LII Prep Strategy

Alright, so in response to all the pestering, I’m going to lay out some decent strategy for test prep as well as some thoughts on recent posts. For starters, asking half of these questions before you even have books is just rediculous. Furthermore, I can’t understand this damned obsession with “what topic is the most difficult”. This is clearly a stupid question (yes there are such things as stupid questions) for several reasons. Obviously this question depends on the individual and can not be measured. Clearly FSA can be quite challenging (which it is) for someone with a quant background, but conversely, quant and derivatives may be more challenging for someone with a strong accounting background. PM can be tricky for all, but then now that we think about it, LII ethics is a b*tch as well. The bottom line is this, there are no freebies in LII, it’s harder in every concievable way, no matter how you cut it. So that’s it, quite trying to game the exam just buckle down, stop pestering other people about stuff you could probably figure out for yourself and read the material whenever you decide is an adequate start date. Regarding start date, everyone has been throwing you answers ranging from October to February. All are equally valid responses, particularly since 1) noone knows results yet, and 2) everyone studies using different but arguaby equally efficient methods at different paces, so study when you feel is adequate. I just don’t understand all the hand holding and babying going on here. You obviuosly understand what efficient studying consists of (you’re here). Many of us that just sat started studying in Feb when we got our LI results, I felt as prepared as I was going to get (read CFAI texts in completion 3 times). Other tips could be to take notes or highlight (I like notes to help combat the volume of the material), but you should know that already. Volume of material will be your biggest enemy, so schweser can be helpful even though it’s not as deep, you’re surface level retention may be better), CFAi offers better detail at risk of more difficulty associated with increased volume. The same arguments exist when comparing starting in October vs. starting in February, personally, I know that in June I will not remember one thing I read the prior October, so for me personally I see little benefit to sinking time at that point. But in the end, it obviously comes down to a balance where starting in February will make the material more recent whereas October will let you have more time to process things. In the end, decide for yourself, pick a strategy and execute it, stop looking for an easier or gaurunteed method because it doesn’t exist. A crappy strategy that is well executed can succede where a great strategy that was poorly executed may fail, so in the end, just decide for yourself and then do that.

Black Swan seems a little upset the he was once an ugly duckling. Someone give him a hug…

You guys cannot realize how naive some of these q’s look to us.

homeslice, you best respect your elders and cross your fingers that guys like swan pass this thing because if he doesn’t, you better start studying yesterday. he’d eat you alive next year. that said, the best advice i can give you right now is to relax and enjoy the rest of the summer. if you need 10-11 months to tackle L2, then I’ll put money on the fact that you’re not cut out to pass it anyways. aim for Jan 1st. 5 months. if you want to do 300 hrs, that’s 60 a month. 15 a week. 1 hr a day and 10 on weekends or however you split it. this isn’t crushing at all if you have discipline. to start now is to miss out on: booze, getting some action if you’re single, appreciating your significant other if you’re in a couple, going to the beach while it’s still warm, walking your dog, going to the gym, etc. why deny yourself these things? life is not just about the CFA test and if it is, pinch yourself and come back to reality. you back? good. aim for Jan 1st. you’ll get a month head start on the december takers and you’ll have time to do this thing right and not forget something you read 10 months ago. everyone has their own strategy. i hate highlighters and wouldn’t ever use one. i also haven’t touched the CFAI texts hardly ever in 2 levels. are these wise maneuvers? for me, i’d say yes but maybe not for you. reality- L2 is 3x as hard as L1. it’s not impossible though. you’ll do it, you’ll get into your groove just like you did for L1, so CHILL PEOPLE. enjoy your pass and pencil in Jan 1st as go time. enjoy the leaves changing, fantasy football season, another red sox world series, voting, stuffing your face with turkey, getting fun xmas gifts for family so they all smile and thank you for being so thoughtful, and then it’s go time. hard stuff- FSA multinationals, FCFF/FCFE, derivs take some time to plow through, PM is a mile wide and for the last 2 years the test has tested something maybe 1 page randomly out of the 300 pgs of text. total crapshoot. whether you want to try to game the test here or spend crazy amounts of time, your call. quant time series, FI just the amount of subjective stuff to remember and I’m sure expanding daily with credit crisis issues, etc… the list goes on. it’s not easy. econ prob the easiest I thought but then 2 of our 6 questions were oddball balance of payment (BOP) calculations and most folks hadn’t looked at it much b/c again, it was one tiny topic amongst a whole lot of other LOS’s. any topic, any LOS is fair game so you have to plow through the bigger areas but not ignore the small stuff. with half as many questions, if you get caught with your pants down on a topic you might’ve blown past, you’re d-e-a-d dead. it’s a far less forgiving test than L1. get used to vignettes, they’re harder. take ethics very, very seriously. with that said, i’ve just run the gamut of topics meaning you’ll have to study hard and everything. but jan 1st people. all of you new to the forum folks, be exicted, have a fun summer, and then reconvene maybe december and lay out a game plan. you’ll do fine and pray god i’m not with you and can jump up a level in 2 weeks because if by some chance i don’t pass, i will also eat you alive (starting to hum ‘maneater’ now… oh yeah hall & oats baby)

