With the final month upon us I’m sure we are all gearing up for the final leg of the race. This is the best time to assess if your schedule it working for you and make any changes if need be. Before I shared a blog post on how to optimize revision for level I.
I feel that revision is probably the most frustrating part of preparing for the CFA exam and I had to fine tune my revision process again because the format for level II is different. A lot of what I said in my previous blog post still applies for level II such as topic management and revision but as I have found out. I can’t really gauge my overall progress without doing a full 6 hour exam simulation.
Level II is Harder
And part of the reason is the exam format.
- Fewer questions means “fewer” tries
- The vignette style means we have to sift through more information to find the key pieces of information
- We need to have a better understanding compared to level I because there is more “noise” (irrelevant information) to distract you with and throw you off target
I decided that there was no way I wanted to do full six hour exam sessions. It would take a full day to do and then I wouldn’t be able to realize how I did until the next day when I methodically go through the exam and check how I did and if my reasoning was correct. There is only four weekends left that in general (and especially for working folks) there is only enough time to do four practice exams before June 1st and the average candidate does seven exams (of course if you have already done three exams you are in good shape).
- I’ve broken down each session down in half – 5 item sets. That way in one study sessions I can simulate “half” an exam and still have enough time to review, fill in the gaps and hit my head against the table because I make too many silly mistakes.
- Track how long it takes to finish an item set. I can do ethics in half the time it takes me to do financial analysis item sets.
- Breaking it down has the advantage of being more approachable. It increases the likelihood of me actually sitting down and sticking to my schedule. One of the reasons candidates push doing practice exams is they dread sitting down for such a long and extended period. The length defends itself against being attempted.
- Break down each practice exam into 5 item set
- Spend more time doing review than level 1
- Don’t forget to actually do a full practice session to gauge how much time you need
- Aim for two practice exams for the next three weeks if you haven’t started doing practice exams.
I’ll be updating this as I work through my level II revision.
Great tips. I will add that, in any level, it is extremely important to review ALL of the questions after doing practice problems/mocks, not just the questions you got wrong. Otherwise you will have moments on the exam where you go, “I remember a question just like this on that one mock, but I can’t remember whether choice (a) was correct or not!”
@padniaki that is a good point. It is extremely frustrating when you are staring at a question you remember doing but can’t remember the answer. Why forget the important part?!
I might add it in my second edition since I realized I missed a couple other useful tips but I might not have time for edition two until after my own exam.
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