My timing for Levels I and this feasible?

I will finish my MBA in Finance/Accounting (top 10 B-school) the first week of May 2013. I will then take 2 months off, and then start studying for level I and take it December 2013. What I’m nervous about is level II in June of 2014…will 5 months be enough? How many hours does one need to study for level II?

Im wondering if it would be better to somehow take level I earlier to allow more time for level II. I could take a semester off, but I would really prefer to at least have my MBA under my belt before I start this. I’d really prefer to focus on one thing at a time…

If you are full time studying for 2 it’s plenty

When you say full time, you mean studying (only for level 2, after MBA is done) while working full time, correct? How many hours should one aim to shoot for Level 2?

I wonder if I should just study for level 1 now during school at my own pace and take it next June. That will allow me more time for level II.

Plenty of people pass level 1 in December and then pass level 2 the following June.

Thanks Jonny. Yes, I know people do it…but frankly, I’m just nervous about it. I really, really want to try and pass Level I and II on my first try…and I feel like the only way to almost “guarantee” you’ll do that is just to study ridiculous amounts over a longer period of time.

I’m considering getting the materials and studying at my own pace over the next year in order to take Level I next June (2013)…that way I’ll have more time to study for level 2. I just don’t know how I’m going to balance everything. I already work full time and do school part-time…but nothing in life that’s worth it is ever easy…

For what it’s worth, I just passed level 1 this past December and will take level 2 in June and I am also working full time. I realize that I have not yet taken the exam, but the time constraint has not been nearly as large of a limiting factor as I anticipated it to be. If I fail in June, the lack of study time will probably have contributed, but I feel like I will be in a position to have a good chance at passing - and really that’s all you can hope for going into it. Not sure if this helps, just food for thought.

Thanks sdevine. How many hours are you aiming to have studied for level 2?

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. I found a groove mid-way through level 1 that worked really well for me (I walked out of the exam KNOWING that I crushed it). I read a section of the CFA text, then scratch down a sentence or two for each LOS, then do the EOC questions. It is slightly more time consuming as I have realized in my preparation for level 2, but the short notes made a world of difference when it came time to review before the exam. If I had to guess, I will probably be close to the ~300 hours CFAI recommends come June. My schedule has been go into work an hour early and stay an hour or two after to study and haven’t done much over the weekends unless I felt like I was falling behind.

L1 should be relatively easy for you in June of 2013, as you will have had a lot of the material in school and will really just need to focus on a few areas you didn’t cover in school. Were I you, I would take L1 in June 2013 with Dec 2013 as a backup.

higgmond, that’s so funny, I was just about to post that as my probable plan. I think that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m in NYU Stern’s part-time program, so most of my time outside of work is shot because of that. And I have to say…they do NOT make it any easier because we’re part timers, we’re treated exactly the same as the full-timers. But, I’m going to try my hardest and leverage off of what I’ve learned in school. Luckily I’ve taken (and done well in) classes such as Macro/Micro econ, Futures & Options, Fixed income, Financial Accounting, Foundations of Finance, etc. This summer, I’m taking Corporate Finance and Financial Reporting, and in the fall Equity Valuations.

Here is my next question for you guys - from what I’ve read online here, it is possible to pass Level I with just the Schweser notes. Is this true? I already have to devote a lot of my spare time for school, so if there is any way possible for me to cut some corners, I will need to. I will be in classes pretty much all summer, and in the fall. So I won’t really have any “free” time between now and next June. That being said…I could take 1 less class in the spring, so I can kick up the CFA studying a notch from Feb-May. then, just take those 3 credits after level I next year, finish in August, and still have a lot of extra time for Level 2.

I’m hoping that, with my pretty strong finance and decently strong accounting background, I can get by with the Schweser notes for Level 1. if I can just get this one exam under my belt next June, that will help me immensely for Level 2 the following year…

Another question for you guys - is it wise for me to get the Schweser notes now if I dont plan on taking it until June 2013 at the earliest? Will the material change much between now and 2013?

I’d like to start studying as soon as possible, because I won’t have a huge amount of time over the next year to do so, because I’m working and go to school part-time as it is. But I want to at least take a stab at level I in June of next year.

Schweser alone is more than adequate for L1 (particularly in your situation) and many will argue that Schweser is enough for all 3 levels.

If you buy Schweser now, but it used and then buy it again new next winter.

I took level 1 in december then level 2 the following june while working full time. it’s not easy, but you can do it. there is decent carry over on level 1 & 2 material, so hitting level 2 3-4 weeks after getting your score for level 1 is ideal. the quant stuff didnt exactly come easy for me, so having just studied it helped a lot.

Thanks guys!

Hey wacc_attack - each exam is given the first weekend in December/June, correct? I’m wondering if it may help to give myself like a week or two off after Level I, and just start studying for Level 2 in mid December. I imagine it may be hard to do that not knowing yet if I passed Level I (and during Christmas), but that would allow me some extra time.

Also, for Level 2, did you rely more on the CFAI material or Schweser notes? I hear you have to rely more and more on CFAI as you progres through the exams…

Be careful not to overdo it with the studying, it is very easy to burn out. Even working full-time, starting in mid-January leaves plenty of time for L2 and you’ll get to enjoy the holidays. Memorial Day won’t exist for you for a few years, so don’t taint Christmas and New Year as well.

Everyone is different, but Scheweser should be fine for all 3 levels with CFAI end of chapter questions thrown into the mix. If you find you are having trouble with a particular area, read the CFAI texts for that area in addition to Scheweser. I also found it very useful to take notes. I very rarely referred back to them, but the act of writing things down helped with retention for me.

Oh yeah, read the actual Standards of Practice book as well (or whatever it is actually called). It’s a quick read, but they give examples and at least one of them is almost identical to a question on the test every year. Read it again for levels 2 and 3.

Well, I just bought the 2012 Level 1 Schweser notes used for around $140. I will now be working full time, studying for my MBA part-time, and studying for the CFA part-part time haha!

This summer, I’m taking Corporate Finance and Financial Reporting & Disclosure…so what I’m going to do is try and study the corresponding Schweser notes so I can help reinforce what I’m learning in school. I just took a Fixed Income Valuation class (final exam in 2 weeks - currently have an A), so in my 2 weeks off, I’ll try studying the Fixed Income section while it’s relatively fresh in my mind.

Here goes nothing!

Good luck, although you won’t need much luck - you’ll nail it.

Thanks a lot for your support higgmond!

I’m even considering trying it this December…maybe I’ll take one less class over the summer, which will get me about 6 weeks off in August-September that I can use to focus exclusively on the CFA. It will be harder to balance everything once classes start up again…but I’m taking Equity Valuation and Financial Statement Analysis in the fall, so those should help me (hopefully)!