CFA Insights: Our All-In-One Guide to the Entire CFA Program

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By Christine

300 Hours has been expanding quite happily for a while now, thanks to our readers. We love helping our CFA candidates, we’re always looking out for how we can do it better.

One recurring theme that we do get from reader feedback is that while is a one-stop-shop for CFA advice, they’re interested in a one-stop guide that they can bring around, with no need to search around for the particular piece of advice they need. 

We’ve incorporated that feedback, plus tons of other requests that readers have given us into our all-new CFA Insights, creating an all-in-one guide with tons more content.

Comprehensively rewritten from the ground up

The CFA Insights book you see today is an evolution of an Analysis Report we have been publishing since the start of 300 Hours. Originally meant as a short report showing the analytical results from the thousands of entries through our CFA Results Analyzer, we realised that there was so much more that readers needed and could benefit from. We didn’t just want to show our readers the results, but pass on all our knowledge to them.

So two years ago, we started a rewrite process not just to convey the results of five years’ worth of data analysis, but also to include every bit of important advice we have learnt as a team through our experience in the CFA program. We’ve learnt from previous versions, incorporated reader feedback, and applied the best of what we can offer into this new book.

This creates a richer, comprehensive and condensed guide, with many times more content compared to the previous version that we hope will blow the socks off our readers. ​

Exclusive content, combined with the best of

The guide has a ton of exclusive content, including our CFA Results Analyzer analytical results (such as MPS estimates and topic area analysis), deep-dive guides for each CFA level, and study schedule recommendations for every type of candidate profile. CFA Insights also blends in from some the best content from, including our ever-popular online Guides, rewritten and reedited clearly for the guide. 

The result is an all-in-one guide that combines the best of everything we’ve done, condensed into one easy-to-read book.

Years of analytical data. Decades of personal CFA exam experience.

CFA Insights includes analytical results from literally tens of thousands of actual CFA results, submitted by our readers over the years. Through these data points, we’ve been able to estimate past Minimum Passing Scores (MPS), show when and how candidates prepare for their CFA exams, analyzing performance by topic area, including what makes the difference between passing and failing candidates.

In addition, the guide contains the best tips from our own experience across the 300 Hours team – a unique team where all of us have completed the CFA program. From just considering whether the CFA program is for you, to receiving your CFA charter and making the most of it, we have combined our collective experience into one guide you can use throughout your CFA journey.

One guide for the entire CFA program

Most CFA material is designed for one specific CFA level. Not us – we like to take care of you from the start, and way after you’ve obtained your charter.

CFA Insights is not only written for all three CFA levels, but also contains a ton of additional useful content beyond just the CFA exams. The CFA Insights guide starts becoming useful right from the point you start thinking about the CFA program, and covers advice on how to make the most of your CFA charter after you’ve obtained it, and your post-CFA career. 

More features of CFA Insights

  • Satisfaction guaranteed: Online products don’t usually provide refunds, but it’s important to us that you’re happy with what you paid for. If after trying it out you feel that the guide hasn’t helped you, just let us know within 60 days, and we’ll refund your money. 
  • Printable, portable and (i)Padable: The guide is produced in full colour PDF. Optimized for all tablets, for printouts or for just reading straight from your laptop.
  • Great, thoughtful design: We know that as a CFA candidate you’ve already got a ton to read, so we’ve compressed and summarized everything. We’ve worked on various designs to maximize attention, clarity and digestibility. Everything’s been carefully laid out to be easily read and understood.
  • You’d be supporting us, and getting something in return: When we first started 300 Hours, we had no idea that maintaining a site like this actually cost quite a lot. We would welcome any contribution to help us continue. Getting this guide is a relatively painless way to contribute because you get something great in return.

Table of Contents

As a preview, we’ve included the guide’s table of contents below. Do consider getting a guide for your own, but in any case, we’d like to thank all readers again for their constant support!

Part 1: What is the CFA Program?

1. What is the CFA Charter? Is It Right for Me?

  • ​Should You be Taking the CFA Exams?
  • 7 Benefits of the CFA Charter

2. Do I have the Right Background to Take the CFA Exams?

  • Do Finance Guys Have an Edge?
  • How Your Background Correlates with Exam Performance

3. OK, I’m Convinced. How Do I Get the CFA Charter?

  • Isn’t It Just the Exams?
  • The CFA Exams: An Overview
  • Time and Monetary Costs
  • Your CFA Ethics Pledge
  • CFA Institute and Local Society Membership
  • CFA Work Experience Requirements
  • Work References

Part 2: Getting Started on Studying

4. Planning and Scheduling Like A CFA Pro

  • Hit the Ground Running
  • Your Calculator
  • Materials
  • Crafting Your Optimal Study Schedule

5. Killer Study Best Practices

  • Do It Right the First Time
  • Ethical and Professional Standards
  • Study Locations
  • Eat Right
  • How to Rest Well
  • What If I ‘Burnout’?
  • Study Music and Audio

Part 3: Killer CFA Tricks of the Trade

6. CFA Level I Tips & Tricks

  • The CFA Level I Exam Format Summary
  • The 10 Commandments of CFA Level I
  • Special Focus: How to Increase Your Exam-Answering Speed
  • Topic Areas that Matter
  • What Scores to Aim For
  • Level I Practice Test

7. CFA Level II Tips & Tricks

  • The CFA Level II Exam Format Summary
  • The 10 Commandments of CFA Level II
  • Special Focus: Item-Sets and Vignettes
  • Topic Areas that Matter
  • What Scores to Aim For
  • Level II Practice Test

8. CFA Level III Tips & Tricks

  • The CFA Level III Exam Format Summary
  • The 10 Commandments of CFA Level III
  • Special Focus: Constructed-Response A.K.A. The Essay Format
  • Topic Areas that Matter
  • What Scores to Aim For
  • Level III Practice Test

Part 4: Revision & Exams

9. Reviewing and Practicing

  • Practice Passing
  • Why Practice Exams?
  • How Many Practice Exams Should I Be Aiming to Complete
  • 3 Approaches to Complete Your Practice Exams On Time
  • Low Scores? Don’t Worry, Here’s What To Do
  • All About CFA Multiple-Choice Questions
  • How to Best-Guess CFA Exam Questions

10. How to Be Fully Prepared for CFA Exam Day

  • It’s E-Day!
  • How the CFA Exam Day is Like
  • Your Exam Day Checklist
  • Tips to Make Your Exam Day a Great Day

Part 5: Post-Exam Advice

11. All About CFA Exam Results Day

  • I’m Done! So… When is Results Day, Exactly?
  • The Results Format
  • Additional Geekery: Analyzing Your Results

12. Post-Exams: How to Maximize Your Achievement

  • You’ve Passed the Exams. Now What?
  • Obtaining Your Official CFA Charter
  • Blowing Your Own CFA Trumpet
  • Getting the Most Out of Your Local CFA Society
  • Giving Back for Fun and Profit

Part 6: Extras

13. Career Enrichment

  • Succeeding at Everything
  • How to Find a Job, Part I: Building the Perfect CV
  • How to Find a Job, Part II: Becoming A Networking Ninja
  • How to Find a Job, Part III: Interviewing Like A Pro
  • Negotiating An Amazing Salary
  • Priming Yourself for Promotion

​14. From the 300 Hours Team

  • A Little About Us and 300 Hours
  • Thank You

Zee Tan
Author: Zee Tan


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