CFA CFA General Is Schweser enough to pass entire level?

Is Schweser enough to pass entire level?

  • This topic has 14 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated Mar-17 by Marc.
  • Author
    Posts
    • tacheman
      Participant
      Up
      73
      Down

      I have a confession to make. Everyone says you should have a look at the CFA institute books, do the questions in it, etc. I’m not sure where these people come from, because I haven’t got enough time to do all their questions as well as Schweser’s!

      Has anyone here completed a level without referring AT ALL to the CFA official curriculum? Just wondering if it is at all possible, or generally you have to hit those books too.

    • imdnextbuffet
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      I have a confession to make. Everyone says you should have a look at the CFA institute books, do the questions in it, etc. I’m not sure where these people come from, because I haven’t got enough time to do all their questions as well as Schweser’s!

      Has anyone here completed a level without referring AT ALL to the CFA official curriculum? Just wondering if it is at all possible, or generally you have to hit those books too.

      Hi I think the curriculum notes are no doubt the bible to understand Cfa topic concepts and its especially very helpful for the non finance guys. It makes you understand thins as if you are completely out of this world and you are explained each and everything in minutest details so it all depends on you. If you are ok with the concepts generally then I guess schwesers are definitely more than enough. I believe or live with the saying that, the more you know the more you get confused so always know things precisely. :d

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
      Up
      2
      Down

      @tacheman, Schweser alone is ok. The most important thing is to devote the time to learn and revise.

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      4
      Down

      well @diya uses the curriculum as a punchbag I recall 😉

    • Sarah
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      @Sophie yes! It is satisfying and far more useless than actually reading it ^.^
      Though when I did accidentally open it I found out that by volume Korea has the largest option market o.O

    • jimmyg
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      @Sophie yes! It is satisfying and far more useless than actually reading it ^.^
      Though when I did accidentally open it I found out that by volume Korea has the largest option market o.O

      Seoul also has the highest PhDs per capita, if memory serves.

    • MattyJ
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      I passed Level 1 with just Schweser, and Level 2 mainly with Schweser and a few EOC’s. if you want the best chance of getting through though I would definitely do the EOC’s…at the end of the day they are written by the same people who write the exam!

    • Reena
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      @MattJuniper, I thought you used 7city?

    • Sascha
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      I think Schweser should be sufficient (except for ethics maybe), you just have to make sure to do as many mock questions/mock exams as possible.

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
      Up
      3
      Down

      I think Schweser should be sufficient (except for ethics maybe), you just have to make sure to do as many mock questions/mock exams as possible.

      Practice is definitely a large factor.

    • Snippy
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      Practice is the largest factor! ^:)^

    • vincentt
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      Schweser should be sufficient, I never even touch the underlying readings (CFAI) in level 1 not even their questions at the end of the each chapter (though it’s highly recommended that you do so!).

      In level 2, I do refer to CFAI from time to time as I find schweser tend to over summarise certain information (maybe they are not important but at least for me, I would always like to understand the logic behind it rather than memorising it).

      All in all, get through ur notes ASAP and hit the questions, i think I learned a lot more and re-enforced what I know during the question practising stage.

    • Marc
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      @tacheman,

      I hate to be THAT guy, but I relied almost exclusively on the CFA curriculum for Levels 1 & 2 and I’m doing the same for Level 3. This isn’t me being preachy, I have nothing against using whatever materials you find helpful. You can read 5 books on a topic and not get a concept. But the 6th book explains it slightly differently and the penny drops. That happens all the time and I encourage people to learn from as many different sources as they find useful.

      However, my advise to others is to really think about what value you will get from prep provider materials over and above the CFA curriculum. As someone who has sampled a broad range of the prep materials out there, I offer the following thoughts, which you are free to find useful or stupid, but that I wish had been provided to me earlier.

