Prep Time Required

Hey guys This is my first post in this forum, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last… From browsing through the older posts it seems that most of the candidates gave themselves more than half a year to prepare for the exam. Do these ppl work fulltime? I signed up for the December exam and I received my stuff (official curriculum and Schweser) today. I just graduated (Double degreed Master and MBA) and I’m currently hunting for jobs. Are 2.5 months too tight for CFA prep? I would be able to more or less allocate 100% of my time to studying. Thanks a lot and I’m looking forward to kick off the studies… alex

Well, 2.5 months of preparation with 100% of your free time for studying (let’s assume 8h per day) sums to 360 hours. I’ll say that is more than enough. Milos

Most people use 4-6 months because they are working all day. Since you have a lot of free time, it should be easy. And where’s this 2.5 months coming from? You have almost 4 months still.

did you get a masters in finance?

You could do it in 2.5 months no prob, I did it in a little over 3 while working full time and I only have a finance degree from a crappy school here in Texas. Just order Schweser and read through it and you will be fine.

I sat in Dec. '07 after beginning studies last week in aug. Worked full time and fit in a 2 week schweser free vacation and passed surprisingly comfortably. I am no saying its easy- I was really dedicated to spending about 2 hrs a weekday + 8 over weekends and stuck to my plan. Also took a weekly seminar that helped me stay on task and was a life send since I had no finance/acct’ing/quant background. I finished BOK in late Nov and only had a week to review, but I was confident. I had more time for level II and was much more burnt out at the end. Actually, I got to a point after 4 months where I could not retain anymore and was forgetting stuff everyday. It was really frustrating.

It sounds like plently of time to me. I started studying 2 months before the June exam while in a full time job. In those 2 months I aimed at 7 hours on a day off and 3 hours study on a work day. I estimate I did around 250 hours (I dont count staring blankly at the wall in the library) in total as I took 13 days off work during this period. I also only studied Schweser and used Analyst Notes for a question bank. I hold some crappy non related degree but im probably naturally quite strong in the most of the topics. But I only just passed. Using that 40/60/80 rule I was one of the lowest with an actual pass with 2 <=50% and 2>70% with the rest in the middle. Lots of people have theories on how to pass. Personally if I was going to do it again I would do exactly the same thing but aim at 300-350 hours. For level 2 i’ll probably use a strategy mentioned in the below. Hope this helps. Good luck for the exam.

Hi i just signed up for dec 08. I have no finance background but i hope in 4 months, i can study well and pass the exam in dec 08.

you have time, i was in your shoes. school then i had a month off to study and i passed. but you need to study EVERYDAY and put in 12 hrs a day. be grateful you are looking for a job and have time. not working is why i passed and still not working is why i – knock on wood – will pass CAIA in one month. there are benefits to not working in a “real” job. eventually, a job will come, but CFA only comes once (or twice, for level I) a year

Thanks for all the answers… I don’t have a pure finance masters. I did strategy and international management as well as a general MBA. I did all the stuff from CFA curriculum before, but I know that the quantity of concepts is big and therefore I’d better allocate enuff time… With having no job at the moment, I still have to put some efforts into finding one. Therefore I reduced the available time to 2.5month. Thank you for clarifying on the fulltime issue. Sometimes it’s rather difficult to get a grip on the prep time mentioned in previous posts since no absolute hours of studying are indicated.