|Author||Topic: Beginning to feel that I don't have enough time|
I'm currently on page 343 of book 1 (3.2. Time-Weighted Rate of Return) and I feel like I'm behind. I'm doing like the introduction to the book recommended and I definitely study more than 20 hours a week with 4 hours each day. I'm juggling a full-time job at one of the Big Four auditing companies and I just don't know what my progress is to everyone else around the world.
I actually started quant by trying to memorize the formulas before a colleague reminded me that I own a financial calculator for a reason and this ephiphany set me back I think. How come the CFAI books don't teach you to use the calculators anyway? So I have AnalystNotes and they help with learning the functions but for actually digesting the CFAI material I just don't know if I'm working effectively. I read and re-read, I solve and try to understand the examples and the EOC questions but I don't know if I'm working fast enough.
Can someone set my mind at ease or give me a good kick? Most days I want to give up because there's just a mountain of material to read and explore (and solve).
I started on the first day of January but quant has taken me since the middle of January while ethics was a breeze. FR is like 700 pages and I'm sweating.
Level 1 definitely has a ton of material. But don't stress - with a little bit of planning you will be able to successfully complete it.
From my experience, while the CFAI textbooks are excellent resources to master your knowledge ( you can do this even after yours exams if you wanted to... remember you are now a serious investment professional committed to lifelong learning :) ), for the next four months your #1 priority should be optimizing whatever time that is available to get the best possible result on exam day.
So you have 120 MCQ in the morning for 3 hours and then another 120 MCQ in the afternoon for 3 hours.
Between now and exam day,what should you do to get good scores on both these sessions ?
1) Read your study guides to understand the material. Where you see more than one example in the guides try to actively solve the questions on your own before reading the solutions/ watching the workings in the relevant videos. Spend 1-1.5hrs now learning everything you need to know about using your calculator -non probability statistics (mean, standard deviation, variance), cashflow stuff, time value problems, IRR/NPV/NFV/PB/DPB, Combination/Permutation buttons, Bond Functions, storing/recalling values etc..
2) Do all the CFA Institute Blue Box questions.
3) Do all CFA Institute End-of Chapter questions.
4) If you can't answer the Institute's questions after reviewing only the Study guides, try reading the relevant sections from the CFA textbooks.
5) Do the 10 CFA Institute Topic Area Tests
6) Do as many mock exams as you can. Give yourself enough time to learn from these exams as well.
Btw try to time these for "uninterrupted" 3 hours blocks of 120 questions.Yes, I totally mean "uninterrupted".
In the actual exam, you can't even have a bottle of water under your seat and have to unfortunately waste a couple of minutes to raise your hand, head off to a water cooler, pour some water in, drink it and head back to your seat (personally not a big fan of this policy as it can feel quite dehydrating in summer; but the Institute advises that it is to prevent candidates spilling on either their own or others exam scripts;)
All the best with your preparation!!