      1) The exam is based on the curriculum. That is all. Are you comfortable going into an exam knowing that there were parts of the curriculum that you didn’t read? For many subjects, such as when you need to know the three versions of x, prep materials are as good as the curriculum, but why pay for prep materials when you can just read the curriculum?

      2) To me, the idea that prep materials will save you time because the books are thinner is insane. It’s like a prof grading term papers by dropping them down a flight of stairs and giving the best grades to the heaviest ones that go farthest. First of all, they use smaller font and formatting. Are there fewer words printed in the Schwesser books than the CFA books? I don’t know. But whether you learn about, say, bond valuations by reading 800 words or 1000 words is pretty much irrelevant. Either you learn what you need to know or you don’t, and arguably it’s better to read a couple hundred more words and really get the concept.

      3) The natural tendency for anyone is to open the box of CFA books, freak out and think “I will pay any amount of money to make these go away.” But the thing is that the books are not actually that bad (personally, I think many more people would read the books if the first topic was anything other than Ethics). The reason the CFA books take longer to read than an Archie comic is because this material is difficult, which is probably why there are way fewer CFAs than Archie comic book readers. Since you have no choice but to learn these materials, you need to ask whether prep materials do a better job of teaching you what you need to learn. In my experience the prep materials are no better than the CFA books on average. And, again, once you actually get into the CFA books, they are not really that bad.

      4) Reading summary materials can be very dangerous, particularly preparing for a multiple choice exam. As I’m sure you know, answering multiple choice questions often involves eliminating one or two wrong answers (I am so old that when I wrote Levels 1 & 2, there were actually 4 possible answers per question, not 3) and getting to the right answer by process of elimination. This is where the importance of reading the CFA books really kicks in, because for many questions one or two of the possible answer (the wrong ones) are going to be terms that appeared in the curriculum and appears to be irrelevant. In fact, they were so irrelevant that the prep providers deemed them unworthy of even mentioning in their summary materials. These are important terms or topics on their own, and your certainly not going to become an expert in them. In fact, chances are that you won’t remember anything about them – anything, that is except for the fact that they are irrelevant in the context of the question staring you in the face and can therefore be eliminated as a possible answer.

      In summary, I find prep materials useful. Formula sheets are a very handy time saver. Videos are helpful when you are to tired to concentrate on a reading. Audio recordings are way under-rated, under-provided and under-used (anyone else commute to work?). But I would strongly advise people who are considering not touching the CFA readings and only reading Schwesser or whatever to reconsider.

      To use an analogy with which we are all familiar (or at least should be), you can pay for active portfolio management, and you might even get a little bit of alpha, but is it worth it? And are you comfortable with the idea that you could actually be worse-off than if you had just been boring and stuck to the benchmark?

    • Snippy
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      Wow, @Marc. That was very well written. I am almost done with my L1 curriculum and will start practicing papers soon. But i will definitely consider these views when i do my L2. Too late for L1 right?

    • Marc
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      @sidmenon

      First, I should clarify that the second last sentence of point 4 should read “These are NOT important terms or topics on their own…”

      As to your specific situation, I certainly would not recommend stopping everything and starting from scratch by trying to read the entire curriculum in advance of the exam. And please don’t feel as if by reading Schwesser, or whoever, you are missing out on vast chunks of the curriculum. My point is that reading the CFA books is the only way to learn the entire scope of material that is fair game to be tested on the exam.

      I absolutely recommend that you do all of the end of chapter questions and generally give a higher priority to any of the questions that are actually provided by CFAI. As someone who has done my share of practice question, I can tell you that there is a noticeable difference between questions produced by CFAI and those written by prep providers. As you do your practice questions, take note of any possible answers that seem unfamiliar – even if you get the question right – and take a quick look at where it shows up in the curriculum.

      Again, the idea isn’t to become an expert in everything, but rather to be aware enough to eliminate a wrong answer (and, by the way, it might actually end up being the right answer).

Viewing 14 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.