Quant/Probablity kills me. Advice?

i feel like i’m a pretty educated person when it comes to finance, as i have a BA in finance from a major university, and i have a basic series 7 & 66 and i’ve been in the securities industry for almost 5 years. i have been studying for level 1 CFA since April and i’ve gotten all the way through the materials, and now i’m going back through it again. the problem for me is…everytime i get to quant, specifically probablilty, joint covariance, etc, it just kills me. i understand how to come up with the answers, but it’s just so much to remember, it’s like one whole test could be on solving expected returns, standard deviation, variance, covarience, bayes formula, and probablity. it’s very frustrating to me. how concerned should i be that i’m not perfect at it? so many formula’s…Advice?

learn to love the tree diagram. it makes seemingly complex probability problems very simple.

Keep doing lots and lots of problems. There is no shortcut or quick fix. It may be easier to memorize some formulas using mnemonics, but you really need to know the theory inside and out. To put this in perspective, I did anywhere between 7000-10000 practice problems during the 6 weeks before the exam, with Quant being 10% of them.

Thanks. How long did it take you to do that many practice problems Super? I was planning on starting to use Q-Bank about a month before the exam…

Took me 4-6 weeks of 200-300 problems per day. I found the most useful resources to be Schweser QBank, Stalla Passmaster, and CFAI practice exams. I highly recommend you also do the CFA Institute practice exams to get a good idea of how they test you on quant (and the rest of the subjects.)

try to understand concepts …

maratikus Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > try to understand concepts … This is more important then memorizing formulas. Think about it, a problem should take you about 1.5 minutes to complete. Theres a problem in the book that have you understand how to get the covariance of some variances and u see it takes like 10 minutes. the end answer is what is important. Simple formulas like r= Cov(a,b)/dev(a)dev(b) are more important than you think, specially since most formulas can be arranged.

i think leaving qbank till the last month isnt necessary. i want to leave most of the questions til then, but im definately doing the odd quiz now from qbank. its the only way i will be able to get the mountain of info ion my head - by doing questions, making mistakes and gradually gaining an understanding of where i went wrong.

choate05 - guess just keep going on solving. As it’s mentioned before - the main idea in math are concepts, not formulas. Formulas are based on concepts and if you remember what the formula means and how is it concluded then it should go automatically in head. Unfortunately (or fortunatley) there are many questions in exam where you have to demonstrate the deep understanding of ideas in probability. When I studied probabiliy at university I was taught that it’s just a measure, e.g. area on a paper where stone can fall. And with this illustration condintional probabilty and Bayes’ formulas are pretty easily understood, since they are just relations of areas. Sonething like that, hth. Good luck

Don;t put off questions until 6 weeks to the exam. Regular short quizzes (20-30 questions) on problem areas like quant help yo to drill this stuff down, and will drastically increase your retention. There’s a time value of preparation - you get compounding if you do it earlier.