CFA CFA General 300 Hours’ Rough Guide to a Solid CFA Study Plan

300 Hours’ Rough Guide to a Solid CFA Study Plan

  • This topic has 46 replies, 21 voices, and was last updated Apr-18 by JohnB.
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    • Zee Tan
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      300 Hours’ Rough Guide to a Solid CFA Study Plan

      By Sophie,  Regular Contributor .  Check out her  previous posts  to learn how to optimise your life and ace the CFA exams in 18 months, even with a full-time job. She can be found lurking (very…

      Read the full story here

    • Dan
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      I was waiting for this. Good job!

    • Sophie Macon
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      Thanks to you @Dan!

    • Zee Tan
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      @dan sorry it took so long! 😉

    • BobBarkerPlaysPlinko
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      Hate to be that guy, but check out the first sheet cell C10. I think it should equal C9/7.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @Bobbarkerplaysplinko – it is C9/7. Did I miss something?

    • psh33942
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      Sophie / Zee
      I have to thank you for all this wonderful information and help. I am just starting to study for the CFA. I am using Schweser and also going through Creighton University for their Master of Security Analysis & Portfolio Management. I figured the extra work couldn’t hurt by going through Creighton and I get a Master on top of it. Since I am a veteran, the Army pays for a chunk of it.

      Again, thank you for all of your hard work! I do not think from what I have read thus far, you guys get enough street credit for what you have created.

      All the best,
      Peter S. Halpern
      CFA Level 1 Candidate June 2014

    • Sophie Macon
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      @psh33942 – Peter, thank you for your kind words!

    • cfanewbie
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      Hi, I am new to the CFA and I am currently working out a study plan based on the table above ( thank you for posting this!). I just have a question regarding the ‘Hours to Study’ column, is that the recommended hours that you would give to study for each topic? any help would be appreciated, thanks. 🙂

    • Sophie Macon
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      You’re welcome @Cfanewbie! It’s an estimated number of hours you think you’d need to study to complete that section. It’s always interesting how your estimates compare to actual study hours later.

    • cfanewbie
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      @sophie, thanks for the help. I have already noticed the actaul study hours differ. Think I ned to re-think my plan! 🙂

    • Sophie Macon
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      Yea @cfanewbie it keeps you realistic, I really like that bit of the plan as I’m naturally optimistic! 😛

    • tonythebruin
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      Hi, I have a question. What’s the difference between Total Pages to cover vs CFA Cirriculum pages? For this worksheet are we assuming we are studying from the Schweser Material or literally the Materials provided by the CFA institute ( or both?). Thanks a bunch, very helpful worksheet.

    • Sophie Macon
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      @Tonythebruin – the total pages to cover refers to whatever reference book (if any) that you are using to study. The CFA curriculum pages was just placed there as a reference, it made me happier seeing that I’m reading less pages on reference books (e.g. Schweser / Elan / 7city etc) than the actual curriculum!

      For your study plan, you should input the number of pages of the material provider you are using for studying (could be the Curriculum, Schweser / Elan / 7city. ) Hope this is clear!

    • mbnmichael17
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      Hi Sophie,

      I see that you recommend we go through the notes twice. Is there any way to build this out in the spreadsheet? I have the TimePrep app and it’s telling me I will study for 400-500 hours if I go through the notes twice.

      Thanks!

    • Sophie Macon
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      @mbnmichael17 – it’s just a guide and not strict per se as everyone has different study retention. For me, I go through it the second time indirectly through the intensive last month with the cycle of doing practice papers, checking answers, revising sections of the topic I’m weak in / got wrong. Hope this helps!

    • priya
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      @ Sophie, can you please explain how you devided the study sessions for diffrent topics ?

    • priya
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      @ Sophie, I got it , its provided by CFAI.

    • Sophie Macon
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      no problem @priya!

    • anmar
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      Hello Sophie,
      Let me start by adding my thanks and appreciation to the ones already posted on this site, I have just enrolled on the CFA exam level 1 for June 2014, and in the process of planning my study time, just awaiting to receive the material to start making a plan using the spreadsheet you provided, which I feel will be very useful in tracking my progress, thanks. I am from London, UK, moved to Montreal four years ago and now looking forward to this challenge 🙂
      Best wishes for Xmas and the new year and look forward to reading and sharing helpful experiences on the site.
      Thanks again.
      Anmar

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @Anmar – hope it’s not too cold there in Montreal right now! You’re welcome, it’s always great to hear your feedback and I’m glad the spreadsheet is useful. Have a lovely Christmas and New Year, I’ll see you back here in the forum in the New Year!

    • anmar
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      Today is -12c so it’s rather chilly, but we do get a fair amount of sun during the day which helps 🙂

    • CedricJ
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      Hey.
      I could get my hands on last years Schweser notes for free, would that be stupid off me? How much will it change from year to year?

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @CedricJ – there’s always a risk there I suppose. There are some variations from year to year, sometimes small, sometimes significant, there’s no rules per se. You can always check the LOS variations published but sometimes it’s not worth the time and it’s better to just get the latest syllabus and focus on revision instead.

    • joe240
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      This is fantastic! I’m well over 100 hours in and thinking without this I wouldn’t anywhere near where I am by now. Keeps me motivated day to day to be able to update my progress and realizing the totality of what I need to do is irreplaceable! Thanks so much @Sophie!!

    • Sophie Macon
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      You’re welcome @joe240 🙂 Yes, I found the progress tracking quite motivating personally, keep up the good work!

