CFA CFA Level 1 Differences in the quality/difficulty of practice exams

Differences in the quality/difficulty of practice exams

  • This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated Jan-18 by Ethuriel.
  • Author
    Posts
    • Ethuriel
      Participant
      Up
      0
      Down

      Hi all
      The recent post by @zee about the amount of practice exam to be done in preparation for the exam got me thinking. I am currently preparing for Dec L1 and did my first practice exam this week. In order to have enough practice exams at hand I purchased a package by Analyst Notes. So I have the mock exam by CFAI, three from Schweser and 10 half exams by Analyst Notes. What I noticed when completed the Schweser exam was that I had plenty time left (45 min) and I scored quite well. Schweser gives you the option to compare the results online where it said, that others answered 77% of the questions I did correctly. Also in my opinion the question were difficult, but not as difficult as i expected them to be. In my experience the Concept Checkers at the end of each reading were also not that hard. So far I didn’t do any of the Analyst Notes practice exams but I think they are more difficult since their practice question can be quite tricky. 

      What are your experiences with the different providers and their practice exams?

       In my opinion it is very important that practice exams are comparable to the difficulty of the actual exam otherwise their benefit is limited.

    • PaulAdaptPrep
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      @Ethuriel

      Keep in mind that “difficulty” has a number of factors. Complex math problems are “difficult” because they are time consuming. Other problems are “difficult” because they are worded poorly – less a problem for the questions on the actual exam as they tend to be well written. But for most problems, the difficulty is based on the distractors (the false answers). If they are really good, they will be more likely to distract you from the true answer.

      Another key concern when picking a mock exam is ensuring the questions are on topic. Our team has used a lot of mock exams that had questions that wouldn’t likely be tested on. I have a blog post on how to choose a question bank that has more info on it. With all that said, likely any mock exam you take will be valuable in your studying.

      You may not be buying any more practice exams since you have a bunch, but I wanted to let you know that our Adapt question bank ($49 for 30 days) is the only bank that uses credibility theory to automatically adjust difficulty level for the questions. So if more people get them right, their assigned difficulty goes down. Based on feedback, our level 6-7 questions in CFA Level I Adapt are about on par with the real exam. We “ramp up” the difficulty, so users start with a difficulty level 3 exam and based on your score your “Earned Level” increases and you get harder exams. We have almost 1,000,000 exams completed in Adapt for our actuarial products, so its a well tested system.

      Here’s a review from George, a Passed Tense user for the June 2014 setting who also used the Schweser QBank:

      I was studying using material from Schweser and the cfa curriculum. After each reading I was doing both CFA EOC question as well as Schweser Concept Checkers. After each session I would hit about 50-80 questions from Schweser QBANK. After my first review of the material I had to test my overall understanding. This is where Adapt comes in. The Earned Level method really stimulated me and made me put more effort in the weak areas. I also found the questions more conceptual – straightforward than Schweser , just like the real thing. I believe Kaplan Schweser question are way more calculus based than CFAI. Starting my second review, I was happy raising my earned level, thinking that my studying was really paying up. I found passed tense via your youtube channel. Your videos about Fixed Income are exceptional.

    • PaulAdaptPrep
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      @Ethuriel‌ 
      Also if you want a free full printable mock exam (both 3 hour sessions), e-mail me at paul at passedtense.com. We can send you one and you can compare it to the others you are using. We’d love the feedback!

    • Zayd
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      @Ethuriel I did 6 schweser and 2 mock exams, EOC from CFA and schweser EOC. If you are scoring a 75% + as did I, I don’t see how you are in a different boat than where I was. I failed FRA and PM, but on my practice tests I scored 72-82 %. The test was easier on ethics harder on econ FRA and fixed income. Everything else about the same, in my opinion. Do what you need to do and you will be fine. Just don’t underestimate the difficulty. I hope this helps and good luck.

    • Ethuriel
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      Hi @Zayd; thank you for your feedback, very much appreciated. I can see how Econ, FRA and fixed incom can get tough. Currently I am scoring consistently between 70 and 75% on schweser and CFAI (I did 4 practice exams so far). But there are still 4 weeks to go, so nothing is decided yet 🙂 

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.