I am progressing well; albeit slowly. I want to leave three weeks towards the end, so can practice exams non-stop and go over notes. I am wondering, who is the best third-party provider of mock exams? I am using schweser to study and they have provided some mocks; however, not sure if these are going to be truly representative of the exam day. I will, of course, take the actual CFA two practice exams and time it. But I want to do more to maximise my changes of passing.
From my experience, I tried Finquiz last year. I had 6 mocks, and on the 4th mock, I gave up because I realized Finquiz was too hard and not really testing the core concepts - it was instead testing my memory skills! I changed my final weeks strategy and re-did all EOCs, re-did the important EOCs again (i.e. Equity, FRA, Fixed income), and the online topic tests. This raised my confidence (which took a huge hit when doing the Finquiz mocks) and I eventually found the actual exam easy (was confident of a pass after the exam and eventually passed)
Never used L2 Schwser though, but I hear its more manageable than Finquiz.
I did 4 finquiz mocks until i realised it was a waste of my time. Having few days left until the exam, I practised CFA mocks/online topic tests and EOCs only. I hit the heavy-weight topics, focused less on low-weighted & hard topics (mine was quants & portion of derivatives & PM). Come the exam day, that portion of derivatives eventually came up, and I bombed on it, but I felt that I’ve managed a lot of 5/6, 6/6 scores on other heavy-weight topics to compensate for it. Moral of story: hit the areas where u have high room for improvement, and dont waste time on areas with low room for improvement, unless your aim is to achieve 70%+ in all 10 topics.
I heard that Schwser Qbank is good for initial prep, but not so good for final prep. If you can master the EOCs, topic tests and CFA mocks, you’ll have a pretty good chance of going thru.
Finquiz does not reflect the CFA-exam style because most of the time it tests your ability to recall “exact” unimportant phrases from the CFA books. Finquiz shot my confidence down after 3 mocks (scores were no higher than 50%, no joking). Changed strategy, practised CFA EOCs, mocks, online topic tests and regained confidence.
I gave the BSAS Pratice exam for Level 1 also. It’s a full length 6 hours practice exam. It was a paper based practice test which I gave in a classroom in Sydney (Not online). At the end of afternoon session of the exam, they will provide the answer keys and you need to check your answers yourself. It is very useful to test your preparation for the exam.
This year, I am appearing in BSAS CFA Level 2 Practice Exam on SATURDAY 20th May 2017 in SYDNEY (Not Online). But you can check with them, they might also be offering the online test at different time.
Band 9 fail last year, so I know what Im talking about. The Schweser mocks are great. I know I sound like a commercial but I really mean it. they are highly, highly representative of the real exam, in terms of both difficulty and style.
The Topic Tests on the CFAI institute website are HARD. I would argue that the average TT item set is maybe 115% to 130% as hard as the real exam. but the difficulty is not unrealistic, and it has value because it shows you the weak areas and there are so, so, so many item sets available to take. Its like an extra 3-4 Mocks (in terms of volume of practice you’ll get if you do them all).
Another thing thats important to note is that the difficulty of the Schweser mocks increases as you progress through the mock books. For instance: There are two volumes of mocks, (volume 1 and 2) and each volume has 3 full length exams (6 total). I found that Volume1, Exam3 is more difficult than Volume1, Exam1. And furthermore, all three mocks in Volume2 are more difficult than the volume1 mocks. the difference in difficulty is subtle, but it’s definitely there. They do this on purpose I would suggest.
This is how I see mocks in total:
Topic Tests on CFAI website: 125% as hard as real exam
Volume1 Mocks in Schweser: Maaaaaybe 97% as hard as real exam
Volume2 Mocks in Schweser: maaaaaybe 105% as hard as real exam
bottom line is the Schweser mocks are exactly what youlll feel and see on gameday
Thank you! I’m going to stick with my strategy, focus on the CFA Institute curriculum only, use TT and mock exam from the CFA Institute site. It worked great for level 1 and l determined to prove that again.
@TommyJohn really appreciate the feedback mate, very much appreciated. I only have volume one; but that seems sufficient by the sounds of it + 2 real life CFA exams. Do you have an email by any chance that I can contact you on?