Week 17: Revision Week 2

Last week was very intense, but we are getting closer to the exam, and every minute counts (especially if it is being put to good use focusing on the most high impact areas of revision). Please remember to record your results in your week 16 progress report.

The week to come:

As we touched upon last week, it is extremely important that you go through the practice of replicating the exam conditions at least a few times before you are actually sitting the exam. It is a bit like training for a marathon, most marathon training programs embed preparation runs that are almost as long as the actual event, in order to ensure that you are familiar with your body’s response when it is under immense pressure. One benefit from a few practice runs is your increased ability to pace yourself, so you don’t run out of time and resort to guessing parts of the exam. We are dedicating every Saturday until June 4, to replicate the exam conditions as closely as possible while completing a mock exam.

Let’s continue where we left off last week. This week we are covering the 264 end of chapter questions and 125 LOS in readings 13-24, as we discussed last week if you have stored your revision question lists, you may be able to reduce the number of end of chapter questions to go through to e.g. 200, 150 or maybe even less.

Once you have answered the questions make sure that you pay attention to the explanations to the end of chapter questions in the curriculum books. This is the most important aspect of the revision process, especially for those questions that you got wrong. If you are pressed for time (like most candidates) skip the explanations for the questions that you got right, but read the explanations for the questions that you got wrong twice and slowly for maximum comprehension. Studying these explanations in detail constitutes the most efficient use of your time at this stage, as the process will isolate many of the insights that you are still struggling with and that could thus provide a marginal improvement to your exam score, if you learn to master them. Once you have revised the end of chapter questions, create a new shorter list of the questions that you are still struggling with, work your way through this reduced list of tricky questions. If there are any challenging questions left after the second iteration rinse and repeat until you are able to answer every single one correctly.

Remember the examples in reading 2? This week we are continuing to cover 5 or 10 examples a day (depending if you are aiming to get through the examples once or twice?). As discussed last week, it is likely that a large proportion of the estimated 36 ethics questions on the exam will be based on examples similar to the ones described in reading 2. So a solid understanding of these provides one of the most favorable trade-offs between effort and likely impact on the exam outcome.

The LOS represents “the specific knowledge, skills and abilities” (wording by the CFA Institute®) that you are expected to acquire as a candidate. It is therefore useful to answer the LOS for each reading as you progress through your revision of the curriculum.
If you have followed this program, you will have created flashcards covering all LOS in the curriculum. What is even better is, that if you have maintained your question log you will have a complete list of the LOS that you are personally struggling with. The mere process of flicking through and practicing these flashcards should help pinpoint areas of weakness at this stage. List the LOS that you remain completely clueless about in your question log (hopefully that is not going to be many at this stage), and if you have got the time dip back in and read small passages in the curriculum/study guide targeted to the individual LOS (you should have the relevant page numbers at the flip side of your flash cards), sometimes the answers can be found in the chapter summaries as well.

Exam day replication:

Spend your Saturday working through 2 uninterrupted mock exam sessions (morning and afternoon). Find a quiet area with a desk and a chair (maybe in a public library or somewhere else where you cannot be disturbed), switch off your mobile phone and bring only the mock exam, some paper, pencils, an eraser and your calculator. The morning session should run uninterrupted from 9 to 12, then take 2 hours break before sitting down for the afternoon session between 14 and 17. When done mark your score and redo the questions that you answered incorrectly until you can answer every question on the test accurately. Please remember to record your results in your week 17 progress report.

In week 18 we are beginning our third out of six weeks of revision.

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