As already outlined, it is crucial to solve as many CFA® practice problems as possible. Namely, reading theory is very important in order to understand the concepts, and it is important to read as much as possible to be able to solve the problems, but it definitely will not prepare you for the exam. Practice problems will prepare you for the exam. It is like a surgeon who has read 100 books and was an extraordinary student, but without any experience. His exam is in an operating room and he might not perform well. Likewise, your knowledge will be examined in a specific form of questions and the more experience you can get before the exam, the better.
There are a couple of sources for CFA practice problems. CFA Institute offers CFA Mock exams (for free). They are usually available 2 months before the exam. It is highly recommended to solve Mock exams before the exam. Additionaly, you can buy Sample exams from CFA Institute.
Besides the CFA institute, many prep providers offer their practice problems databases (e.g. Schweser’s qbank). These databases are very useful, because they offer a number of practice problems in a form of a suitable software that tracks your performance and record.
Finally, many candidates say that the best practice problems are the ones provided at the end of chapters, so it is highly recommended to solve them at the end of each reading. You should also mark the most complicated problems and get back to them in the revision phase.
All in all, candidates report that you should solve at least 800 practice problems. It does seem a lot, but if you take 2 minutes on average for level 1 practice problem (remember you have 1.5 min for a multiple choice question on the exam) you need to spend 26 hours on practice problems which appears to be only 5-10% of total average preparation time. That is quite insignificant taking into account the fact that the practice problems prepare you the best for the exam.
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