Starting tomorrow

Well I am starting tomorrow. i will devote 10 to 15 hours a week. Plan to finish by mid March. I am adding 15 days for the ineviatble breaks for work and family committments. End March is my deadline.

I failed band 3 in proper prep. I plan to use CFAI. I retain better if i take short notes. It also helps with writing practice for the AM section

The question is there enough time to do this. i need to go over the curriculum twice to retain better.

Option 1:- CFAI- BB-Short notes- CFAI EOC and then quick review with schweser. then Practice exams for last 2 months. this takes more time but thorough enough to attempt practice exams

Option 2:- Schweser-BB-CFAI EOC and then straight to practice exams. consumes less time.less thorough. but more time for practice exams.

Given the time i have what is a more effective approach?

My concern is that although this year the changes in curriculum are minimal, authors of several readings have changed and that could mean a change in approach to how a topic is presented. the new author may emphasise on points within a topic that are different from previous authors and schweser is notorious for not changing much or changing little in their notes from one year to the next.

I failed by band 9 in 2013 and pass it in 2014. The difference is:

-1st time: I studied too late. I started early, but didn’t focus enough until somewhere like March. Thus I didn’t have time to understand enough the concept offered from the curriculum.

Feeling short of time, I mainly used the Schweser, which really didn’t help on understanding new concepts, as well as linking concepts to a big picture, which is quite important for the AM exams where u have to process unique case studies, not just applying formulas.

And MOST IMPORTANTLY, I di NOT know that past year AM papers exist right on the CFAI website. Not enough practice is the worst thing possible for any exams.

The result is: I barely understood what the questions were talking about in AM session. Band 9 was already a miracle, I suppose.

2nd time: I used mainly curriculum. Never use the Schweser. I do all the EOC, taking notes for every reading, and do practice and past papers. On exams day, my note stacks to around 100 pages full of handwriting, with seperate notes for each readings. Since each question tends to focus on 1 or 2 readings at one time, seperating notes for each reading helps to cluster your mind. I got over 70% score on almost every part of AM section. Not one question I didn’t understand.

So i guess, it all comes down to 3 things: the curriculum, taking organized notes, and practicing enough past paper to get used to format.

I wish you luck. Please ask if you need any further advice or discussion. I am eager to help, as I understand how good it feel to pass the level 3, and I hope all of us can have that feeling asap.

Thanks man. btw 100 pages for entire curriculum. really short. i tend to write more and hence take more time.

You have A LOT of time to finish comfortably. I would start in January if I were you as you are going to burn out.

^Listen to this guy – he passed Levels I *AND* II, and is now making his first attempt at III.


congrats man. seriously good luck. we’re all rooting for you. make sure you phone your mom and tell her you’re starting too, i’m sure she’ll want to know

@ Portfolio Manager

No I dont have time. Work and family committments inevitably cause the time table to go haywire. So starting early is a must for me especially when the AM section needs plenty of practice.

@ hashtag

He was trying to be helpful i guess.

Thanks for your thoughtful suggestion.

I am starting now actually at work as we speak.

Slow and steady wins the race… for what it’s worth.

I’m curious why you suggest never to use Schweser. I used Schweser, along with the CFAI books, for passing the first two levels. I understand level 3 may be the toughest and time constrained exam, which is why I was considering the Schweser notes as a primary resource. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!

Tomorrow never arrives.

Buddy make sure by Feb you are only doings old exam questions + mocks. Cover syllabus by Jan

My advice

  • Use CFAI books and do all EOCs/BBs
  • Do 6~8 years past year AM paper & as many mocks as you can find
  • Practice answering questions in bullet points
  • Winners dont burn out. Start as early as you can

I am kind of doing what you are doing but using Schweser, taking notes from that, and then doing BB I’m CFAI. Also have CFAI open for any topics that don’t make sense to me. So far I am going very slowly. Just trying to understand one reading and even one Los at a time.I think writing it helps bc you have to think of what the material is trying to communicate rather than just read/highlight/move on. But it’s taking me way to long…takes me like 4 to 5 hrs to read a 35 to 50 page material. Want to finish by Dec 31st so starting Jan I can re read do EOC in CFAI and figure out how to tie concepts together. Then by April practice a lot. I hope that works but reading and handwriting notes is taking foreveerrr. Good luck to both of us!!!

You have plenty of time. February is a good time to start.

Never cracked a CFAI book for all three levels. Schweser only, but to each his own.

Always started mid-November.

Finished all preliminary prep by March which left April/May for weak topics, drilling & mocks.

Listening to someone who doesn’t know you telling you when to start is as dumb as their suggestion.

Started with Behav Fin. using CFAI. plan to use CFAI for all topics upto FI. for FI and the rest Schweser.

Yes and I want to account for inevitable interruptions