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Schweser not as great for Level III?

I've heard from several people now (candidates + charterholders) that Schweser is not very good material for Level 3 and I should use the CFA syllabus. Is this true? I'm already halfway through and I thought it was pretty OK so far, and I really don't want to go to the syllabus - I haven't looked at the syllabus since level 1 to be honest. too incomprehensible.

Thoughts?
Tagged:
fear88

Comments

  • @jimmyg same here man, have heard that its not comprehensive. But having said that, and having studied for the past 2 levels with Schweser, I am still using their notes. What you can do is maybe refer the schweser notes, and when you have time or when you are revising, try and go through the CFAI EOC questions and also the Blue box examples. Someone suggested the same at one of the forums I was a part of.
  • @hairyfairy yup :) Nothing fires me up like the Balboa quote ;)
  • christinechristine On the movePosts: 632 Sr Portfolio Manager
    a bit of a tangent there....

    But yes, Schweser is quant-focused, so in a quant-light and concept-heavy level such as Level III, naturally it's not as strong. However, I used Schweser exclusively for Level III (didn't even touch the syllabus - I don't recommend that though) and did quite nicely.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it to be honest.
    AjFinancedodo
  • @Christine I guess it all comes down to how well you know the concepts on exam day :)
  • christinechristine On the movePosts: 632 Sr Portfolio Manager
    @AJfinance yes but I do agree that conceptually the syllabus might be better. However it was so difficult for me to read that it negated the benefits. So if you're like me, I suggest going through Schweser and using the syllabus for end of chapter questions and any conceptual clarifications you may need.

    Alternatively you could post anything you're unsure of here :)
    S_toThe_Gdodo
  • Agreed with @Christine. I used Schweser with online supplements and it worked fine. Currently giving www.cfaexamlevel3.com a whirl for an alternative (and free) source of summary notes as I coach a couple friends through L3. Advantage of 3rd party notes IS the condensed version. L3 is about broad connections between material, and not having to wade through overly detailed readings from the original curriculum works well as a time-saver. As with L1 and L2, the secret is going to end up being practice problems and sample exams


    WesMantooth
  • Thanks @daharmattan1 and @christine  that is really helpful! Were you guys going through practice questions at the end of each Schweser topic review or just at the end of the study session? 

    Also did you leave more time at the end to go through practice essays and questions or did you leave the typical 4-6 weeks for review?
  • The most critical part of review for me was doing mock exams. Over and over. I was able to take a week off before L3 and did 6 morning exams and like 3-4 afternoon exams that week. There were no curve balls left at that point.

    Generally, I finished the material about 3 weeks before L3. that was a little later than ideal but I had been reading Secret Sauce or flipping through notecards on my commute to keep all the material fresh throughout the process.

    One other strategy I find particularly effective is circling the difficult (or crucial) practice problems at the end of each chapter and flagging their page # so that I could review only the most relevant EOC questions as part of that cram review process in the last few weeks.

    Keep it up you're in the home stretch!
  • lfp731lfp731 NYCPosts: 2 Associate
    has anyone noticed that Schweser has NOT changed its mock exams or practice exams from last year? They are completely recycled. How disappointing.
  • That's disappointing. Are you sure they're exactly the same?

    First time using schweser so I wouldn't know myself, but that makes me less happy about them now.
  • lfp731lfp731 NYCPosts: 2 Associate
    yeah, a friend showed me the practice tests from last year from Schweser and the questions are literally the same just in a different order. glad i spent money on that...I will NOT be using Schweser again
  • Hi guys I've been doing the past cfa papers and just started doing the schweser past morning papers. Does anybody find their level of difficulty a lot higher than the cfa past papers and the wording of the questions not well structured? They have absolutely killed my confidence a week before the exam which is not good. What's the general consensus - are they a good source specifically for level 3? If so I got to crack on and get used to this!
  • I found the Schweser questions to be good practice but occasionally poorly worded or asking about obscure topics.  But I also found the CFAI official 2015 mock to be poorly worded at times too, both come from third party providers.  The past AM exams are your best guide so use those to your advantage.  9 days is still enough time to improve your scores.
  • Thanks mattyc - did you do both practise exam books by schweser or just one as they tend to get harder in te second book I find as well. I have gone through cfa past papers from 2011 onwards, that's what I've been comparing the schweser papers to.
  • @nik23 I did the 6 schweser tests and 2012-present CFAI mocks.  Nothing to do now but refine, sleep and arrange those Saturday night plans!
    WesMantooth
  • I've done the six afternoon Schweser's, two of the mornings and 2011-2014 CFAI morning mocks. My opinion is that the Scheweser ones are more difficult because they don't seem to like to test the basics very often, more oddball questions than there should be. But still good practice, because if you can do second order questions, the basics should be easy!

    The CFAI mornings, I'm hoping, are your best gauge for readiness.

    Just hoping I don't forget much between now and Sat! Like @mattyc focussing on sleep and refining/refreshing topics now.

    mattyc
  • kennynarzkennynarz Philaddelphia PAPosts: 6 Associate
    I've  also done all 6 Full Kaplan Mocks in addition to 2012 - present CFA Morning exams, and also the CFA AM and PM multiple choice Mocks.  I did very bad ( like 10-15% worse than my average) on the Kaplan book 2 exam 2 afternoon session and it crushed my spirits at the time. Ive since gotten back on track and found it to be an outlier.  Kaplan seems to throw everything at you including the kitchen sink so that on test day, there are no surprises. Well for me, that practice exam seemed to be mostly minutia and topics that I was cutting my losses on. On exam 3 i scored about 20% higher.

    CFAI seem to be more straightforward in general, but I also agree that it tends to get wordy at time.  What I am most concerned with on the morning part is knowing exactly what the question is looking for when they can be quite ambiguous. But overall, CFAI less ambiguous than Kaplan.

    Nothing left from here on out but reviewing some notes and notecards and getting some good nights sleep.

    ....oh and hoping that they forget to print out the page with the GIPS questions
    mattycWesMantoothdodo
  • Very helpful to read, event though I don't plan to start studying till October!
  • rhuang2rhuang2 Bloomington, ILPosts: 19 Associate
    Agreed with @Christine. I used Schweser with online supplements and it worked fine. Currently giving www.cfaexamlevel3.com a whirl for an alternative (and free) source of summary notes as I coach a couple friends through L3. Advantage of 3rd party notes IS the condensed version. L3 is about broad connections between material, and not having to wade through overly detailed readings from the original curriculum works well as a time-saver. As with L1 and L2, the secret is going to end up being practice problems and sample exams


    How useful did you find cfaexamlevel3.com? Do you think using them exclusively along with the official books is sufficient? Thanks! 
  • rxdrxd NYCPosts: 9 Associate
    I just passed level 3. I used schweser and NYSSA. I did not touch CFA books. I hate CFA books and they put me to sleep in 10 minutes. It really depends on how well you know the material. I took 9 complete tests, solved 2000+ Qbank and NYSSA practice test. I read Schweser for all level3 and found them very helpful for my life style that involves working 70 hours a week with 2 young kids.
    dodo
  • edited August 2015
    I will just repost what i posted in other thread since it is same topic.  As reader mentioned above, CFAI books are rough...you could completely cut those out if you have any sort of time constraint, but if you do i would go through Schweser books 2 - 3 times (and really it should be 3 times imo) and really know well the 80-90% of the info that they provide you with.

    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).



    Zeedodo
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