Those who used Kaplan, pls come in

Hi all,

For those who used Kaplan Schweser Level 3, can you give me your feedback on whether you think there were any things in the exam that were not covered at all in Kaplan’s notes?

Or Kaplan Schweser Level 3 textbooks have been able to help you answer ALL questions in the CFA Level 3 exam?

I don’t think we can answer your question directly. In terms of coverage Schweser is not enough. You will come across many testable areas where you will only be able to understand the concept by going through the CFAI readings. In terms of reinforcing concepts, CFAI Blue box and EOC questions are the best and much much better than Schweser EOC.

Was fine for me, bar some very minor details that might have been missed.

Study with Schweser, do the CFAI EOCs, and some AM papers. I don’t think it gets more complicated than that. But then again, I cannot speak unless the results come out.

Thanks. I passed both my Level 1 and 2 on the first try. And for me, Level 1 I only downloaded question banks from the Internet. I did not touch CFA materials or Kaplan Schweser at all. Level 2 I did not touch CFA at all, only used Kaplan Schweser and I got >70% in all sections, I didn’t feel that I could not answer any of the questions as I read them somewhere in Kaplan Schweser before.

So I’m just wondering if I can use the same strategy for Level 3. But yeah, what you said makes sense also. I will definitely do the CFA EOCs to further solidify my knowledge.

imo ethics and PM should be studied from CFA material. CFA topic tests are decent to see how the material is sinking in. i didn’t touch any kaplan questions, would rather use CFA material for that. level 1 and level 2 kaplan alone is fine. on level 3 it’s way too subjective. you have to go through CFA material at least twice.

Well, I only went through the material once, and it was from Kaplan. I only referred to the CFAI material on tough EOC or TT questions.

I also kind of disagree with you on the ethics part. This year’s exam had a question that literally required you to have read one word at the bottom of a wall of text in the CFAI textbook.

Kaplan should be fine. I’d take 50% less word counts and simpler language for 5% less comprehensiveness.

this would be a failing strategy at level three with almost complete certainty.

A lot of candidates try and overthink studying - they waste time “studying” the studying. The readings are short even by CFAI standards, and there is more than enough practice material from EOCs to AM exams to the topic tests on the CFAI website (which are invaluable imo). Just do the readings, the practice tests, and the topic exams.

That’s all that is required.

I have passed the first two levels on the first try by only studying the Schweser materials.

For level three, I decided if my process wasn’t broke to not fix it. I read through all the Schweser books one time through. On the second time through, I made a formula book and typed out notes with the most important information. After that, I completed all of the EOCs and blue box questions. In May, I completed six full practice tests and studied my notes and formulas. Having said all that, I won’t know if I have passed or not until tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Schweser is my only material for level I and II, so I have the same question whether schweser is enough for level III. To me, the essay part in the morning might require more detailed understanding of material. Schweser did a great job on condensing the text but sometimes, I feel like they must omid part of the material to do it. So i just wonder if schweser is enough for the AM essay.

I personally think that Schweser premium package is a very good start for L3; however, you need to pay a lot of attention to some areas that are covered by Schweser but don’t give enough details. Your study plan should be:

  • Finish reading all Schweser materials 2.5-3 months before the exam leaving Ethics and GIPS for the last

  • Do all ethics and GIPS questions from CFAI books

  • Start taking Schweser tests at least 2.5 months before the exam (1-2 each weekend, they give you 6 of them)

  • Review the concepts that you get low scores in Schweser books, take time to go into details and make more notes.

  • For areas that you need more explanation watch the online videos

  • You can also sign up for NYSSA live test (Nathan Ronen gives your some questions from previous AM CFAI exams. He then explains how to answer each question and grades them). This is very helpful.

  • You can also take the Schweser live mock exam and compare your score against the peers

  • Once you are done with these exams you can start taking the CFAI previous 3 years of AM tests and sample test/questions that are available on CFAI website.

  • If you still don’t get a decent score, go back to the weak areas and re-read them.

  • It can also be helpful to take some time off before the exam, just to concentrate on memorizing some formulas, calculations and concepts that you are having problem with.

My opinion is that Schweser is enough for all three levels, both in terms of understanding the material and passing the test. If for some reason, you run into something that you could use more detail on, a simple google search will suffice.

I never understood why so many people claim that Schweser isn’t enough. The vast majority of my friends passed all three levels using only schweser. I personally used schweser for level 3 and I would even say it’s more than enough.

Obviously cannot comment on specific items.

I used Kaplan for 2 and 3 after using CFA for level 1

I can say I felt well prepared. I may not have passed but that is on me, not the material.

The realty is not so much is a few points might be lost using kaplan because they may omit one very specific factoid, it’s how comfortable you feel the other 99% of material presented. If you need lots of context, I’d suggest CFA materials. If you have a decent background in most areas covered, and can put together concepts without needing stories and allegories, use Kaplan because it much more efficient (shorter, more to the point)

You’re not going to score 100

Focus on which type of material you will be more comfortable wit

No one aces this exam. No one can hold everything in their head for the exam. The same applied at level 2. If you’re thoughtful and use the Schweser material I think you should be able to pass.

Well I’m another example of a passer using only schweser. Pro Tip. Its all about doing lots and lots of mocks. Skim the material do the mocks. go back to schweser if you dont get something .