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300 hours - optimal timeframe?

Hi all. I hope this is the correct place for this question. I have no problem committing 300 hours to passing each level of the CFA, even if it were to take me many years. However, what is the optimal timeframe to complete the recommended 300 hours of study time? 6 months?

Would completing the 300(+) hours of study time in a year (in preparation for the December 2014 level 1 exam) be the wrong approach?


  • joe240joe240 Phoenix, AZPosts: 9 Sr Associate
    I'll caution this by saying I'm a level 1 candidate, I don't know much.... (I'm about 130 hours in on a 400 hour plan that I started in late October for June '14)

    that being said I would say 6 months give or take a little seems to be the consensus ideal.

    Less than that, and you are trying to cram too much in, more than that and you may be testing the limits of what your brain can remember from studying that many months back.

    Hopefully one of the seniors will add some more clarity. For both of us ;)
  • Hi @lao, welcome to the community! @joe240 is right.

    I think 6 months is a good time frame, though some have done it longer or shorter +- 1-2 months. The reason I caution against starting too early is you may burn out much earlier and the last month before the exams are the most crucial. Why not aim for June 2014 instead? Then you can start your studies now like @joe240 for Level 1
  • @lao If you are starting now, I think you can pretty much aim for June 2014 exam without any hurdles. Consistent commitment, practice and adherence to plan is key for all levels of exam.
  • Hi all, thanks very much for the advice. I'd start now for the June 2014 however I'm not sure that I am ready to make the commitment, considering the ~30% pass rate. I am still weighing my options. CAIA doesn't seem as prestigious as the CFA, and the GMAT covers mostly nonsense that is uninteresting and cannot be applied to the real world.
  • Well @lao, you need 100% commitment to get through this. Lots of people pass despite the low pass rate, and possibly it's a quality indicator in itself. I tend to agree with you on your comparison with other qualifications/exams - so it depends on your objectives really. But one thing is for sure, if you decide to go for it you need to commit, else you're just wasting your time!
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