AuthorTopic: Mistakes I made during my studies.....
@2011-07-01 14:10:18
Thought this might be of help to newbies....

#1 - I spent far too much time studying the equations in quant. I spent the first week or two making flashcards for PV and FV. This was useless because once I mastered my HP 12C I didnt need to know a thing. Plug and Chug

#2 - I spent too much time actually taking notes. This also proved useless to me. I actually typed out every LOS and answered them in detail for the Econ section. This was a huge waste of time. I should have used analystnotes' study notes instead.

#3 - I spent too much time on the small details. I got tripped up on sections that shouldnt have been given as much attention to others.

#4 - I didnt do any online CFA exams. I should have done one...just for the sake of it. I was peeved at the time that they were 50 bucks for only a handful of questions. Ah well.

Things that worked for me.
Review questions of AnalystNotes....i started banging out questions in January and it was a great tool

I made huge posters...and filled them with equations and concepts...I hung them on the walls of my bedroom and would stare at them before I went to bed and first thing in the morning. It worked. The last thing I looked at before the exam was the forumla to calculate the Std error of showed up. I was pleased.
@2011-07-03 04:08:02
Thank you. I wish others could post something similar.

Things that waste your time:

(1) Writing notes (essentially copying) on the reading material.
(2) Taking a class -- don't spend the money taking the class unless you have NO IDEA about any of this stuff; otherwise, expect the most generic, useless information that will probably not be asked on.
(3) Taking the time to write note cards--this works for some, but not for me. I knew most of the formulas to begin with, so it didn't help there. And conceptual stuff can often be hard to get down on one card without writing in size .05 font
(4) Reading through the Ethics LOSs over and over---yes, it's important, but what will really help you do well is reading EXAMPLES over and over and taking notes on things to watch out for.

Things that helped me the most:

(1) Thinking logically about the problems and understanding conceptually what is happening
(2) Making "cheat sheets" for every section where I would make notes about things to remember--IN MY OWN WORDS
(3) Getting scared sh1tless---it helps light the fire under your bum. BE SCARED, BE VERY SCARED. I suggest reading horror stories about the exam.
(4) Taking the analystnotes mock exams (and review questions) AND doing the basic questions online. After doing that WRITE OUT EVERY QUESTION YOU GOT WRONG AND WHY. I saw the most progress when I would have to explain why I got it wrong and why the other answer is right.
@2011-07-05 12:21:48
Notes aren't a waste of time. They are a tool to help you study. Studying for the test is like building a house. You can build a house with just a screwdriver but it's freaking stupid. Use the tools in your box at the right time for the right thing.
@2011-07-06 22:02:11
I echo most of the comments above.
A mistake I made was i feel I didn't go back and re-review areas I felt I was strong in. An example:
I did very well on the portfolio mngmt section of every review exam I did. So I left this alone and went back to what I felt were weaker areas. In the exam there were some questions regarding SML/CML that should have been gimme's but I likely got wrong.
Study everything. If you have an econ degree, still study econ. If you have an accounting background, still study accounting. If you're a CFP, still study portfolio.
If you do well in the practice tests, don't let up.
And get drunk when you're done.
@2011-07-29 08:03:34
Study hard for at least 4 months! And the last 2-3 weeks before the exam, you should be taking TIMED exams and review the entire curriculum once a week, focusing specially on the areas you are making the most mistakes.

Different approach works for different people. This one worked for me. But one thing is true, as bablo pointed out, there is no alternative to "study, study study"!!!

Good luck!

@2011-07-29 20:20:03
Recipe for failure:
start late! 3 weeks before the exams - leaving only 125hrs of study time in evenings/wkends and 1 week off work (pulling 75+hrs in last week)
waste a couple of days writing notes!
cover 6 of the 10 sections
only 3 days for mock!

yet i passed as lady luck smiled upon me!
@2011-08-01 21:37:27
I pretty much agree with everything except the not taking notes part and classes.
@2011-09-10 23:17:28
Thanks people for sharing! Share more!
@2012-05-31 07:13:43
Thanks to all. The above discussion is fantastic.
@2012-06-01 15:06:26
I wasted time on:

Taking notes!
@2012-06-11 00:12:38
I downloaded a freeware package for recording music, and bought a USB microphone to have a decent recording quality. Then I recorded my own audio 'lectures' of the readings that I found most difficult, and transported them to my mp3 player and my mobile phone.

Advantages are:

1: It is much cheaper than to use audio files that prep vendors have made for you, and you can tailor your own audio files to your own background and experience. Instead of listening to someone who speaks at length about something you know very well, you can zoom in on subjects that you find particular complicated, and browse quickly over the rest.

2: Extracting the most important information from a lengthy reading, and verbally expressing statements involving difficult concepts is very, very rewarding.

3: While you do the laundry, or clean the bathroom, or commuting to work, you can listen to your audio files and have a quick brush-up of readings you did 3 months ago.

I highly recommend that strategy to anyone, but apologize to prep vendors for destroying their business model.
@2019-07-18 08:39:17
Great that I read your mistakes.Lucky that I haven't taken any lengthy notes. But short ones are more effective.

CFA Discussion Topic: Mistakes I made during my studies.....

To post a new topic or reply to a topic, please log in or register for a free user account.

I am happy to say that I passed! Your study notes certainly helped prepare me for what was the most difficult exam I had ever taken.
Andrea Schildbach

Andrea Schildbach