Kaplan guides vs. CFAI books

I’m reviewing the CFAI book on Econ and I am concerned the Kaplan guides aren’t covering evrything I need to know. I’ve spent a good deal of time on the Kaplan guides and the Q-bank and I have done well on most of the questions (I’ve been told a good score to shoot for on the Q-bank is a 70 and I’m sitting at an 80% currently) but not only is my average score a good deal lower on the CFAI questions (roughly a 65%, I am running across content that I don’t believe is in the Kaplan guides. For example, In the CFAI question secition, there was a problem involving marginal revenue and it’s relation to price elasticity. I do not recall ever seeing that formula in the Kaplan guides or in Q-bank questions. I guess my question is, is there material in the CFAI books that will be covered on test day that isn’t in other study guides? I’ve discussed this with my girlfriend and my cousin (Passed L1 and is a charterholder, respectively) and both say the CFAI guides are a cataclysmic waste of time and should only be used as a reference. I just fear that I am missing pertinent material by not reading them. Thoughts?

Q-bank is very valuable for L1 prep. When making Q-bank quizzes, change the difficulty level to intermediate and advanced. Also, don’t get caught up in econ. It’s a very small (something like 8%, if I remember correctly) portion of the exam, and someting ridiculous (like 15%) of the reading material. Understand the big picture ideas, don’t get caught up in the minutiae. Have a very good understanding of FRA, Equity, F.I., Quant and Ethics. You’ll be just fine.

It all depends on you as to whether Kaplan will suffice or CFAI is necessary. CFAI is obviously more comprehensive, so all else equal, if you have the time and can clearly understand the material, CFAI is better. Kaplan is a cliffs notes version of CFAI. So, if you’re already strong on all or most topics, studying exclusinvely with Kaplan may suffice.

My preference is for CFAI but lots of people agree w/ your girlfriend and cousin. Facts are facts though, if you use Kaplan, you are taking a shortcut and risk missing some of the fine points of the CFAI curribulum.

It’s also worth noting that Kaplan and CFAI questions are structured much differently. Definitely get comfortable with the structure of the CFAI style.