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Level II material providers, prep start date

I passed Level I and am getting my Level II plans together. I relied on Schweser for 95% of my prep (used CFAI mat'l for a bit of ethics). From what I gather, relying on Schweser exclusively for Level II is not always recommended. I'll get the hard copy of CFAI mat'ls (since it's what? Only another $50 or so?) and go with Schweser again. May go for a package with videos to hammer down some of those trickier topics.

I'm primarily getting the CFAI hard copy materials for the EOC questions which I did NOT use for Level I but likely would have benefited from using. Schweser impressed me for Level I, thorough enough, and the Q-Bank was extremely useful.

1) Anyone care to share their opinion/experience on going exclusively Schweser vs. mix of CFAI and Schweser?

2) Opinions of Schweser videos?

I'll also be deciding how many hours of prep I need and when I should start studying. I spent 320 - 330 hours on Level I and did okay (40/60/80 score of 66%, min of 59.6% max 77.1%). I imagine scheduling 400-500 hours for Level II, starting in October or November.

3) Share your Level II study plans that worked for you below.

Thanks.

Comments

  • Prosper0Prosper0 PraguePosts: 25 Sr Associate
    edited August 2015
    1) People who used Schweser exclusively seem to have ran into trouble. CFAI official is very dense and often hard to read but if you are planning that much time to study, I would use it and complement with Schweser.

    Again, with that much time to prepare, devise a diligent routine of recap for material rentetion, otherwise a large portion of your prep time will be in vain. A lot of the stuff is technically complex and so easy to forget unless you practice often.

    2) Dont focus on the hours, focus on the understanding and progress through the material. Make sure you dont go into mocks and especially into the exam without mastering the essential and complex issues of each chapter.
  • I passed Level I and am getting my Level II plans together. I relied on Schweser for 95% of my prep (used CFAI mat'l for a bit of ethics). From what I gather, relying on Schweser exclusively for Level II is not always recommended. I'll get the hard copy of CFAI mat'ls (since it's what? Only another $50 or so?) and go with Schweser again. May go for a package with videos to hammer down some of those trickier topics.

    I'm primarily getting the CFAI hard copy materials for the EOC questions which I did NOT use for Level I but likely would have benefited from using. Schweser impressed me for Level I, thorough enough, and the Q-Bank was extremely useful.

    1) Anyone care to share their opinion/experience on going exclusively Schweser vs. mix of CFAI and Schweser?

    2) Opinions of Schweser videos?

    I'll also be deciding how many hours of prep I need and when I should start studying. I spent 320 - 330 hours on Level I and did okay (40/60/80 score of 66%, min of 59.6% max 77.1%). I imagine scheduling 400-500 hours for Level II, starting in October or November.

    3) Share your Level II study plans that worked for you below.

    Thanks.
    Prosper0  said. Focus on concepts and not the hours. For me, Schweser was great and the videos were extremely helpful with the concepts. I still hear Andy Holmes and John Bones voices in my head.

    There's an article on How to Pass the L2 Exam on the site, I totally agree with. A guaranteed strategy is to ensure you are in the >70 for Equity and FRA, the material is a lot but quite easy to understand. Then pick Derivatives, Fixed Income their combined weight is equal to FRA or Equity.

    Ethics is very important when you are borderline. And whatever material you use, always do the CFAI end of chapter questions, the mocks and all the questions on the site!

    All the best!
    Prosper0
  • LeChiffre said:
    I passed Level I and am getting my Level II plans together. I relied on Schweser for 95% of my prep (used CFAI mat'l for a bit of ethics). From what I gather, relying on Schweser exclusively for Level II is not always recommended. I'll get the hard copy of CFAI mat'ls (since it's what? Only another $50 or so?) and go with Schweser again. May go for a package with videos to hammer down some of those trickier topics.

    I'm primarily getting the CFAI hard copy materials for the EOC questions which I did NOT use for Level I but likely would have benefited from using. Schweser impressed me for Level I, thorough enough, and the Q-Bank was extremely useful.

    1) Anyone care to share their opinion/experience on going exclusively Schweser vs. mix of CFAI and Schweser?

    2) Opinions of Schweser videos?

