November 2021 - Exam Plans, Tips and Strategies

Everyone preparing for the Nov term and also the experienced guns, now that we roughly have around 80 days. It would be great to know how are you guys planning and strategizing for the exams and important tips to have in mind while doing so.

Please share your ideas.

Revisit my personal notes, qns on CFAI ecosystems and bang all the past year CFAI related exams that I can gather along with S2000magician’s mock exams.
Allocate sufficient time for Ethics as it may be the difference that either place ur score below or above MPS.

How are you doing GIPS? The amount of memorization it requires I have seen it anywhere. If they give that in the AM session I don’t know how we are supposed to get with it. It’s SCARY!

For GIPS/Ethics, the probability of it appearing on AM session is negligible, so I won’t bet on it appearing on AM. I will just utilise what’s on the CFAI ecosystems and familiar with the disclosures and requirements. There’s will be major revision to shrink GIPS portion for 2022 exams but I won’t be looking forward though (finger crossed)

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Take at least 10 mock exams. Take mocks from a variety of sources not just one. Include at least 1-2 CFA mocks in your mix but don’t go back too many years with CFA ones, as the curriculum changes every couple of years.

Read the core materials for GIPS, take a day and just do it. The easiest way to approach GIPS is to only focus on the requirements. Don’t focus on any recommendations. That will cut the materials down a lot.

You can break your mock study sessions into half days. I typically did either AM or PM during a day then studied notes the second part of the day, then studied the answers the second day plus notes again… Then the third day I would do the second half of the test etc. By breaking it up, I could do more mocks each week without burning out. I only took one full exam “in real time” and that was the Kaplan CBT one, I did it on a Saturday the week before my exam.

The more mock exams the better, and focus hard on why you get questions wrong. That part of your learning is the key.

Cheers - good luck - you got this👍


Great idea on breakdown of the Mock sessions.

Sounds great.

Thanks :+1:

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That was my approach to getting more mocks done for L3. I would have burned out if I tried to take 10 full-session mocks or even 7-8 mocks to be honest.

I ended up taking about 12 mocks, by breaking them up into daily digestible pieces. By the time I sat for the actual exam, it was almost anti-climactic because I’d seen pretty much all the types of questions that could be on the test. At least that’s how it seemed to me. I would recommend you take as many mocks as possible, within your mental limits. Breaking them up worked for me - after I took them I flagged all the ones I struggled on and focused mainly on those questions the last week. Cheers - good luck - you got this :+1:

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I have the Schweser Practice Book Mocks. 4 in total. I am planning to take 1 mock from MM and 1/2 from CFA.

Would you recommend any other?

I took Nathan Ronen’s 2 mock essay study sessions (2 different Saturdays). You can order them a-la-carte through Chalk & Board. They were about 9 hours apiece, where you spend a Saturday on a Zoom call with all the questions and you answer them one by one, then Nathan and the group go through each answer before starting the next question etc. I think those 2 combined days are worth about 4-5 exams. I can vouch for those personally.

I am sure Bill Campbell’s questions also are super, he’s S2000 after all. I haven’t taken them but I do know he wrote a lot of questions for MM and his program originally.

I did also take the separate Kaplan CBT test that used to be the test local societies administered in person. Now it’s CBT, it costs around 30 bucks and typically is offered about a month before your test date. I would recommend taking that one, it gave me a good feel for how the Prometric test taking experience in the AM ended up being. I would take that one last, I did it the weekend before my May 2021 exam. It gives a feel for how the CBT morning part format goes. Take that one in a timed setting giving yourself a half hour break to mimic test conditions. I did it in a public library with a packed snack. Cheers - good luck - you got this :+1:


Do you guys plan to read all the CFAI text, or rely solely on prep providers (Schweser/MM/Wiley)?

This November is my first attempt after passing May L2 exams. It is getting tight and I’m burnt out just by reading the CFAI text. I’m thinking of pivoting to prep providers and hammer the EOC questions, Learning Ecosystem questions and Mocks.

I would suggest to rely on prep provider materials since you do not have enough time. Consuming the CFAI text will be very heavy and burn you out.

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I am leaning towards that as well, although I would love to read CFAI text for better knowledge.

Are you using Schweser only, or a mix?


Using only Schweser for Practice Books and as a supplement along with my personal notes.

Refer to CFAI in case both does not suffice.

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