Is it necessary to start so early?

I passed I&II on first attempt, but II is just over the bar. I spent 100 hours on each on them, and I was major in finance at a graduate school. Anyone tell me is it very recommended to start as early as Jan because III is way much harder than II? I am worried because I have no work experience and CFA III is very real world oriented, so I guess it must be more difficult for me than most of guys on this forum. Looking for some helps for someone has the same background. Thank you!

Level 3 is a completely different animal in two ways: content and format. The content is not nearly as quant driven as L1&2 which can drive some candidates crazy. I work at a PWM firm and L3 was in my comfort zone. The format for the AM session is essay which should really be renamed short answer because if attempt to stroke a nice, neat paragraph then you will not finish the session in time. I suggest that you use the past AM session from the CFAI site and the end of chapter questions for practice. The item sets are straight forward just like in L2 only you have to wade through all the useless info which takes time. A study program such as Schweser helps with item set type questions. Good luck.


3-4 months is plenty if you are willing to completely focus during that period. I started in late Jan/early Feb for L2 and L3 and passed both on the first attempt. full disclosure - I also have an MBA in finance though I earned in 6 years ago.

neason, nobody can tell you about how much time would be sufficient for you. You have your own approach to studying and you know what you are trying to get out of CFA exams (either just the designation or also knowledge). Look at previous years’ essays, look at LOS, answer EOC questions and you will get an idea. With that said, it’s better to overstudy then understudy.

Is it necessary to start so early? Absolute answer is no. Would I recommand you to start early? Absoltely yes. The new order is LIII>LII>LI in terms of difficulty. Plus, you need to practice the written portion of LIII, get comfortable with writing out your answer clearly, and to-the-point.