Study strategy

Hey people,

I’m sure it has been discussed numerous times, but still…

So, is it possible to pass exam without reading the material? The plan is to watch MM videos multiple times, do EOC, BB, CFAI online questions, and as many mocks as I can find. Since I have been reading official CFAI curriculum for L1 and L2, I know how time consuming it can be… and I felt like i forgot almost everything and all those months of reading were in vain, while in the end it all came down to watching MM videos (which were a real life saver, btw) and practicing.

So, I need your honest opinion: is reading the curriculum essential part of preparation for L3, or perhaps a better strategy would be to instead spend that time on watching videos and practicing? I know the best way is to do both, but it will take A LOT of time. Of course, the goal is to get over with it on the first try, but on the other hand I want to be smart about it.

Thank you.

It’s possible, but it’s not a strategy I’d recommend.

See you in 2021 when you’re ready to read the material.

I think it is very possible. I have come to find that MM videos are really comprehensive and closely follow what’s in the curriculum without the long bla bla in there. I have a full time job, and I am running a business as well, I don’t have that much time to spare and I need to use it doing the things that really matter - I have a very similar strategy to yours, btw. The meat of the curriculum is the examples (BB) and the EOC, as long as we do this along with MM explanation of every bit of the curriculum (including most exhibits), and then follow it with a lot of practice, I believe we are good to go. Practice is what really matters and put knowledge into perspective, reading the curriculum won’t be stored in our heads for long, and btw, I never studied from the curriculum whether for level 1 or 2, and I passed just fine.

Ultimately, all the questions will come from the CFAI textbook, so if you want to feel confident that you have covered every aspect of what could be asked of you in the exam, read the books. This is not to say that you can’t pass if you don’t and there is definitely a place for 3rd party providers, but when I sat (and passed first time) the exam this summer I went in knowing that any question they asked would have been in the CFAI material somewhere.

Yep, that was my thinking. Still, as you can see, a lot of veterans are insisting on reading the CFAI books, and I’m sure they know why they are talking about…

My advice is to read the curriculum. You read the curriculum for levels 1 and 2 so I would do the same for 3. There is less material in level 3 vs. 1 and 2 so it will go faster. Additionally, I think the material was much more interesting at 3, which will make the material seem to go faster. I also think level 3 material doesn’t lend itself to Schweser’s books as well. There’s a lot more interpretation at level 3 vs, plugging and chugging a formula like at 1 and 2. I would rather study this from the maker of the test vs. getting someone else’s interpretation. I wouldn’t switch methods now. Are there a lot of people who pass with Schweser? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t recommend it, especially for you since you’re used the curriculum for 1 and 2. You’re so close, put in the time and get it done.

I can’t imagine people sitting for one of the most covered exams in th world and that too at it’s ultimate level and punt it thru watching videos.

I hope MM , IFT or any other VIDEO provider owns it up when candidates fail

I am pretty sure there is considerable number of people who went through the whole program successfully without reading the curriculum. At least that is what I read on the internet. I am not advocating that it is the right or wrong way to do it, just that it is a reality. In the end, it comes down to practice, understanding and repetition, not the number of pages read.

Thats fine. Do it how you want. But, just don’t ever tell anyone your passionate about finance.

  1. I’m passionate about finance

  2. Won’t read the cfa books

see my point?

I’d stick to the curriculum only. The kind of curveballs the institute throws in the real exam is unreal and something schweser doesn’t really cover. I also intend on passing on my second attempt so I’d go all in on the curriculum.

Actually MM videos stick to the curriculum so i think its fine if you are using it. However an important factors here is - retention and concentration while watching videos vs reading. Are you doing active studying while watching the videos (.i.e taking notes, pausing and watching again etc.) or just letting it play at 1.25x - if you know what i mean.

Also referring back to CFAI text sections while doing the EOC, is very effective.

Totally agree! I am relying on the videos and because I have this strategy, I am ensuring that I go slowly through them, back forward and all when i feel that I got distracted, and to solve the EOC on my own and go through the BB on my own again. This way, it is probably going to be more effective than playing vidoes at a high speed

Read the book to maximize your chance of passing, there is no shortcuts in this level

Take a look at one of the past AM exam papers questions and you’ll see it looks nothing like any of the EOC questions

I will recommend you read the official curriculum but ensure you make notes to aid your review.

Yep, i get it… I will read the books. Will take more time, but will know that I didn’t skip stuff, and after all, I am interested in what I am about to read, so… I’m just hoping that it will not take too much of time which could have been spent more efficiently, that’s all. The point is to learn, but as the exam day approaches, all that matters is that you pass it. I think you know the feeling. And yeah, thanks for pushing us and being sincere.