What Study Material to Purchase?

Guys, I just passed L2 and I am looking at purchasing study materials for L3. Discount on Schweser through end of august (10%). For L2, I did the notes and mocks ($350). For L3, I am considering the full blown premium plus package ($1,250). For those that used it this year, what were your thoughts on the video lectures? Also, did you use the final review? I am considering doing the 3-day workshop in Chicago.

For L2, my focus was read, do problems, flashcards, mocks (all self-study). I’m wondering if instruction would benefit or if I should stick with the self-study approach.


I bought the books only and I thought it was a complete waste of money. For me, there was almost no value added, except for the practice exams. My study partners who also purchased the videos saw some value, but it was hit and miss.

I’m planning to sell my books (they’ve hardly been touched). If interested, PM me.

I bought the Schweser Notes and found myself coming back to the CFAI material to better understand most of the topics and how they interrelate with each other. The notes were somewhat useful in certain topics such as economics where there is less ambiguity, but for the rest, the CFAI material was by far much better. Specially in portfolio management/ private wealth, which is the main topic on Level 3.

Hank, I remember your many inputs during my level 2 were quite helpful! Good luck for your results!

Which books would you suggest to learn the material from? Schweser books+CFAI blue box examples+CFAI EOC’s?


One must learn the material from “CFAI Curriculum” and not “Schweser” books?

I have to say, that I’m not the smartest one around. I used Schweser books+CFAI EOC’s for both the levels earlier. The only reason not to used the curriculum for learning the material was “it is just too big to read”. I have to say that, I barely passed Level-2 (luck played a big role).

My recommendation: CFAI Curriculum + Schweser Qbank + Schweser Practice Test + Schweser Mock Exam

Do not spend a lot of time studying from different sources because it will confuse you later, as the exam date approaches. Start studying early (in November or December) so that you wouldn’t have to pressure everything into your brain later on. As you complete each topic, enhance your knowledge using Schweser Qbank because Qbank separates materials into different topics. After you are done studying, use Schweser Practice set during the last 3 weeks and solve only practice problems. If you are sure that certain areas are your weaknesses, just study those areas from the curriculum.

Don’t go out and purchase whatever you can. It’s waste of time and money. Additionally, if you cleared both Level 1 and 2, you definitely don’t need video instructions for Level 3 since you can understand materials by yourself.

p.s. Effectiveness of my recommendation will be known tomorrow :slight_smile:

…and you da McMuffin!!!

CFAI books are way better than schweser… dont do the mistake i did =)

i have studied for all 3 levels using only the cfa institute books - they are really well written, cover everything that could come up in the exam and are free (when you register for the exam). I reviewed some sample chapters once from a 3rd party provider and found them disappointing.

I’m not that smart either.

To me (on the day before I learn my fate) the best use of time was just to stick wtih the CFAI books. Nearly every time that I ventured off into Schweser I found myself to starting all over again in the curriculum.

Blue box examples were especially imporant because they explain how to interpret the reading material, even more so with the IPSs because they tell you EXACTLY how CFAI wants you to write one of those things.

I found the Schweser materials invaluable for the essays. Learning what will earn you points was the key for me (although I don’t yet know if it got me a PASS). The CFAI is far too verbose, especially for a slow writer like myself. Learning how to actually finish the morning is a skill best taught by Schweser, IMHO. I used both Schweser and CFAI extensively in my preparation.

bigML, I’m surprised that you found Schweser’s morning guidance valuable.

I found them so totally frustrating with the IPS because they were giving us “tips” on what they thought the graders wanted to see, and yet those tips were nowhere in evidence in prior published guidline answers. There was crap like, “recommend counseling to reconcile differences in risk ability and tolerance.”

Did you ever see that kind of shit on an actual test?

Thank you all for your input. I’m not sensing a very positive review of the Schweser lectures. Hmm…well no one has done the “final review” which includes the 3 day classroom? There is one in Chicago that sounds appealing to me so I’m wondering if anyone has done it. Thanks again.

CFAI materials + any sample mock exams + Creighton University 4-day bootcamp