What lessons have you learned from actually taking the test vs mocks / samples / practise Qs? If you were to start over again, how would you approach L1 differently?
I would plan to start taking mock exams 3 weeks prior, rather than 1 week prior. Then take them all over again the 3 days leading up the exam and see what you have learned. You should techinically get 100%. If you don’t, then you can truly see what you are deficient in.
Amass 100 mock exams and plow through 24,000 questions. Seriously. Not only do you learn a lot of base foundational material doing questions but CFAI is all about knowing how they can spin the material and throw it at you in different ways. Once you’ve seen one type of question stem you will be able to jog your memory that much easier than thinking: oh hey I know that the indirect method of CF uses NI - NCC + WC +… but what about blah, where would that go? I mean the test creators probably have a laundry list of concepts within each section and they throw darts to determine how to present it. All about figuring out what they are asking and then knowing how to set it up and best approach it.
Agreed with Pete Maravich 100%. Taking exams really brings everything together. QBank is HUGE. I would give 6 weeks for just practice exams. You see very quickly where you need to brush up. Go back, learn a few more concepts each time, and take another exam. Rinse and repeat.
Read schweser first then CFAI texts.
Disagree with sujian. Do not waste your time with the CFA texts. They will only bog you down. If you can’t get a concept, it’s ok to go back to those for reference, but DO NOT read them. Your time is much better spent doing exam questions on QBank.
While I find mocks, QBank, etc. valuable. I’m one who prefers (re)reading and distilling the knowledge until it makes good sense to me and feels at my fingertips before plunging into a battery of questions. Which is why I never got to the battery, because I never properly processed the material in the first place. In the end, frantic distilling (cramming) served me well, as lessons learned from my Dec '08 way-too-unprepared and poor-testing-technique bombing. That said, I did use AF here some to dip into the odd question posted to see if my analysis skills were on track. Largely they were, but then some questions would send me off to areas of review, and that worked well. But I figure that hunt-and-peck approach can be easily overdone and cloud a more important effort to concentrate on those pesky LOS’s. If I had had the proper time to do the work, I would have flashcarded every LOS within reason, that way forcing the distillation process upon myself. Composing them yourself cements your knowledge, with strength. I actually did this for ethics and for much of econ, and it served me very well. Then with the flashcards you have a great tool for review of snippets of knowledge.
I disagree with people here, the mocks from CFAI were decent. The schweser ones are not representative of the actual exam. The actual exam is about going a level beyond the reading connecting concepts together. For instance schweser PM is calculate “variance, mean, blah blah blah”. The PM on the actual exam is questions about the actual theory and assumptions and how certain things change. Same thing with Ethics, Schweser just lists tons of certain case examples with direct answers or twists. The CFAI goes and find the one paragraph on some page and decides to test on that.
I relied solely on the CFAI texts. For the most part they were fine, but if you don’t cotton to precise, terse, legalistic language, then I suppose the other study materials could work much better for some. For instance, although I am close to fluent in German, I could not imagine tackling the CFAI texts, in that or any other non-mother-tongue. 3rd party materials will miss some nuance that CFAI’s text captures. By the sounds of it, Q-Bank would be the only outside aid I’d buy, though only after it seemed to me from a CFAI mock or sample or two that I needed the extra drilling. My 2¢. It and a couple bucks will buy you that cup of coffee!
I would have done more practice questions from Schweser.
I would read the CFAI books completely at least once.
Use the CFAI texts to have a BBQ. What a waiste of time. Only use Schweser readings and do way more question and mocks.
I agree with adehbone, the style of the CFAi mocks are quite different to Schweser. I think people are right here in that the Schweser mocks and Qbank are a great way to check your knowledge and improve on small areas that you might not have paid attention to, but the CFAi mocks and sample exam are a must. Finish the first reading early like they say, then spend the last 3/4 weeks doing questions, trying to get as much coverage as possible.
pryan Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I relied solely on the CFAI texts. For the most > part they were fine, but if you don’t cotton to > precise, terse, legalistic language, then I > suppose the other study materials could work much > better for some. For instance, although I am > close to fluent in German, I could not imagine > tackling the CFAI texts, in that or any other > non-mother-tongue. 3rd party materials will miss > some nuance that CFAI’s text captures. > > By the sounds of it, Q-Bank would be the only > outside aid I’d buy, though only after it seemed > to me from a CFAI mock or sample or two that I > needed the extra drilling. > > My 2¢. It and a couple bucks will buy you that cup > of coffee! I pretty much found the exact opposite. schweser delved fairly deep into concepts and tested a general grasp on the material, especially in ethics and volume 2 of tests and the advanced qbank questions. if you were comfortable with that material you had a fairly good grasp on anything they were going to be asked. i went into the test and found it a step easier and more straightforward, but very happy having exhausted most of the advanced qbank questions.
do not waste time taking copious amounts of notes, as I’m sure many people have done preparing for level 1. seems like a great idea at time and will make you feel more comfortable, but don’t do it. if you feel the need to write, then make flash cards, they’re a hell of a lot easier to review in review period. just get through the reading, Stella or Schweser (I used Schweser and found them the notes very well written), read ethics CFAI text in final stages. Get going with Q-bank about 6-8 weeks prior to exam, do Schweser exams, and mock multiple times. With six months until the exam you should have no trouble passing if you can commit to studying 2 hrs per day, then ramp it up last month. Most of the material, with exception of FSA is fairly enjoyable.
- Do really understand the points they are talking about. 2. Do some notes by yourself after understanding on those points. 3. Do practices as earlier as possible before exam. Especially the overrall practices. 4. Don’t neglet the concept checking practices after each session and make sure well understand.
During this preparation, I used flash cards to summarize concepts. It took so much of my time… however, I never used them because I found it much easier to go back to Schweser instead. On the other hand, in the last month, I found it extremely helpful to go back and summarize concepts on a notebook in greater details. Summaries of things like ARO and different types of leases… things that are rather confusing and easily forgettable. I think I’d not spend time in the beginning taking notes, instead, I would wait until I start taking mocks, pinpoint the weaknesses and summarize accordingly. As for the CFAi texts, I found those useful for concepts that I could not understand from Schweser alone and needed more thana small paragraph to understand… such as Philips Curves. I also found the end of chapter examples useful. You have to go through these for sure.
If I had another week to study, I would probably buy the other two CFA sample exams and do them.
4Tay Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > If I had another week to study, I would probably > buy the other two CFA sample exams and do them. i guess i don’t get this either. there’s copious amts of free practice out there with the mocks and 6 complete with schweser plus the qbank. i generally think if you needed more you were probably using them incorrectly. take a test, examine results, re-study LOS of those you do poorly on. repeat as necessary. if you’re 7-8 tests in what are you doing, taking them all in a row?