CFA CFA General There is Such a Thing as Overstudying for the CFA Exam

There is Such a Thing as Overstudying for the CFA Exam

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    • Sarah
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      I’ve done just a little over 3,800 questions while preparing for the level II exam.

      That’s crazy.

      And I still don’t think I’ll be clocking the 300 hours recommend by CFAI.
      (but that number isn’t derived in a scientific fashion so lets ignore it).

      Over the past few days (less than a week) I think I have clocked more than 8 hours a day and I’m cranky. I don’t want to see another question. I don’t even want to talk finance. My sister wanted to discuss some financial terms for school and asked me what is economic profit and I so helpfully replied with, “profit that you derive from the economy?”. I think she might hate me a little for that.

      Yes, there is such a thing as over-studying for the CFA exam. Since most people are working while they write the exam they usually take the last week off from from and cram to a point of exhausting in my opinion. This is bad, exhausting hurts game day performance. Using our brains is tiring – for something that accounts for about 2% body mass it requires 20% of the sugar we consume. Which is a average, and we all know how misleading averages can be. If 20% is average imagine how much more you are using when you are trying to juggle 18 study sessions.

      I am reiterating some of the points that have been previously made and some that I’ve made in the past. But it is very important to be well rested for the exam and while we should all fight for the every last point being sleepy exam day just isn’t cool. Show up with style just to scare the competition if nothing else.

      Cheers and Good Luck everyone!
      May the Force be with you !

    • oranje
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      I have put about 400-450 hours into studying for L1, as I don’t have a finance undergrad (I do have 4 years of wholesaling experience). At this point, I’d say I’ve burn out and refreshed again, but it was total overkill… I started in September. For L2, I will start in December.

    • MattyJ
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      @Diya I think it’s even worse at Level 2 as well given the pure quantum of info to learn. I’ve also been doing full days of studying since saturday (although I did arrange to play soccer last night just to get some exercise and fresh air!), but for some reason I feel a lot better than last year. Probably as last year I didn’t get the week before off work, as I handed my notice in in the middle of May!

      It’s tough, but whenever I think about packing it in for the day I just think about how bad I would feel if something came up that I knew I would have known if I just put that extra few minutes in (eg it was a formula that I just hadn’t quite memorised).

      3 days until E-day, and then it’s over!

    • Sophie Macon
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      good luck people, and great article @Diya!

    • AjFinance
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      @Diya I am probably well past the burn out zone. Just pushing along, a couple of days to go. Goodluck to everyone. :-bd

    • sankrutimehta
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      3 days until E-day, and then it’s over!

      Love the last part!!

    • DollarsToDonuts
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      Great post, @Diya. I’ve noticed the same thing, first in level I and now in level II. As you mentioned, a lot of people take the last week off prior to the test to cram as much revision as they can. Hell, I usually take the last TWO weeks off before the test, exhausting most of my vacation (unfortunately I couldn’t do that this time around due to a new job).

      In my opinion, efficient CFA studying comprises of three things: working hard, working consistently, and working smart. That last part is really important and entails being very judicious about your time, and leaving ample amounts of rest in between study sessions.

      The brain is a muscle and deserves the same amount of recovery as any other body part. Imagine if you trained for a soccer match everyday for two weeks. Chances are you won’t be fit come game day.

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