Passing L3 with limited study time available

Ok guys, this should be a reasonable task. I am asking this question in October not April. Any recommendation on passing L3 while working 65-75+ hours a week? I’m most interested in hearing advice from people that have done the same type of thing. What have you guys found to be the most effective way to study with limited weekly availability given we are still 8 months away?

hey drs, this is my first time attempting L3, HOWEVER, i was in the exact same situation as you in L1 and L2. -For L2 i dealt with it by actually leaving my job 2 months before the exam, and those 2 months was when i started studying, i passed L2 on first try, i know this is extreme, but i did not want to wait a year to rewrite, ive never failed anything in my life and if i failed L2, there was a chance i would have given up. I understand not everyone can do this for many reasons so take it with a grain of salt. -For L1 i was working strange hours plus i was doing alot of volunteer work and taking language classes, so i read Ethics, Economics strictly on my commute to work and back ( subway) and took the books with me to the washroom. thats the only times i read wthics and eco, in those situations, i got above 70 in ethics and 50-70 in economics!

Thanks for the input. Unfortunately, quitting my job or studying in the bathroom are not options that I am willing to pursue!!

drs, you dont do any reading whatsoever in the bathroom? use ( text/games) your phone or blackberry?

I work 60-65 hrs a week and for Level II studied on weekends about 3-4 hrs a day and then on weekdays I’d pick one or two days after work to study 2 hrs. 5-6 weeks before the exam, I did not work weekends and studied all day on Saturday and Sunday and 1-2 hrs each weekday, and took 2 days off 10 days before the exam. Its not fun but its not really bad until late April.

I work a ton and passed L3. -Listened to the Schweser CDs on the way to work. I think this helps, although it’s boring as hell. -Maximize your weekend studying the best you can. Find a coffee shop or something in order to decrease any distractions at your apartment/house. -Definitely, without a doubt, take the last week off from work. Can’t emphasize how important this is so you can clear your head, and cram as much info into your brain as possible. That last week is the time you want to peak… my $0.02

^ Nice tips - appreciate it!

dont wanna sound pessimistic but with L3 there seems to be lack of correlation b/w hours put in and outcome… ppl here who passed or failed had low morning scores…one person here who posted his score getting 70%+ in 5 of 6 sections in PM but still failed…

Great point from eastwest that should not be lost on the class of '08: we have somewhere between slim and no idea what cfai wants for essay answers, given our complete inability to understand the essay scores we produced (and how poorly they correlated with PM scores or any other remotely relevant variable). And Slim just left town. I’d recommend you study the sample essay answers when they come out (november?) and really try to understand what makes or breaks a response. Better yet, first try your own hand at the questions, then read the answers.

That would be me… v v v eastwest Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > dont wanna sound pessimistic but with L3 there > seems to be lack of correlation b/w hours put in > and outcome… ppl here who passed or failed had > low morning scores…one person here who posted > his score getting 70%+ in 5 of 6 sections in PM > but still failed…

I am still really confused by this,I passed,while scoring below 50 in the first 5 essays Q’s,which I thought I did quitewell on. For the OP,your hours arent prohibitive as long as you are willing to sacrifice social/family life for the next 8 months.Given your workload,starting asap is reccommended and I always took of minimum of a week before exam.

If we benchmark Level II at 250hrs, how long is required for Level III?

More. Or less.

Etienne Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > If we benchmark Level II at 250hrs, how long is > required for Level III? Depends if you’re better at PM or Accting…

This is interesting, Accounting def. got me through Level I and II guess III is going to be harder on me. I also worked pretty long hours for Level II, I would just say study when you can! Obviously you have to plan to study and get the hours in, but sometimes plans fail. As an example I would try to study pretty much 4 weeknight a week until 10 or so, but some night things (Happy hour, unexpected guests, etc) would come up. Then there were other night where I would study till 1 in the morning as I was “in the zone” Just gotta do it when you can. I am also a big fan of not studying when you are not into it! If I find myself just staring at a book and going through the motions I call it quits and go do something else.

