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Study Plan?

Can anyone recommend a good study plan for Level 3? I dont want to get trapped thinking that my methods for Lvl 2 will work here!


  • Hey @AlphaZa_99‌ , congrats on your recent pass! Nearly there :)

    I don't think there's anything different about the timing/schedule for the preparation of L3, have you seen my post about a template to help setup / tailor a suitable study plan around your commitments?

  • @ALPHA_CYA‌ I'm not L3, but I remember a post on the 300 hours blog being written about how to pass the written part. (I remember planning to refer to that when I get to L3!!)

  • AlphaZa_99AlphaZa_99 KarachiPosts: 11 Associate

    @sophie thanks alot, I already went through your post, and I hope I can get even more good advice on how to nail this thing. I'm doing my MBA as well, so I need to really clock in some early hours in because ones the semester starts, time will be an even bigger issue than when I was working. 

    @tacheman‌ thanks bud, I've been through alot of the blogs, I like to do alot of ground work before I push full steam ahead into a study plan, hence why I'm asking for advice. Fret not, you'll be Level 3 soon bro!

  • No worries @AlphaZa_99‌, glad you found them useful. Gosh, doing both CFA and MBA at the same time would be a mouthful, but I'd hope there's less "homework" on the MBA course itself. This is where customising the study plan with that template to suit your schedule works wonders.

    In general, L3 is less intense than L2 in terms of the amount/breadth of material, and you can cover the materials faster. There is a few useful posts on tackling IPS questions styles, and also a few L3 tips on tackling essays there - all in the L3 topic picks section of this forum.

    The tricky bit for L3 is managing time on the essay questions, and answering them efficiently. I found that making concise notes for particular sections useful, so when it's time for final revision you can go through the salient points quicker. It is harder to practice the essay questions, but still useful to do 6-7 sets of practice papers - it's near impossible to give yourself a score for the essay questions as it's not a binary outcome like multiple choice questions. But reading the answers is useful to see/understand how the model answers are written. Variety of sources of the practice papers is useful as well to avoid getting accustomed to a certain style of questions. 

  • When would you recommend starting to study for Level 3? With level 2 I was only able to start at the end of Jan after level 1 marks were released, since I have more time with this level I want to make sure I have solid study plan. 

  • AlphaZa_99AlphaZa_99 KarachiPosts: 11 Associate
    @peekabooitsme I would say that if you have managebale work hours to start in december, thats what most of the level 3 I've spoken to have told me! 

    @sophie unfortuntely homework is heavy, I really didnt have much time to prepare, I failed level 2 previously, but I was lucky in that I had a finance course that gave me a good refresher that was roughly slightly above level 1. But no respite this time around. z

    Thanks alot for the tips and the links, I'll be sure to make use of them and maximize. maybe get into the studying mode early on and try to get a good grip so I can revise through CFAI end of chapter questions and using Qbanks. 

  • Perhaps our recently minted L3 passers can help with some advice?

    @Jwa, @alta12, @ravivooda, @beancounter, @mockturtle, @timbo, @mm12, @comicbookguy‌, @timbo‌- mind helping out a L3 candidate with what you did for your L3 preparation and some words of wisdom?

  • RaviVoodaRaviVooda IndiaPosts: 268 Portfolio Manager
    edited August 2014


    1. Have a plan. stick to it.

    2. Better start by November and finish by March

    3. Plan for revison for a week or two.

    4. Do atleast 6-7 papers. Do the mock test of CFAI in addition to them. Plan for test on 1 day and reviewing it on the other day. (so in total 18 days will go here in practicing)

    5. Document your mistakes from exam and make sure you read them before attempting the next test.

    6. Stay away from other service providers as they miss out a lot.

    7. Prepare Notes and keep updating it with your mistakes.

    8. Keep bugging people in 300hours for your doubts and help other peoples doubts :)

    9. A week before exam revise notes, mistakes. Take rest for a day and Go give your best

  • My one and only advice...use CFA notes for L3 (same as #6 recommendation from @ravivooda 's list).

  • I mainly echo @RaviVooda here; all very sensible advice.  However, make a timeframe that works for you - I didn't start in earnest until January this year, for example.  Draw up a plan in excel to get through the readings allocating, say, one or two evenings for a shorter reading and a whole day on the weekend or a bank holiday for longer readings.  Build in plenty of redundancy because 'shit/work happens.'

    For level III I would also emphasis that you cannot rely on third-party providers, you must address the source material - I made this mistake first time round because Schweser more-or-less alone had worked for level I and II.

    Lastly, as well as the forum, definitely talk through concepts and discuss questions with colleagues/friends where available. Really helped me nail down a few parts I didn't understand fully this time round, as opposed to last year when I was the only person doing LIII.  Made me swallow my pride a bit also, since junior colleagues had caught up with me!

    Good luck, @AlphaZa_99

  • MM12MM12 Amsterdam, the NetherlandsPosts: 58 Jr Portfolio Manager

    @AlphaZa_99‌ I agree with most of what @RaviVooda‌ and @Jwa‌said, except staying away from other service providers. I was quite happy with Kaplan Schweser for my L3 prep and barely used the CFAI materials (other than the mock exam). I do believe the CFAI text is better, but it will take a lot longer to go through all of it. I guess this is simply my opinion though as I seem to be the minority :smile: 

    Also remember that the essay questions of the past couple of exams are available on the internet for free, this gives you a great idea of what to expect (Google 'CFA morning paper level 3' for instance to find them).

    I think the most important part (not just for level 3) is finding a way to study consistently. If you plan your study time between your other obligations, it will be difficult. Instead, plan your other obligations around your study time.

  • I'm at the point where I need to decide on which study materials I will use - Schweser or CFAI for Level III. I passed I and II on my first attempts using only Schweser.

    I used Schweser based on the recommendations of others and based on my belief that there was too much material in the Institute materials, i.e, to long.

    Does anyone know the answers to the following?

    How man LOS in Level III?

    How many pages, not including glossaries, etc..., in the 5 Institute books?

    How many pages, not including glossaries, etc..., in the 5 Schweser books?

    Thank you.
  • edited November 2014

    Hey @MacallanDuration, I only know one answer to your question: there are 333 LOS in the 2015 Level III. I know that because I did the very first step in setting up my study schedule. I don't know the other answers yet, because I am still about to register for the exam and get my study materials. My plan is to use CFAI as my main and first reading, but really use Schweser for reviews at the end of each reading, to add my notes (from the CFAI readings),  Q-banks for warm-ups, mock exams at the end, etc.

    Once I register and get my Schweser books, I plan to gather pretty much the information you are asking above in order to establish my study plan week-by-week. Idea is to start on December 1 and leave about 6 weeks at the end for review and mock exams.

    It will be intense!...

  • Just got my Schweser books in the mail yesterday. I'll get back to you on the number of pages but it was nice to see how thin some of the books are. Cue false sense of confidence
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