Currently struggling, massively. What DO I DO?!

  • I can hardly study at night after work. My brain is dead and I have to reread things multiple times.
  • I need 9 hours of sleep to study effectively, maintain focus, and retain the info.
  • Going to bed at 7pm and waking up at 4am to study before work has been hard to do consistently… my body is like wtf are you doing, these hours are whack. Hard to maintain because my loved ones’ schedules obviously conflict.
  • Once I start my work day, I find it very difficult to squeeze in any studying during work hours. Demands of work typically keep me distracted and eating at my desk.
  • On the weekends, I can study for 5-6 hours before I start to burn out. I can’t do these 10 hour weekend days that some of my coworkers do.

Given all of this… I have finding it VERY difficult to make much progress. WTF do I do? If I ideally could spread 3-4 hours a day over the work week and 5 or so hours for each weekend day, I think I could make this work. I have no idea how to make that happen… at this point, I’m not in good shape.

I feel disadvantaged :frowning: Other people’s schedules are far worse than mine, but my brain is particular about the circumstances under which it can study dense material effectively. IT SUCKS.

pump iron

you’re not alone… I’m having a bit of the same problem right now. L1 was pretty easy in terms of retention whereas L2 is definitely more hands on, I’ve had to change my approach quite a bit. What has helped for me is breaking up the time spent so that I am full blast when I do sit down- think 5k vs a marathon.

So on the weekdays- I’ll spend 90 minutes from 6am-730am reading/notating/working through the blue boxes (i am lucky to live downtown and walk to work). At night, if I get home around 7 or 8 I’ll do another 60-75 minutes of practice problems and call it a night.

On the weekends, it’s the same concept- it just sucks a lot more. I’ll get up and start going around 7am and finish around 1030 or 11. take a break, work out, run errands if I need to, eat lunch (maybe even dinner.) Then I’ll get back to it around 5 or 6 and basically go until I break (usually around 9 or 10.)

Obviously work and social life complicate this significantly, but like you i just cant do 10 hours straight- I need real breaks. Hoping that this strategy allows me to get 20-25 quality hours in each week… good luck

I was exactly in the same position as you until last week and here’s how I fixed it -

  • When you feel lazy and are unable to absorb the material, pickup an easy topic, even if you’re repeating it and then switch back in a few minutes when you find yourself at ease

  • Quit gym(saves me hours) and go outdoors for a short and strong sprint early in the morning to wake up your mind and body

Think of a motivating reason why you started doing CFA - and remind yourself whenever you feel stressed by the workload. For me it’s a snobby colleague who I want to absolutely smash to pieces with my performance in the year’s to come

Not sure how to help, because it seems a struggle regardless at this point. I work full time sometimes until 7pm; however, I am managing to keep at a steady pace of 5-6 hours saturday and 5-6 hours sunday. Through the week, I leave work with a cup of coffee, come home and just hit the books for 1.5-2 hours monday thru thursday. It’s tough and sometimes I don’t want to do it, but if you get excited about the material you are reading you will “look forward” to what you will learn. I find that I sometimes enjoy some of the topics and learning some of the interesting theory, I always read the news, DL economic data and etc. jus to apply some of the things I learn. I am currently making this exam my life, and doing that gives you the motivation to continue to move forward. I know what I say can’t change your feeling or how you are but you just have to do it. There is no trick there is no secret. All it is you have to do it just create a schedule and do it. Try to make the best of it and be optimistic about what the knowledge will do for you in the future. I feel that this mentality makes me grind harder than the usual. Hope I motivate you a bit! Good luck!

Can you go to bed at 8 and wake up at 5am instead? Maybe do that hour at night instead of in the AM and your body/brain might be better at responding. At night or when you are tired try doing easy topic or easy questions or go over stuff that you are familiar with (maybe do ethic questions). Listening to classical music also helps me relax and focus. At first i’m completely exhausted, but then as I start listening more and just going throught the material, my brain I think relaxes and I can focus more.

But I think it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and tired. I would just try to keep going and be optimistic. There is no short cut with the CFA unfortunatlely, you have to put the work. Also not two hours are the same. I find that when I study there are days when I feel so accomplished because in an hour I covered so much and with good understanding, but some other days, an hour feels like I did nothing. :-/

Keep at it… Good luck!

For me it was the realization that IT can make my job obsolete with a few dashboards.

Haha, I love this!!! I already quit the gym unfortunately. I think I can sacrafice it for 3 months - makes me sad, but oh well. I agree though, we still need some movement and fresh air.

Hmm… I really like that easy reading then switch to the harder stuff once you get going. I have to give that at try!

Wow, thank you. That’s very true. I think I might do that. Maybe I’ll try sleeping at 8, use 2.5 hours or so in the morning to study, and then 1 hour at night to review/practice problems or just keep it lighter all together. I have to try this!

Thanks so much for your advice. I agree. 2 weekends ago, I studied only 4 hours, but I got SOOO much done and it felt really good.

