More practice exams or high-level review?

I have taken 3 practice exams (Schweser) scored 69 in the first, 80 in the second, 74 in the third. I’m reasonably encouraged by those scores but the uncertainty with which I answered some questions bothers me.

I have more practice exams I could do (including the CFA mock) but I’m not sure if it’s a good use of my time. Should I pour time into doing this or review/re-read topics I feel less certain on? I’m leaning towards the latter but would like to hear others’ thoughts.

I will also say this: a couple of years ago I took the exam twice in quick succession (Band 10 and Band 9). I hate “excuses” but I really didn’t prepare well enough and didn’t understand many of the core concepts, BUT, I knew the formulas (I think you can pass/get really close to passing by memorizing formulas and defintions for this exam). My experience was that the exam was actually easier than I expected, both times (with the exception of the second time afternoon session). I’m taking it again because I’d never failed anything up to that point and am a competitive person. I understand others may think it’s strange, but it bothers me. Each to their own, I say.

For those worried about timing, I found the actual exam to questions to be far shorter than those in Schweser for example. Timing should not be too much of a problem. Oh, and here’s another tip, when I took the exams the flow did not follow what I had become used to (i.e., Ethics, then Quants, then Econ etc.). They mixed up the flow of PM, FI, and Corporate Finance. Not a huge deal but a little unnerving when you benchmarking progress/timing in your head.

I have so far done 5 full practice exams (Schweser) and I am just about to start the last practice exam (today’s Tuesday). I also plan on taking my first CFAI mock exam tomorrow (Wednesday).

Thursday, I plan on re-reviewing all the questions I got wrong on the practice and mock exams in the morning / early afternoon. And later in the afternoon / evening I plan on studying for the Ethics section.

On Friday, I plan on reviewing the ethics section once more and write down key formulas / equations. At night, I will flip through my index cards.

If I were you, I would take 1 more practice exam today and 1 more mock exam the day after (Wednesday). And on Thursday and Friday, review questions you got wrong, and study for the Ethics section (unless you are breezing through the Ethics questions…I am definitely not, averaging 72% on Ethics)…and review key formulas/equations and flip through your index cards on Friday.


I should also say that I’ve done probably 90% of the questions in the Schweser QBank (only ones I haven’t done are part of Ethics, part of Quants, and most of Corporate Finance). Maybe I will focus on these (and Ethics in particular…)