    • Key
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      Hi Sophie.
      I am CFA Level I Candidate June 2014 and I found your plan very helpful.
      Could you please clarify how exactly you split the time in terms of practice and exams. In the “Time Plan” tab the “Practice and Mock exams” starts on 7th of November and on the “Detailed Study Scheduled” has to finish on 30th of Otober.

      Is that mean that the there is one free month?

      Thank you in advance

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @Key, the plan is to leave 1 whole month for practice exams and last minute revisions. So you should aim to finish your studies a month before.

      Hope this helps!

    • Key
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      Hi Sophie tHank you for your swift reply.
      That’s exactly what I thought howver the “Detailed version” includes the one month revision and leave one month free. Is this correct

    • Sophie Macon
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      Yes you are right @Key, sorry for the confusion. What is in the sheet is dummy numbers for now, you should update the grey boxes according to your schedule.

    • Key
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      Thank you Sophie
      That is great

    • Zayd
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      Hi,

      I am a student graduating in May 2014, hoping the CFA will get me some knowledge & analyst interviews. I read all these posts on 300 hours, and this website is really helpful. However, I am anxious and worried (that I won’t be able to accomplish/doing something wrong/wasting my time, which seems to be normal). I have been studying since the last week of December for the June Level I exam. My plan is and has been reading the Schweser notes, doing the EOC questions for schweser and doing EOC of the CFA I Curriculum (about a study session a week, roughly 15 hours). I plan on finishing about 6 weeks before the exam to review, take my practice exams & CFA mock exam, and review my weaknesses to be ready for exam day. Throughout my studying, I plan on going back to do/review the EOC questions and skimming/reading the summaries of Schweser and the CFA Curriculum. I think this plan is pretty solid, and I am curious if there is anything else I am leaving out or missing. I notice it is a little different from this post. Please fill me in and let me know. Thanks!

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hello @Zayd, glad you popped by.

      I think your plan is solid, not to worry at all. This study planner serves as a guide only, as it’s highly individual depending on your available time during the week and productivity. Finishing 6 weeks before the exams is a lot of time, so you’re fine there! Most crucial bit for me is that people leave 1 month before the exams to focus on doing practice exams, and you’ve done that. So keep up the good work!

    • walterwhitmanwhite
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      Hello all,

      I wanted to share an updated version of this spreadsheet that I put together this morning. It has more tracking capabilities and includes 2014 study material data for both CFA and Schweser for L1. I hope it’s useful to everyone this year!

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/iutpuc3jcxymo52/300Hours%20study%20plan%20-%20L1%202014%20-%20Schw%20%26%20CFA.xls

    • Sophie Macon
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      Thank you for sharing @walterwhitmanwhite!

      Is that your real name? 😀

    • Zee Tan
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    • Wizards_Apprentice83
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      Hi just a quick one, started reading the lv 2 material in November, I’ve covered corp, fra and equity so far … With the aim of finishing Econ and quant by February 3rd – when kaplan course starts. At this point I’m not trying to master the material, but aim to get a feel for it and look for links or hooks in the curriculum to aid the learning process. Once a entire study session is completed I then work some questions also. The main work starts when I attend the course and I will begin to seriously put pen to paper …and look to fully retain the content. I guess I worry too much and look to master everything, just looking for some. Feedback if that approach sounds ok? Many thanks, Michael – hocus pocus.

    • Zee Tan
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      @wizards_apprentice83 your approach sounds good. Only feedback I have is practice exams/questions – when do you plan to start on them?

    • markX
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      Hi, I have used your study guide for level I – with great success. Are there any adjustments to be made for level 2 regarding the weighting of each topic? What would you suggest how many hours more (in %) are appropriate for the second level? thanks!

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hello @markX – good to hear that, and congrats! For Level 2, you need to adjust the number of pages depending on the material you are using of course, but other than that I would aim for at least 300 hours, as there’s a lot to grasp. You’ll see that naturally when you come to studying those concepts!

    • Gibzioni
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      thanks a lot @walterwhitmanwhite , I was struggling with the adjustment of 2014 Level 1 material

    • Ridz
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      Hello, I will be taking the CFA Level 1 exam in June 2015 and am looking to utilize this calender. Do you know if the weights have changed for the topics since 2013 and if so, would it impact this calender? Thanks!

    • RoyD
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      Hey @Sophie I used this tool to plan my Level 1 study successfully but now when I tried using it for Level 2 there’s a slight problem. All the stuff I entered into the spreadsheet for Level 1 is copied into the Level 2 spreadsheet including the stuff in the grey boxes. Everything is exactly the same as Level 1. What should I do?

    • RoyD
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      Someone … Anyone ….!!! need to start studying and need a time table ASAP.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hey @RoyD, I’ve checked the study planner – not sure what you mean or the issues you’re experiencing? Make a copy of that study planner for yourself to customise, then you can delete the L1 and L3 sheet and use the L2 one with the “Time Plan” worksheet. What aspect of it doesn’t work for you?

    • RoyD
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      Don’t worry I asked Christine and got it sorted out. I actually forgot that you had to update the grey boxes on your own. It’s all sorted now, thanks.

    • JohnB
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      On the Detailed Study Schedule Sheet, how is the “Total Pages to Cover” column calculated. In other words, why is it less than the “CFA Curriculum Pages” column and how is the difference determined?

      Thank you!

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