    I'll also be deciding how many hours of prep I need and when I should start studying. I spent 320 - 330 hours on Level I and did okay (40/60/80 score of 66%, min of 59.6% max 77.1%). I imagine scheduling 400-500 hours for Level II, starting in October or November.

    3) Share your Level II study plans that worked for you below.

    Thanks.
    Prosper0  said. Focus on concepts and not the hours. For me, Schweser was great and the videos were extremely helpful with the concepts. I still hear Andy Holmes and John Bones voices in my head.

    There's an article on How to Pass the L2 Exam on the site, I totally agree with. 
  • I passed Level I and am getting my Level II plans together. I relied on Schweser for 95% of my prep (used CFAI mat'l for a bit of ethics). From what I gather, relying on Schweser exclusively for Level II is not always recommended. I'll get the hard copy of CFAI mat'ls (since it's what? Only another $50 or so?) and go with Schweser again. May go for a package with videos to hammer down some of those trickier topics.

    I'm primarily getting the CFAI hard copy materials for the EOC questions which I did NOT use for Level I but likely would have benefited from using. Schweser impressed me for Level I, thorough enough, and the Q-Bank was extremely useful.

    1) Anyone care to share their opinion/experience on going exclusively Schweser vs. mix of CFAI and Schweser?

    2) Opinions of Schweser videos?

    I'll also be deciding how many hours of prep I need and when I should start studying. I spent 320 - 330 hours on Level I and did okay (40/60/80 score of 66%, min of 59.6% max 77.1%). I imagine scheduling 400-500 hours for Level II, starting in October or November.

    3) Share your Level II study plans that worked for you below.

    Thanks.
    Prosper0  said. Focus on concepts and not the hours. For me, Schweser was great and the videos were extremely helpful with the concepts. I still hear Andy Holmes and John Bones voices in my head.

    There's an article on How to Pass the L2 Exam on the site, I totally agree with. A guaranteed strategy is to ensure you are in the >70 for Equity and FRA, the material is a lot but quite easy to understand. Then pick Derivatives, Fixed Income their combined weight is equal to FRA or Equity.

    Ethics is very important when you are borderline. And whatever material you use, always do the CFAI end of chapter questions, the mocks and all the questions on the site!

    All the best!
  • I understand the focus is not hours, it's more scheduling enough time to cover everything with room to review. That figure is a ballpark (i.e. is this number in the neighborhood of time required). Rachel Bryant suggested 350, 500, and 450 for Levels I, II, and III respectively, and her Level I recommendation was, for me, about spot on.

    Has anyone used Schweser videos? I understand that they are available online after being recorded live. They useful? Not so much? Etc.
  • LeChiffre said:
    I understand the focus is not hours, it's more scheduling enough time to cover everything with room to review. That figure is a ballpark (i.e. is this number in the neighborhood of time required). Rachel Bryant suggested 350, 500, and 450 for Levels I, II, and III respectively, and her Level I recommendation was, for me, about spot on.

    Has anyone used Schweser videos? I understand that they are available online after being recorded live. They useful? Not so much? Etc.
    LeChiffre said:
    I understand the focus is not hours, it's more scheduling enough time to cover everything with room to review. That figure is a ballpark (i.e. is this number in the neighborhood of time required). Rachel Bryant suggested 350, 500, and 450 for Levels I, II, and III respectively, and her Level I recommendation was, for me, about spot on.

    Has anyone used Schweser videos? I understand that they are available online after being recorded live. They useful? Not so much? Etc.
    Schweser vids were useful for me!
  • NedoNedo KSAPosts: 21 Associate

    I have a bad experience with Schweser video in level 1.. I would not suggest to use it in level 2

