I feel like I'm lost even with review classes...


I am new to the forums and I am beginning to worry about the test as I approach it.

I decided to enroll in schweisers “last chance” session, not realizing how much work the exam entails. I am currently a full time student getting my masters and it is midterm time. I have basically been using all of my time for school work and CFA preparation. I know it is somewhat early to take the exam, however I feel like it is a good certification for when I apply for jobs.

Anyway, I have been getting books from my review classes that are actually bigger than the books that are given by the actual CFA institute. I think it is probably because of the practice problems within the books, however, bottom line is that all of the books are about double the size of of the textbooks I have from all of my classes at school.

By the time I study everything thoroughly it will be exam time… So how do I figure out what material is important to focus on? I would rather focus on 75% and get 75% of the test right than focus on 100% of the test, when I will only see a fraction of the material, and get 50% correct. I just see too much material to understand what I should practice and focus on. I know all of the material can be tested but what material is most commonly tested? Is there any review guide or way to figure out what I should practice in stead of just read over?

Thank you in advance for your advice and help!

Apologies for the correction, I meant to put Sharp seminars… I accidentally put Schweser for some reason.

In my opinion you have way to much on your plate and will most likely not have time to prepare. Bottom line it this exam is totally multiple choice so even if you understand a concept you can not show your work for part marks like many university exams. I have a Bcomm finance from a top university and even I have trouble with the breadth of the material. Its not the difficulty its simply the amount I would try and know ethics and accouting cold.

Ethics, FSA, quantitatives. Then do the rest. Just my $.02.

Yeah I definitely agree with both of you. I already prepared for about 1/4-1/2 of the exam but I agree Saulherman, my challenge is retaining the material. It is easy stuff, just so much that I can forget about with so many small details. Jordanwang07- you named the most calculation heavy/detail heavy sections to memorize so I’d have to agree :frowning: I have the review books though… The review books narrow the focus a lot from the CFA curriculum books, but I still feel like there is just so much material… Even if I already practiced and read the material, I am just not sure how to retain it for the exam… I would need to somehow review it- Do you guys recommend me making flash cards or a review sheet with all of the concepts? Many of the practice questions from Kaplan’s books and other practice test books seem to have pretty straightforward questions… Should I expect much more detail-driven questions on the exam?

I feel you. I have almost 300 hours logged so far, and I still am forgetting plenty of material. I’ve think my brain has reached saturation point. Not sure I can realistically remember much more; you just kinda hope most of what you forget is NOT on the exam. Just make sure to know all the big picture stuff really well.

You may simply be too busy to pass, this has happened to some very well qualified and intelligent friends of mine. At the same time, it is possibly in some cases for someone with a very strong finance background to basically wing the exam and pass. However, for the majority of us mortals, that’s not the case. The CFA has done a very good job of ensuring you cannot game this exam. In other words, skipping areas of the text and focusing on others is unlikely to work. Every test I took, there were sections that 100% of candidates were sure would be tested that didn’t see a single question, in other cases there were extremely obscure formulas that constituted an entire set of questions. The questions are often very particularly worded so that a general grasp of concepts is not enough. If you have any doubts about this, take some of the sample exams available via the CFA institute website to gauge where you stand. The advice I typically give people is to allocate your study time in accordance with the section weights found on the CFAi website, but beyond that, there’s no replacement for preparation. It will be extremely difficult for you to find time to study given that your finals will likely fall on the same time frame as the exam. When in doubt, it’s typically best to focus on your classes as you can never go back and change those grades. The CFA will always be there to take. You’re definitely at a decision point though, with 5 weeks left on whether or not to cut your losses.