AuthorTopic: The end of the Prep Provider debate (hopefully)
@2015-02-17 11:08:54
Hi guys!

I am going to TRY to put an end to the Prep Provider debate here by putting everything in perspective.

First of all, Prep Providers are only meant to provide 'supplementary' study materials. All the readings have only been compiled in a formal curriculum for the last 2-3 years. Before then, people would either study from proper text books (fabaozzi et all) or use study guides from prep providers.

During that time, people including myself found it quite efficient to just study from these guides and pass the exam. You might have seen 3-4 questions max that were not covered by these guides, and it was a risk that most pepple were willing to take given the time and effort saved in referring to these guides exclusively. However, now with the purchase of the curriculum being made MANDATORY for every candidate, I for one have noticed that students have found that more questions are 'esoteric' and focus on 'nitty gritty' that they weren't really expecting on the exam. This does not mean that prep providers are not doing their jobs. They don't claim to cover everything, not are they meant to because they try to make your learning more focused, and more efficient.

I have been tutoring students for a number of years, and I receive all sorts of feedback. Some people think I am an arrogant prick who loves to make students look stupid, while others think I am really cool and know how to control a classroom. Some of my most ardent fans have failed, other who have dropped out of my classes have passed.

What I am trying to say is that what makes a difference in the end is YOU, YOUR COMMITMENT AND YOUR DISCIPLINE. Your Prep Provider cannot be solely responsible for your failings, not can it take all the credit for your success.

People will swear by their study provider if they have passed, and blast them if they dont. Right now what you see on this forum is a larger proportion of people who are disappointed with their performance on the exam posting. But dont let this small sample of CFA candidates lead you to think that these guides are not useful. Most of the candidates who were very active on this board arent visitng anymore because they're done, and theyre taking a well-deserved breather for a bit.

Study guides can be very useful. But I would urge you to make your own decisions. Visit their websites. Browse through their samples and see whose style you like. You already have the curriculum if you have registered. It shouldnt be too hard to gauge whether you need their services.

I dont think there is a significant difference in quality across prep providers such as Schweser and AnalystNotes. Personal preferences play a huge role here. Their styles are a bit different. It is wise to refer to study guides but not ideal to rely on them solely. Lots of people HAVE passed using the study guides EXCLUSIVELY, but its not giving yourself the BEST chance of passing.

On an exam if there are 100 questions, then you will be able to answer AT LEAST 95% of them if you know the material in your study guide INSIDE OUT. If you focus on the curriculum and use your study guide as a secondary resource, I think you can fair better.

In the end its a cost benefit analysis that ONLY YOU can answer because it depends on your time and budget constraints, and on your academic and professional background.

There are certain topics that prep providers wont cover or wont cover in too much detail. This is where forums like this come in. You guys can help each other out and highlight concepts that you think arent adequately addressed in your prep providers' materials. I have students who will be using Schweser and AnalystNotes for the June exam so I will be reading pretty much both of them plus the curriculum in their entirety, so I will try to contribute to the discussions here as well going forward. So help each other out- its the best way to ensure that we cover everything here.

Finally, learn to back yourself! Dont rely on random strangers' opinions on an exam that can mean so much. Do your own research and be your own judge.
@2019-04-27 13:24:09
Good post. I am doing your method but minus the CFA curriculum books. I am hoping analystnotes questions along with CFA schweser will be sufficient.
my friends who passed used analystnotes and said to just keep doing questions...tonnes of them....thats why i think this site will be beneficial....schweser or the cfa curriculum books dont have many questions....i feel if you learn the questions inside out you'll know the material well

CFA Discussion Topic: The end of the Prep Provider debate (hopefully)

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I am using your study notes and I know of at least 5 other friends of mine who used it and passed the exam last Dec. Keep up your great work!