Archive for August, 2011

CFA | CFAI Curriculum or Schweser ?

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

“Should I study from Schweser or Curriculum?” For more than seven years, my answer to students was always – Schweser. However, over last couple of years few changes have happened and now I recommend studying from curriculum or at least a combination, particularly for Level 2 and definitely for Level 3.

One major change was mandatory buying of curriculum for CFA candidates. This clearly indicated efforts on the part of CFA Institute to ensure that candidates have read and understood concepts thoroughly rather than having a superficial understanding of the concepts.  Furthermore, exam pattern has been such that candidates are now tested on specific concepts not mentioned in Schweser. This was a real pain for me – as a teacher, on whose advice thousands of CFA candidates relied.

Second change was a move by CFAI to give three choices for each question instead of four. Different answer choices form a necessary part of a question. In fact, a question appears quite tricky after reading answer choices. A very tricky four answer choices question looses its value if one of the choices is removed. It is not same as writing a question with specifically three answer choices. Due to time shortage, prep providers opted for dropping one of the answer choices. This affected significantly the quality of the questions.

CFAI curriculum has very good examples and end of chapter questions. However, one problem is the sheer quantity of irrelevant material that makes retention very difficult.

I recommend a combination of Prep Provider Notes and curriculum to ensure coverage and retention.

Kamran Rashid, CFA