  • I passed my level I with a 40/60/80 score of 73, min 66, max 88. Whatever all that means I have no idea.  I do know that Schweser prepped me extremely well.  If it ain't broke don't fix it is what I'm going with for level II. Like you said @LeChiffre I am buying the CFAI textbooks this time though to get easy access to EOCs, references or clarity. I will still be using Schweser notes, audio notes, weekly class and on demand reading lectures. I put 600 hrs into level I because I'm a paranoid freak and have a fear of failure. I'll aim for 700 for II.
    LeChiffre
  • edited August 2015
    googs1484 said:
    I passed my level I with a 40/60/80 score of 73, min 66, max 88. Whatever all that means I have no idea.  I do know that Schweser prepped me extremely well.  If it ain't broke don't fix it is what I'm going with for level II. Like you said @LeChiffre I am buying the CFAI textbooks this time though to get easy access to EOCs, references or clarity. I will still be using Schweser notes, audio notes, weekly class and on demand reading lectures. I put 600 hrs into level I because I'm a paranoid freak and have a fear of failure. I'll aim for 700 for II.
    Glad to hear you passed! All those hours paid off. Did you use Schweser videos for Level I? And do you think they are useful for test prep?

    I'm trying to figure out the logistics, like what order are they in? Are they available for view any time after the live session? Etc.

    Edit:  My prep for Level II will also be more intense than Level I. I'm scheduling around 620 hours which is ample, giving myself room to take a few days off to prevent burnout.
  • There are 2 types of schweser lectures. Each reading in the curriculum has a pre recorded on demand lecture, usually under 60 min in length. You can also buy the weekly LIVE online classes which are on Tuesdays 630 930 EST. These are recorded in case you miss the class and viewable anytime after.  For level  one I found the reading lectures useful for recap.  The weekly classes are not so helpful but good to just get material flowing through tour head again. They cost like 400 bucks too I believe.  Against my own advice, I am doing the live weekly class again only because I think Andrew Holmes is a good instructor. I'm going try the audio notes again as they were a monstrous help in level I, getting that extra 60 min of studying in the car ride. 
  • @googs1484, okay thanks. I'll go with this package which includes weekly online classes (also recorded as you mentioned). Does this include the recording on each reading (and is the recording the same as the audio notes)?
  • It does @LeChiffre. And no, it's not the same audio in videos as notes. The audio notes are essentially a monotone guy (feel bad for him) who records himself reading the Schweser notes. It's not word for word but close. It's seriously extremely painfully boring (that's a lot of LY adjectives) but it helped me to keep everything fresh.  It's nice to have someone read back Economics notes while I'm on FRA for example.  Fresh reminders. There's also a sample on kaplan site. 
  • Thanks, @googs1484. Audio notes may be useful on the morning and afternoon commute.
  • I would recommend the Schweser notes and Secret Sauce for L2 because they worked for me.

    For L2 I used Schweser notes and CFAI EOC Q's. I bought the Schweser videos but didn't find them helpful. I actually found their Secret Sauce book very helpful for review. Then of course jamming as many practice exams in the last month is key to locking it in! In total I jammed in about 400hours in 4 months of prep.

    L2 is a beast because of the breadth! Good luck!

    Nedo
  • Thanks, @WesMantooth. I ordered the package with videos, if they're not useful then bummer. Didn't add Secret Sauce. May buy it down the line as a review tool. Will be using primarily Schweser Notes and QBank along with EOCs, Blue Box questions, and homemade flashcards as well.

    400 hours in 4 months is serious cramming, nice work! I plan on staring studying in mid-September. I have a few weeks planned to be off around holidays, weddings, etc. Shooting for around 550 hours, I typically require more time than most.

    Level II is going to take some knuckling-down, after prepping for Level I I know what's realistic for me to handle and I know how to study a bit better.
  • Pretty consistent ad to  always do the CFAI EOC questions.
    Airen
  • Well just got off the phone with Schweser and Level II materials won't be available till mid to late October. So I'll study directly from CFAI material until Schweser arrives.
  • hellomarconihellomarconi Calgary, ABPosts: 13 Associate
    Honestly, I think you should stick to the CFAI Material anyways. My mistake last June was to think that Wiley and Schweiser would be enough - Only used the CFA Mock Exams, Practice Questions and End of Chapter Question. Then, not surprisingly, I failed - band 7. Many questions were based on material covered by CFAI but thought as "not as important" by Wiley and, especially, Schweiser. For next June I am focusing on the CFAI material and using Schweiser mainly for the Weekly Class (just to have a re-cap going) and Qbank.
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