CFA CFA Level 3 Level 3 study material

Level 3 study material

  • Author
    Posts
    • rhuang2
      Participant
      Up
      13
      Down

      Hi guys, I read from a post from Wall Street Oasis that Kaplan Schweser’s usefulness goes down with each level. I’ve managed to pass level 1 and 2 solely relying on Kaplan — I did not even open the actual CFA books. For those of you who have taken level 3, what’s your take on the best review course (Kaplan, Fitch…etc?) Thanks!

    • hairyfairy
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      I used Kaplan for L3. Definitely could have been better, but it did the job!

      I felt that the Kaplan text seemed to have missed out a lot of the L3 syllabus. Especially evident when taking essays, I often come across a question that I had no clue about, and reading the CFAI syllabus helped.

    • rhuang2
      Participant
      Up
      0
      Down
      I used Kaplan for L3. Definitely could have been better, but it did the job!

      I felt that the Kaplan text seemed to have missed out a lot of the L3 syllabus. Especially evident when taking essays, I often come across a question that I had no clue about, and reading the CFAI syllabus helped.

      I see, thanks. Did you open the L3 official books at all?

    • hairyfairy
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      @rhuang2 yes – reading specific topics that I wanted to go into more detail / better understand.

    • justinturner
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      Schweser is great for every level if that kind of material is your thing.  The videos + books are great, you won’t ace everything based on those alone, but they get you over half way there.  My trick has been Schweser books + videos then the 7city/fitch learning 2 day final prep course (which is basically grinding out questions on the most tested topics) and there in class mock if you want the extra help. Things i didnt like were Schweser online mock exam for level 3, but everything else mentioned above was good.  Also i would say secret sauce is limited in usefulness and i never really got around to using it, even though on the surface it seems like a useful product.  The reason for this is over half the questions are probably not even covered there, so you are better off using the quick sheet + your notes, + slides (i use slide packs from videos, print them off and keep best ones that cover really important material).

      I went through books and videos up until day before test, while mixing in mock tests during the last couple weeks and the fitch learning 2 day in class question grind the week before the exam.  I dont like the way it is usually recommended, study many months before, stop like 4-6 weeks before and work on tests, that sounds like recipe for failure, but we all learn differently, and my way is a bit more grueling, but i end up really knowing the material well.  A lot of the questions are some of the less emphasized topics, and reviewing all material even up until the end will keep a lot of stuff fresh in your mind when test day comes.  In a perfect world, i would do
      1) Schweser books + vids about 3-4 months before  (you do this first cause its light, and will make the CFAI books easier to understand, no need to do questions at this point unless you feel like it).
      2) CFAI books and end of chapter questions 2-3 months before
      3) Schweser books + vids + questions in Schweser books + questions in slide pack that comes with vids about 1-2 months before
      4) In the last 3 weeks-ish Schweser books + vids + cfai questions and mocks + any other mock exam you can find + 2 day in class.  Also reviewing your own study package during last couple days. Step 4 should be about 150 hours, it should be grueling and almost like a full time job.

      That is a lot of studying, but you can’t really fail

    • edulima
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      I used CFAI material as my main source, and did my own notes. I would agree that Schweser is not reliable.

    • Dr_Pain28
      Participant
      Up
      0
      Down

      I used Kaplan for all my studying for level 3. But their essay sections of the mock exams are not that great. So i would stick with the past 3 years essays for practicing essays. The multiple choice part of the schwesser mocks was pretty decent though.

    • mrschmidt21
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      After today, I have failed level 3 three times. Two of those times, including thr most recent exam,  I used Schweser. What I have learned is that for Level III, the Schweser essay questions and practice exams (for the essay portion) were not as helpful as they were for the multiple choice questions.  I felt they missed on preparing me for the essay portion. What I found most useful and wish I would have practiced more with were the past CFAI morning session exams. These were the real thing so when I took the actual exam, I was familiar with the layout and question format. While I didnt pass, this time around I will spend more time with the CFAI exams and I will incorporate some of Justin’s suggestions above such as the 2day prep course of Schweser’s Windsor week. 