bannisja, you are so hot right now…

Well said swan and banni

you just want me to say you’re hot too ozzy, you might want to go to cfa_frank for that kind of action. Jk…

thanks guys. good stuff. i will try not to post more until after 8/19. i think it is good to relax, but me personally, i am starting level II as soon as my books come this week. couple of reasons a) i am a bad test taker b) i recently finished grad school and still looking for a job : ( - The upside of all this is that i can study for CAIA level I in sept and begin the CFA level II process… c) i figure with all this time i can read thru the CFAI books twice and the schswer at least once.

Black Swan and bannisja, I really appreciate both of your posts and hope you guys are L3-ers in a couple weeks. I’m just going to stick to the following plan each workday until the June 2008 Level 2 exam: Study hard until I get tired…then study a bit more. Repeat.

CAFicionado Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Black Swan and bannisja, > > I really appreciate both of your posts and hope > you guys are L3-ers in a couple weeks. > > I’m just going to stick to the following plan each > workday until the June 2008 Level 2 exam: > > Study hard until I get tired…then study a bit > more. Repeat. you mean 2009?

swan and banni nailed it. if any of you newbies are sensitive, which it seems a good majority are judging by the tone of your responses, my advice would be to go away and don’t show your faces until late august after the dust settles. if you’d rather stick around and try and pry some info from a bunch of stressed out people, you reap what you sow.

I strongly recommend you wait until closer to start. Burnout is a serious issue and one everybody copes with. I can say everyone experienced it at some point, and it is a factor you must take into account. Once you burn out, you are rarely in as peak condition as you were before as your motivation is sapped. You want to time your studies so you peak right in the week before the exam. I saw alot of people do this very well, and go into the exam in top fit condition, starting now will almost definitely hurt your exam prep and motivation in the long run. The questions are so detailed and studying now will not help you retain information to the level of detail you must recall on exam day. If you still are not convinced and feel you must start before November at the soonest (which I strongly caution you against) then my suggestion would be to fly through the curriculum once now, then put down the books and go have fun for a couple months before starting in February. This would give you a quick preview and base for what’s ahead but also let you manage your motivation.

FCFE and FCFF, and auto correlation didn’t show up this year. It will probably show up next year.

Agreed with what bud said, although i think in general this forum is a little more intense and less sugarcoated than the LI forum.

Perfect post Black Swan. Bannis and Budfox spot on as well. Was talking offline with a colleague about some of the new L2 posts and didn’t know whether to be scared (if I didn’t pass this year) because the new L2’s were this motivated this early, or not scared at all because of the sheer stupdity of some of the questions. People… there is definitely not a magic answer with regard to a) timing b) study provider or c) topic area. Relax and enjoy yourself for a bit. For the new L2 candidates congrats on passing and hopefully all us crabby/nervous L2 people will pass on to L3 and you won’t have to deal with us again. You’ll understand how we feel after next June. The test is freaking tough and even in hindsight I don’t know how I would approach it differently.

daj224 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > you mean 2009? oops, yep

My brain hurts from all that reading. Either that or I’m just still hung over from boozing at the golf course last night. Note to self - having a dozen beers while driving around on a golf cart Sunday night may seem like a great idea…but remember to get an earlier tee time.

and yes…I do know that it’s almost 2PM on a Monday

Well written post BlackSwan, Will take heed of alot of things that you noted.