CFA CFA General Right time to start CFA Level II preparations

Right time to start CFA Level II preparations

  • This topic has 35 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated May-17 by Zee Tan.
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    • Mr_Excel
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      What is the advisable time to start preparations for the coming June 2014 exams CFA level II exams?

    • Sarah
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      I’d say November gives you seven months but you’d probably take time of for festivities such as Christmas so it will end up being closer to six.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Yup, I’m with @Sarah. Anything longer I feel is not optimum and you’ll be tired earlier (which isn’t great) as the last month prior to exams is most crucial.

    • MattyJ
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      I agree 6 months is good so you can progress through the material at a steady rate and also leave 4-8 weeks for practice questions (I caveat that with I generally start around Feb because I’m an idiot who can’t stick to a plan and needs the pressure to push me through!).

      Ideally I would probably do:
      4 months reading the syllabus and doing the EOC’s
      Try a practice exam, but then go back over all the EOC’s in 3/4weeks
      Last 4/5 weeks for hitting practice exams and consolidating the bits you find hard

    • stt00007
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      I agree with most of the peoples comments above about how long it takes to have a decent grasp of the syllabus.

      I would still say start as early as possible. To steal an analogy from Warren Buffett…”…when you build a bridge, you insist it can carry 30,000 pounds, but you only drive 10,000 pound trucks across it

      If you have the opportunity to build in a large margin of safety why not use it?

      I would suggest September. You have a huge advantage over people who will roll over from L1 in December, try to make the most of it!

    • vincentt
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      I would suggest September. You have a huge advantage over people who will roll over from L1 in December, try to make the most of it!

      I personally wouldn’t agree with starting too early, to start in Sept would means you have 9 months to exam and by probably the 5th month you would be so bored of studying and might get demotivated.

      However, I do understand that everyone is different, so do what works best for you.

    • Maroon5
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      Hi @Mr_Excel, I’m L2 candidate next June too. Planning to start late this year in November with some light reading before Christmas, and officially go nuts in January – don’t wanna burn out too early!

    • Mr_Excel
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      Thanks guys for your advice, I appreciate. The nature of my Job is tight one and mostly depends on some events, for instance August to October is planning period and April is a very busy month (In level I I hardly studied in this month, thanks God I was almost done by the end of March). I think November will be good for me. What are the consequences of starting too early, and in the mean time what should I do, completely rest?

    • stt00007
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      @vincentt – I completely agree it comes down to the individualโ€™s circumstances and preferences. I also think it depends whether you enjoy the syllabus. If you are pursuing the designation purely for the prestige or opportunities it affords then maybe 9 months study is not for you, but if you enjoy learning about investments then it shouldn’t be too taxing.

      Starting early gives you the opportunity for spaced repetition, hopefully allowing you to carry the material through your career. If you are employed part-time or unemployed 6 months may be enough to achieve complete understanding but if youโ€™re in full time employment ensure there is enough bandwidth for a break because you won’t feel like studying every night.

    • Mr_Excel
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      @stt00007 I really enjoy reading and being knowledgeable, I think starting early will be ideal for me, but I wonder won’t I get tired early?

    • Mr_Excel
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      @Maroon5 I think that’s great, just remember me whenever you will form online group discussion, because in Tanzania very CFA candidates for do sit for level II (sometimes no candidate at all) and Kenya is our nearest Test centre.

    • stt00007
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      @Mr_Excel the beauty of starting early is that if you get tired you can call a timeout. This is luxury those who start later cannot afford.

    • christine
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      @Mr_Excel the beauty of starting early is that if you get tired you can call a timeout. This is luxury those who start later cannot afford.

      Definitely agree with that!

    • toeknee9121
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      What if you were sitting for the CFA L1 this December? Assuming that I pass the level 1 this December, when would I begin to study for the L2? Do i simply wait for my results to come in and then hit the books or should I proactive order my L2 Kaplan Study materials?

      Any ideas here guys?

      Currently, I’m at 120 hours of study, gaining lots of confidence! ๐Ÿ™‚ Will begin my Kaplan Course Aug 22nd and hope to have Ethics, QM, and ECON under my belt by then.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Yup wait for the results @toeknee9121, hold your horses ๐Ÿ™‚
      I wrote about it here too.

