Schweser or CFA practice exams?

Hi All,

At the end of this week I should have finished all the readings and have completed all the quesitons from Schweser books and the EOCs. I think my retention has been pretty good. I’ve done a few ‘practice tests’ on the Qbank and have been getting 70+.

I’ll probably be taking a 3hr mock this weekend. Which mock do you think represents the CFA more closely or are they all very similar?

Shall i take the CFA or Schweser mock?


Obviously the CFAI mock is a more accurate gauge for what to expect on the real exam - that said, I did find the Schweser practice tests provided to be rather challenging and actually more difficult than the real exam this past June (I also found the CFAI mock to be more difficult). I would recommend having a go at a few Schweser practice tests and then sitting down to the CFAI mock with a few under your belt.

I would also suggest that you consider, maybe after the first couple three-hour tests, sitting for as many six-hour exams as you can. Fatigue plays a bigger role than you think, so sitting for three hours, taking a short break, and sitting for another three hours (like you will in December), would be wise. I did this for all six Schweser practice tests (12 three-hour tests) and for the CFAI Mock. I can tell you I felt no fatigue whatsoever on exam day even in the mid-afternoon. I can’t say with any degree of confidence that it was because of this method of preparation, as I think it was largely attributable to adrenaline, but I can say it didn’t hurt me.

The CFAI mock is much more representative of the actual exam, IMO. Obviously they adminster the exam, and don’t offer anything extra besides the EOC and provided Mock, so to be fair, that has to be representative of the actual exam. That said, I did five of the six Schweser exams in addition to the one provided by the CFAI. Every bit helps…

I would go with CFAI mocks before Schweser as well.

What about the sample exam(s?) you can buy from cfai? Anybody know anything about that?

I heard they were stupidly difficult, to the point where they provided no real value. I’d get the mocks from Schweser and do the mock from CFAI in the middle and you should be good to go.

I signed up for June 2013 Level 1 and I haven’t done much yet. But IMO, do as many mocks/samples as possible. The more, the better. The sample exams are $40 USD for the first two and $20 for subsequent ones.

“Why do people practice so hard? So they can make the competition easier.”


as far as I understood the sample exams are only 2. If you want to retake the sample exam you can pay 20 $ but the sample is not going to change.

from CFAi:

Sample exams:

  • Fee: US$40 per exam; two versions available
  • After both versions have been taken, the fee is US$20 to retake an exam