Dear Forum,

I’d like to ask a simple yet complicated question. How do you other candidates (and previous candidates) recall and remember all the material covered within the curriculum? I find myself forgetting the simplest things when I move from study session to study session and topic to topic. Its soooo vast (as you know). I try to refresh myself on the weekends by going thru questions and topic reviews, but I find myself getting discouraged because I cant remember. I have the Secret Sauce for level II, and I plan to use that. I also periodically review using the Schweser Quick Sheet. Having not finished the curriculum just yet, its kind of a waste of time (or it seems that way) to constantly go back and review, while trying to learn the new stuff. Any suggetsions and comments are certainly appreciated.

I constantly go back and review. It helps a bit, but still cannot remember a significant part of curriculum. Same I was feeling all the path to L1 exam, so I consider it normal.

On the contrary, I think you have to expand into the topics that you keep forgetting and not read condensed material. Summaries and quicksheets are good as a checklist/revision tool, not understanding tool. If you understand a topic full well then you don’t have to remember anything! You will simply retrieve from logic any formula required. Remember a formula is just a sentence written in mathematics. If you have a problem with that you can convert it to English. For example, the price of a forward contract is the spot price compounded at the risk free rate. Valuing a forward, incorporating dividends, coupons etc are merely built on this concept. So you really have to remember the skeleton and add body using logic.

There is no such thing as I don’t remember. You either understand or you have doubts about it. Address your doubts and slowly everything will come together.

Some topics just lack logic. For me its statistics (t-tests, F-tests whatnot) and IFRS/GAAP frameworks. These I have to learn by heart.

Agree with krokodilizm. I started studying L2 like L1 – skimming the curriculum, hitting half the blue box, then doing EOCs. In Feb I switched gears and picked 30 harder readings to go through end-to-end deeply, pick apart, and then re-build in revision notes/visual aids. That’s helped a tonne. Still forgetting a bucket load more stuff than in L1, but I feel like those final 6 weeks are a time to switch from 70% learning to 70% memorizing and drilling. Other stuff:

  • Make visual aids in PowerPoint – use colour and icons to distinguish concepts like IFRS and GAAP.
  • I rebuilt one of the big Blue Boxes in Compensation in Excel, and tooled around with it. Definitely helped to see the flows.
  • Re-ordered equations so they’re easier to understand: E.g.,

FCF F = NI + NCC - FCInv - WCInv + Int(1-t)

FCF_E_ = NI + NCC - FCInV - WCInc + Net borrowing

FCF F = CFO - FCInv + Int(1-t)

FCF_E_ = CFO - FCInv + Net borrowing

Practice a lot, have a good feedback of bad questions, reinforce the right answers, check formulas regularly, and take practice tests / mocks. Don’t bother too much now, after the practice, many things are remembered. Secret Sauce is a good help, use it all the way.

I agree with Harrogath. This material seems a lot more “practice based” than lvl 1. I felt like lvl 1 was more just memorization. I finished reading through all the material about 2 months ago and took a practice test and felt like I just simply forgot most of what I should have retained. I have since gone back through the material and focused on working some of the topic area tests on the CFAI website that are vingette style and now I feel like I am actually retaining the material better. Who knows though…

I agree with you. Therefore I am not able to digest about 30-40 % material by first attempt. Much more concentration, time and willigness required related to L1. After, 2nd, 3rd and further attempts, things turn on positive. Seems I am not alone in this diffuculties given to other member’s posts.

Logic in this material is a relative thing. What is not logic for you for me is clear as water and vice versa. Hereby we confirm thesis that L2 is much more chalenging and time consuming that L1 for most.

Interesting theory on the importance of “forgetting” on the path to learning.

I am having issues remembering stuff as well, but remmeber you are not writing an essay on this stuff you are taking a test. Therefore you need to do a lot of practice problems. If the practice problems don’t make sense then you need to review and understand the material. I took about 3x the amount of time it took me to go through Level 1 to go through Level 2 material. But as I review and do practice problems it is slowly starting to make sense like the first time I went though it.