No doubt about it: Schweser works

For the newbies: I passed LI, LII & LIII without reading the texts. Schweser fully prepared me for every exam. My advice to any candidate is to read read SChweser cover to cover, and use the CFAI texts only for the end of chapter questions.

Congratulations! Did you have prior finance experience?


i agree 100%. Schweser is the way to go. I have spent an aggreagate total of about 40 hours in the texts and 400 hours in schweser over the course of Level I and Level II. I passed both of them with wiggle room. I have no Finance Experience but do have a Finance degree from 6 years ago. I definately recommend schweser and I will be using it for Level III.

Finance BBA from kind of crappy state school, but no legit financial professional experience. Hopefully, that will change.

I went 3/3 using Schweser as well. I think if you know that material cold you will have a great chance to pass. That being said, I did the CFAI text questions this year and also did a Stalla live class for Level 2.

Agreed here. Passed 1&2 so far and both comfortable. Overall I think there will always be an area that schweser fails to cover that will come up on an exam and cause everyone to grip and complain. The benefit of having a concise and to the point summary of the critical points to focus on is more important than the massive tombs of official material. I always felt like I had a thorough understanding of the “big picture” as opposed to the minutiae. I did find value in the end of chapter questions though (since you have the CFAI texts free anyway) to get an idea of what they are going for.

I passed 1, 2, and 3… 3 for 3… had an econ degree and acquired 2 yr of qualifying work experience during the program. 100% Schweser. Studied < 200hr for each level. Different methods are best for different people, but I’m an advocate of Schweser.

I used CFAI texts and QBank for level 1 and studied 250 hours. Used Schweser exclusively for level 2 and studied 150 hours. I found level 2 easier and did better.

Used Schweser exclusively for levels I and II and felt it was more than adequate. You have to know it well though. I thought the most important aspect of preparation was taking practice exams. For both levels I and II, I thought the Schweser exams were more difficult than the real thing and did a good job of preparing me.

I wonder if these post are advertisement from Schweser

i dont get it. why would Schweser work over CFAI when the test is on the LOS from the CFAI books. do Schweser dumb it down or something? i dont have a problem reading CFAI text whatsoever. i know i didint pass lvl1 but i only had 3 months prep and no time to review and i did pretty damn good. Right now with how expensive the CBOK was i cant afford to do anything else. can we get some CFAI advocates in here?

What works for you might not work for someone else. Your setting people up for failure. The passing rates are going to be lower :slight_smile:

I just passed L1 with CFAI books only. Granted, I felt like the material could have been abbreviated a bit more. I did notice questions on the test (and practice tests) that came from what appeared to be minor footnotes in the CFAI text. Hardly the sort of things I’d put in study notes if I were writing them. Either way, I think I’ll probably do schweser for L2. Still plan on reading CFAI cover to cover, but a summary to get the big picture first would be nice.

This has a certain survivorship bias considering nobody who failed is going to post. I know if I had used only Schweser for level 3 I would have failed. My colleague did and failed. Schweser was great for level 1, sufficient for level 2, and a solid complement to old CFA sample essays and the CFAI texts for level 3. On an essay test you have to shift from a mindset of memorization and concrete answers to a deeper understanding of grey areas and how CFA answers. I found many of their Investment Policy Statements to lean more aggressively than I would have thought in a professional capacity.

yep, I used schweser for level II and am a fan, but did not pass (barely, though). I attribute this to two things: 1) I did not read the CFA curriculum nor did I do the end of chapter questions. I will correct this for next year and 2) time management - I definitely fell down on this. I ended up having to guess on some FSA questions at the end of the am section, and the reason I did not pass was the FSA. It does little good to do well on all of the low-weight sections which count only 1/4 of the FSA, and not do well on FSA. So I will do schweser again, take TIMED practice tests - which they recommend, but I did not do - and do every problem in the curriculum. I am sure I will now pass with this strategy. Oh, and I won’t wait until mid-April to start studying …

It’s funny how most people don’t realize the logic behind the 250 hours recommended. By the time you spend that amount preparing, it wouldn’t really matter what you used. For “start in March, and also take a week off RIGHT before the exam” strategy any prep kit will be bad.

I agree. Schweser works.

I used only Schweser for LII and just failed. Oh well at least the work experience rolls on in the meantime

I have registered for Level 1 for December and I am planning on relying solely on CFAI material to pass. PS: Haven’t received the CFAI material yet and only 107 days till exam date. Hopefully there is a positive correlation between procrastination and passing CFA exams.