I read through the Schweser, worked 6 Schweser practice exams, CFA Mocks, and CFA mocks going back to 2014 and I still bombed the AM.
I honestly think I didn’t work EOC and read the original text enough. When it came to the AM I hadn’t seen the CFA AM type question format enough when I started the mocks. I think you have to familiarize yourself when the way AM is structured, how you should answer etc. Not the schweser way, but the CFA way.
On test day there was 1 question in the AM I spent too much time on, and probably got wrong; based on how close I was if I had a similar test and didn’t have 1 or 2 questions I may have known how to answer those and passed.
I believe you should understand how to answer a Calculate, describe, and other keyword questions in the exam from like April. So when you practice you mocks in the AM you can practice the CORRECT way to answer the questions. I was writing paragraphs and not bullet-ed responses which ate a lot of time and killed me.
If you can score well in the AM you will score well in the PM. Because the AM requires so much more when its fill in the blank. So prepare for the AM and beginning looking over formulas a bit each day and start learning how to answer a constructed response correctly.
I am using Mark Meldrums videos and reading original text this time around. Original text is so wordy and it actually helps solidify some of my understanding so when I get a AM type question I will know what verbage is going to be good. Not the Schweser verbage. I used Schweser for the first 2 levels and passed, but I didn’t buy it this year.
I saw people using MM and people buying mocks outside of Schweser and shelling the cash for people grading the constructed response mocks. And I was like WTF, but as the time went on closer to the exam a lot of people answering on the forums scoring 80%+ in the PM and scoring 60% in the AM had used a third party source besides schweser, paid for somebody to grade am mocks, and so now I am doing the same…
I was like man I failed by 3% all I have to do is raise my score by 3% in a year, but then they changed 40% of the readings. After a year it is so discouraging to sign back up for an exam you think you failed by like 2 questions in the AM. But, here I am ready to finally be done with the CFA. Shelling out the extra cash on top of whatever you have to get your mocks graded is crucial. Probably want to work in like 1-3 AM mocks before you have a grader look over your mock. The first time you do an AM mock its murder. I have signed up for S2000 grading service, and I may pay for 1 mock to be graded by MM I am on his wait-list. If you aren’t scoring high in the AM when you grade then you will be even lower. I was grading myself I think in the range of 45-60%, but got 35% on the exam day. So, now I need like 70% when I grade myself in the AM to trust I can score 60% in AM. I think 60% in AM locks passing for CFA Level III, given you can get 70% or higher in the PM.
Hope this helps!