The agony of the real 11th hour

I am feeling drained and a little panicked. Was planning on doing one last past exam today (2007) that I never did, but then I decided I should finish the topic tests that I never completed. I’m starting to mess up on things that I thought I had down.

I want to take a break, but I am worried that I’d be wasting valuable study time to polish up.

Is it better at this point to buckle down and do the past exam, (I did all other years 2008-2015 except 2011) or better to review notes at this point?


I think it depends on the individual - by now, you should know what the CFAI usually asks, focus on 2/3 conceps you didn’t understand, you can’t learn much more.

I plan on reviewing all past exams without doing them, just reading the questions and the answers from CFAI to consolidate everything in my head. I also plan on reading secret sauce from schweser which will help consolidate all the thoughts… Tomorrow is a relax day… review of main formulas and maybe another read of the secret sauce.

Best of luck!

Do you actually find the secret sauce helpful? Its so vague and high level it doesn’t seem to actually teach you anything that leads to exam questions

I personally would skip the 2007 exam and do the topic tests instead and if you have more time, review the more recent practice exams. I would guess that the material (or at least the emphasis) might have changed since 2007. I chose not to do any exams before 2013.

I love it and I agree with you. It doesn’t teach anything but it is very good for review. Helps to “schematize” all concepts in my head.

Similar dilemma. Not sure if I want to polish topics I know alright but still miss a decent amount on, or go for stuff I completely forgot about since my initial pass that came up in the past AM exams.

I feel like even if you know a bit about a topic, its really easy to get 0/8 on the essays when you couldve backed into a MC answer. On the other hand, picking up a new topic could easily be that random thing that came up and nets you 4 pts for a simple explanation.

Going back to work after this will be like going on vacation…

Used Secret Sauce religiously throughout Level I and II, and am doing the same with Level III (although until about 3 months time I cannot testify how useful it is for Level III) - read it through yesterday and today (apart from GIPS… too much detail for such a small section). Will be using the Quick Sheet and my notes tomorrow for one last review.