June 2013 Candidates…Start Your Engines!

We’ll be starting our 21-week study plan on the FinQuiz blog in January. There will be four posts a week, one for each exam level and one for generalized advice. We will cover each study session, some of the most important ideas and other relevant suggestions leading up to the test.

I have planned out a rough 21-week schedule to work through all 18 study sessions and leave two weeks before the exam for review. We will be covering each study session in sequential order (for my own sanity) but feel free to adjust your own schedule for a timeline that works best. The curriculum, by study session, is available on the CFA Institute website here. Next week, we will cover the changes to the Learning Outcome Statements across the three exams and general ideas/strategy for each level. The actual study plan, starting with study session 1, will begin on the week of January 7th.

Within each of the 18 posts for each level and each study session, I will try to hit some of the more difficult formulas and sections. * I will be using the FinQuiz Study Notes to work through the curriculum. The study guide is designed to be used in conjunction with the official curriculum. Using the FinQuiz material is not completely necessary to follow along but it helps to focus your time on the important topics and makes a good companion to the curriculum.

The posts for each level will not be in the same format since there are some important idiosyncracies within each level. For example, the first exam requires a generalized approach so the depth we go to in the material will not be as detailed as in other posts. We will spend a little more time on the formulas and detail in level II and we will focus on the essay portion for level III.

I, or others from FinQuiz, will try to address any questions about the curriculum as they come in. Please use the comment box provided under the blog posts to ask questions or make suggestions.

While it isn’t impossible to start your studying later in the year, I would consider late-January as last minute. These are some of the most intense exams you will ever take and you need to give yourself plenty of time. There is a reason that around 50% of candidates fail their respective level each year.

The second deadline for exam registration expires on February 13th, but you need to get started before then. The Institute is now offering an e-book version of the curriculum as well as the traditional print version. The print version usually takes about a week to arrive by mail so you may want to get the e-book as well if you want to start studying sooner (it’s only $90 extra for both print and e-book).

Get your sleep now. Come January, no rest for the wicked.
Joseph Hogue, CFA