CFA CFA Level 3 CFAI Level 3 curriculum – how long does it take to read? (my experience to date: 79 hours)

CFAI Level 3 curriculum – how long does it take to read? (my experience to date: 79 hours)

  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated Aug-18 by mitch895.
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    • mitch895
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      Ok, I know this will depend on the individual, but for Level 3 I decided to time how long it took me to read the curriculum cover-to-cover (not in one sitting).  

      Approximately 79 hours.  

      That excludes End of Chapter practice questions, and within that were a few patches that I probably skipped through a little fast, but equally there were areas that I read twice and/or became distracted.  While the 79 hours is a fairly arbitrary number, I have re-read a few of the Readings and found that on the second time through I am able to cover the material roughly 30% – 40% faster than the first time through (I highlighted extensively on the first read).  That said, my attention span is much shorter the second time round as it’s fairly boring, so I am probably going to turn my attention to the end of chapter Summary.  No surprise that topics I scored poorest on also tend to take (page-for-page) the longest to read.

      I have no doubt that Kaplan (or any of the other third party providers) could substantially reduce the reading time, and perhaps help concentrate the candidate’s attention on the most obviously testable stuff (I felt some readings had sections with a lot of words but not much substance), but equally it hopefully provides some perspective of the finite time commitment one may need to make if they only want to use the CFAI material (as I have also done on Level 1 & 2).

    • Stuj79
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      That’s quite an impressive speed you’ve managed to achieve. I consider myself a relatively fast reader and I am 99 hours in having just started the first reading in the Risk Management Applications of Derivatives study session… AND I totally skipped all of volume 1 (ethics).

      Mind you, I have been doing all of the EOCs as I’ve gone along. 

      I’m guessing another 20-25 hours will see me through most of what I have left but that will still be 125 hours for a single read through!!

      I have February 6th as a goal date for finishing my first read through, at which point I will sit a couple of AM/PM mock exams, check where I am especially weak, and go back over those sections. Then it’s reading through condensed 3rd party material to get a quick recap of everything, making Anki flashcards and short notes as I go along.

      Then it’s just going to be mocks exams, EOCs, flashcards and drilling stuff over and over again until the exam.

      How are you feeling after your first read through?

    • mitch895
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      Hi Stuj79,

      That was excluding EOC questions, so all up we’re probably about on par.  Should say that there were a few sections that I smashed through at lightning speed as it was stuff that was covered elsewhere in the curriculum.

      Your approach sounds solid.

      Having kept score of my EOC practice question results (and having allocated topic weights to each reading) I have a fair idea where to concentrate my attention.  For example, Fixed Income is (according to my assumptions/calculations) my weakest area, but improvement in Portfolio Management is expected to offer greater return on study time.

      Of course we’re still a fair way off the exams, so objective now is to keep up some exposure to the key concepts and get in a few practice exams.  Hope to leave the final month for some hardcore revision.  

      Good luck!

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