Last I managed to get my q bank and schweser practice scores to almost 70% (with 85% or better in ethics) and was happy that with a “big push” this week I’d be able to claw my way over the pass mark. But over the weekend I was killed by the CFAI mock with a paltry 58%! I know FRA is my major weakness (on the mock I also scored particularly poorly on ethics and equities but I think that’s less reflective of my true abilities than the accurately low FRA score). I managed to get Wed-Fri off work so I’m thinking FSA q-bank as much as possible, plus the CFAI online sample tests, one remaining schweser practice test and on Friday I will re-do the mock from start to finish to make sure I learnt from my mistakes first time round. Comments? I know you guys are mostly I-only-scored-80%-I’m-so-gonna-fail types but if anyone has constructive advice it would be appreciated. I know it’ a long shot now but I already paid to take the test so I’m still going for it!
Honestly, there is no secret formula. The more FR&A questions you do the better you will be for test day. If you have $100- buy Elan mocks AND 11th hour- they are pretty good. The online samples at the CFAI website are useless in my opinion. And don’t use q-bank unless at gun point.
Yeah thanks - I guess I can go to $100. Not sure about 11th hour - do I have enough time to make use of it? I thought the samples were a good idea because I am kicking ass in q-bank but did poorly with “real” CFAI questions. I want to earmark Friday to re-do the mock which means I have Wed and Thu free. Am I better doing Elan mocks, Schweser mocks or CFAI samples on those days guys?
I also liked the 11th hour guide and the Elan Mocks, but it seems like you have enough practice exams on your hands. I experienced a similar problem. I had high scores on all my practice exams, and a much lower score on the mock. FSA was also my greatest weakness, but then I worked on it for a few days, and in the CFA mock, I scored higher on the FSA questions than on some of my previously strong areas. Anyway, if you’re taking time off work, you’ll be able to manage to get your FSA score up to par by doing practice questions and digging into the answers of those you got wrong. Good luck (to all of us, actually).
Thanks for the advice! Digging through wrong answers is key, I reckon. Wish I’d done more of that last week instead of spending four days on AIM and derivatives, thinking I had everything else in the bag! Oops.
Wednesday to Friday off means you have time for two-three am + pm mock exams (+ reviewing the answers). Since you mention QBank, I understand you are using Schweser’s tools. If you have done those that go with the basic material, you might want to check on their site if they offer any additional mock exams this year too. Preferably with “tutorials”. I’ve just been reviewing one mock exam for Level II with an accompanying tutorial for each questions, and I must say the tutorials are indeed very helpful. Its basically a slide-show where a guy talks you through how to address the particular problems on the exam, how to read the “vignette”, what to pick out, how to set up the formula, how to decide if one answer can be scratched off right away et cetera. He talks fast, which means it’s “ok” to listen to the explanations. In any case you might be lucky, maybe the exam will be biased towards derivatives (who knows?) and then you’d be in the clear…
Yeah I’m thinking the same. I have one Schweser practice test left out of the three so that’s Thursday. For Fri I am tempted to re-do the CFAI mock, having already done it and studied the answers at the weekend (this is for confidence and to solidify the points I missed on that particular exam first time - missing points on the real thing is one thing but if I remember a similar q was on the mock and I’d forgotten the solution, I’d strangle myself!) However if you guys think I should do another “new” mock instead I could be tempted. For Wed I can either buy a Stalla mock, a Schweser mock or both CFAI online samples. Not sure which one to go for. Opinions welcome!
I remember I bought an additional three Schweser mock exams. They were online so you could check your scores against other test takers. I’d rather go for another mock than the one I had already done. OK, you can study the answers you’ve missed on the “old” mock exam, but as a learning tool I’d think you’d be better off taking more (two or three) additional mock exams. The easiest way to do it would probably be to stay with the study notes provider you’re already familiar with… If you find yourself pressed for time on, say, Friday - or if you’re simply too fed up - just plug in some answers (“c”,“c”,“c”…) into the exam to get access to the answers and explanations and spend the final afternoon just reading through the questions and answers without studying (you won’t ruin the statistics database since Schweser has already taken into account that people might do just that). At this late stage I don’t think it is all that important for you to check your score (to see if it’s “55%” or “72%” or whatever). It’s a relative test, some tests are more difficult than others. Just concentrate on *grasping* the questions and don’t worry if you’re scoring a bit on the low side. You’ll do better on the exam itself simply *because* you’ll concentrate harder then. (It has to do with simple psychology.) I took it with Schweser material only. I found that for one thing the CFAI exams were (at the time) too expensive and the Schweser ones were geared toward conveying an understanding about the topics. (I’ve said it before: I find it doesn’t matter if the mock is “representative” or not, it’s enough for me if it simply gears my odds so to make me do better on the real exam once I’m taking it.) I’ve never bothered to change study provider, I’ve chosen to stay with one whose format and software I’m familiar with. You might also want to spend a few moments thinking about what you’ll bring for lunch. The afternoon session is rather gruelling, so to put it simply you’d want to have eaten something that’ll keep your blood sugar levels rather even throughout the entire afternoon session. It is actually rather important because it affects how hard you can concentrate on the test… that’s why there are entire threads about the seemingly unimportant topics of food, beverages, pencil sharpeners and clothing…
wow, thanks for a very comprehensive reply. I was thinking to stick with Schweser but wavered when my CFAI mock performance was terrible next to my fairly consistent Schweser scores. so I’ll definitely do two unseen mocks, maybe one with video explanations, and possibly one more on Friday. Lunch = sandwich + banana!
get the elan 11th hour even better…go to the website and print out the free formula sheets. the one for FRA is simply amazing. helps you understand how ratio’s are affected by changes in LIFO/FIFO…financing/operating leases etc http://www.elanguides.com/samples.php sample formula 3… u memorize all that in the next 4 days…u will get 4-5 more questions PER section right in FRA
you’re right, this IS good. and free! I have about 65% of this already in my head so it’s manageable to learn the rest around my practice exams.