all books, i simply start plowing through thousands of questions day after day while going back to refer to the notes i made while rereading things i’ve forgotten. Duuring my lunches at work i watch the Schweser lectures on my computer (don’t take notes, just try to retain the info). Again, hit the multiple choice questions over and over.

It really depends on how well you learn the material. Read it. Thoroughly. Understand it. Some people tend to think that writing notes equates to thorough studying. Nope. Taking notes on every itty bitty thing is a complete waste of time. Next thing you know you’ll have 500+ pages of notes to go through, on which you probably spent 100+ hours writing. Not effective, says I.

I took LI in Dec 07. My advice is to finish the readings and your first go round of studying right at the time CFAI puts the sample exams on their website. Take one, note your mistakes, weak areas. Review for a couple weeks, take another exam. Same thing, note weak areas, mistakes, review and take a sample exam again. I screwed up and didnt take a CFAI sample exam until about 2.5 weeks until the exam. Then reviewed for another week and took another sample exam.