For all who passed: how long did you study?

Trying to get an impression how long it takes to pass. I started in June and spend at least 450 hours.

450 hours should be way more than enough, depending on your background. I estimate I studied around 275-300 hours. I started in mid-August

350-400 for me.

i actually never really timed myself, but a lot. i studied a lot.


about 350 hrs for me

about 400 hrs. started in June, but took off three weeks in August and 3 weeks in October so i didn’t burn out.

started at end of aug.

I had just finished my MBA in May, so a lot of the material was fresh in my mind, and I’m likely at the low end of the spectrum. Roughly 5 hours a week for 2 months, plus 5 straight 12-hour days the week before the exam (work was kind enough to give me the week off to cram). Unfortunately for me, that’s how I study best. Anyway, I consider business school to count for the first 200 hours I would have needed, plus another 100 hours of Schweser. How long it takes to pass is very dependent on your knowledge before you pick up the first book. …and I fully realize that this is NOT going to cut it on Levels 2 and 3…

What was your method of study? How did you study for the exams? Study the readings, practice CFAI questions at the end of the readings and may be doing the questions from your favorite third party material… how did you prepare for the exams? Did you allocate time to repeat the readings? I am curious because many of you put significant amount of time on this. An analysis on your approach may help others also to revisit how they are preparing for the exam.

started mid-september, spending probably 15 hours a week reading through the schweser study guides. however, for the last three weeks before the exam i just took as many practice exams as i could. definitely think this was the kicker, and the cfai exams were really reflective of what i saw on exam day (less calculations than book 6). all in all, probably 250 hours.

started mid september but studied hard - over 350 hours i’d say

The kind and amount of study somewhat depends on your background. I am going through my MBA right now, so I did have some fundamentals in the area of Accounting, Economics, Capital Budgeting, and Quant. I basically spent 1.5 months (4-5 hours every day and full-time the last two weeks) going through Schweser Notes. I also read the CFAI Ethics section. In the last week, I took the book 7 test 1 and test 2. Scored around 70% on each but was running out of time as the questions were verbose and more calculation oriented. I did not have time to through the Schweser QBank or CFAI tests. I did review the Schweser notes second time in the areas of FSA, Fixed Income, and Derivatives areas. I think Schweser Notes plus CFAI Ethics section is more than enough to prepare for Level I. The tests towards the end are very important to give you confidence and to time yourself. Good luck!

Encouraging news. 250 Hours!!!.. Do you have a finace/Investment/accounting background?

I put in about 200 hours - however im in my final year of a Finance B.Comm so the majority of the material was review for me.

i have what one would think of as an econ minor, and am generally knowledgable about finance. to give you a better idea, i took one intro to accounting course and one intro to finance course in college–so actually learning the cash flow stmt was pretty hard for me. most of the material was new to me–especially the quant stuff. i was scoring 50% on my first practice book 6 exam, but worked my way to mid 60s by the end of it. deciding to spend the extra $250 for the cfai sample tests was definitely helpful, since it focuses more on general concepts. (i decided to take all the tests, literally 4 days before the exam since i was freaking out that i wasn’t going to pass). i also recommend actually reading the ethics material (not just the study notes), since some of the examples were similiar to what was in the actual material. i think the hardest part of the exam is definitely just keeping with studying. but just looking at this forum, i thought was extremely helpful after i found it in october, and seeing other people studying really hard for the exam. good luck

I took the Dec 2007 exam and started studying the very end of Sept (or maybe very start of Oct). But I wasn’t working at the time… I would say I spent about 3 hours a day, 7 days a week = 21 hours a week * 6 weeks = 120 hours. Plus, I did a weekend seminar (15 hours?) and then probably 6-8 hours a day the last two weeks leading to the exam doign practice exams, reviewing, etc. so that’s about 120 + 15 + 85 = 220 ish. I didnt nail the exam though, I got under 50% in derivatives and alternative assets, above 70% on everything else. I’m definitely going to start much earlier than 2 months for L2 though.

did log the actual hours, but every chance i had, i studied. on the train to and from work, after work for a couple of hours at least. all day on weekends. did that for about 3 months. i started studying 6 months prior to the exam, but the first 3 months were not as intense.

300+ but I have a finance background. It seems like 300 hrs. wasn’t overboard.

I am curious as to how long it took people with no finance background (or a limited finance background) to get prepared for the exam.