Exam weights by Study Session

According to the website 300 Hours, here are the exam weights by what I believe to be the appropriate Study Session.

Ethics comprises 10% of the exam. This is set in stone, it won’t change, and it will be two vignettes in the afternoon.

  • SS 1&2 - 10%

As you can see, PM comprises a little over half of the exam. Here is what the weights were for last year:

  • SS 3&4 - 20%
  • SS 5 - 10%
  • SS 6-7 - 7% (I think these two are grouped together. They seem to logically “fit”.)
  • SS 8 - 5%
  • SS 16 - 6%
  • SS 17&18 - 5%. (Again, I think “Performance” encompasses both of these Study Sessions.)

My take: SS 17 and 18 put together make up only 5%. These seem also to be the most tedious of all the study sessions. SS 17 has a lot of little calculations that I seriously doubt will be a significant part of the exam, and SS 18 is a lot of rote memorization. Moreover, very few candidates did poorly on this section of the exam last year. I’m not sure that these two sections are worth spending a whole lot of time on. (Of course, this could be the year that they ask a lot of questions on this section, but I’m willing to take my chances.)

Now, onto the Asset Classes: It looks like it will only be about a third of the exam.

  • SS 9-10 - 12%
  • SS 11-12 - 5%
  • SS 13 - 5%
  • SS 14 - 5%
  • SS 15 - 7%

My take: I haven’t covered the Asset Class material yet, so I can’t say which one of these is more difficult than the others. It’s pretty obvious that Fixed Income will be tested pretty heavily. Of the others, Derivatives may carry a little more weight, but significantly more. Does anybody have any idea what the best approach to this material is?

My advice is to not try and game the exam and study everything, you never know what they might ask.