How to study for Level III? Alumni please share your strategy.

How to study for Level III? Alumni please share your strategy. Please tell us, what did you do. How did you start studying, when and how did you do while working. How to study effectively for this. Because its Level III, a complete new game in picture.

So, let us know.


waiting for someone to post and help.

I passed Level III this year on my first try. I started reading CFA curriculum on Oct 1 and finished at end of April, which was my plan to have 2 months of practice and review. I took notes sparingly from Oct to April. I did EOC problems and topic tests but I did not have time to do all of them. I did a live mock exam in my city at beg of May. I did past AM exams every weekend leading up to the exam from 2009-2015 in April and May and I did the CFA mock exam. I took notes on the mistakes I made in all mock exams, past AM exams, EOC problems and topic tests and repeatedly reviewed these notes. I used pen in the written part of the exam, because I found it took too long to erase with a pencil.

I did not use any third party provider material in my preparation.

Good luck

This is possibly the most asked question on the L3 forum. Use your search function.

Exactly. I bet most of the people who ask these questions fail. You have to do some legwork to find what you’re looking for, you know, figure things out yourself. Sort of like the AM section.

I passed this year.

My thought is the bar is higher for 3. To get a 70 could mean a 55 in am and an 85 in pm.

study like a dog and get familiar with am type questions asap. There are several videos on how to answer am

Have a pen or type of pen you wuill use regularly. I used the frixxon. On the test, doing something different, could throw you. don’t be afraid to write on questions and highlight material while solving problems.

But best advice is work hard and don’t put it off

Whatever method works best for you ( videos, classes, books, etc) use.

I passed but my strategy was to focus on AM mocks. I rushed through the material -Arif videos are fab. My advice do AM mocks from as early as possible dont wait till you have finished the curriculum. are pretty good and they come with marking/ feedback.

How many Analyst Ninja spam accounts can there possibly be?

Was going to ask whether anyone found any use in the analystninja mock marking service, but given the above I might end up with misleading advice

This. Analyst Ninja isn’t bad for the money, but don’t they know how bad they make themselves look by spamming the site?

I’ve repeatedly recommended analystninja because I was actually a happy customer this summer for my L3 pass. I hope that’s not considered spam by you? Actually the Marc Faber bootcamp posts look much more “bought” in how enthustiastic they are imo :wink:

These guys aren’t helping.

Here is what I did, and I passed all three levels on the first try by a large margin (not being arrogant, just stating the point so you don’t take my advice with a grain of salt).

  1. Give yourself exactly 22 weeks of study time: You have 18 study sessions = 18 weeks and 4 weeks of practice exams

  2. Order the CFAI Books and Schweser notes w/ both sets of practice exams (this is all I used for all 3 levels).

  3. Utilize your weekends to do your readings/study sessions, reviewing/finishing up what you read on the weekend during the week. I spent about 6-8 hours each saturday and sunday and about .5 to 1.5 hours mon-thurs (took friday off and did this because I have a full time job, putting in about 350+ hours). I started studying exactly 22 weeks before the test on a saturday (jan 2, 2016) and skipped ethics (i did ethics as my last study sessions).

  4. In order of how I studied per study session (starting on saturday): I would read the CFAI text, going through the examples, re-read the topic/reading with schweser notes going through their examples, then I did the CFAI EOC questions, then I did the shweser EOC questions, then I did the topic tests on the CFA site after I finished a topic, then I reviewed the readings with schweser again and reviewed all EOC questions and CFA site questions for that topic again. I did all this until the next study session started (this helped jam the things i needed to know in my brain).

  5. Throughout this process, I got familiar with the AM exam i.e. what are the questions like, what are the responses like, what are the topics like. CFA posts the last 4 years of the exams on their website and if you look around on the internet there are older exams.

  6. By now, I have finished the readings, all EOC questions, all schweser EOC questions, all CFA topic tests, reviewed the readings multiple times, and reviewed what the AM exam will be like. Time for my practice exams. I did all schweser pratice exams, CFA MC mock exam, and all old AM exams I can get my hands on. Note: The schweser exams suck for the morning section but are very helpful for knowledge/review what you don’t know and my scores were in the > 70 range but grading AM was ridiculously annoying because I didn’t know what was acceptable as an answer.

  7. I did my practice exams on the weekends and reviewed them along with reviewing the schweser notes and CFA EOCs and anything I was weak on during the weekday. I did this until exam day.

  8. crushed the exam by getting 3 < 50 in AM section and 2 between 50 - 70 in pm and the rest greater than 70.

Hope this helps/guides you. People who read this have a little while before the REALLY need to start so I suggest you read this and figure out what works. This worked for me.

Let me add word of advice for Level 3 candidates here…practice as many questions as possible for AM questions and also learn the art of writing short answers else you’ll have much lesser chance to pass. I saw many candidates failing the exam this year since they were not able to complete their AM paper (despite knowing the fact that they need to write short bullet point answers). Trust me no matter how many questions you practice, i can assure you at least 80-90 percent of the questions on CFA L3 paper will be questions you haven’t seen before, so practicing helps you counter the surprises (which will be plenty for AM).

Follow the following rules if you want to pass at 1st try:

Rule # 1: Answer only what is being asked. Graders don’t care how much you know so please don’t try to impress the grader.

Rule# 2: Write as short as possible. I don’t remember writing more than 5-20 words at max for any answer

Rule#3: Aim to score above 80 in afternoon session. Trust me it will compensate for your bad performance (in case) on AM.

Rule # 4: Focus on Rule 1, 2, and 3.


I failed L3 on first try and like others who passed here have said, practice practice practice AM questions. You’ll be surprised how crappy a lot of candidates do in the AM and I think that is the downfall of a lot of the fails. PM is easy.