AuthorTopic: My recommended CFA exam study schedule
@2017-05-28 21:08:05
CFA is really hard to get.

What makes me laugh is to read on forum how easy it is to get prepared for it (2 months look like being overtime to many people). Well in the end, people writing these posts might be very smart, but only around 30% manage to pass level I and merely 50% for level II and III (knowing that these people have already successfully passed level I, ie. they do know it's not a piece of cake at all => population is not the same => 50% pass-rate cannot be compared directly to 35% passrate of level I).

These pass rates are already quite low, keep in mind that CFA Institute does not take into account no-show people when computing it. => It's really 35% of people who did sit down at the exam day (and not 35% of people registered to take the exam, ie. passrate would be lower than that!). More over, on average it requires 5 years for candidates to pass all three exams.

What's the conclusion of all of the above? Passing CFA exams is not a piece of cake, but it's not unachievable either.

You just need to be organized and dedicated.

Basis for my schedule

My own experience.

I've successfully passed level I, and right now I am ending 5th book of level II, about to start the 6th (and last book) to hopefully pass the june level II exam.

Basically, content for level II (6 books) is as enormous as content for level I (6 books too) => I expect it to be the same for level III.

My schedule is also loosely based on CFA study recommendations:

not less than one week per "study session" (there are currently 18 of them in both level I and II)
keep 4 weeks prior to exam date to be able to assess your weaknesses (using mock exams) and focus on these areas

I personnaly agree with above two recommendations (less than one week per session is hard to achieve and makes forget data quicker).

Keep in mind the following aspects:

slow reader: yes, I am a slow reader (I was born like this) so you might be able to read quicker than me

tendancy to overprepare: I always overprepare exams, in the end rating closer to 90% than the required 70% sthg pass rate. Reasons for this are first that I don't like being wrong | not knowing an answer, second is that I find it more interesting to study to increase my knowledge than rather pass the exam (=> I don't target the minimum pass rate) and third (there's always a third point), I cannot ignore the content of a single page (=> I don't read only summaries, but almost all pages from all the six books of cbok - except for the index ;-) )

background: my own personal experience is that I needed far much hours of work than recommended by CFA Institute (this might depend on your background (financial in my case) and your profession/experience)

strategy: mine is that it's better to work very hard and get the exam the same year rather than work less harder and have the possibility to fail => then you will need to work hard one more year (and waiting one year is quite long!) to be able to give it another try. So play safe, try to nail it on your first attempt, it will be more profitable in the end.

You should try your best to avoid 'learn & forget' effect.

Do the following:

study regularly (every days - even if it's just to review already learned content)

prior to starting your new readings, review the (summary of) last 3 readings (ie. a moving average)

each time you finish a book, review all readings within all previously finished books (recently finished one included)

redo all the exercises from the entire book finished right before recently finished book

Do your best not to be late on your schedule, otherwise it will hard to catch up.

Well, that being said, good luck.
@2017-06-07 19:37:25
I don't know if I can follow you study schedule and pass with less than one week to the exam. Can you specify time in advance to start preparing. It would be unreasonable to expect someone to possibly read 6 textbooks and retain enough of the information to pass the exam the same week. Just my thoughts - I wouldn't recommend this strategy to others

CFA Discussion Topic: My recommended CFA exam study schedule

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

I am using your study notes and I know of at least 5 other friends of mine who used it and passed the exam last Dec. Keep up your great work!