CFA Level 3- Tips & Strategies

Study Strategy:

I hope all of you are doing well in life and your preparation must be on track. Some of you will be doing great and some of you must be struggling with the studies. I am sharing some strategies with you guys. I hope this will be of some help atleast.

Note: I passed level 3 in 2nd attempt

  1. **Schweser Books :**I relied on schweser just like for level 1 and 2 and even when I got failed. I started studying from it in Feb 2016 mid.

  2. CFA Curriculum Mobile App: At the same time, I downloaded CFA curriculum on my mobile phone and I used to skim it after each chapter read in order to get anidea about the main theme of the chapter. This helped me a lot to understand those topics which I was not able to understand from schweser. The app helped me to study anywhere like travelling, in washroom, in social gatherings etcJ

  3. After every schweser chapter, I used to do questions from Original curriculum in order to see where do I stand.

  4. CFA end Chapter Questions: Till mid of april, I studied schweser twice and did CFA Curriculum end questions .

  5. CFA blue Box and Schweser Evening Exams: 15th April-1st May, I studied Schweser once more ( More of skimming) along with Blue box examples and I started doing PM Papers from Schweser exam books. I was scoring around 58-60%. I didn’t do any AM exams during this time.

  6. Schweser+CFA APP Study: 1ST May Onwards, I start studying Schweser once again along with CFA app but I kept myself slow.

  7. CFA Candidate Resources: 1st May, I started doing CFA Online Exams for practing PM Part from cfa website. I used to do 4-5 vignettes every day. I solved few case studies twice and thrice as well

  8. CFA Morning Exams- I gave my first CFA morning exam on 5th May and I started with 2011. I solved from 2010- 2015 exams .I used to give exam after every 3rd or 4th Day and I was able to solve all exams 5 days before the exam.

  9. CFA Mock Exams. During this time I gave CFA Mock exams on 12th May and 20th May in order to see myself where I stand. I scored above 70% In both.


  1. Its not about from where you are studying from, CFA LEVEL 3 is all about practice. The more practice you do the better it is.

  2. There is only one strategy for the morning exam, practice and practice. Print out the exam, choose the pencil or pen which you like to use on exam . Make yourself time bound for each exam and see how much you are able to solve it.

  3. People who do exam without any time bound, believe me they will perform poor in the exams. 100 Bucks

_4._Those who believe they understand all concepts and don’t do written practice and just do morning exam by reading question and making answer in mind. They will definitely fail with lowest band. This is what happened with me in first time.

  1. After every morning exam, not only grade yourself but also try to understand the answers written in the answer sheet. It will help you to clear many concepts.

  2. Maintain Excel sheet for all morning and CFA Online case exams. Write the score against each question in excel and see whether you are improving by each exam or not. If you are not improving you need to brush up few concepts from the book.

  3. In the last week, try to revise curriculum, I got a chance to get Finquiz summaries and I start reading from them.

  4. In last week, look at the questions which you did wrong and where you scored less in both AM AND PM exam.

  5. Give your self sometime to relax. Don’t burden yourself to much. Go out with your friends, GF, Wife, family etc and try to relax without thinking much about exam. Your mind needs some break otherwise it will be tuned and will not think out of box. Also don’t leave exercise. Try to give atleast 30 min daily to running or exercise in gym. It will help you alot. Cheers.


For ethics, it has been my weakest part and I have always scored less than 50 % in all CFA exams. What I did, I study from Schweser and did all the examples from the CFA book. I used to do 2-3 Cases of ethics from different sources. I completed all questions of Schweser exams, End of book questions and cases and I used to look at the wrong answers. It improves my ethics day by day and I finally able to manage to score above 70 percent first time in my life. There Is no other strategy to excel ethics. I felt at ease in the exam.

If you have any more question, please let me know.

Thanks for the comments. For Ethics, your struggles were most likely related to English not being your first language. There are subtleties in the wording in the cases that can be difficult to pick up for those who to not use English in their life every day, or as often or long as a primary English speaker.

I think this is why Flashback (from our forums here), clearly a smart guy, has struggled with Ethics in the past as well.

Thank you Jaywill. :slight_smile:

Not only with Ethics. There are problems for me as non-native English speaker with BF and GIPS as well. Unlike level 1 and level 2, level 3, IMO, is a bit more favorable to those who speaks English fluently and are able quickly to understand what is requested in AM questions. For rest of us, more practicing may cancel this negative language effect. More cognitive errors (LOL!) we make at home, less we would make on real exam.

A wise man once said if your advice is worth something never give it out for free.