How would you study for December if you're just starting now?

I’m doing the exam in December and am generally just starting now.

I had a read through the entire Schweser notes a few months back and did about 30% or so of the CFAI EOC’s but then I put the CFA to the side so that I could focus on some chartered accountancy exams which I have just now completed. I have a finance undegrad degree so most of the material is at least vaguely familiar to me anyway and thanks to my chartered accountancy background (plus work in Big 4 audit) I’m not expecting the accounting section to be overly challenging (but by no means will I be skipping it in any way).

Between now and the exam in December I have taken off 14 days of leave, plus of course weekends and the evenings of the days I’m working on. If this is the situation you were in, how would you go about studying?

My plan of attack is roughly:

  1. Run through all the CFAI EOC’s, including those I’ve already done. Review the parts that I got wrong.

  2. Do several full mock exams, reviewing the sections I got wrong.

  3. Keep doing the EOC’s as well as the Schweser QB. Review formulas.

How does that sound?

At this point, you might only have time for EOCS and mocks.

I think that I’d start by panicking.

Then, I’d follow dwheats’ advice.

And prayer. Lots of prayer.

I find your lack of faith disturbing…though you may well be proven right.

Though the way I figure it, I’ve got:

  • 14 days of holiday + 8 weekend days= 22 days for full time studying. Say 9h a day (starting at 8:30 and running till 7, giving myself 1.5h of eating time, bathroom breaks and browsing reddit in between)

  • 8 working days = 8 evenings of studying. Lets say 3h a day.

This gets me to about 222h. I’ve already spent a fair bit of time studying and large part of the curriculum are already familiar to me to a smaller or greater extent.

I don’t see what’s so unfeasible here. Tough, gruelling and at times perhaps even depressing? Yes, I have no illusions about that. But by no means impossible or groundbreaking.

Advice round 2…stop posting on AF and buckle down.

I’m sure you CAN pass, but the odds are certainly stacked against you.

I have seen a TON of these threads…your time would have been better spent typing in keywords associated with last minute studying rather than waiting for responses that could help boost your ego. To be upfront your plan of attack is nothing new and this what you should have posted at the latest Oct 1 not Nov. 5th. I understand you had other responsibilities but I would have just waited until June.

If you’re coming from a decent school with an outstanding GPA and a major in finance. It should be very doable. You’ll be mostly revising bar a few topics.

i’m in a comparable situation. Have read also the Schweser things and started to do the end of chapter questions last week, completed Ethics and quant and I’m scoring round about 80% in the questions on average. As I’m working as portfolio manager i’m familiar with all that stuff covered especially in the FI section and some parts of the Equity section. So only topic which I would say where i can stuck is the accounting section. But have two weeks off before the exam, where I’m going to do mocks, mocks, mocks

Coming back to you: With a solid background in finance (e.g. masters degree which I have), a lot of topics will be just a repeating of sth you have done at university. Given the fact you have more than 200 hours of learning time, you should be able to pass

But just my opinion, maybe I will speak another language after the exam on 6th of December

Where did you complete your Masters degree in Finance?

Thanks for the responses.

I have one very practical question about studying: generally I’ve read that the CFAI questions at the end of the chapters are the best representation of exam questions, more so than Schweser.

The part where I’m having some problems with is statistics where the CFAI questions are very descriptive and don’t give you a strict ‘choose from 3’ option for selecting your answer. I do however have the Schweser Question Bank where the questions are set up exactly like that.

Is this one area where the Schweser questions will give me a better feel for exam style statistics questions?

at a German technical university, which has a high reputation in engineering. But for Finance it’s not much recognized, although they have a prof with some articles in Journal of Finance etc (so just a question of time till he leaves the university :D) But he taught a course called “Corp Fin” where a lot of CFA topics were covered (and not just Corp Finance)


TU Dortmund?

Sorry, obligatory remarks because I spent a mere 5 mnths there ha!

I saw the title of the thread and thought “LOL.”

I’m sure it can be done, but I don’t envy your position. Best of luck.

I am in the same boat! Not happy and def not proud. I wish I had started earlier and done some things right. But it is never too late to start, is it?

My background - Have an MBA in Finance, graduated eight years back. So thats a long long time back and I don’t remember much. A consultant with an IT firm that does a lot of Finance and IT consulting, so I am familiar with the basics.

My game plan (for now) - Do the free Elan videos on Youtube. I am currently doing FRA on Elan videos and it is doing me good. Do the Schweser Kaplan for the high weightage subjects and do secret sauce for the rest. I plan to start mocks/ practice questions over the last one week.

Are there any specific topics that you feel are frequently tested? Please leave a message. Thank you!


Regarding your question about the more descriptive CFA EOC problems that don’t have A, B, C answer choices. I skipped all of those to save time and passed L1. I did try to breeze through the answers at least though to get an idea of how to do it if I didn’t know.

Thanks for the response, very detailed!

In fact I’m already in large part doing what you’re suggesting.

I went through all the CFAI EOC’s and am now hammering out mocks. Every time I hit a question that really threw me off then I write down the concept behind it. I keep these notes in groups according to study topic. Currently Fixed income has the biggest pile…

Sometimes I refer back to the LOS in the Schweser notes if its something that I was completely unaware of but I try to minimize that for the sake of time.

On the commute to work I’m reading Secret Sauce.

I’ll post the outcome of all this come January and results.