    • rxd
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      It really depends on multiple factors like student/full time job, spouse, kids, social life, background, etc. I would have failed CFA level 3 exam if I had studied from CFA books but that is because I found them too verbose and I just cannot digest CFA books. My friend loved CFA book and hated Schweser. We both passed. He reads much faster than I do. It takes me 15 minutes on a page because I get stuck with every line and over analyze so I need less words for my style.

      Schweser worked great for me. It is definitely not perfect by any standard but if you understand the material then Schweser is decent. I love their QBank at all levels because they check your concept right away. Granted it is not in the essay format etc. but if you create a quiz of 100 questions or so from 5-10 topics then you start to get in the grooves. I bet you there are people who would fail miserably with Schweser and they need CFA books or 7city etc.

    • edulima
      Participant
      Up
      0
      Down

      If there is one thing I really like about Schweser, it’s the question bank. It can really put you on the right “mental frame” for exercising your mind on the topics. For Level III, of course you can’t rely solely on this but I still feel it can be useful.

      With regards to Schweser notes, I feel they are useless for someone with my style, as I prefer to read the real source of material (CFAI text) and make the notes myself – which takes a lot longer but gives me the confidence I need that I am reading from the same source as the exam questions.

    • justinturner
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      @edulima  The issue i have with that is i really do not know what info is important till reading Schweser notes and videos.  So much time can be wasted on untestable material, i would rather be reviewing stuff 5 times that will be tested instead of once or twice going over each and every detail including a lot of minutia.  Maybe I am not good at figuring out what is testable, what isn’t at first glance, and that is why I need Schweser material to guide me, i cant first find out what is important just before doing the exam while doing practice papers, i need to know early and get my head wrapped around this stuff, and avoid all the noise (which is a large percentage of CFAI books imo).

      Anyway, everyone studies differently, I am just pointing out why i need Schweser material, but i know a lot of people work the way edulima does and have great success.

      I think the reason people say Schweser is less useful as you go through the levels is cause you need to have problem solving abilities to get through the other levels, where level 1 is just a knowledge quiz.  So yeah, Schweser can’t give you problem solving abilities, they can’t give you a high IQ, there are a lot of things they can’t give you, and for level 3 they certainly can’t teach you how to write.  But if you have level 3 videos you will find out game changing information to pass level 3 writing, if you pay attention to David Hetherington, it is really the only place you will get info like this unless you go to class (and even then his info is better if it sinks in while you watch it).

      I have posted links to good videos if you dont know who he is, or value he can add to level 3 experience.  This guy really gets it, and i get shocked when i find people who dont like him, this guy IS CFA level 3.  In some ways though, this info here in these youtube vids could already be enough for you to figure out what you need to figure out regarding the writing portion, although the other vids give more examples of writing plus everything else that comes along with them.

      *Not sure if i should have videos linked in these posts, i had just copied site address but it appears it is embedded into the post unintentionally.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdHH87MmjTk

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWTMycg9f4I

    • dodo
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      Agree it would come back to how you study. I have casually started my L3 prep and well, I am using the Schweser vids and notes. I will read curriculum for Ethics and some of the PW material. But I will review the blue boxes and attempt all the CFAI EOC questions.

      The curriculum does contain a lot of noise in my opinion.

    • Arbitrageur
      Participant
      Up
      0
      Down

      Here’s the 2016 version of the how to pass Level III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiHJI1kjHiI

      I just started studying about a month ago from the Schweser notes, and I have to say that Level III seems like a whole different kind of vile beast to slay. I also cried into my pillow for a few hours when I saw that pensions are making a comeback via ALM (although at least I won’t have to reconcile PBO between IFRS and GAAP ever again).

Viewing 12 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.