CFA CFA Level 1 Who here has started practice exams?

Who here has started practice exams?

  • This topic has 32 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated Mar-17 by Sarah.
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    • tacheman
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      I wanted to start this weekend, but decided to go through the notes again (was pretty raggedy first time around). But was wondering if people were starting to attack the practice exams…

      Quick show of hands?

    • Sarah
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      I’ve decided that I want to be done around 50% of the qbank questions before I start practice exams. So far I have only gotten through 13% of the questions…

    • MattyJ
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      Nope, will likely start about a month out.

    • policedog
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      I tried this weekend but I stopped halfway because I hadn’t finished my notes, and when I got to a hard question I wasn’t sure whether it was because I needed more revision, or I simply hadn’t read that far yet.

    • Reena
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      Not yet, like @MattJuniper, in a month’s time… leaving the best for last.. maybe I should consider getting extra practice exam questions. Level II is hard!

    • imdnextbuffet
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      @Tacheman practice at least 5-6 papers with consistent cut offs.

    • christine
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      @tacheman – like what @imdnextbuffet said, better to plan how many you want to target than when you should be starting. You can work through the questions as you go along like @diya – that definitely helps! However, you have to make sure you leave enough papers to properly test yourself (with time constraints, no referring etc).

    • tacheman
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      thanks @christine. To the other CFA Level 1’s, is there a particular exam paper (papers?) (Schweser) that you recommend leaving pristine to try out in exam conditions?

    • imdnextbuffet
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      @tacheman as I mentioned from my experience 5-6 papers schewesers and mocks if time permits

    • tacheman
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      @imdnextbuffet I was referring to any specific papers (e.g. practice book 1, exam 3) that people tend to leave for last. 🙂

    • imdnextbuffet
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      @tacheman aah thats subjective, but from what I have heard practice exam book 2 by schwesers are on tougher side well not sure though so accordingly you surf through them, and well cfa mock exams are extremely easy according to my experience. Thats why dont rely on the cfa mock exam marks they might misled you.

    • vincentt
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      In my personal opinion, i feel schweser’s practice questions are tougher than CFAI mock and obvious the actual exam. However, the way and technique they question you are entirely different.

      From what i realised, Schweser likes to picked on the very tiny gaps, whereas CFAI would test you on a bigger picture (generally speaking) and not to neglect anything easy as that caught me off-guard a question or two.

    • Reena
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      I think so too @vincentt. I recall in Level 1 others were saying that Schweser is very mathematical and detailed in their questions, whilst the CFA mocks are more focused on concepts.

    • vincentt
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      @reena i hope level 2 is just to test the concept as well. 😀

      During my level 1, i was so prepared with all the calculations and formula for Fixed Income and it did hit me really hard to realise the toughest calculation was the most basic one #:-S
      so lesson learned!

    • Zee Tan
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      The golden rule is not to leave your CFA mock until last. Try your CFA mock early – you need to get used to the format and style that CFA Institute uses. If you try that exam early this will guide your reviews and subsequent focuses. If you must have more CFAI-type papers to test yourself later on in exam conditions you can always purchase more (however I don’t think that is necessary).

    • tacheman
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      thanks @zee, will keep the CFAI mock tip in mind.
      @diya I didn’t get the qbank but I have 2 practice exam books from Schweser. It’s interesting that @imdnextbuffet says that book 2 is tougher – it’s cheaper to buy for Level 1 as well. I wonder why.

    • imdnextbuffet
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      thanks @zee, will keep the CFAI mock tip in mind.
      @diya I didn’t get the qbank but I have 2 practice exam books from Schweser. It’s interesting that @imdnextbuffet says that book 2 is tougher – it’s cheaper to buy for Level 1 as well. I wonder why.

      yes @tacheman I did practise book 2 and I did find them quite tough. At the end rock solid concepts in mind is all that matters.

    • Sarah
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      Yea the practice exams offered by Schweser is much harder than the actual exam (in my opinion).

      I was going to try the CFA mock but now I won’t bother if it is as easy as you all say it is.


      @christine
      thanks for the tip. I’ll be starting practice exams probably mid-April or I’ll push it all the way to the beginning of May. I think the worst mistake I made during prep for level 1 was start the practice exams too early. On my first practice exam I got a 50% and it sent anxiety and stress levels right through the roof which had a negative impact on productivity.