I know it sounds like I am making excuses, but there is a difference between being unmotivated to study after work and it being physically extremely difficult/impossible. If it was just a laziness thing, I think I could get over it. But I’ve tried to study after work and I can only do it if it very light material. Anything dense and brain is like bro… are you kidding me. NOPE. It just shuts down. I do a lot of challenging work during the day. At night my brain can hardly focus on anything.

By no means did I intend to suggest that you should completely give up exercise - just that you (just like I did) could find time saving alternatives. Whether it’s sprinting or more time indoors with a lady friend.

Lets touch base in a few weeks and see how far we get :slight_smile:

You’ve probably already invested in your study materials, but if you can, try reading the Elan Guides.

I don’t remember what prompted me to look at the Elan (Wiley) Guides. That said, somehow the material is covered in such a way that it’s … intuitive (to me) … and because I understand the concepts better I’ve gotten away from memorizing the formulas (read: hammering them in my head). Plus, the readings are reasonably condensed. Somedays I feel like a rocket scientist. Trust me, I’m no scientist, math isn’t my strong suit, and I’m a good 15 years out of school. For the first time, I really understand derivatives and stats. I can generally cover a reading in 2-3 hours. I’m covering the topics much more quickly than I thought I would because I seem to be spending a lot less time trying to understand the materials. During the week I try to at least get through the readings so I can spend the weekends doing the Elan + CFAI problems when I’m fresh (it makes for a nice review). ~ Not that I remember formulas days later but I find that I can sit back and think through the problems rather than panicking because the formulas don’t come to mind. I’ve actually started to look forward to studying rather than ABSOLUTELY DREADING/avoiding it. No doubt, I’ll still put in 300 hours, but hopefully, I’ll be able to spend a good portion of that time reviewing and doing practice exams instead of slogging through the readings.

(As an FYI, I used Schweser two years ago when I sat for the Level 1 exam; I didn’t sit for Level 2 last year - So whatever I learned back then has long been erased from my memory.)

Good luck.

the hacksaw. then plumbing school

9 hours of sleep is a lot. brain activity is highest after 7 hours of sleep, anymore/less reduces brain functions.

you need re-evaluate if you really want the charter.

remember, winners do what losers don’t want to do

try to cram in studying whenever possible. study a half hour before work and a half hour at lunch, that gives you an hour every day. then go home and study for an hour/hour and a half and repeat. cramming in small amounts of time consitently adds up over time

also stop comparing your schedule to other people. you’re not them and won’t be. you will begin to lose motivation

Yeah, seriously. That was the first thing that stood out to me. 9 hours is a ton of sleep. Try to scale that back a bit, you could literally be sleeping too much to the point that you’re harming yourself. I know everyone is different but damn… scale that back to 7 or 8 per day and you’ve just given yourself an extra 1-2 hours to study and no joke… you could feel more energized.

Try it at least.

can i suggest something? u are obviously not going to do it this way. start from the back. from the key concepts, questions, review…of each los

Interesting concept- I did this a few times for L1 when i felt I was getting overconfident


I feel badly that some replied that you sleep too much! I’m impressed with your commitment to wake up at 4 AM to put some solid time in before work. I could never get up that early, especially not to study!!!

You’re in the same boat as most of us, overwhelmed with the volume of information that we need to cover and get down by June. But somehow it all worked out for Level I, right? This time last year I was panicking because I was so far behind on my “study schedule” that somehow looked good on paper but was completely unrealistic for me. I think I was more stressed about not keeping up with some dumb study schedule than anything else but let’s not kid ourselves about how much work we’re going to have to put in for this exam.

If you don’t feel your study time is productive because you’re not quite awake in the morning or worn out after work, you might like to rethink when you’re studying - at this point we only have to put in 3 months of misery before we pass Level II. Maybe with that as an incentive you could find a way to study more during the weekend just as if you were going into the office and be a little kinder to yourself during the week, including taking a night or two off (which will do wonders for your spirit + your significant others would probably be willing to trade less of you during the weekend for some quality time during the week). There’s nothing like a sense of urgency to get something done (like covering a section in a day because it’s all the time you’ve got to learn it.) You might also consider focusing now on the segments you thought were the most challenging last go-round so you know they’re out of the way (which will also do wonders for your morale). Several people have also commented in posts that they are covering all the readings rapidly so that they can invest more time doing questions, which is all that really matters anyway. Don’t try to learn the information perfectly. You don’t need to to pass - figure out where you going to lose points and where you can gain a couple of points. Hammer ethics - there’s no other topic that you can study in a week that’s worth 15% of the exam.

Good luck.

I literally feel badly when I sleep too much. Just sharing my personal experience. If I oversleep I wind up being more tired and sluggish throuhghout the day. I seem to do much better on 7-7.5 hours of sleep.

It was just a thought, Rip Van Winkle can do whatever he wants.

Read the section - Do problems - next section. Find a study group to discuss the questions (THIS IS KEY) - but very difficult to do.

I have the same work schedule. I can only study from 10pm-12:30/1ish am.

Take sunday’s off and watch TV or read ethics!