Vignette strategy

The list below does not intend to be comprehensive and exhaustive, but I just wanted to kickoff some ideas on how to tackle the vignette format of level 2, which is clearly something new to the just-passed-level 1-crowd in the forum: 1. Read thoroughly the story on the first and only pass, and then go straight to answering the questions without looking back at the problem; this assumes that you are able to ascertain the queries as you read the problem, and respond accordingly (very efficient use of time). 2. Go directly to the questions and understand what is being asked, then read the entire story and then solve the problems (this is a more direct/targeted and responsive approach). 3. Skim over the story on the first pass without absorbing any information yet, then go to the problems to understand what is being asked, go back to the story and re-read it with comprehension, and finally respond to the problems (slow but deep understanding of the problem). I am thinking of doing 3 above, as I read in the forum that time management is never an issue in level 2. What is your vote?

My strategy: I will be bringing a much larger tube of lube this year compared to last year. I still can’t sit down straight. ouch

I used #1 last year. Worked really well (passed). The reading will take longer but you will rip through the questions faster. Also, you will be less likely to miss some stupid bit of info buried a few paragraphs away from the numbers which is a likely problem with just skimming. When you thoroughly read the story you will also be able to anticipate the questions coming which will make you focus on the most important parts.

Great strategy. On the other hand, I always noticed that the story was structured in a clustered way. That is, you can pretty much figure out that a particular paragraph refers to a specific question so you can actually calculate the answer without even seeing the question/s. I just never thought that there will be some missplaced bit of information outside of that paragraph (but still be relevant to a particular question). So, I guess we are going for the following: 1. Thorough read of the story 2. Read questions 3. Answer the question by looking back at the story for information Anybody else see it this way?

There is no correct answer…it comes down to time management too. You will find some vignette questions that can be easily picked off in chronological order of the story and there will be plenty of “wtf” moments that will force you to read the entire story thoroughly.

I’m not looking forward to June at all! I think I’m going to experiment with my practice questions and see what works best. I think I tend to lean towards 2.

Now for my serious answer. Last year I finished the morning session rather quickly and did not think it was too bad. I then decided to take a look back over some of my answers. It was at that point that I found out that I had missed/been tricked on quite a bit of the morning material. I went back and changed I’d say at least 40% of what I had done the 1st time. I was at the point where if I found an answer to be easy, I figured I must be missing a trick. I ended up band 9-(burnt out by end of afternoon but probably guessed well also on a few things). Going into the Level II studies I had never seen about 70% of the material. (I’m in operations). I studied many many hours and learned the material. For me this was not good enough. You have to master the material-that is what it takes unless you are a smart dude. On test day there can be no hesitation. You need to know your stuff cold, read the vingette and questions twice and then move on or you will run out of time. There will be very little that you see in cfai questions and the test prep questions that will be anywhere as difficult (tricky)as what you will encounter on test day. With that I say get lots of practice answering questions and as you do, try to think about how the same question can be asked without the same amount of data that you see in the cfai eoc questions or study prep provider questions. I was very pissed when I saw the band 9 on result day, but the work I put in last year will hopefully make this sucker quite a bit easier for me this time around although I’m going to bust my butt again. If I don’t pass this time, I just don’t have the required IQ to get through this thing so I will be done with the program. Sorry for the wordy post. Good luck to all!!!

I went with strategy 2 in 2008 and passed! You’ll HAVE to go the vignette after reading each and every question, why go through it first lol

scan all the Qs and try to memorize them. Then go through the text reading everything carefully and when you feel that you have data to solve particular question go back and solve that Q. Then continue reading, and again if have info how to solve another Q get back to it and solve etc. Most vignettes are structured chronologicaly, which makes this approach very efficient imho. I found this extremely useful on lvl 1. Any thoughts on this approach?

I do agree that the questions are structured in chronological order. I remember reading Q1 and then reading the first vignette paragraph, reading Q2 --> 2nd Vignette Paragraph and so on. Quite a good strategy imo.

Thanks for your thoughts. I guess we have the additional challenge of how to approach the vignette format on top of fully understanding the LOS.