This question has been asked a zillion times earlier, but I would like to pose it again now that Dec 07 is over. I am taking the exam in Jun 08 and would like to know which is better. After going through comments posted in the last two days, I realise most of the people who’d earlier recommended Schweser are now cursing it. Don’t know if it was the notes or their prep why they think they’re going to fail, but for Jun 08, I believe we need to consider this question seriously, since CFAI has made their text compulsory. This could be a ploy to punish people relying heavily on Schweser and other notes. So fellows, what do you recomment for Jun 08? Schweser or CFAI?
use a conjunction…
Here is what I’ve been told. The CFAI text is very complete. It is meant for someone who has no prior knowledge. Schweser are the study notes which are the concrete LOS summaries. They are great if you have some prior knowledge. I for one am going to purchase Schweser for June 08 since I want the QBank CD and I want to spend my time studying more effectively. Ethics of course will only come from the CFAI. But the rest will come from Schweser and CFAI if more explaination is necessary. Thats just me though.
I only cracked the CFAI texts on about 3 occasions, and it was basically to peruse a few small topics. And I felt 100% prepared for the vast majority of the test. If I fail it, its going to be because I had a brain fart or 12 or that I could have studied a few extra hours here and there, possibly. Not because Schweser dropped the ball, at all. I don’t need to read 50 pages to learn about TVM and some of the quant sections. The EPS section of the CFAI material is literally a couple of hour read with the practice questions alone. Schweser taught me eveything I needed to know about that in about 1/4 the time. So I think it is up to you, but I would use Schweser to give myself more time to take practice exams towards the end, and use the CFAI to reinforce some weak areas or to fill in some gaps.
manavsachdeva, I know you have been studying since like August. I would imagine you are very well prepared. Do you really think you need more material after getting such an early start?
I used CFAI for books 1-3, Schweser for the rest. I switched to schweser because I was running out of time, and they certainly get you through faster and less painfully. That being said I feel like I understood the material better for which I studied from the CFAI textbooks. I think they are good tools to use in conjunction with each other, but if you have the time I think the investment in studying in the CFAI texts is worth it. I had very little prior knowledge in everything but some FSA and some quant.
KJH, thats right. I started preparing in August. I do have a good understanding of the topics that I’ve covered but I feel I’m going a bit slow with CFAI and forgetting some of econs and fsa bits as I’m moving ahead. Also, I’ve compared a few sections with Schweser, and as BudFox rightly pointed out, CFAI’s EPS section and Quant (for e.g.) are quite a read as compared to Schweser’s. I just think CFAI is too time consuming to the extent that you forget what you’d read a week ago (just 3-4 readings ago). I’ve already spent a grand in registering and can’t really afford the schweser series now. So I’m going to stick with CFAI but i’m surely going to get the schweserpro q-bank to practice.
manavsachdeva Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > KJH, thats right. I started preparing in August. I > do have a good understanding of the topics that > I’ve covered but I feel I’m going a bit slow with > CFAI and forgetting some of econs and fsa bits as > I’m moving ahead. Also, I’ve compared a few > sections with Schweser, and as BudFox rightly > pointed out, CFAI’s EPS section and Quant (for > e.g.) are quite a read as compared to Schweser’s. > > I just think CFAI is too time consuming to the > extent that you forget what you’d read a week ago > (just 3-4 readings ago). > > I’ve already spent a grand in registering and > can’t really afford the schweser series now. So > I’m going to stick with CFAI but i’m surely going > to get the schweserpro q-bank to practice. I agree completely. Since beginning next year purchasing thet CFAI materials is mandatory, its hard to fork over the cash for another version of the same thing. I used CFAI last December and Schweser this December and found the Q-Bank CD from Schweser as the difference. All of the practice exams really helped me get work through my weak areas. I wish the quesitons were better, but it really helps you focus on the material and guage your performance.
I felt that even though Schweser focused mainly on calculations, doing these calculations definitely helped in re-inforcing the concepts involved. I used Schweser entirely, and I would recommend it. Also make sure you try out a couple of the online exams. I tried all 5, and those were of great use too. Good luck…
I only used the schweser and didn’t even know what a balance sheet was before I started. Never had an accounting class or knew the slightest what it was. FSA was definitely a struggle at first but I think schweser stuff definitely prepared me… The #1 I would recommend is the QBank. I think with out that I would have never passed. It was great to be able to create mock tests on the fly and then focus on weak spots. Or retake a 60 question focused exam later and realize how much stuff you forgot. Def get Qbank. For level I I don’t think you really need the CFAI text and this is coming from someone with on a CS background.
I have been using the CFAI materials and it is going very slow. I am CPA. and CFP. I wonder if it would be careless or wreckless to abandon CFAI right now and go for Schweser? Is it too late to switch gears for June 2008 and concentrate on Schweser.
You have plenty of time!!! its six months away
i would read the cfa text and get q-bank… i think that q-bank is a must b/c w/ out pratice problems you are done… even thoug most q-bank problems are different from the test itself just doing problems helps…
agree with nikko. if your pockets are deep enough, get both. qbank is a must in my opinion. i initially started with just the CFAI text and a couple of months in, realised i wasn’t going to finish them in time. so bit the bullet and bought schweser. best thing i ever did and ended up using both. very valuable since schweser will give you the necessary overview and information and then use CFAI to drill down where you need more clarification. qbank is also invaluable for this as well. schweser felt like summary notes that i would have made if i was making notes from CFAI… without the hassle of writing them out.
anali… did u feel that cfa tested things that schewer kinda just skimmed over… like PI index and corporate gov… i felt they did… thats why i would recommend the cfa text…
Be weary of discounting the importance of reviewing the CFAI material. It would be wise to at least review the CFAI text end of chapter review and do all the CFAI book questions. Schweser does a good job summarizing the material, but I believe CFAI questions will be more insightful to potential questions on the exam.
nikko - fair enough point however I think that CFAI had the same degree of focus on PI Index as Schweser did (in % terms). point is, that there is so much information in the CFAI, that its actually impossible to remember it all. i read most of the CFAI material, and maybe its just me (probably is!), but whilst its interesting information, there is just no way of retaining all that knowledge. if I solely relied on the CFAI text, there was no way I would have remembered the PI Index formula (which I didn’t anyway!!). probably had more to do with me not preparing well enough. in a nutshell, felt that CFAI text provides comprehensive understanding of the basics and fundamentals in finance (information far beyond the scope of the exam) and Schweser prepares you for passing the CFA exam. it is up to the individual to decide what they want to get out of the CFA program… designation, knowledge… or both. and of course, how much time they have. …sorry for the long post everyone…
I used both CFAI and Schweser and I will say that CFAI curriculum is worthless. Those books are full of so much fluff. What cemented concepts in my head was Schweser in conjuction with q-bank, and then spending the last month doing strictly review and practice tests. Use CFAI’s practice tests and Schweser book 6 practice tests. They are a pretty good indicator of difficulty overall, although I felt some were easier than others.
if you read the cfai material cover to cover…you think you would have learned those off-beat topics and answered them correctly on the real test? i doubt it… textbook writers love to take 100pgs of real material and fluff it to 300+ the best way to study is to learn shwesser inside out & then read the cfai text & find the gaps & figure that’s what cfai will test
I know this has been discussed 100+ times. BUT, when it gets down to it, I hate spending the extra money! I have 2007 Schweser Notes. In your educated guess, would this put me at a huge disadvantage to the 2008 exam? I was thinking I could purchase the Qbank for $350 rather than spend the $580 on the Essential Package. I have seen the link that has posted several times. Does anyone have a success story about using previous Schweser for a future exam?