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How many hours you've spent preparing for each level?

My estimate 

Level 1 : 350 hours 

Level 2 : 550 hours

Level 3 : 800 hours

Total : 1700 hours 

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Level 1 (Dec 15) probably 150 and winged a pass in the exam.

Went straight into Level 2 June 16 first time round having probably studied 200-250 and failed band 10. In my view 4.5 months is not enough time to master level 2 so when I re-sat (and passed) in June 17 I made sure I did at least 300-350 hours and started earlier.

Hit L3 CFAI curriculum in Sept 18 (took June 2018 off as my daughter was born) and probably did 400+ hours of study/revision/classes etc. left the exam feeling I had been able to give a good account of what I had learnt and that another month of intensive study wouldn’t have changed my result.

Total 150+250+350+400= 1,150hrs

I don’t track how many hrs that I spent for both levels given busy schedule at work. But from what I remember level 2 and level 1 repeat many topics. I studied less than 6 months and passed at the 1st attempt. It depends how fast you master it.

An absolute **** load.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.

Level I -   350

Level II -  650

Level III - 750

Whoever tells you that they spent less than 1,000 hours on all three levels and passed all on the first try is either lying or is a genius at which point they should go work for NASA and have no business studying for the CFA (despite the fact that CFA is one of the top intelligence tests in the world).

I never tracked my hours, but I recall starting to study in September for L2 and L3.  I planned to read all the Kaplan books by March and then reread problem topics and my own notes, leaving May up until the exam to just do mocks.

I figure I had to average an hour per day during the week and 4 hours per weekend day.  That amounts to roughly 500 hours for L2 and L3 before accounting for the frenetic last week crash and burn where I significantly upped my hours.  So all in all I’d venture a guess of about 550 hours for each of L2 and L3, respectively.

Level 1 - about 150ish, didn’t start keeping a detailed tracker till L2

Level 2 - 210

Level 3 - 250

Hoping that last one was enough

Well, here is the thing what I have noticed with academics and “higher” level students (Including your’s truly!). Both @ the office and with my fellow students:

We become *******s. We become uptight.  We think that admitting that we put effort into something (important) is a sign of weakness. We think that admitting that we don’t 100% understand what OAS means that you’re less of a human…or worse…failing the CFA exam!

Here is story which has changed my view of CFA Charterholders for good.: in Feb.2016, I sent a polite, well-thought out email to an low-level asset manager whom I respected…whom I wished to be one day. He had completed the CFA program and was/is a current CFA member. I asked the basic questions regarding LVL1 (LVL1 was a big thing for me back then!) etc. His reply was more or less…misleading…or even lame.  He explained me how he has studied 2-3 days before each exam and how easy all 3 exams actually were. Back then, I was rather naive and I didn’t understand what finance was all about. After sitting for the 3rd exam I know he lied big time.  And now, 4-5 yrs later, I have surpassed him in what we would call “career hierarchy”. It dissapoints me to see people who wish to  pump their own tires instead of helping others. 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

Level I: about 50 hours => was a rather narrow pass (did it back in 2015 and had several categories between 50-70).

Level II: about 150-175 hours => noticed at the exam that i was clearly over prepared and ended up getting 90th+ percentile in all 10 topics (did it in 2018)

Level III: about 125-150 hours => absolutely smashed the exam and expect a similar result as on level II. 

Total: 325-375 hours. Worth mentioning though that I had done a master degree in finance beforehand which went quite a bit more in depth than the CFA curriculum. Also, these hours were all concentrated in the 2 weeks before the exam in a cram study mode (would take days off from my job and study about 12 hours a day) 

In total (I’m a re-taker) I probably spent 800+ hours.

Never tracked. For level 3 probably about 2hrs/day on average from mid-January to about end of April. Around 3hrs/day on May and June because of mocks etc. So that amounts to roughly (30*3+15) * 2 + 47*3 = 351 hours.

Yes. I took master degree in finance as well back in 2011. It    helped a lot in preparing for level 1 and 2.

Level I: about 450 hours. I have no accounting knowledge so spent more time than normal

Level II: 700 hours, mostly on mocks

Level III:  600 hours, mostly on mocks

ALBAREGINA wrote:

Level I -   350

Level II -  650

Level III - 750

Whoever tells you that they spent less than 1,000 hours on all three levels and passed all on the first try is either lying or is a genius at which point they should go work for NASA and have no business studying for the CFA (despite the fact that CFA is one of the top intelligence tests in the world).

what do u mean ?

Level I: c250 hours

Level II: >500 hours (evenly distributed in Videos, Text, EoC questions, Practice questions; and some mocks)

Level III:  c350 hours (again evenly distributed, but includes older question papers and mocks)

Today’s accomplishments were yesterday’s impossibilities...

L1 - 471 hrs.

L2 - 650 hrs.

L3 - 670 hrs.

I bathe in Lake Superior Returns

L1 - 350 all schweser

L2 - around 500 all schweser, started on February, finished readin mid march, did the quizzes like 3 times( waste of time), started qbank on april, not a single mock and I took the last 2 weeks off before the exam because I have ADD and didn’t finish the qbank until May 29th. Did a mock struggled like crazy on econ (first 4 questions of the mock), got depressed.  Realized I forgot a lot and didnt have the time to revise thorughout and do spaced repetition. I started with FRA, was great at it, never looked at it again, revised on june first and I didnt remeber almost nothing. Could not do the qbank! I focused on fra, equity and FI, but the I realized I forgot  all of derivatives!!! and everyting elsee!!! Thought I was a sure fail. I passed :). NEVER LOSE HOPE

Planning on putting 1000 for level 3. ADD is a ****

ALBAREGINA wrote:

Level I -   350

Level II -  650

Level III - 750

Whoever tells you that they spent less than 1,000 hours on all three levels and passed all on the first try is either lying or is a genius at which point they should go work for NASA and have no business studying for the CFA (despite the fact that CFA is one of the top intelligence tests in the world).

This is not true at all, spent 120 for L1, 200 for L2, 160 for L3 and I’m not that smart and I’m not lying. I’ve noticed a ton of people talk about how many hours they studied and I think it boils down to three reasons why people study so much

1) They have no idea how to quantify the hours they studied

2) They weren’t studying efficiently and wasted a ton of time

3) They’re a twack and study way more than they need to, spend the next 2 months thinking they failed, and then score 99th percentile

L1= 200

L2= 300

L3= 450

125mph wrote:

Level I: about 450 hours. I have no accounting knowledge so spent more time than normal

Level II: 700 hours, mostly on mocks

Level III:  600 hours, mostly on mocks

I’m almost a CPA yet find FR&A very challenging

I am a Chartered Accountant. I had done most of Level 1 and 50% of Level 2 in my CA curriculum.

  1. Level 1 - 7 days * 8 hours per day = 60-70 hours (Cleared)
  2. Level 2 - 20 days * 8 hours per day = 180-200 hours (Cleared)
  3. Level 3 - First Attempt - 20 days * 8 hours per day = 180-200 hours (Failed)
  4. Level 3 - Second Attempt - 40 days * 8 hours per day = 360 hours (Results awaited)

I never solved even 1 practice paper or mock paper, only studied Schweser. I got marks in the range of 55-60%.