AuthorTopic: Forgetting what you read
@2017-09-10 21:07:30
I have a serious problem that I keep forgetting what I studied after a couple of week. When I read the material I clearly understand the concept. I answer end of the chapter questions and generally get high scores. But I recognized that by the time passes, I forget the concepts I studied. For example, I tried to solve some problems from a reading that I read 2 weeks ago and I failed to remember some of the concept.

How do you cope with forgetting the stuff you read? Do you have any suggestions? It would be really appreciated if you give me some good advice :)

Thanks in advance
@2017-09-21 06:49:57

- Write concepts in your own words, even (especially) if they sound unprofessional. E.g., "Long Put = some idiot sells you a contract letting YOU force HIM to buy a hot dog from you after it's old and shrivelled." You'll actually remember a personalized thing over official wording.

- Use diagrams – by hand or powerpoint – to show how A–>B. Venn diagrams, etc. Use lots of colour and icons – i.e., I have one colour for US GAAP and one for IFRS so I can literally recall my full table of what's what. Throw a Stars and Stripes on GAAP and the Eiffel Tower on IFRS if it helps. By the time you’ve made your memory device, you shouldn't need it ;-)

- Put very key info on Flash cards. You can use stars to drill just a handful of concepts per topic till they're ingrained. Tip – I keep mine extremely short. I keep tightening and tightening. You want to learn just enough to distinguish a concept or anything else, but to be able to hit 20-30 at a time without exhaustion.

- For very complex things, sometimes there's no substitute for going deep into the “why”. Reading the curriculum word for word and tracing the logic underpinning the actual testable material. E.g., I sort of understand gravity; I don't need an equation to explain how it might affect two close, heavy objects in space or on a still lake.
Build the most difficult FRA Blue Boxes in Excel.

- 100% agree with S2000 – write formulas with a #2 pencil, throw out the paper, write 'em again. After a while, they become nearly muscle memory. For sure I can find the keys and spell things like "this is where I live" with zero conscious anything.

- #1 thing by far though is to drill. For me, gaps = an almost stupid amount of repetition of related EOC. I would hit some small clusters of EOC across a topic 4-5 times over 2 days during the final 2 weeks for L1. Obviously, this only words for math you have to work out, not "pick the right word" questions.

CFA Discussion Topic: Forgetting what you read

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Your review questions and global ranking system were so helpful.