Passing level 1 using only the Schweser Qbank

It appears many people buy the qbank but do not know how to effectively use it… Here is how I used it to pass level 1.

Schweser has about 4000 questions for level 1 with about 500-600 for each topic… Start off by skim reading a book just to get a sense of the material. (FRA, Equity, FI, PM…) at level 1 the order does not matter.

With a “blank” Qbank go to the option to “Browse Questions” and go through every question in a reading… (Typically 100-200 questions) read the question, see the correct answer… the point here is to start getting comfortable with the format and question types… Qbank typically has multiple questions covering the same basic formula/concept with a different input/twist… after goings through every question in all the LOS in the reading, you will get fast. Use the option to “create exam”, with a full 120 questions from that reading.

You will be tested on the same questions you just saw the answers too, but don’t expect to get 100 percent… once you finish that “exam”, complete 100% of the questions in that reading… The goal is to go through every question in the Qbank…The next step is to create exams using “previously answered incorrect questions” these will typically be the hard ones that you will need to focus on.

For example… Ethics has about 600 questions… Towards the end of your review, you should be able to create 5 120 question exams and you will be flying through them because you have already seen them… In my case there was about ~80 questions that I repeatedly got wrong and it was a very tailor made exam for my weakness.

When I took the real exam… Every question was “different” from anything in the Qbank… but I had seem the concepts so many times, that it was just an issue of reverse engineering… the practice of getting fast is helpful also… Obviously do the mock/ full practice once you complete the Qbank.

TLDR: memorize the Qbank and the solutions… It takes too long to trying answering all the questions from scratch, browse the questions and answers first


I have just started using the question bank in the same way. I started preparing last month and have read the material once.

My question is: what percent of questions are beyond the concepts covered in Qbank?

In the last 15 days I’m only planning to cover the Qbank and the questions at the back of each chapter in Schweser and the related concepts/formulas to these questions

I’m using a similair method of attack- Special Sauce Reading followed by relevant QBank Questions.

Only problem is sometimes the Qbank goes well in excess and you get stuck on a LOS as instead of 5 questions that particular LOS might have 30.

I am sitting the CFAI mock the day after tomorrow to see how effective it all has been.


That is the method I have been following all along…I am now around averging about 80 percent of all qbank exams…haven’t taken a mock yet but not worried. I have already taken a few 6 hour exams.

Hi, I am L1 aspirant (June 2014) and just finished the readings from Schweser notes and now heading towards Qbank.Your strategy is quite impressive about using the Qbank and I am gonna follow the same path. Could you please tell me how long its gonna take to complete the Qbank, if I devote 6 hours daily.

Thanks in advance !

I don’t know how many questions there are in the L1 QBank but it was something like 3,300 when I took the test. Take a 50 question test, timed - take that time and multiply it by [(the actual # of questions in the QBank)/50]. That will give you an approximate answer, or at least as good an answer as anyone on here can give you.

Why are you so worried about piddly stuff like this?

There is a way to set Q-Bank so that you can answer the question, and immediately see the correct answer and read the “commentary”. That is, you don’t have to wait untilyou finish the test.

This is highly preferable to answering all 50 questions now, then reading all 50 answers later. Because if you take a 50-question quiz, then you’re re-reading the question an HOUR AND A HALF after you answered it. You can’t remember the question, and certainly can’t remember what you were thinking. So it does you no good to look at the answer an hour and a half later.

Some people don’t even look at their answers until the next day. Seriously?

My advice (and it worked for me) - Stop worrying about piddly stuff and start studying. Don’t ask “How long should it take me to answer a question?” Don’t ask “How long should it take to answer 3,000 questions?” Don’t ask, “Will the Q-Bank cover 100%, 90%, or 65.3% of the material?”

Just build a practice exam and answer the questions. If you get it wrong, figure out why. When you’re done with the test, repeat as necessary until June 6.

If you study and answer the Q-Bank questions correctly, then you will have more than enough knowledge to pass the exam. This is true for Level 1. It is also true for Levels 2 and 3.

bravo greenman. waiting to see if you got it right an hour later seems really dumb. learn it while the question is fresh and save a ton of time rereading the question and figuring out what you had done