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Bare Minimum?

I asked this as a question once before on this forum but that post got buried without a favourable answer. So, I am asking it again here in different words. 

At what point in time in the reading of the CFA material (end of each Study Session or end of all Study Sessions) should I try the mock papers for best results? where the advantage of taking them in the latter case being exam conditions can be best simulated. 

Will one (a reasonably smart person) be able to grasp the CFA curriculum’s depth enough to pass the exams after 1680 questions or rather just the bare minimum of 7 mock papers.  


  • In other words, how many odd questions above or below 1680 (i.e. 7 mock papers) did you do if passed? except the EOC questions. 

  • In other words, how many odd questions above or below 1680 (i.e. 7 mock papers) did you do if passed? except the EOC questions. 

  • edited August 2014

    A reasonably smart person can probably pass the exam by doing less than 7 full mocks, but then again, this is such a qualitative statement (even when you put a number in there it doesn't make it much quantitative…) I certainly did not count how many questions I did, but I guess it was in that order of magnitude.

    The important thing really is that you finish going through the material early enough and with a good enough understanding of it, so that you have enough time (say 1 month) to go out and practice under exam conditions. Doing EOC after each reading should be enough to cement some of that understanding and not too many to keep you moving through the whole thing.

    In other words, passing the CFA exam (for a reasonably smart person) is a lot more an issue of endurance, discipline and hard work than it is of figuring out the magic way to pass the exam.

  • @surangasa‌

    i think i did about 6 mocks, plus the kaplan eoc, for L1...

    i realized that i was getting questions wrong since i was forgetting some material, hence i concentrated more on reinforcing the material rather than on making the same mistakes in problem solving...hope that makes sense...

  • Personally I'm doing the EOC questions after each reading in order to cement the readings and this should give you some reasonable indicator as to where you stand in the grand scheme of things, how many mocks you will need to do and what your focus areas are so far.

    As it stands, quant is something I need to work on and the other readings aren't so bad (averaging 75 to 90% after each subject). I would think the expected 1 month of mocks would cover most of it and give you time to really focus your understanding in your weaker subjects?

  • I take the EOCs after every reading. Given 7 mocks is not the bare minimum according to all of you, I'd do that in the last month as well. Thanks. 

  • I did 7 mocks for L1 and 4 for L2.  Only becuase of life/time restraints.  I do not recommend doing that few practice exams for L2 unless you enjoy agita.

  • KBaltazarKBaltazar Los AngelesPosts: 8 Associate
    What is EOC is that similar to Learning Outcomes?
  • @KBaltazar‌
    EOC means the End Of Chapter questions. I think in this thread, people are referring to the ones given in the CFAI curriculum, at the end of each reading.

    I believe that you should give one mock immediately after you're done with one reading of the entire syllabus. This could be sort of a benchmarking mock as it will highlight the weaker areas and also give you an idea of the areas that you're strong at i.e. the areas which you didn't forget the material and have managed to grasp it pretty well.

    Also, it will give you a feel of the entire exam. You will get a rough idea of how it feels to solve 240 questions in a 6 hour time frame. In case you end up doing reasonably well, in the first mock, it will act as a confidence booster (but take care to not let it translate to overconfidence). In case you don't do so well, don't let it kill your motivation. Take it as a learning experience and move towards improvement. 

    After this first mock,  maybe you could take sometime to revise the material again and also reinforce the areas that you identified as the weak ones. Then give another mock, identify weak areas,  revise material again, reinforce weaker sections and give a mock. Haha, kinda cyclical. 

    Keep a " I didn't know that" notebook,  wherein you note down your shortcomings and knowledge gaps after each mock, so pretty soon you'll have a list of concepts/questions that are a "must go through" for you. I got this idea from a blog post on 300 hours. Sadly,  I don't remember which one, else I would've given the link here.

    Hope this helps!  


    PS - I plan to give my first mock in the last week of October.  Possibly on 26th. And as of now, I have planned to attempt 10 mock tests. I hope that I'll be able to give at least 7 - 8.
  • @surangasa‌

    There is no bare minimum. It largely depends on your understanding and recall ability of each subject!!
  • @Jessmat, I liked your description of doing the mock immediately after the curriculum to highlight weak areas. In my bizarre mind it seemed to immediately translate to decomposition of ROE... you know what your result is, now this is how you got there :smile:
    Work on these bits and you'll get your return rate up.

    The one thing I would say is that as a bare minimum get two damned good nights sleep before the exam. I took an EOC last night and although the questions didn't seem to be too bad (okay 2 or 3 wouldn't sink in properly through the fog of tiredness), but when I came to mark it, I found that I'd calculated the answer to be (A) and then written down (C) or all sorts of stupid other things. I got annoyed and threw the pen down after marking 10 questions. A good nights sleep and today I somehow made 100% (22/22).

    Not long to go. I made it 6 weeks today until I plan to start hitting mocks (November 6th).
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