Just started studying for this thing and overwhelmed: need advice

I am studying using the CFA book methods. It’s only 2 days since I began studying. I am unsure if I should do Kaplan Schweser or what. I am mainly concerned about whether or not the code of ethics and code of standards should be memorized. I’ve been told not to wait a year to study for it. This exam is making me crazy and it’s causing me to drive other people away. How do I land and not freak out over this. I’m not sure what else to say. I’m scared guys.

So far on the practice problems I’m getting a 60%. is this an ok score for a beginner. I am also flipping back through the book to solve these problems. Is that ok? I have so many questions–none of them accompanied by an answer.

2 days brah? you gotta pledge yo allegiance to the cfa, this like gang initation. gotta be bout it bout it

It will seem overwhelming the first time through. Once you do your second pass, it’ll all come together.

Many people have passed these exams using only the books from Schweser, Élan, or other prep providers.

Note that in Ethics you don’t have to know which section is called what; you need to know only the contents of the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Professional Conduct.

2 days? Are you even on Quant yet?

I agree that things will come together the 2nd time around. Give yourself plenty of time for review and mocks. 6-8 weeks

Go for Elan for everything except Ethics. Buy the Schweser Qbank to practise. Dont wait. Get it now. And get used to the feeling of driving away people. It will only get worse as you progress in the program.

Don’t waste your time with the CFAI text. I used Elan Study Notes and videos and highly recommend them.

Time management is key. If you just stare at all the books you need to read you’ll freak out.

You have five books to read. So that equates to roughly 1 book a month. This would leave the last month for review and exam prep.

To keep on track, read one chapter every second day and on the alternate day, do the practise questions.

By breaking it down into small chunks hopefully you can keep your sanity.

This years exam had a dozen of questions that were not covered in Schweser, also ( I have viewed a friends 2014 notes as he decided to go the short way ) they have mistakes in their formulas and calculations. I wouldn`t bother with their stuff at all. No idea on the Q-bank but I believe it should be helpful, you can still source older CFAI mocks from Google.

I started studying for the December exam on May 2nd. The SchweserNotes consists of five books that are approximately 300 pages each. Of that, a large percentage is Examples, Key Concepts, and Concept Checkers. Realistically, you could read through all of the SchweserNotes in maybe a week if you skip these parts and I think come out feeling a little better having seen everything before in albeit a cursory fashion.

What this guy says is true, but don’t do it.

Don’t freak out, you have tons of time, if you do this you will be fine…

A) Don’t touch the CFA materials, just Schweser (don’t know what ELAN & others are like, maybe they’re good too) except maybe for ethics if you have a bunch of time left at the end

B) Work through each book and take detailed notes, every emboldened or italicized item, write them down in bold. Focus on understanding everything as you move along, don’t worry about memorizing, that’s what the notes are for. There’s a lot of overlap in the books, if you take your time and make sure you understand everything from the start, you’ll start off somewhat slow, but later on will move through the material, make connections, and burn relationships into your memory way way faster. It pays huge dividends later on. Do the end of chapter questions every time and review. Doing this it took me between 3 - 5 days per book.

I put in 170 hours of study and review time in total and the test went very well. The two most important things by a longshot were making sure I understood everything as I went (again, don’t worry about memorizing), and taking detailed notes.

Good luck, don’t panic, just focus. If it’s the night before and you still have books to read and haven’t done any practice tests, go ahead and panic, you’re probably screwed. Right now you’re rolling around in a luxurious pile of time.

This is a load of crap, I only used the Schwesers and only had 2 questions on the entire test, morning and afternoon I didn’t recognize the coverage of, and at least one of them I’m pretty sure was covered in a section I didn’t bother to read.

For ethics, granted, their coverage is pretty loose I’ll give you that.

I agree that Schweser covers the vast majority of the content.The main difference is the presentation of some topics. If you have a solid understanding of the material this shouldn’t be an issue. Studying via CFAI materials doesn’t necessarily ensure you’ll retain the missing 5%, if anything it may lead to an overload of information or less time for revision. If you elect to study with third party materials, make sure you’re supplementing w/ CFAI EOC’s and blue (grey) box examples to better familiarize yourself w/the different perspectives.

going crazy after 2 days? dude…

dumb question because im feeling a little overwhelmed as well, but here goes anyway…

In the schweser notes (books 1-5) should we focus on the learning outcomes? or rather work through the whole book and then do QBank and mocks?

Take it a bit at a time. You should take notes on each LOS and exlain it in a way that you will understand it. Use the curriculum to do end of chapter question. For schweser, do every question in the book. What i found effective was to write down, on flashcards, each question in schweser that I marked incorrectly/guessed with the solution and explanation on the back. Take it a bit at a time.

I would seriously reconsider your decision to start the CFA if you are going crazy after 2 days, not trying to be a jerk just truth.

Totally understandable that this exam is driving you crazy. But first try to put things into perspective must of the people need at least 300H to pass it, I personally took way more than that. My humble advice is as follow:

-Make a plan day by day, I did it while working so studied for around 2H each week dayand weekends 5H the first months, then intensify last month.

-Leave one month for practice tests at least 4 ( shwessers are pretty cool and the CFA Mock as well)

-I used Shwesser and helped me additionally use the QBank, as you advance the material do every day questions (practice practice)

- Go easy on the partying it will pay

  • Do not overwhelmed ( easy to say but very difficult to practice), if you don’t understand a topic from the plan, go study another topic (be flexible) then go back a do some problems.

-Be strategic , look at the BIG PICTURE study well the important topics.

  • 2-3 weeks off before the test ( study hardcore here)

  • 4 days before the test re-study etchics do not memorize it just understand it.

-One day before the test take it easy general study, sleep well

You have been studying for 2 days, impossible to arrive to conclusions about with your scores do not look to convince yourself that you will make it or you won’t make it, be practical follow your plan, be nice to people around you, eat well, exercise, and if this is something you want it never give up!!!

What I did was to start with Ethics. Since you don’t have to memorize but just get yourself into the “ethical mindset”, it was an easy read in the early days and actually helped me get used to sitting and studying for a few hours before I moved into the harder sections. The problem with this is that you’ll still have to re-read ethics again at the end.

Exactly, so waste of time to start with it. Skip Ethics at the start, save it for the end.

It’s not a waste of time at all. You’ll retain more reading it twice than reading it once.