    • AjFinance
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      @tacheman aah thats subjective, but from what I have heard practice exam book 2 by schwesers are on tougher side well not sure though so accordingly you surf through them, and well cfa mock exams are extremely easy according to my experience. Thats why dont rely on the cfa mock exam marks they might misled you.

      I second that @imdnextbuffet. @tacheman Speaking from personal experience and what I’ve heard from a few friends, Schweser’s practice exams book 2 is usually tougher than book 1. Try and get at least 1 full Mock session from Book 2 (More if possible). The way I used to do it was, Book 2 – Book 1 – Schweser Live Mock – CFAI Mock. If you want to leave no stone unturned, then put in Schweser’s Live Mock exam as well, if you have time i.e.

      In between Book 2 and Book 1 marathons, you can try and plug the loopholes. So by the time you arrive at Test 3 of Book 1, you’ve almost covered all the gaps. Then proceed to the live mock and finally to the official CFAI Mock, so you get a taste of the real thing before the REAL thing 😉

      Just a suggestion, use whichever order you prefer 🙂 Goodluck :-bd

    • imdnextbuffet
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      @ajfinance good one:p

    • Snippy
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      I’ll be done with the entire syllabus next week. So should i do the Schweser question bank first? And for how long till i start doing practice exams.

      The last time i wrote the exam, i made the mistake of leaving question bank + practice exams for the last 2 weeks before the exam. I don’t want to do anything wrong this time.

      Are there any other practice questions (banks) that i can purchase?

    • Zee Tan
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      @sidmenon you should start a lot earlier than just 2 weeks before! Schweser Qbank and Practice Book 1 would be good enough to start. Remember that you still have the free CFA mock to try (important!).

      If need be, you can get extra from Elan as well, they’re pretty good. We have a 10% discount code for you to use. But I’d focus on getting what you have done first.

    • Sophie Macon
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      @sidmenon, I’d say 4 weeks of solid exam practice is minimum. But that’s assuming weekend work only, so I’d suggest 3 weeks full time focus would be much better. Never leave such an important practice aspect to the last minute!

      Try to have (at least) 6 practice papers experience as a good benchmark.

    • Snippy
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      @Zee Yeah, a mistake i realised too late and hence having to write L1 again. I was thinking i’d do the Schweser Qbank for about 2 weeks covering as much as possible and then moving on to practice papers which will be for the entire month of May. I have the entire weekday apart from the weekend since i don’t work. Is Elan just practice papers?

    • Zee Tan
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      @Sidmenon no, Elan has a whole range of study notes and practice papers. Basically a value version of Schweser.

    • tacheman
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      @Sidmenon no, Elan has a whole range of study notes and practice papers. Basically a value version of Schweser.

      I guess I’m gonna have to try and win the 11 hour guide then! Is it like Schweser’s secret sauce?

    • Snippy
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      @Sidmenon no, Elan has a whole range of study notes and practice papers. Basically a value version of Schweser.

      I guess I’m gonna have to try and win the 11 hour guide then! Is it like Schweser’s secret sauce?

      That’s what i thought. But i really have to be crapping points to win it 😛

    • Sophie Macon
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      Yes @Tacheman, Elan 11th hour guide is similar to Schweser’s secret sauce…

    • Sarah
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      Yes @Tacheman, Elan 11th hour guide is similar to Schweser’s secret sauce…

      Agreed, and I have both sitting side by side. One thing I do like about Elan is the white space but that has nothing to do with content….

    • Sophie Macon
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      How do you find them both @diya, from a user’s point of view?

    • Sarah
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      @Sophie since I haven’t finished up with my review I can’t really say which I like better or why. So far I think Elan is more detailed but the small font makes it annoying if I want to add more details. Since Schweser uses a larger font it is easier on the eye and much easy for extra notes.

      Content wise the verdict is still pending.

    • Zee Tan
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      @diya did you end up getting the printed version of the 11th Hour Guide?

    • Sarah
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      @Zee no I like soft copies and then printing them out. This way I have more space to write since I only print on one side of the page.

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