Preparing for Level III with a newborn

So I passed L2 last year and just had a baby this year… Thus had to delay my L3 exam (which I signed up for pre-pregnancy) to May’21.

For anyone here who’s tried it before, would it be feasible to handle the study time while raising a newborn? Or should I give up on even trying (I’m also working fulltime)?

Any words of wisdom / encouragement / fact check much appreciated!


First of all Congratulations on your having a baby :slight_smile: I’m a Mom to a 9 year old now.
So, I had my Level 2 exam when my son was 8 month old. I didn’t work full time. I started studying barely 3 months before the exam. Failed band 9. I used to close myself in a room and study, while my mom took care of my baby. But I still failed. I feel I was not psychologically ready to study.
But let me tell you, its completely doable if you decide to. Just focus, get help for the baby and you will definitely do it. All the best :slight_smile:

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Congratulations on the little one!

On Saturday I had a Level III morning exam marking session with a candidate whose son’s first birthday is tomorrow. His wife was in the hospital recently, so he’s caring for both of them, and still studying for the exam.

Yes: it can be done.

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I had a similar “plan” with level 2, and ultimately ended up forfeiting the registration fees that year (didn’t even bother to show up for the exam). Granted, I also had a 2-year-old at the time and no childcare (so studying was limited to naps/after bedtime).

I would imagine it’s possible if you’re realistic about the time involved and you secure adequate childcare (in fact, probably take the amount of childcare you think you need, but then add 30% or so :wink:) Obviously, you’re going to be much more tired while studying than you would be in a typical year. You also may need to think about noise/distraction (will your kid be one room over while you’re studying? Or can you find a separate location to use?)

On a personal note – it’s just great to hear that there are some other moms out there doing this. (Not to mention, doing this in a year when regular forms of childcare are completely upended.)

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Congrats on your new little munchkin!!! :baby: :heart_eyes:

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Congratulations on your bundle of joy!
May 21 is definitely a good goal, if you want the charter badly enough. Arrange for some help with the baby (you should either way) and try your best to get the baby to sleep through the night. Everyone is different - both mom and baby. For me, the lack of sleep was the most draining part, but I probably could have done more to get my baby to sleep through the night (I woke up at least twice a night for her until she was around 18mo.) Also, keep in mind s/he will require increasingly more of your attention, time, energy as s/he starts walking (10-13mo) talking etc. Now is the time to get level 3 done! You got this (and hopefully some maternity leave, too)! Good luck.

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Thanks all for your kind words and for sharing your personal experience <3
To me it’s now or never… and as many of you have correctly pointed out, the biggest challenges are 1) time management and 2) lack of sleep (which already has a lasting impact on my memory). Thankfully I have someone helping with taking care of my baby during the day but naturally I’m still the primary carer when I’m home.
From reading the posts here it seems that L3 will be even more demanding than L2. I’m hoping to start studying soon, and try to get most of the study done during lunch breaks and after the baby goes to sleep. Fingers cross the little one will cooperate and sleep better as he gets a bit older.

Hi S2000 - given your experiences, would you have any tips to maximize study efficiency for L3?

I passed the previously 2 levels comfortably (90th+) with only Schweser notes & videos plus the official practice questions (and plenty of study and practice of course). From what I understand L3 is a totally different animal and I’m happy to invest in quality prep materials to save some time and improve performance, but it seems there’s no universally agreed test prep provider to go for…

I had exactly the same plan last year. Passed level 2 during pregnancy, thought I would have plenty time with a newborn (how naive I was). The lack of sleep had a direct impact on how many times I read one sentence. I sat in the exam when baby was six months old but failed, I was just glad that I could pump during lunch break and didn’t get infection, lol.

I’m kinda happy that the exams were cancelled this summer due to COVID19, so I didn’t need to prepare for the exam again this year, but I’m planning to sit in the 2021 exam.

If I can go back in time I would tell myself: relax, enjoy the baby, don’t worry about the exam, it will still be there after a year or two, but the baby grows, cherish the little human and spend more time with him / her when you can.

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This made me LOL so hard…this is exactly how i’m feeling at work everyday :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
Thanks so much for the honest advice! I too hope to prioritise the little one, but also want to get the test out of the way so I could focus more on him once he needs me more (maybe too naive haha)

Whatever you decide, you are very brave. :muscle:

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It really depends on what you want to do.

I’m partial to LevelUp. You might say that I’m biased because Marc LeFebvre and I have been friends for over 10 years, but his videos are great, his slide book is fantastic (and I’m not saying that merely because I helped him with all of the new readings for 2020), and his bootcamps are incredible.

With the little one, you might not be able to attend a bootcamp, but you can certainly get his videos and slide book. When you do, the first thing you’ll hear from him is: read the curriculum! There is no substitute for reading the curriculum at Level III.

Best of luck on your exam, whenever you decide to take it.

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Congratulations! It’s tough but it’s possible.
When I passed in L2 my wife had our second son. (My first has born 3 years before).
I studied working more than 13 hours in big oil company, helping my elderly mother (plus than 83 years old) in some surgeries and health problems, runing a small family company and caring of my two babies. Well, I started to study 10 PM up to 2 AM . 6 Am i was taking my old son to school and after that heading to work.
Well, after the test I thought that I would pass… bu the results Were more cruel.
I’m trying for the second time.
What I would recommend: read as much as possible the CFAI curriculim and recheck videos from some prep providers to help to keep the subject in your memory. I like Mark Meldrum videos. But I dont know any other to compare.
In my first attempt I tried the Schweser Kapplan. I think the readings from Schweser didnt help me uderstand the readings core. But it was my bet to save time… it didnt work. In other hand the schweser Q Bank exercises were good. The mock exams, in my opinion were not good… but I think no one is good. But I do recommed to do all mock exams… the mistakes help to understad how to write correctly the answers… in my opinio MM mock exams are too difficult but I learn a lot with the answers… one tip: Dont push yourself too much in the mock exam… it caused to me a lot anxiety without any concrete reason.
Try your best in your time. More than pass in the exam try to understand the readings… it helps you in your career. If you pass celabrate all next year.

wow respect… thanks for sharing Hardball, and best of luck with your next try!