Though this isn’t the inaugural post on the blog, I am new and will be administrating posts so though I would introduce myself. I passed the Level 3 exam in June of 2011 and was awarded (EARNED!) the charter last September. I am the Communications Chair on the Board of the CFA Society of Iowa and an economist for the State of Iowa. I lived in Colombiafor two years as a business consultant and provide 3rd party research to advisor firms.
This blog is going to be informal and interactive. We’ve got a comment/question button at the top right of every post, so don’t be afraid to let me know what you think, good or bad. We’re here to help you pass the exams. We might field some other questions, but the primary focus is on getting you through the exams the first time and with as little stress as possible. As someone who has been through the process, I can tell you it is NOT easy. You have to intensely prepare and use your time efficiently at EACH level.
The blog will be separated into three basic sections. We’ll address general preparation for the exams in the first section. This will be preparation tips and strategy that will carry you through all three Chartered Financial Analyst exams. We’ll also cover details specific to level 2 and level 3 in their own sections. The level 2 CFA exam is very quantitatively-focused and is the first time you will confront item set questions. The level 3 exam will bring the essay questions, a section that can make or break you depending on your preparation.
The most important issue, especially at this stage of the game, is using your time efficiently. With about 12 weeks left, you do not have time to waste. If you haven’t already worked through the official curriculum yet, your best bet is going to be a condensed study guide. Of course, in the interest of disclosure, I am biased toward the FinQuiz Curriculum Notes. The notes are built around the CFA curriculum instead of on individual LOS so you get a more complete understanding of the topics instead of a collection of ideas. This is very important at level 2, and more so at level 3 as you are expected to put the curriculum together and synthesize ideas. The team here at FinQuiz has done a great job of highlighting key concepts and working through the tough stuff.
Best of all, FinQuiz is operated by CFA charter holders. We know what you are going through. We know what you need to do to work through the exams.
To get this thing rolling, I need you to do something. To make these posts as effective as possible, I need to know where you are at in your preparation. What level are you taking? How long have you been preparing? What study materials are you using? How many hours a week are you studying? What are your top concerns (specific study sessions in the curriculum, item sets, essays, time management, etc.)?
Don’t be shy. You are all in the same boat and it’s a shaky one. Statistically, three months from now half of you will be in a good mood and about half will be…otherwise. Stick with it, stick with us here at FinQuiz.com, and your effort WILL be rewarded.
Joseph Hogue, CFA
FinQuiz Blog Administrator
This week, I am going to cover what you need to know and specific strategies for the level 2 and 3 CFA exams as well as the most important advice I can give you on HOW to study. Don’t miss it!