If you’re pressed for time, make sure the time you have is very focused. I’d highly recommend using a single source for your study material. The CFAI materials are the best, but Schweser is a shorter, though incomplete, alternative. Studying both is really inefficient. Also, don’t waste your time on multiple choice practice questions/exams. The PM section is easy IF you know the material. Spend all your time learning the material. Do read the past essay exam questions on the CFAI website. Doing the written questions in the CFAI textbook is also productive, I would mostly just sketch out an answer in your head and then read the solution for the bulk of them.

^ Nice advice, thanks

drs, I work 60-70 hours per week during my prep for L3 plus had at least 3 overseas trips one week long each before the exam (the last one was in late April and I did not have ANY time to study during that entire week). I think I successfully minimized the amount of study time enough to pass. This is what I did: 1. Recognized that studying during the week when I was already exhausted from work was not effective. Instead I used that time to relax my brain, do my personal errands, enjoy friends. I did NOT study at all during the week days, except a bit of light reviewing during my 1.5 hour long commute from CT into the city. However I think I could have done without this commute studying, don’t think I gained much from it. 2. Dedicated my ENTIRE weekends to studying starting in March (oh, yes, I started late because I was on the verge of not taking the test in 2007). I would always make sure I went to the gym early Saturday and Sunday mornings to compensate for the lack of physical activity all the way into the evening. Then I always made sure to have a social plan for Saturday and Sunday night to avoid burnout and to have something to look forward to. This specificallly works for me because I tend to study best in long blocks of time rather than studying a little each day. I made sure to have read all the Schweser review material and done the CFAI assigned problems before I… 3. Took the 3-day Schweser seminar in Boston. Even though I live in CT close to NYC, I thought it was invaluable to have done it three weeks before the exam (as opposed to two if I had done it in NYC). The professor Mitch Conover told us exactly how to answer essay questions (which turns out you simply have to repeat a lot of the question - no new input from you required!) and I can’t tell you how many multiple choice questions I answered in the afternoon without even having to think. He told us specifically what to memorize and what not to. For the memorization part, he gave us excellent shortcuts and mnemonics that minimized the study time. 4. Took two weeks prior to the exam off from work. But truthfully, one week or one week and a half would have been enough. I went over Dr. Conover’s slides, memorized what he recommended and then did prior year’s essay questions 3-4 times each. Can’t tell you how much time it saved me on the actual exam because I knew and memorized the CFA answers the institute was looking for, for both essays and multiple choice. Then I redid all the problem in the CFAI readings. I did not do any schweser practice questions nor did I take the sample exams from CFAI. Since you can’t print out the CFAI sample questions, I decided I could do without them. During these two weeks, I also made sure to sleep 9 hours a night, work out every day, eat really well (I dined with friends every single night to keep a bit of balance and fun in my life). Please note I took the test in 2006 and failed even though I was fully aware that I didnt’ have enough time to prepare (in addition to 60+ hours at work, I had personal issues to deal with). So this is why I allowed myself to start in March. If not, I would have probably started in January. Good luck!

This is definitely doable. I had a hectic job. I worked routinely over 60 hours a week, and I had children and spouse to “spend” time with. I just (barely) passed level III with 3 weeks of studying right before the exam. Well, I did put in a lot of efforts in level I and II and passed both of them with flying colors (all but one section > 70%). Level III is applying the knowledges of level I & II to porfolio managements, so it wasn’t too bad. I attended the Schweser’s 3-day seminar 2 weeks before the exam. It helped (but then any seminar/class would have helped at that time). My 2-cents: take some classes (like weekend classes, or online classes). Always bring the books with you. You can study when you commute in public transportation, when you wait for your car to be serviced, when you wait for your (or your children’s) doctor’s appointment, when you eat meals. I did all that at level I and level II. I did that with level III too, but on other subjects. By the way, I was a computer programmer, not a financial expert. Good luck, and don’t give up too soon. If not for anything else, get more “experience” in level III exam.

^ 3 weeks. what material did u use? did u do well in the essay part?