I Passed … What Now?
I passed the CFA® exam! Those are the happiest words you have uttered all year, and you say them with pride after you get your email from the CFA® Institute…especially when you have passed Level II and are moving on to Level III. You’re almost there! You may be thinking it’s still early yet, and the test isn’t until next June so…you’ve got plenty of time to think, relax, take some time off, enjoy the Fall season, right? Wrong.
A vast majority of candidates come to me at this time of year to say – what should I do next? How should I prepare to make it One & Done for 2020? Follow these steps, choose an instructor who uses the CFA® curriculum, and you will be well on your way to passing the Level III CFA® exam. (And if you did not pass, I can help you pass next time. Please contact me to discuss how I can help!)
How do I structure my time between now and June 2020?
First, realize that there are certain milestones you want to meet throughout the year. So, enjoy the rest of the summer, but start planning your study schedule in September. Try and get two and a half months of prep in BEFORE the holiday season. No candidate wished they had less time to prepare for the exam as the big day nears the first week of June.
What do I need to get started?
Order the CFA® Institute Level III curriculum. Get the hard copy, not just the electronic version. With the physical books, you can mark-up, take notes and make notations, helping with memory recall during the exam.
Do not use shortcut review notes.
The devil of the exam is in the details. Choose a test prep provider that uses the CFA® Institute Level III curriculum. Summaries leave you open to the risk of missing important topics and concepts. There are no shortcuts for Level III. (If I sound like a BootCamp leader, that’s what I am, so be it.)
Order and watch review videos.
Don’t count on reading alone to absorb the materials. Get and use the help that is out there for you.
Plan to cover about 1/3 of the readings by Thanksgiving.
Your brain is a muscle so if you don’t use it, it can go soft! Condition that brain muscle now to sit in a chair and study for hours. Otherwise, come January, your brain, mind and body will not only NOT be conditioned to study, but you’ll be freaking out about how to absorb all of the material in time for the June exam.
Take a short break.
If you have managed to cover 1/3 of the material by the holidays, you can give yourself a much-needed break, not only to enjoy the holidays but also to let your brain rest. Studies prove that there is only so much information you can absorb in a given timeframe. Give your brain a rest, absorb what you’ve learned and re-start in the New Year.
Commit and Don’t Quit.
What worked for Levels I and II will not work for Level III. Do your research, and choose your Test Prep instructor wisely. Start now, commit and don’t quit.
Sign up now for a BootCamp in the Spring NOW (they sell out fast).
If you follow these simple guidelines you will be well on your way to getting yourself in the best condition possible to make 2020 your “One & Done” year.
Marc A.LeFebvre, CFA
President - LevelUp BootCamps