CFA CFA General CFA Level I – Revision Optimization

CFA Level I – Revision Optimization

  • This topic has 11 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated Apr-17 by Snippy.
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    • Sarah
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      After christine’s lovely blog post on keeping calm and focusing on improving your test score, I felt obliged to share my revision methodology.

      I’m sure every candidate has heard “do any many practice exams as possible” and in general do as many questions as possible. As the old adage goes, “practice makes perfect”.

      So now that you have finished going through the curriculum at least once, you are tackling a whole different animal called practice exams, a six hours exam. Just thinking of doing a full six hours exam simulation gave me shivers. So I’ve tried to break down the revision into manageable parts.

      Start with a full session simulation (3 hours). It is enough just to do one session to assess the clarity of your understanding. When you are doing the first practice exam don’t be too worried much about keeping time because take the extra time to write down your reasoning of how you reached your final answer. After that I broke down my revision into three components:

      1. Topic Management : Go through every single question and check for two things:
        a) that you’ve gotten the right answer
        b) your reasoning was correct. After this narrow down which topics you are having trouble and preferably narrowing it down to the chapter that is being troublesome.
        Rank them by topic weight. Topics with the greater topic weight should be reviewed first.
      2. Revision : It is impossible for a three hour exam to have covered six books of material. So go over the chapter you are having trouble with in it’s entirety. It is possible that the question you got wrong is a symptom of a weak understanding of another interrelated topic. If you have been studying using a prep provider I’d suggest switching over to the CFAI material because you get a different perspective and that might just crystallize that particular topic for you and work through the EOC questions.
      3. Practice : Do another practice exam but this time only with the sections you had trouble with and this time be strict with timing. Be confident in the material you understand and focus on the problematic topics. This allows you to review your answers before the long study session starts to wear on you. Because lets admit it a three hour exam is tiring and not the best use of your time.

      Final Piece of Advice
      After this start the process again and again until you are satisfied with the score you are achieving. When I was doing the practice exam session I would only give myself two hours and forty-five minutes to compensate for exam day stress. Keep all the previous exams answers sheets you have down with the notes you made while you were doing the exam. If you have time after a week and half do the same exam over again and compare if you are making the same mistakes. I tended to make the same mistake over and over again. It really takes time to unlearn something and relearn it the right way.

      Happy Studying!

    • Maroon5
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      @Diya – great, informative posts as usual. It’s great to hear your approach in detail, and very timely for first timers in this scarily intimidating exam!

    • Sarah
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      @Maroon5 no problem.
      If you have any specific questions, please ask.

    • hairyfairy
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      @diya my grand plan for crazy amount of exams a week is not working out well… Just finished half of a practice exam for this week 🙁

    • Sarah
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      @hairyfairy don’t worry! The important part is that after each practice your score is improving. Personally I only did 2 exams for level 1.

      I don’t really think doing a boat load of practice exams are as important as identifying your weaknesses and working on them until you are satisfied with it. If you have done more than one exam (which I believe you have) spend an hour or so comparing which questions you did wrong. I’m sure that there are repeat mistakes. I spaced out a session per week and re-studied the sections I was having problems with. I was having a lot of issues with fixed income and FRA so I sat down and re-read the sections that I was having problems with. There are some chapters in FRA that I read multiple times and did as many questions related to that topic I could get my hands on.

    • Sarah
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      @hairyfairy I also remember that you aren’t really having a trouble with timing so concentrate more on getting the right answer for now.

    • hairyfairy
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      Personally I only did 2 exams for level 1.

      Serious?! Wow.

    • Sarah
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      @hairyfairy I did lots of questions. I did all the end of chapter questions in the CFAI books and all the Schweser questions. I also only did a session each week hence why it only amounted to a total of 2 exams. I was floored at how many exams people did when I started hanging out here.

    • hairyfairy
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      Ah I see. I haven’t been doing the Schweser questions so I’m lagging behind in terms of ‘total questions’ 🙂

    • hairyfairy
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      Haven’t been doing EOC questions that much as well if I’m being perfectly honest.

    • Zee Tan
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      2 exams @diya – that’s pretty prodigious! Granted you did other questions but still…

    • Snippy
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      I actually like @Diya’s idea of doing one session at a time, as in, in one day. Because it puts you in the same chair as it would if you wrote both sessions in a day with a break in between. And this way, you get to concentrate more on your mistakes and make sure you don’t make ’em in the future.

      Because i have 4 weeks and 6-7 papers to do and i can follow @Diya’ advice and still manage to all the 7 papers with ample time.

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