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Thoughts on doing early start (Oct. start) for level III?

I used Kaplan/Schweser’s regular (January start) classes for both Levels I and II.  I’ve read that Schweser isn’t as good for Level III, but I like that the class keeps me on a strict study schedule, so I’m planning to do the online class again for III.

I’m considering trying the Oct. “early start” class this time around – both because I have time to start now, and because it sure would be nice not to have to *completely* kill myself with studying in the spring, the way I did for I and II.

But I’m wondering if Oct. is just too early – too early to keep the momentum up, too early to still remember everything in June, and too far from the exam to get that panic-fire under my feet!  (Which I need to focus!)

Any thoughts?

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I started my CFA Level III study in January 2019 and passed with the first attempt. I think it really depends on your study style. I read the curriculum thoroughly twice and practiced tons of questions, which took me a lot of time. I still find starting in January gave me a tight timeline because of my study style, and I would start in December 2018. If you find quicker study style, go for it, and you may not need to start so early, as the momentum will dry out the longer you prep the exam. 

I prefered the early Oct. Start. It gives you some time to digest the covered material before moving on to the next topic.  I am not sure when the late start class ended but the Oct. start wrapped up with plenty of time to work problems etc. before the exam

It’s never too early to start. Try keeping last month or so free in your schedule to drill as many am mocks as possible

It all depends on your study style. Retention is an issue for me. So although I’m going to try to start in October as well (only on my second reading so far), I plan on taking handwritten notes. For level 2 this really helped me. I only wrote down the information that I didn’t know (instead of taking notes on everything) and kept that notebook with me almost all the time for the last few months before the exam. I kept reviewing those notes to try to retain what I had read months ago. I also do a lot of flash cards for equations and any lists that I need to memorize. So as long as you know your study strengths and weaknesses and work around those, you should be fine.

#burnout

Reading twice really does help, so the question is how long does it take you to go through the materials twice. For me I would have to start at October for sure.

Should’ve started after labor day. Then take a break around Thanksgiving til year end. Then hit it hard in January 2020 & make it one and done.

I think an October start is a good idea. Having time to revisit difficult topics multiple times can be a game changer come exam day.  

If you're the first out the door, that's not called panicking

Makes sense to me. This will be my first attempt at Level 3 and I would really like to clear it and move on. 

I started recently, with the goal of reading all curriculum through Wiley, plus note taking, by the end of the year. Figuring that while not enough to pass alone, this will give me a really good base of knowledge and overview of the curriculum going into 2020. 

Then starting in January, continue with CFAI textbooks for all EOCs/BBs and even reading to supplement higher weighted or trouble topics. I should also be in a position to be consistently doing Qbank type questions for the sole purpose of drilling certain concepts to memory while I also do EOCs and gather/experiment with essay questions as well. 

If properly executed, I would think this would have me in a great position come March to drive through the last few months 

Never to early to start. I had time left to go over my gray areas and actually those came up on the exam.

Copied from another post….Everyone has his/her own circumstances and abilities and that should be your guide as to when you start studying.  If you have a family or if you’re working ~60+ hour weeks, then I think starting early makes sense.  If family/ work gives you the opportunity to tailor your schedule then maybe you want to start later.  I am in the former camp so I started in mid-October last year.  I got through about 1/3 of the curriculum by Jan 1st without too much trouble/stress.  This made the final 2/3 much more manageable.  I don’t think it can hurt to study early.  If you’re worried about burn-out, then starting early should give you the opportunity to take some time off, which will reduce burn-out.

Start now. Finish material by March. Use March as a review month and April and May as a mock month. Also stick to the CFAI material or use LevelUp. I used Kaplan for I, II, and III and it wasn’t enough for III. 

Kaplan cuts corners on III. #fact

As a compulsive crammer, I admire people who can start things early and keep it up until the exam. 

However, I also see some problems with my friends who have started early and failed. The problem is usually overestimating the value of studying early (and longer) but underestimating the value of condensing and refreshing their understanding during the few weeks before the exam. They tend to burnout closer to the exam or neglect to take more concentrated time to synthesize their learnings. 

My point is as long as you’re able to remain focused in the last few critical weeks before the exam, you should be fine. Always advise to take at least a week of leave before the exam so you can really focus.

Btw: Used Schweser for all levels. No repeats. 

You ain renembering anything you read now by next june!

i started in late December and was done eith all readings by mid January. I peaked out by end of april, having completed about 10 mocks already. I struggled to not regress and had to continue doing mire mocks to stay on top of it. I felt by test date i did lose a little .

i would start in February next time!

I disagree that you won’t remember anything.  You definitely need to review it, but you remember it and ultimately I think it’s stickier long-term learning.  I was less stressed about trying to memorize concepts, because I started early and really felt like I internalized a lot of the material.  Moreover, if I understand your timeline correctly, I don’t think most candidates can read the entire curriculum in roughly three weeks - I certainly could not.

You are late. You should have startee from July after you got th level 2 pass

back against the wall. no retreat no surrender.

If you are doing the CFA to really learn the content then there is no such thing as “too early.”

