Whats the point of Learning Outcomes (LOS)?

I’m writing Level 3 exam this year and I am still not 100% sure what the point of the LOS is.

Can someone please explain?

Is it there for general knowledge check or does the CFA actually derive individual questions based on LOS.

Also, if you master all the LOS, is that sufficient enough or can CFA create a question that is within the text, but not explicitly mentioned in the LOS? If so, does that apply for morning or evening questions?


I’m generally suprised it took you 2 exams to finally question what the LOS are intended to do.

The LOS are a basic study guide the CFAI provides so you have an idea of how the topic can be questioned during the exam.

“Explain DCF” - You should be able to explain DCF

“Calculate XYZ” - You should be able to calculate XYZ

Does that mean that any sections/material in the chapter not covered by LOS will not be asked on the exam?

For example, in Fixed Income Reading: Relative-Value Methodologies for Global Credit Bond Portfolio Management, there are 5 LOS, and none of them deals with Structural Analysis section in the reading. Can CFA still ask you a question on Sinking Funds (part of the Structural Analysis) for instance? If yes, is it going to be limited to Multiple choice questions or short answer as well?


Just to be certain you’re safe for the exam, know everything.

If LOSs make you confused, forget about them and focus on reading everything.

I have been using the LOS to guide my second read of each Reading (from the CFAI, not 3rd party providers), and that’s when I’m taking notes - my first read is done more quickly, but highlighting, in a “survey” type of mindframe. But I’m following Galli’s and former trader’s advice in that I’m not ignoring anything from the curriculum; in other words, if there is something that is mentioned in the text but is not explicitly stated in a LOS, I’m not ignoring it. It will be interesting when I get to review everything, since it will be a substantial amount to review, and then practice. Taking the view of a “marathon”, I’m covering the material in a good pace, planning to leave between 5 and 7 weeks for review and practice before the exam.

I’m in agreement w/ George. I know what the LOS are intended to be but focusing solely on them could lead one to miss some key material…so what is the point? I always read them through but then pay them no further attention and don’t find them the least bit useful. They should get rid of the LOS and replace them with the statement: ‘Learn Everything in this Chapter’.

Schweser structured their material according to LOS and as I understand they are covering only things that are expected in those LOS. Since I passed both Level 1 and Level 2 with first attempt only using Schweser, I would not consider LOS useless. Remember if LOS are useless Schweser would get rid of them long time ago.

So what is the VERDICT?

Can they ask something that isn’t in the LOS on the AM or PM?

If not, wouldn’t reviewing every single LOS and answering it be the BEST REVIEW for the last two weeks?

Fair to assume that Schweser has been your primary study guide, thus far?..

Wouldn’t say so. In schweser, chapters are based on LOS, so for every LOS there is a text. Should be clear what LOS are for.

I find it more confusing in the CFAI text where you have to look for the connection between LOS and text as you get a bunch of LOS and 20 pages text afterwards.

That still does not answer the main question…

They can ask anything that comes up in the candidate curriculum readings that isnt listed as optional. The point of the LOS is what you should come away with once you have completed a reading and mastered it.

I think it is fair to say that if you can answer every single LOS then you shouldnt have any problem with the exam at all. I make a point of it to read through every LOS after completing a reading to see if I can explain what it is addressing. I’ve found this helpful