Review for your CFA Exam
Before writing this article, I used to be a CFA candidate many years ago so that I can fully understand all of your worries related to this matter. Therefore, if you are preparing for your CFA Exam, my sharing will be able to support you for sure. Based on my previous experience, coping with the CFA test of all three levels will be quite difficult and challenging, but you can overcome them without any problems if you apply my strategy to your current study.
Overview of CFA Study Plan
First of all, with those people who are struggling with all three levels of CFA Exam, I highly recommend that you should spend at least 20 to 25 hours per week on studying. And this amount will increase when your exam is coming. Moreover, you should do a minimum of 3 mock exams so that you can get familiar with the pressure of the actual test as well as get accustomed to allocating your time properly.
In particular, you can get all of the practice questions together with the mock exams from a number of reliable sources including Curriculum, Kaplan as well as CFA Library. More importantly, I think that identifying the important level of each subject will help you to make a better study plan.
With my knowledge, if you are studying for CFA Level 1 and 2, you need to focus more on four specific subjects such as Ethics and Professional Standard, Quantitative Methods, Economics along with Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA). These modules will account for the higher mark in your exam.
However, with CFA Level 3, your attention will need to be on Ethics and Professional Standard, Fixed Income as well as Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning. After knowing this, you can have a clear strategy for your study in order to understand all of the necessary knowledge within a few months. As a result, we are going to get started with CFA Level 1’s study plan right now.
Study plan for CFA Level 1
The first month
Firstly, I would like to say that this study plan for CFA Level 1 is designed for a 3-month plan, but you can adjust it according to your planning schedule. With this short amount of time, I will spend 1 month on learning Ethics, Financial Reporting and Economics at the same time since they are more important than the others.
My advice for Ethics is that you need to do as many assignments as possible so that you can know how to answer the questions quickly. For FRA, you have to get to know how to analyze the financial statement such as the Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow as well. Furthermore, paying attention to the financial items will be one of the most significant things that you have to remember.
About Economics, you can review the macro and microeconomics simultaneously that you have learned at the university so that I am sure that you will not have many difficulties on this aspect. If you complete studying these three subjects, it means that you are going half of your entire program.
The second month
Then, you can go to Quantitative Methods for the next ten days. In my book, this subject is not a difficult one for every candidate since you can meet the previous knowledge that you have known before including Statistics, Time Value of Money as well as how to measure the return. This part does not account for many points in your exam so that you do not need to spend much time on them.
In the next 15 days, you need to go over Equity, Portfolio Management together with Corporate Finance. About Equity, you should spend about five or 6 days on reviewing your understanding related to stock market, especially how to calculate and analyze the required rate of return.
Next, Corporate Finance in CFA Level 1 does not require many challenges since they focus on testing your basic understanding about the capital budget and working capital management. Besides, Portfolio Management is quite easy at this stage in my opinion, and you just need to remember some important theories and models in general.
For the last five days of the send month, you can choose to learn Derivatives, and you just need to go through some basics about risk management and some essential charts.
The third month
At this time, I am sure that you are going to be under much pressure as I used to experience this feeling. However, do not worry since you are gradually completing everything to achieve the best outcome. Thus, for the final month, you need to spend 5 days on Fixed Income and Alternative Investments.
For anyone who knows about Fixed Income, you will know this subject is quite difficult since you have to learn some new theories associated with bonds, credits, debts as well as the others. Additionally, with Alternative Investments, you have to focus on the real estate mostly.
Last but not least, if you follow my study plan, you will have more than three weeks left to review. I remember that these weeks are considered as my most nervous time since I need to do the practice tests and the mock exams so that I can identify my weak areas as soon as possible. However, before the actual exam 2 days, I highly recommend that you should relax to have the peaceful mind.
Study Plan for CFA Level 2
Going to the next level of CFA Exam, I am going to briefly describe the study plan for you, and it is the 4-month schedule since CFA Level 2 is more difficult than the first level.
- The first three weeks: Similar to CFA Level 1, you also need to spend the first three weeks to study Ethics, Quantitative Methods as well as Economics, which requires one week for each mentioned subject.
- The next three weeks: FRA
- Nine days later: Corporate Finance
- Three weeks later: Equity Investment
- The next five days: Alternative Investments
- Nine days later: Fixed Income
- The following 12 days: Derivatives
- Five days later: Portfolio Management
Finally, you can have three weeks left for your revision. Again, you need to remember my advice which I discuss clearly from CFA Level 1 study plan. By doing this, you will definitely get the excellent result.
Study Plan for CFA Level 3
The final stage which can help to become a CFA Charter Holder is level three with the most difficult modules. Therefore, you need to have the most suitable study for this level so as not to waste your valuable time and efforts. To support your study, I am going to divide the whole process into three months:
- First week: Behavioral Finance
- The next two weeks: Private Wealth Management
- The forth week: Portfolio Management for Institutional Investors
- The fifth week: Capital Management Expectations
- Two weeks later: Asset Allocation
- The next two weeks: Fixed Income
- The tenth week: Equity Portfolio
- Two final weeks: Review all of the subjects
In each level, it would be a good idea if you can make summaries for your better studies of CFA Exam. One of the best summaries would be CFA mind maps. Click here to get some
In summary, I hope that all of my sharing in this article related to how to make a plan for your CFA Exam will give you useful information. Nevertheless, if you have any confusion or queries, please feel free to keep in touch with me anytime.