Hi all - this is my first post. While I was stressing for Level III I told myself if I passed I would write this post for others who are pulling their hair out. To preface it, I am not posting to brag but rather to share my story and let you know it is POSSIBLE to pass with a lot less than 300 hours.
For background, I graduated in 2017 with an undergrad degree in business from a very non-target state school (let’s just say high school/early college was more about fun than anything else). In my sophomore year I joined the student managed investment fund and quickly realized I wanted to get a job in the markets. I spent the next two years doing anything that got me closer to that goal (i.e. tons of things outside of class). Summer before senior year I was lucky enough to get an internship at a boutique AM firm in credit research. I converted to a FT offer and lucky for all of us the firm has more than doubled in size and I have been given increased responsibility over the last couple years. So to sum it all up, I have spent the last four years of my life learning anything and everything I could about finance/the markets.
Now to the exams…
I passed Level I my senior year of college (December 2016) with what I’ll estimate to be ~25 hours of studying (almost all of it the week before). I found this test to be very similar to business undergraduate with additional/more in depth subject matter.
I passed the June 2018 Level II exam with an estimated 75 hours of studying (almost all of it the week before). I thought this exam was much more difficult that Level I with a fair amount of new subject matter and A LOT of formulas. To me, this one was about doing a ton of practice questions and using the formulas over and over again to make sure you have them down.
I just passed the June 2019 Level III exam with about 100 hours of studying (most of it the week before). This exam was definitely the most difficult to me given the written portion (I think Level II had more difficult subject matter). I will also admit I probably got somewhat lucky on the PM portion because the subject matter seemed like a walk in the park.
Obviously I think you should be more focused on learning the material than just passing, but unfortunately most people probably have FT jobs and other obligations so they just need to pass. I am not saying you should study less but it is possible to pass the exams with significantly less than 300 hours. At the end of the day it all depends on the person, their background, and luck. I hope I can make at least one person feel better about the tests and maybe spend one less night stressing.
Lastly, I apologize ahead of time for any spelling and/or grammatical errors as I did this from my phone.