Do you take off from work to study?

Survey to the masses:

I had a conversation with my father-in-law today. He is a CPA, but has never taken the CFA exam, and doesn’t see the value in it. (Where we live, there’s not a lot of demand for CFA Charterholders.) I mentioned that I was planning to take the week before the exam off from work so that I could study that whole week. He said that I had been studying since October, and that me taking a week off to study was “baloney” (not the exact term he used).

He posited a question to me: if you ask 100 people, how many of them will tell you that they took a week (or more) off of work to study? I told him that I bet the vast majority did. He laughed at me and said that we were idiots. (For the record–I’ve never liked my father-in-law a lot.)

So here’s the question–do you take off the week before the exam to study? I’m just curious whether I’m the only one or if this is a fairly common thing.

I’ll go first.

Level 1 - took one week off and passed.

Level 2 - took one week off and got Score Band 10.

Level 2 - I was unemployed for four weeks before the exam, so I studied for four weeks. Passed with flying colors.

Level 3 - hoping to take at least one, possibly two weeks off, depending on the work demand.

I am taking a week off. You can’t really be stressed with work when you have a 6 hours exam coming up. You need that time to just take everything off of your mind.

yes. most CFAs i’ve met took the week. i’m a crammer-type studier so the last week was essential for me. the week is more about mentally preparing yourself for a difficult timed exam than studying. i don’t see how its a waste of time and how you’d be considered an idiot if you take a week of holiday. i’d say using a week of holiday to study is far more efficient than taking a week to go on vacay. your FIL sounds like a roaring DB.

I take the week off because memorial day is a given holiday and I get a free study day from my company so I actually only use 3 days of vacation time. It just helps to get you on a good sleep schedule and have as much as possible be fresh for exam day.

I took the week off for levels 1 and 3. For level 2 I only could take 1 day. Passed each time.

When I took Level 1 I had just graduated and didn’t have a job, so I guess that counts as a week off. I had like the 3 weeks between grad and exam day.

Level 2…I took the Friday off, the day before the test. I was feeling good by then so I didn’t take the week.

Haven’t taken any CFA exams but I’m a little into 1.5 weeks of 2 weeks off before my upcoming actuarial exam.

yeah, took 1 week off before L1, and taking 1 week before L2

Took 2 weeks off last year before L1, but the first week of that was spent playing diablo 3 since it had just come out. I am def a crammer though and need that time. Planning on taking 2 weeks off for L2 this June and actually study the whole time this time around.

Nope never taken any time prior to exams. My PM is one of those “I passed all 3 levels on the first try, and I only studied two weeks for each level” kind of guys. Me and one other analyst are taking the exams, and it would be difficult for both of us to use vacation at the same time, so we both just wear it and try to study around work hours.

took a week off before each exam, was beyond beneficial to me. For an exam offered 1x/yr, doing everything you can to make it a success is worth doing. That can be study time, relaxation, better sleep, exercise, etc.

This sounds like a good use of vacation days.

Anyways, I took one day off for L1 last year and I’m planning to take off the full week for L2 this year.

Haha, apparently it was a great use of vacation days. Maybe it calmed me down nicely before a weeks worth of cramming? I passed so whatever I did worked well enough I guess…

Took at least a day off for each of the three levels, I think. I might’ve taken more than that for level 1 or 2.

As someone else said, it’s given once per year. Provided you actually get some quality studying in during that week, this is *not* the worst use of vacation days.

Will be off from the 24th through exam day this year. Last year I was able to take a few days off at the beginning of exam week, but had to go back in on Friday because it was 1st of the month.

My boss forces us to take the week before the exam off of work, on company time. He also chases me out of the office frequently in the afternoons to go study.

I am taking the week before and a few random days in May.

Why didn’t you take vacation days?

Wow. You have immense pressure to pass.