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Tips to improve mock scores?

Granted I've only just started mocks, but my scores are pretty bad, scoring quite low compared to the benchmark on the study planner. Any tips from the senior people here on how to improve?

My plan is just to continue attempting mocks and hope scores go up but if there are any killer tips that would help! Specifically I also have a few questions:
  • Should I leave the CFA Institute mock for last or go for it at the start?
  • Any 'definitely recommended' providers that I should get their mock exams?
  • How thorough should I be with marking and revision of my mock exams?


  • Answers to all three of your questions depend on individual preferences. I'll share mine:
    1. Leave it to about 2 weeks before - aim for a sweet spot where you're happy with your curriculum coverage but still have time to fit in more practice.
    2. I used Wiley/Elan for my L1 and they were excellent. I think they used to be cheaper though.
    3. I went through all the answers, including the ones I got right but wasn't sure about. I didn't read up on weak topics because of time constraints but that would have helped a lot.
    When things get too tough, sit back with a nice bottle of red wine and remind yourself how inconsequential things are.
  • Thanks @hairyfairy. I've gone through a few mocks. is a 60+% score enough at this stage?
    • Check if you're scoring low because you're running out of time, or because you need more revision, and treat accordingly.
    • Practice skipping questions if you're unsure and get back to them later.
    • Pay attention to the actual question. You can get easily confused with what the question wants - there are many times I knew the subject material but answered for e.g. most likely rather than what the question actually asked (least likely )
    • I'd take the CFAI paper after trying out 1-2 other practice papers.
    • Schweser is fine for practice papers. I'm sure there are better ones but I haven't tried them.
    • Take the practice papers under timed conditions. sit down for 3 hours and get them done just like the exam.
    Good luck!
  • I think low 60s is okay, specifically depending on where your weak areas are. I haven’t used all vendors but I imagine they’re all designed to be at least slightly harder than the real one. It’s a tough balance between pushing yourself with a couple weeks left and inspiring confidence...
  • Thanks for all the feedback. I'm now at 5 and a half mocks and feeling better, but still not great scores (around 60s). @policedog you're spot on with the confusing likely and least likely questions, additionally the 'I, II and III only' questions are a pain in the you-know-what.

    I have three more mocks and I think I'll do one more graded and start reading through the rest. Good luck everyone.
  • Thanks for the tips! Is it worth taking one mock exam early in the game to 'guide' what you should be studying?
  • segunsegun NigeriaPosts: 1 Associate
    Hi guys can you please share the pdf version of the 2017 CFAI mock exam. My email is [email protected]
    @rutadaniel @kalalah
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