Merits of Schweser/Stalla only

Considering you were the first batch of students taking the exam after CFAI made everyone purchase their text, I was wondering if the guys who studied from Schweser and Stalla give us some input on how they felt the respective courses prepared you for the exam? 1. Do you feel there were many questions from topics not covered sufficiently by Sch/Stalla? 2. Do you think some/many exam questions were right out of the CFA text? there are a lot of ppl out here who study from schw/stalla only, so any help would be appreciated.

not true, CFAI makes everyone purchase for June test… I felt, unlike a lot of other posters, that Schweser got me there…i was scweser only with a couple CFAI online tests. i would recommend schweser, but need to supplement with CFAI tests to get a feel for what they will ask. And read and reread ethics.

used Schweser only and feel really good about it. A lot of folks are bagging on Schweser for being calculation intensive, but I think if you step back for a moment, you’ll realize that while you were learning to do those heavy calculations, you were learning the concept in depth. I felt prepared in all sections, except for Economics, and that was from my doing as I didn’ focus too hard on that.

bud fox i agree in spades…the calculations gave me a great base knowledge i thought.

I don’t think we were required to purchase the CFAI text. I think the June 08’ is the first class that is required to purchase the text. I did however purchase both the full CFAI text and Schweser. I bought the text first not knowing about Schweser but then, thank the lord, I found this message board and decided it was worth the extra expense. To answer your question I would say that it really depends on your background/education. I personally have recently graduated with a finance degree so I thought the CFAI text was a bit too heavy for what I needed. However, if you have been out of school, out of industry, or dont have a finance background, it may be helpful to spend time reading through the text. For some of the sections I used both materials in tandem. For instance, in my opinion, the section on bond duration and convexity was too broadly covered with Schweser so I used the CFAI text to supplement any areas that I just “felt” were too broadly covered by Schweser. Also, using one vs. the other really depends on your study habits. It seemed like the CFAI text read as though you could go through it and pick out the parts that were important. Schweser, however, was different. You HAD to read EVERYTHING in schweser because it picked out the most important points for each topic. There was no perusing with schweser. Also, there were little hints and helpful points for remembering certain topics in schweser that I believe helped me out. In some sections it even discerned between info we need to know for L1 and info we didn’t need to neccessarily worry about until L2. For ethics, YOU NEED THE CFAI TEXT, but they provide that part free. Don’t rely on the schweser alone for Ethics. All in all, apart from Ethics, I think I could have done OK without the CFAI text. The Q-bank was invaluable (especially b/c I thought the hard ethics questions on Q bank were harder than some of the actual ethics questions on the exam). The exta tools that you get with Schweser will help you out a lot. The practice questions with Schweser and the practice exams are much more quantitative than the actual exam but for me, working out so many calculations made all the formulas and their moving parts stick better in my head. Also, with the schweser book 6, because it is more quantitative, you learn to have a faster pace if you try to live up to the real time requirements. I found that I had more time on the actual exam than I did doing practice exams. The last 30 minutes I had in both the morning and afternoon that I used to review questions I didn’t really understand at first were invaluable. Get schweser but use them both according to your study habits and background. You are forced to buy the text so take advantage of it.

I used Schweser only, and there wasn’t anything on the test that wasn’t covered in the notes. There may have been a few things that were glossed over, but I felt very prepared. If I didn’t pass, it’s my fault, not Schwesers.

Thank you guys… I am going to be sitting for an exam in June and wanted to make sure that I had the right tools to prepare for it.

I took Stalla prep and I think they do a really good job of giving you a solid base (esp for someone like me coming from the IT ranks). However, their questions are in no way anything similar to what you see on the test. When I got a hold of the schweser books, the questions there really enhanced the prep provided by Stalla’s text.

Those of you that used Schweser/Stalla only, approx how many hours do you think you studied before the exam? 250? If you don’t know hours what was your study sched and approx for how many months?

Started around Aug. 10th. I easily put in the 250 hours.

I think I studied around 250 hrs. - ballpark. My “schedule” was very inconsistent though due to a lot of family stuff going on…

I liked Stalla. I’ll either like it less or love it if I pass. Peter Olinto is the best person to have for teaching. I do wish I had another source, like maybe Schweser but it gets expensive. I think I’d recommend Stalla, I’ll let you know for sure on January 16th.

Schweser is definitely more concise and gives you the relevant information from an exam point of view. Though it is good to have a ready reference of the CFAI text and definitely get a flavor by reading them. The explanations are a lot better. So my advice is go through Schweser and if you feel you dont understand something then look at the CFAI text. I would go further to say that dont waste too much time doing sample book 6. Do one exam max. unless you have a lot of time then definitely do them all. The reason I say dont do it too many of sample 6 is because it is too calculation intensive and while you will get a lot of concepts clear doing those calculations I still feel it is over kill on the calculations and less attention paid to basic concepts. The Schweser Pro Q Bank is great IMO. The questions are easier than Sample book 6 but purely driven on concepts and less calculation intensive. That is the true flavor of the exam.