starting too early?

It seems that a lot of people here have already begun studying. I plan on starting early December but am considering starting sooner. I have heard of people experiencing “burn out” that start too early. I realize that this is a marathon and not a sprint, but isn’t starting now a little extreme and going to wear down your long-term stamina? Thoughts?

Nope. Not if you do it right. I’m studying an hour per night Monday through Thursday and 5 hours on the weekend. 9 hours times ~32 weeks is almost 290 hours of studying with no burn out and no craming–just a methodical, measured approach.

zombie, just choose the strategy that fits your own personality and circomstances. some ppl like to take it easy and study consistently, some excel at cramming in a short period of time. for what it is worth, most of my friends who have families and hectic work commitments still managed to pass with about 4 months of concentrated revision (that means 3 hours per weeknight and more on the weekends). it also depends on whether you solely use Schweser/Stalla notes or CFAI candidate readins too… for purely Schweser notes, i feel that 4 months is adequate without burnout, but you better know those details inside out. The notes are already a condensed version of the Body of Knowledge so if you don’t understand that in detail, you will be in trouble. There is also an emphasis on candidate readings this year, what with CFAI producing their own notes, so take more time to read those. Also, do as many actual questions as you can…

Hey Zombie, Started reading yesterday, my intent was to start in Dec but AF somehow pressurize me to start earlier. Think of it this way, you are sitting for the same exam with these other guys who are busy reading and raising the passmark. My approach is more like kkent’s, I am taking it easy to avoid burnout. Furthermore I intend to take a two week break in February as in no books, no AF, in short CFA will go into a comma for two weeks.

I’ve got holidays planned the next few months, want to get drunk with my friends regularly and don’t want to be stressed out too much… I honestly can’t do all that AND pass the exam if I start in April. Why ruin two whole months if you can spread it out?

All good points. I comfortably passed level 1 with 4 months of studying, however I now have significantly less free time plus of course this exam is more difficult. I work about 60 hours/week but don’t have family obligations to slow me down (I’m only 24). I’ll probably start studying beginning of November, doing 1-2 hours a day during the week and 6 or so on the weekends. I’m hoping to do a first read of ethics, quant, and econ before year end. As I did with Level 1, I plan on only using Schweser Notes but mastering every damn sentence.

Relax… don’t let the job expand to fit the time available. I started 3-3.5 months before the exams for LI & LII. I creamed it for 60 days and then… I’m pretty sure (despite spending hours & hours in the final weeks) I did nothing for my score in the last 3 weeks. I was tired, bored with the material and getting complacent. I passed, but from an efficiency standpoint, you can indeed start too early. So balance this up against your background/aptitude, how close you are prepared to run it and, most importantly, your personality. Although I am dying to get CFA out the way, what I do on-the-job has become more important (financially and ‘reputationally’) for me… for Level III I am going to try starting Apr 1st (AF may corrupt me! I’m getting a slight itch already)… I will try to rack up 200 hrs between then and June.

I’m too lazy and too dumb to start studying 60 days before the test.

the worst part of this level is that you might start studying since september but april comes and you feel just as insecure as everyone else who started in February. I studied for 4 months and was close. With the questions that I saw in June I feel that anyone including people that did not study as much have a solid shot.