Careers Study Plan

Study Plan

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    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
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      Thanks for the recommendation @stevenvixen! I had a scan through. I’m not sure if Quantitative Methods should be at difficulty level 1 (easiest) though…

    • Sarah
      Participant
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      or ethics at 8 …

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
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      Just looked through the CFA survey. It’s perception of difficulty, which is very different from actual difficulty!

    • stevenvixen
      Participant
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      I think that they based it on cfa institute surveys.
      But as I speak to my friends I think that a lot of people underestimate QM. For me the time value of money is relatively easy but hate statistics..

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
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      @stevenvixen, usually it’s best to tailor your own study plan. What works for others doesn’t necessarily fit your strength and understanding of the materials. It doesn’t have to be detailed, you just have to finish the syllabus and allocate lots of time for practice papers, where you’ll totally find out where the gaps in your understanding are. Note them down and nail those parts again through revision. Rinse, and repeat.

    • stevenvixen
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      thanks @Sophie

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
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      No worries @stevenvixen! Glad you’re joining us. Are you taking Level 1 this December? Tell us a bit more about yourself 🙂

    • Marc
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      @stevenvixen

      This looks like a solid basis for a study schedule. I question the usefulness of using “study days” as a unit of measurement. At a minimum, weekend days are very different than weekdays, so “days” is obviously an oversimplification and “hours” would be preferable. I’m also not a big fan of dividing the curriculum up by Topics. Readings are preferable to Topics, but I believe that it is better still to break up the tasks into LOSs. Still, their objective appears to be to provide a rough outline of how to plan for the December exam and they’ve done that rather well.

      For people interested in the topic of developing a study plan for the December exam (if you’re just starting the process of doing so for the June exam, I can’t really help you), I recommend that you look at the TimePrep app. The developers are actually three 20-somethings from Croatia who have all been through the experience of seemingly spending more time making, monitoring and adjusting a study plan than actually studying. They have also just published a free “Guide for the CFA Exam”, which is full of the sort of useful information (although it’s probably not much different than what you can learn from forums such as this).

      The app is only available for Levels 1 & 2 (they expect to have a Level 3 version something ready for next year). Also, it is only available on the App Store and they do not have any plans to develop it for other platforms. Also, I think it’s currently priced at around $25 at the moment, but in my discussions with them they said that they tend to vary the price as demand increases and decreases (ie. it’s probably cheaper now that it will be in June or July).

      I only know about this app because I saw it on the App Store and wrote to the developers asking about whether they had something for Level 3 and/or Android. They were kind enough to provide me with a sample version of their Level 1 app in order to get my feedback. So I have tried it out and I certainly wish that something like this had been available when I wrote Levels 1 & 2. I am not a representative of theirs and I certainly don’t get any kind of commission or anything. This is just a genuine recommendation based on my experience going through the process of trying to obtain three additional letters to add at the end of my name.

      PS. I intend to write a separate post on the general subject of CFA-related apps. I bet you can’t wait.

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
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      @marc I actually can’t! 😀

    • mcricky
      Participant
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      Quantitative Methods difficulty level 1, is it that easy ?:-O, as i have kept it for the last, after covering others, considering it the most toughest!

    • christine
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      @mcricky I wouldn’t assign that much value to the ranking to be honest. I certainly don’t think Quant Methods would be generally the easiest subject for most candidates.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @Franz – a good guide to making your study plan can be found in this blog post.

      I think the 5 months study, the last month intensive practice exam/revision balance seems to work well for me throughout the 3 levels. As you’re using the CFAI books, make sure you finish the books on time as you’ll learn much more doing the practice papers. I’d also suggest summarising concepts as you go along if you can, so they form shorter revision notes later on which will be useful. You need to revise sections later, but you may not have enough time so the notes will be God sent later. Plus it helps cement stuff in your head anyway.

      Materials – I used 3rd party prep provider as you know. But paired with a little reference to the CFAI books for the case studies. I would do the papers just in May, but do the end of chapter questions and notes after every chapter. You can get extra practice papers from our Reviews & Offers section. CFAI does give out sample/mock papers nearer to exams as well.

