I have the books and they are tempting me, but it feels too early. I’m a first timer.
If you have a demanding job (like equity research or banking) then I’d say there’s nothing wrong with starting now
I started, band 5 fail in june. Budgeting 90 mins/ day m-f. Goal is to make flashcards, and do all eoc / blue boxes twice by christmas.
I’m starting Sept 1st, band 8 fail in June. I plan on going through the CFAI books thoroughly with an emphasis on blue boxes and EOC questions - taking notes throughout.
A mistake I made last year was spending far too much time reading (a readthrough of the CFA curriculum and 1 of schweser) and not enough time focusing on questions. Not happening this time
I’m afraid of starting too early because of burn-out. I don’t want to be burnt out by March or April and have a relatively unproductive run to the finish line. I started Level II studying on Jan 1, and was burnt out by mid-May. But since I have a wife and two young kids and a full-time investment research job, I still feel that earlier is better. So I might just do a quick read of the text between now and year-end, and then a more in-depth studying of the topics early next year. Haven’t decided yet. The burnout feeling is still fresh in my mind even if none of the curriculum is!
My feeling on burnout is that, for me personally, it’s less likely to take hold the earlier I start. I know that seems counterintuitive but hear me out. If I were to start in Jan for instance the level of intensity that I would be compelled to put forth in my studying would very likely have me running on fumes come May. However, if I’m starting in Sept I feel like I’m able to put together a more longterm study plan that won’t require me to have to put in 3-5 hour sessions at any point. Because it has been my experience that the diminishing returns really start to kick in after 2-2.5 hours of studying.
I guess what my point here is that I prefer a long jog as opposed to a short sprint, relatively speaking. At the end of the day, you have to do what you feel will be most effective for yourself. But I can promise you this, the last thing you want to say to yourself if you fail is that “I could’ve put in alot more time”
Just my 2 cents
Just start last weekend. First timer and target to finish my first reading by end of Dec.
I think I can avoid burnout because if I pass this one, I’m done. I’ll be making Anki flashcards on my first readthrough of CFAI books so it will take a long time.
I am starting this weekend, completed a reading in behavioural finance. Reading that gave me an idea of what was in store for me
I fear burnouts, but fear under preparation even more Would sit and create a plan and would only read an hour a day. Complete a reading in 2-3 days. I have a slow reading habit and tend to flip back many times
I registered in Feb, got books and started studying in March and nailed it in June (yes, with a full time job) - I would definitely not recomment starting before Jan 2013 guys! Even a slow part-time learner can finish this off starting nice and easy in Jan. Dont’ burn it - The material is easy the exam is tough.
definitely not recommend starting before Jan 2013?? if you passed on 3 months of studying while working full-time, you’re in no position to be handing out study advice IMO. clearly you are not an average CFA test-taker. congrats on winning the genetic lottery though.
I passed the June 2012 level III exam on my first attempt.
For back ground information, I failed the 2008 level I exam (band 10), passed the 2009 level I, failed the 2010 level II exam (band 9) and passed the 2011 level II exam - my wife gave birth to our first child a few days after I sat the 2011 exam.
I started studying for the 2012 exam in September 2011 (with a baby screaming in the background) and took all of May 2012 (5 weeks) off of work to complete a final review the material. The real key to PASSING the level III exam is to do as many practice exams as you can. If you can consistently pass the practice exams (overall score of >70%), you’re in a good position. Learn how to answer the questions the way the CFAI wants you to answer.
Make sure you have a schedule and stick to it. It is important to try to do something for yourself at least once a week.
I wont lie, it is hard work, but it gets results.
Good luck with your study.
I started first week of January and took off about a week before the test to study as well. Finished reading the material and EOCs by April and used the last two months for review and practice tests.
Everyone is different, so think about what worked for you for level II and apply the similar strategy to 3 (but start the practice and AM exams at least 8 to 10 weeks before the test).
jjenkins I think your thinking and approach is right on the mark…cramming does not work for the CFA and I think better insight and energy can be maintained by a systematic and controlled longer term approach.
JohnyMac I think that is incorrect. People study differently for a content heavy exam. Personally, I relied almost exclusively on cramming; I clocked 80% of my hours in the final two weeks before test day.
rfp, that’s some serious cramming! I don’t think it would be inaccurate to say that you’re more than likely the exception as opposed to the rule - as it relates to all CFA candidates.
Everyone has their own methods, strategies, gameplan, etc and some are more relatable than others. I would suggest my method of starting very early (almost unbareably early) works well for those who a) prefer or require as much knowledge in the longer term memory portion of the mind as they might not have the ability to cram and retain sufficiently in their shorter term memory b) simply don’t have the flexibility in terms of time (in my case due to a busy work schedule) to spend huge chunks of time studying (e.g. 20-30hrs a week) close to exam date.
Didnt use flashcards for the first two levels but i just downloaded Anki after reading your post. Will you be sharing the flashcards? I usually reread the topics that I am not good at but this looks like a better idea…
jjenkins, perhaps. If you are willing (and, for some, able) to take the week leading up to the exam as leave, that’s 70+ hours of pure, unstressed study time. Beats spending 3 months of Saturday nights refusing to go to the pub, or 9 months nibbling at the curriculum, to my mind.
For August and September, my gameplan is to just flip through the pages when Im bored, or if Im on a subway/train. Im doing that in order to get familiar with the material. When I start to study later, slow mode in October/November, I will be more familiar with the material since Ive already seen all the headings and subtopics. That usually works well for me, cause I get a feeling that I know the big picture before getting into details.
2013 Retaker here. No harm in starting early in my view, who knows what will come around next Spring. Personally, I felt if I had a good handle on the curriculum I’d be ok with exams and only took four AM mocks. Bad idea. It really can be tough to cut down on what you know and can say on a topic, to what you should say concisely. If I had to do it over again, I’d focus another month on that practice.