I’ve come across this discussion in quite a few forums on the internet (including 300 hours). There seem to be mixed reviews for schweser level 3 notes.
Personally I prefer Schweser, having used it effectively for Levels 1 and 2. For level 3, I used Schweser notes + videos & CFAI EOC questions, Schweser Mocks and CFAI Mocks.
Although I failed Level 3 (Band 10) this year, I’m not sure about completely changing the exam prep provider. Refining the process, instead of overhauling it, is whats required, in my opinion. Just feel that all I need is to use the study material more effectively. I fear that changing the prep provider all of a sudden, would invite more problems rather than provide me a solution.
My scores were decent in the essay section. However, I scored low on the alternative investments section (36 points worth) in the afternoon session. So my take is that the performance on the exam hinges on what topic has more weight on the exam, and how you perform on that section.
I used the following:
L1: Schweser almost exclusively
L2: 80% Schweser / 20% CFAI
L3: 70% Schweser / 30% CFAI
However, if I went back again I would have used around 25% Schweser and 75% CFAI, as I really feel that there was a lot that Schweser didn’t cover in as much detail as was required in the AM paper.
I don’t think you will make a mistake in changing your provider. Most of what you’ve learnt already you will have retained, albeit you may need to ‘jog’ your memory. The next round of studying should only serve to bolster what you already know. To me, the key would be to start studying again now in at least a minor capacity, so that you don’t forget what you already know. Each day that passes means there is more you have to re-learn again next time. If you start now, you will simply grow your existing 300 hours, and have 600 hours under your belt in June.
I have only just thrown out my revision notes today. As many of you know, I wrote out every formula on flash cards, and memorised each one as best I could. If I had failed, I would have been back on them straight away so that I didn’t have a chance to forget them.
On a linked note, I know some people don’t see the value of learning the formulas off by heart given that there is little direct calculation in L3. My personal thoughts on this are as follows:
1) even if there is only a single equation question in the paper, that should equate to at least three points in the AM paper or a successful multiple choice question in the PM. When the margins between pass and fail are so tight, I wanted to give myself every chance of answering that question.
2) learning the equations, especially where there are several variations such as tax and derivatives, really made me think about the underlying mechanics of the formula. This in turn helped me grasp the underlying concept and allowed me to express it succinctly in essay format if required.
@MattyJ Thanks for elaborating and explaining what study materials you used and how you used them.
I do follow CFAI text, but mostly for EOC questions, and at times for conceptual clarification. I somehow feel CFAI text just drags on with the explanation, and find myself losing interest in it. Thats the reason I use it selectively.
I used a formula sheet instead of the flash cards, but I like the way you utilised those flash cards.
Also, when you told 70% Schweser/30% CFAI , did you use the CFAI text for EOC and Blue box examples?
@AjFinance I used Schweser for everything, and then skimmed over the CFAI notes and went through Blue Boxes and EOCs. Didn’t have time to go through it all, so got to about the derivatives section before running out of time.
I would probably suggest:
1) go through the Schweser material and end of reading questions.
2) straight after, skim read the CFAI readings and isolate anything that was missed out of Schweser (shouldn’t be too hard to isolate).
3) do all the EOCs from CFAI.
4) if you can get all the above done by the beginning of March, then it gives you two months to hit practice papers and go over all the EOCs again in detail. Make sure you know the repetitive questions off by heart (I.e. calculating the required return on an individual PM question should be second nature to you in the exam, including all the assumptions you need to state to get the points).
Do you have the Schweser 2013 Practice Exam books 1 & 2?
@AjFinance: Great to know that you are on your foot already!!
I used only Kaplan notes and videos for L1. For L2 I used the Kaplan notes along with a classes (Finstructor) practice videos and papers. (A lot of them…more than 1000 questions per subject!!).
For L3 I tried to study from CFAI..but would doze off a lot many times…so I ended up using Kaplan. I could say that I practically did not use CFAI notes except for a bit of individual IPS practice and ethics.
I also referred a lot to Finquiz and 300 hours!! great places 🙂
Hope this helps!!!
I used to just follow the finquiz blog (which is free). They published a summary and what u need to know and can expect type one pager article every week on each level. Additional weekly article on exam taking tips were also worthwhile.
For Level 3 I did purchase their smart summaries. (PS: they have a sample to have a look for one reading) It was a flow chart like representation of each chapter. A bit more elaborative that the Kaplan Secret Sauce. Good read if you get bored reading Kaplan twice. Also it helped me be a bit less anxious about Kaplan missing out some parts of the curriculum.
Hope this helps.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.