Remembering All the Minutiae

Anyone else struggling with this?! On past level exams I focused on big topics and minutiae (I.e. difference between IFRS/GAAP accounting). However, I’m having extreme difficulty with remembering the advantage/disadvantage for every concept that lists them. Have note-cards on deck, so that isn’t the issue.

I guess it’s the idea of CFAI being able to test on any obscure thing, I.E. adv/disadvantage of holdings based style analysis.

This is what makes level-III so difficult. You really gotta know the stuff, can’t just stay big picture

Absolutely. There are so many advantages and disadvantages and 7 features of a proper benchmark or 5 areas that affect the risk tolerance of a defined benefit plan. I try to relate a picture, idea or real-life scenario to the word/definition they give us so I can just quickly recall what the bloody hell it is without having to rely on memorization too much.

However, this fails with the biases as alot of them I fund don’t have much to do with their actual name (or are TOO similar to other biases - convervatism, representativeness and anchoring???)

Any special tips on biases? Tie them to financial examples? (biases in research reports, probabilities of earnings, expectations of growth).

That makes sense why this thing is such a bear. What I’ve found useful is the Schweser quick-sheet and creating acronyms for weird lists. I.E. similar to what everyone knows about SAMURAI and benchmarks. I must have atleast 10 of these lists. Otherwise, I guess it’s just repetitoin and really understanding the info. The active recall is the most difficult part. Best of luck to everyone.

Don’t forget the biases from economic data differ from the behavioral finance biases.


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(Note: some people use a different word for S.)

S acrifices

S iestas that I have missed

i think recognizing the importance (which you have), first off, is key. i am a retaker (band 9 last yr) and i think the difference between me spending another yr of my life with this stuff vs sitting on a beach in Barbados with $25mil in my bank account (i was told the check comes with our Pass notice), was that i didn’t recognize the importance of knowing EVERYTHING. like others have said above, L3 is a different beast - can’t just know the main stuff (that will get you a band 9 score).

personally, i think the key is to review ALL of the information as much as possible, as many times as possible. for 2,3,4 yrs we all have been cramming stuff into our brains, and it’s tough to spit back out in a stress-induced 6hr exam. (you may notice, as i have, that you will have a section down cold, even the small/minor points in a sections, scoring 9/10 on EOCs and knowing everything… then 1 month later you’re reviewing that section again, and it seems like you are re-learning it)

i struggle with the same fear…but what i have found to be helpful, is never feeling like you know everything, but also never feeling like you don’t know anything, just keep reviewing. we all “know” this information, and looking over your flashcard on all the ins and outs on the Fed Model and its disadvantages 8-9-10 times will give you a much higher likelihood of success on exam day “remembering” what you studied, even the small stuff.

Well said, great insight. You’re 100% right. Hang in there - final push! Best of luck.

S ombreros that other people will be donning today while celebrating Cinco de Mayo.