      Looks like excellent progress!

    • vincentt
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      @toeknee9121 as what @sophie said, wait for the results before you start again. Trust me, you would appreciate that 7 weeks off (between exam and results day) ๐Ÿ™‚

    • toeknee9121
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      @sophie @vincent thanks for the advice! I thought the idea was to start as early as possible considering that it is the hardest exam?

    • Zee Tan
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      @toeknee9121 it is great to start as early as possible, but waiting to be 100% sure pays off too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sophie Macon
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      yea, save your energy for the intensive 4 months, you’ll need it. ๐Ÿ˜€
      In the meantime, enjoy the time in between to the maximum!

    • nancy_01
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      I want Q bank 2014 for level 2? how can i get that? is there any reliable site to download it ?? i want that asap….

    • Sophie Macon
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      @nancy_01 we don’t recommend illegal downloads here at 300HC, sorry about that

    • hairyfairy
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      Just signed up, but will take it easy for a bit before going full blast ๐Ÿ™‚

    • sankrutimehta
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      thats true…my L2 took about 6 months of concentrated studies with a few lulls here and there!!! Ideally target to get the matter read once at least 3 months in advance so that you have enough time to refreshen yourself and practise along with some unavoidable delays.

    • mattyc
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      I want to sign up for L2 just to update my CV and LinkedIn page but im trying to get work to pay for it. Unfortunately, Im fighting an uphill battle. Ill probably start studying in Novemeber like @Sarah suggested, but in the meantime I may go for my Series 9 & 10 to have the management track as a career backup.

    • Sarah
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      I’m just going to enjoy life till November. Maybe focus on a hobby or something. Anyone with me for some down time?

    • vincentt
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      @sarah yeah same here… leaving it till dec.

    • hairyfairy
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      I’m taking it easy too!

    • toeknee9121
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      I love this forum. Thank you guys for the feedback!

    • trust21
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      I plan on taking it easy at least until November. But maybe because results are still fresh, I’ve been obsessed with noodling around different topics such as checking out Elan notes (I used Schweser for L1).

      I’m sure that once I get comfortable and stop thinking about it, it’ll be time to start studying again. ๐Ÿ˜

    • Sophie Macon
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      sounds like a good plan @Trust21!

    • aliza_khan
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      Hey, Its been a year since i lost touch with CFA studies. I attempted Level 2 June 2012 but could not succeed. Since I lost touch with studies, how early should I start preparing for Level 2 2014 attempt?

    • stt00007
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      Hi @aliza_khan, prepare yourself for an array of conflicting replies. Truth is it depends on the individual. Having attempted L2 2012 you should have a good feel of what is required.

      My strategy is to cover CFAI texts by the end of Dec, using the month of Jan to really focus on EOC questions and blue box examples. I’ll then use Feb/Mar to move onto a mix of CFAI texts and lecture videos to really tackle my weaknesses. Finally, Iโ€™ll use Apr/May to focus solely on mock papers. I am therefore starting my preparations this month.

    • Sophie Macon
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      I think it’s the same @aliza_khan. Generally 6 months before in full force is a good start. Some may prefer earlier but you may burn out earlier too before the last month which is the most important month.

    • sankrutimehta
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      @aliza_khan: I would suggest October end – November if you can give a good concentration once you start..I am assuming here that you are working and hence cannot study full time..Target about 1-2 hours daily and about 3-4 hours on weekends.

    • Amelia
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      So – sadly i didn’t pass the L2 this past June (Bar 9 – SO close!) and plan on taking it again in 2014- but bought ALL the materials before this exam last year (Kaplan Premium Deluxe). Should I buy a whole new set of books? Is there a way to just obtain new mock exams? I tend to write all-over my books when studying – thoughts?

    • Zee Tan
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      @amelia welcome to 300 Hours! You can just get mock exams – you can purchase them separately from Schweser, or have a look at other options here. However you may want to consider getting the latest curriculum as some of it will have changed. It’s your choice really depending on budget, but we have a 10% discount off Schweser for our readers if that helps.

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