    • BeanCounter
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      Does anybody have thoughts on tuition providers? I’ve self-learnt for L1 and L2, but given that answer-technique will be such a big part of L3 I’m considering having lessons. I’ve also heard good things about video learning, but it doesn’t give the feedback, mock-exam marking etc.

    • Sophie Macon
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      @BeanCounter:
      Fitch does classes – http://go.300hours.com/fitch, if you book over telephone do mention the code ‘300HOURS’ for 10% off.

      Schweser (http://go.300hours.com/kaplanschweser) does video lectures.

    • Franz
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      Thanks @Sophie. I’m pretty confident about the item set questions and it’s good to know that the same strategy works for lv 3 too. Summarizing concepts seems would help with the essay questions..

    • Maroon5
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      Hello @jjeeves, there’s no particular order really, for me at least. I did it chronologically, but skipped Ethics first and left it till last. The rest of the topics seems connected and made sense chronologically so I just did that, and hopped back to Ethics last.

      hope this helps!

    • CFAcharterwannabe
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      @jjeeves yeah I am just goin in order. The first thing u encounter is ethics which really pisses me off cos I did a whole paper on ethics in ACCA and I thought I was done with it. I was thinking of skipping it and jus moving forward but then u see its better to get it out of the way. Plus if u see ethics questions hold a lot of weight marks wise. So don’t ignore it. Jus think of it as drinking bad medicine hold ur breath and down it. It will be worth it when u get the results.

    • attar1297
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      I’d like to take this question down further. While I understand that each person has his/her own strategy, would it be better to do the practice test using Schweser Q-Bank and practice exams along with digesting the materials or to simply digest everything for the first 4 months and do the Q-Bank and practice exams in the last month prior to June 2014? Anyone would like to share their study strategy or experience? I’m using mainly Schweser CFA Level-1 2014 as a study material by the way.

    • CFAcharterwannabe
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      @attar1297 yeah my serious recommendation would be do attempt questions along with the study material. There is so much material and formulas to cover that you will get overloaded and extremely confused if you leave all the questions for the last couple months after covering all your theory. I have tried both methods before. I have done ACCA and I made a similar mistake then of just covering all the theory and leaving all the questions for the end. Firstly, I couldn’t remember the earlier theory and formulas I had covered and I had to keep going back and revising everything again. Waste of a lot of time. If you practice questions on the side, they will help you retain the theory and you will also be quicker at solving questions by the time exams are near. Faster pace.

    • attar1297
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      @CFAcharterwannabe Thanks for responding. Yes, I was thinking the same way too since there are tons for us to digest before June 2014 and we’re running a risk of forgetting what we’ve learned if we don’t “try out” what was learned simultaneously.

    • nik_11986
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      Hi guys,

      This is nikhil, i have just enrolled to CFA level 1. I do not have core finance background but i have been working for a financial consultant in Dubai as a Relationship Manager Trade finance. Studying after 4 years of my MBA is challenging. I would request all to comment upon the tips and tricks to Bell this Cat called CFA !!

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @nik_11986‌, good to have you here. I presume you’ve just enrolled for Dec Level 1?

      A good place to start is to craft your individual study plan that works for you, here’s a good guide to start on that http://www.300hours.com/1/post/2013/07/300-hours-rough-guide-to-a-solid-cfa-study-plan.html

    • nik_11986
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      Thanks a ton @Sophie‌ , wonderful excel sheet.

    • Georgewachira
      Participant
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      @Sophie‌ , Am registering for the Level 1 to sit in June 2015 as our country has one sitting in a year. Am already physched up! This guide will surely be of help to me as a fulltime employee. Thanks!

    • nik_11986
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      I am using Schweser for Level 1. CFA material is way too lengthy, please suggest if there are certain important topics which i should refer only from CFA institute books. Also if there is any topic which is not covered in shweser.

    • Sophie Macon
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      No problem @nik_11986 @Georgewachira‌, glad you found it useful.

      @nik_11986, I’m afraid we can’t advise on that as different candidates have different grasp of topics in CFAI curriculum. Some topics important to you may be less so for others as they grasped it quickly, vice versa. In general, a good place to start determining ‘important’ topics is the CFA topic % breakdown by levels – summarised here http://www.300hours.com/blog/the-last-minute-guide-how-to-cram-for-the-cfa-exams

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