You can definitely pass if you start later like many do, but I think slow and steady, while making sure you really internalize the content, will allow you to go into the test with a higher degree of confidence.

What is the order of your reading? I mean CFA curriculum books.

jbaby87 wrote:

If you are doing the CFA to really learn the content then there is no such thing as “too early.”

You can definitely pass if you start later like many do, but I think slow and steady, while making sure you really internalize the content, will allow you to go into the test with a higher degree of confidence.

Amen. You’re my boy Blue!

If you're the first out the door, that's not called panicking

Everyone is different, I think this is one thing you can’t take advice on from others who passed the exam or are attempting this year.

Personally, I like to take things slow and spend my time, so it is a huge mistake to start later, and by late I mean Jan. I’ve already started, I am taking my time though and not rushing through books. The other thing, you don’t need to study something and then completely dump it till June. Why not keep on practicing item sets for what you have finished, while you are studying other topics in order to keep it fresh in your mind? Why don’t you revisit them later? Plenty of options if you start early.

LadyMacbethStrategy wrote:

Personally, I like to take things slow and spend my time, so it is a huge mistake to start later, and by late I mean Jan. I’ve already started

Well, not that slow to spend 4 years preparing for level 2 like you did xD

dasstienn wrote:

LadyMacbethStrategy wrote:

Personally, I like to take things slow and spend my time, so it is a huge mistake to start later, and by late I mean Jan. I’ve already started

Well, not that slow to spend 4 years preparing for level 2 like you did xD

Sorry, but I am not unemployed like you. and my life is not empty (also like you), I have so many commitments other than CFA, you know :D For the past four years, I managed to become a Chartered Accountant, reach CFA level 3, accumulate the required professional experience in big 4 firms, and start my own accounting firm… Tell me what have you done in the past four years other than whining on the Analyst forum that you are unable to get a job? ;)

LadyMacbethStrategy wrote:

dasstienn wrote:

LadyMacbethStrategy wrote:

Personally, I like to take things slow and spend my time, so it is a huge mistake to start later, and by late I mean Jan. I’ve already started

Well, not that slow to spend 4 years preparing for level 2 like you did xD

Sorry, but I am not unemployed like you. and my life is not empty (also like you), I have so many commitments other than CFA, you know :D For the past four years, I managed to become a Chartered Accountant, reach CFA level 3, accumulate the required professional experience in big 4 firms, and start my own accounting firm… Tell me what have you done in the past four years other than whining on the Analyst forum that you are unable to get a job? ;)

Now I can ride bicycle without using hands. Can drink Starbucks coffee and eat sausage&cheddar sandwich simultaneously while riding a bike **** YEAh. Can your big 4, 35 or whatever do this? Highly doubt it.

Start now. Finish by March. Review in April. Practice questions/mocks all of May and the first two weeks of June.

LadyMacbethStrategy And FYI, Grant Thornton is not a Big 4 firm…

From my perspective, I wanted to go into the exam as confident as I could be that regardless of the result I couldn’t have studied anymore, and in the end that’s what happened as I came out knowing another week of studying wouldn’t have changed anything. I started slowly this time last year reading the CFAI books (no more than 1hr a day) and gradually built it up over the following 9 months. There were people who passed and studied less but I wanted to give myself the best chance of making 2019 my last year of CFA.

dasstienn wrote:

LadyMacbethStrategy wrote:

dasstienn wrote:

LadyMacbethStrategy wrote:

Personally, I like to take things slow and spend my time, so it is a huge mistake to start later, and by late I mean Jan. I’ve already started

Well, not that slow to spend 4 years preparing for level 2 like you did xD

Sorry, but I am not unemployed like you. and my life is not empty (also like you), I have so many commitments other than CFA, you know :D For the past four years, I managed to become a Chartered Accountant, reach CFA level 3, accumulate the required professional experience in big 4 firms, and start my own accounting firm… Tell me what have you done in the past four years other than whining on the Analyst forum that you are unable to get a job? ;)

Now I can ride bicycle without using hands. Can drink Starbucks coffee and eat sausage&cheddar sandwich simultaneously while riding a bike **** YEAh. Can your big 4, 35 or whatever do this? Highly doubt it.

Ahh I am finding difficulty connecting your comment to what I said, seems that you don’t even know what the big4 means :D

dasstienn wrote:

LadyMacbethStrategy And FYI, Grant Thornton is not a Big 4 firm…

REALLY, YOU KNEW THAT ALL BY YOURSELF?!!!! BIG BOY! 

Pfft Yea, so?

This is ridiculous. I don’t know the details of this spat, but from a cursory glance it sounds very childish.  Time to be adults and move on.  This is insulting to the forum.

Wow.  My thread really took on a life of its own.  I’m touched.

Still torn between going with what I know has worked for me with the first 2 levels (1 - starting in Jan.; 2 - using Kaplan; 3 - making flashcards for the whole curriculum and then memorizing them all, because I’m insane) – versus changing my strategy because Level III is “different.”  

So far sticking with what I’ve done in past is winning – mainly because I am not yet panicked about the exam, and I need at least a tiny bit of panic to focus :)