I am a software engineer and working in IT (information technology) sector from last 5.5 years. I have no finance, eco background and have not touched any of the CFA books. I am thinking of applying for CFA Level 1, do you think it is doable if I target Dec’09? Or I should target Jun’10? About me: I am 28, married, no kids, working 8 hours a day in a Finance company. Thanks in advance.
How much time are you willing to commit? With no finance background you’d probably have to invest ~300 hours for the test - is that doable between now and December for you? Also, if you do December you can take L2 in June, which saves you a year. All comes down to how serious you are about it - before you do a thing, ask yourself if you and your wife can handle the commitment that it takes. Just my 2bps.
Go to the CFAI website and find the sample questions link under the CFA Program tab. Answer all of the questions to the best of your ability and then tabulate your score. These are very reasonable questions that reflect the format you will see on the exam (less the fourth possible answer of course). If you didn’t do well on this exam, I would select June 10 and then craft a very specific lesson plan. As it is, you would be hard-pressed to learn and retain 18 study sessions in the remaining time for Dec 09 AND give yourself time to review and participate in mock exams.
I will do that today, not sure how well I will do without having any knowledge in the field. But by reading those questions, I would know where I stand. Thanks a lot for your advise.
The key question here is why do you want to pursue a charter? Depends on what kind of career path you want to take, it may or may not benefit you. Just thought I’d give you the standard warning I give to anyone doing L1. In terms of timing, June is beter than Dec. If you pass L1 in dec, you will find out the result in Feb(I hope I am correct on this) and that will give you 4 mo to prepare for L2, which is a monster compared to L1. Doing L1 and L2 back to back is certainly possible, but your life will be hell (not exaggerating here), especially considering you have no background in finance. Unless you have a compelling reason for doing in Dec, I’d suggest you try June.
In my opinion, having a finance background is no pre-requisite for taking L1. L1 material covers a lot of areas and even for those with finance background, there will be plenty of areas they would be looking at for the first time. So understand that most candidates with prior finance background do not have a very big lead. All you need is to have a genuine interest for finance and knowledge in this area. If you have that, it will make it easier for you to prepare for L1 and efforts you put in will be more of fun and less of torture. I agree with $tarving_Banker on advantages of taking L1 in Jun vs taking it in Dec. But again, it is all doable as long as you have interest in it and are willing to put in efforts for it. Also, dont be misguided by CFA’s general prescription of 250 hrs of efforts for L1. I would say aim and plan for 350 hrs for more predictable success.
$tarving_Banker Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Doing L1 and L2 back to > back is certainly possible, but your life will be > hell (not exaggerating here), especially > considering you have no background in finance. > Unless you have a compelling reason for doing in > Dec, I’d suggest you try June. Having just successfully done this, I agree that it’s “hell” but it’s also really amazing when you pass L2 and look back at how much you accomplished in a year. having said that, the question for you is can you kill yourself for 3 months in a row or can you kill yourself for 9 months in a row? if you can’t kill yourself for 9 months in a row then you’re not gonna pass L2 in June 2010 and that being the case you may as well just take L1 in June 2010 so you don’t have to kill yourself at all
I don’t think level one will take 300 hours, even with no finance exp. If you are a solid studyer the material is not difficult, only the quanity is difficult. If you can devote some time to it then do it. EVen if you fail it will make studying for the June exam much easier since you have already covered the material