CFA CFA General Got a Low Score on Your Practice Exam? Here’s Why Not Worry & How to Improve

Got a Low Score on Your Practice Exam? Here’s Why Not Worry & How to Improve

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    • Avatar of Zee TanZee Tan
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        Got a Really Low Score on Your Practice Exam? Here’s 4 Reasons to Not Worry & How to Improve
        Posted by Christine We’ve previously covered again and again that practice exams are the best things for you if you’re serious about passing your CFA exams.  But as we’ve mentioned in point #6 in…Read the full story here

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        @mattyc I posted up a discussion on revision optimization. You might find it helpful
        https://300hours.com/f/cfa/general/t/revision-optimization/#latest

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        @diya @sophie

        all the comments I’m seeing about Schweser practice questions lead me to think (and be scared that): its too calculation focused, not enough theory stuff –> day of exam = shocker with qualitative Q amount!? :O

      • Avatar of Zee TanZee Tan
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          LOL @dan. BTW I’m looking at adapting your sheet for use in the forum. Will let you know when I have something to play around with 🙂

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          @ajfinance yep completely agree. There are plenty of questions that I may not be sure of but got right through educated guessing or sheer luck 🙂

        • Avatar of mattycmattyc
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            Thanks @Zee. Didnt mean to leave you out. Good luck!

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            Will be doing my first one in about a month… Saving this post just in case 😀

            Thanks!

          • Avatar of SnippySnippy
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              This is good. Everyone can sympathise with this. Great post.

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              One of the awesome things about this site is timing. As soon as I’m hitting the practice exams, this comes up! Keep up the great work guys!

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              One of the things I usually do is go over the correct answers as well as the wrong answers. Even if you are tempted to ignore reviewing the correct answer explanation since you got it right, it might be worth it to see if you actually got to the answer the way you’re meant to arrive at it.

              I feel its especially important at Level 3, because in quite a few cases (Constructed Response), the process of arriving at the right answer might be more important than the correct answer itself. For other levels, its important because you never know if the method that worked for you once, might help you again without the correct approach.

            • Avatar of mattycmattyc
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                Good article and incredibly timely for me personally. I just took my first practice exam (only the morning session) on Sunday. Based on this article and others I braced myself for a depressingly bad score, but ended up getting a 70%. Im using the Schweser practice exams and their online program which said that the average score was a 64%. The sample (89) was relatively small for what I assumed Schweser could test and their methods include dropping any score worse than a 36% from their average. My question is, have you received any feedback that Schweser practice exams are easier than other exams? Right now Im not sure if I should be happy with my progress so far or if I should be worried that Schweser isnt appropriately challenging enough.

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                That’s awesome @mattyc – 70% is a great start! I think I crashed and burned the last time pretty badly.

                It’s hard to say, but I definitely find Schweser papers more mathematical / calculation focused than CFAI mock paper. So it depends whether you prefer the calculation-based question.

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                If I am having a problems with a particular topic or study section I go over end of chapter questions, practice questions any question related to that subject and analysis what I am doing wrong. You’ll find that you are making the same type of mistake over and over again (or at least I do).

                I also started doing the practice exams in sections, I only did the sections I had troubles with so I only need an hour or so to do them instead of three so I was still be alert and can review the material while my cognitive skills were sharp and not drained after a 3 hour taxing exam.

              • Avatar of Zee TanZee Tan
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                  @mattyc I’d say 70% on your first Schweser score is a really good sign. Schweser papers are a bit different from the actual, but at the end of the day they are fairly solid, so if you’re doing well on Schweser that’s never a bad thing!

                • Avatar of Zee TanZee Tan
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                    Thanks @Zee. Didnt mean to leave you out. Good luck!

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                    @mattyc Congratulations on your first practice exam mark! You are progressing well!

                    I found that Schweser exams were more difficult than the actual level 1 exam I wrote. But now I realize that this assessment is not very objective at all. I just have trouble with calculations questions and can answer theory questions with greater ease. Schweser ensure that you are a calculation whiz and it is tilted towards more calculation based questions. So Schweser was a great study aid for me.

                    That being said Schweser makes it money and providing decent prep material if you are very comfortable with the material you should be fine on exam day and you still have about 6 weeks to increase your score.

                    Good luck!

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                    My comment may be few years old, as I used Schweser a while back. But I think it makes you a calculation whiz, and the EOC, Elan practices, CFAI mock will balance that out nicely.

                    There’s also Simplilearn Level 1 practice papers, you can sign up to receive a free sample paper to try. There’s a 300 Hours discount to get 5 practice papers for just $77 (use “300Hours” discount code). So if you’re looking for more practice papers this is a good one to try too.

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                    @lulu123 – there’s also another alternative with Finance Train to get 1 Level 1 mock paper for $20 (with 300hours discount).

                    If I had to choose, I’d try Simplilearn’s, as it’s better value for money (5 papers) and of good quality too.

                  • Avatar of mattycmattyc
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                      Thanks for the assurance @Sophie & @Diya. I am much stronger with the calculations and find it difficult to remember every nuanced theory, so that makes sense. After a few more practice exams I will go back and use the actual CFA Institute material to hone in on problem areas. I worked so hard to reach my goal of taking my first practice exam by 4/14 (started studying 1/29) but now that I’m here I dont really know the most effective way to refine my study strategy. I’d love to hear some suggestions!

                      BTW 300hours has practically become my homepage in 2013, love this site.

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