Hi guys, new to the forum 🙂 I’ve just received my Kaplan Schweser books as I signed up for the Fitch Learning course in London and just got them in the post last week. I’m also getting the CFAI books as I registered for the June 2015 exam today. I’ve been trying to find out if people recommend getting any additional material to this? I’ve seen the Schweser Secret Sauce is really good. Would I get anything like that from the Fitch Learning course as part of the material? Is there anything else people suggest would aid my study for this?
Thanks in advance for any help
Hi klrups. You can always add more material, but if like you describe you have got the underlying curriculum, the SchweserNotes and the Fitch class room course (where I believe you will also get a big stack of study notes), then your problem is probably going to be what to focus on rather than adding more study material.
The Secret Sauce can be pretty handy, especially during the last month of revision, but check with Fitch if you get the Final Countdown compendium? If you do it is a pretty decent substitute.
You have definitely got enough study aids already to clear the exam, the tough part is putting together a winning strategy for studying them efficiently.
Hey FEA, thanks for the reply! Okay I’ll get my Fitch materials in January so will check what I get there. I signed up for what I think is the most extensive package as my work paid for it haha so hopefully I do get that. Yeah I guess part of me thought I needed as much material as I could get my hands on, while part of me knows I need to make sure my study plan and strategy is more important.
I downloaded the study plan from this website so will try that as a base to figure out a strategy. If you have any recommendations for a way to tackle the curriculum I would appreciate it.
Sure, I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all approach, it kind of depends on your personal circumstances (How many hours you have got, how quickly you read, your academic background, how much experience you have got in the industry already etc…), and opinions vary massively as to what is the best approach.
But here are a couple of points that helped me through this ordeal:
– Try and work out your best guestimate about how many hours total you are likely to be able to set aside for the test. E.g. 20 weeks of 15 hours = 300 hours or whatever it might be.
– Try and work out how many hours your chosen study plan will take to complete. E.g. if your plan is to read the entire curriculum cover to cover (roughly 3000 pages) and you only read about 10 pages an hour then that is clearly not going to work. Since you will be spending your entire 300 hours reading the curriculum with no time left over for Fitch classes, question practice and revision.
– If something has got to give, don’t skimp on question practice. Start doing end of chapter questions as soon as you start reading and make a list of all of the end of chapter questions that you find difficult and/or answer incorrectly. Then revise your answers and redo this list of difficult questions until you have understood the reason behind the answers. Keep this list of difficult questions for the last month when it is revision time.
– Whether you are relying on the curriculum, SchweserNotes, Fitch Learning notes or any other material write down every single LOS (learning outcome statement) on the front of flashcards (you can get a flashcard app for your smartphone if you can’t be bothered with cardboard), before diving into each reading. Then instead of mindlessly flipping pages search through the material to seek out the answers to the LOS and write the answer on the flipside of your flashcards with page numbers. These cards will be really useful for revision later as well (you can do the same for formulas and key concepts if you are super keen 🙂
– Aim to be done reading the curriculum/study notes a month prior to the exam, and spend the last month on revision, question practice and mock exams.
If you haven’t already have a browse around this forum and the 300hours blog to get an idea about the various study approaches out there, here is a couple of good pieces from the 300hours blog on strategy:
– Do you realistically still have time to study for the CFA Exam
– How to effectively balance CFA studies and work
– The one thing you should know to pass the CFA level 1 exam
– What is the most effective level 1 CFA exam study session order
Finally you can have a peek at the Financial Exam Academy blog where I have got a free study guide expanding on the above approach that will hopefully be of help.
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