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A good plan will involve:
The easier and more effective way to study is by using a CFA Approved Prep Provider (APP) like Wiley CFA. With tools like Score Predictor, when you study with Wiley you always know how well you’re doing and if you’re staying on track to pass. This means you save yourself time and money by increasing your chances of passing the first time.
Wiley CFA resources include:
If you want to pull out all the stops by getting professional online mentoring and an 11th Hour Final Review and Mock Exam, check out the Wiley CFA Platinum Course.
Equally important to the length of time you study is the number of hours you plan to study within that timeframe. Each exam has a different recommended number of minimum study hours, and you should plan to spend more time studying for each subsequent exam.
Months of Study: 6 months
Hours of Study: 303 hours
Months of Study: 6 – 9 months
Hours of Study: 328 hours
Months of Study: 6 – 9 months
Hours of Study: 344 hours
Joining a study group might also be part of your CFA exam study plan. Study group study sessions provide many benefits including increased accountability and motivation, help with tough topic areas or concepts, learning about new study techniques, hearing new perspectives, reviewing the learning outcome statements with other test-takers, and mental and emotional support.
For more information about study groups, view our Platinum CFA Review Course, which includes an exclusive CFA Study Group.
Each level of the CFA exam will require a slightly different strategy to pass. Overall study strategy will remain the same (stay consistent over a set number of months), but each level will introduce new topic weights, question types, answer formats, and skill level evaluation.
For the CFA Level I exam, be prepared to:
For more tips, view our article on how to pass CFA Level 1 on the first attempt.
As you craft your CFA Level II exam strategy, be ready to:
For more tips, view our article on how to study for the Level II CFA exam.
Prepare for the CFA Level III exam by expecting to:
For more tips, view our article on how to study for the Level III CFA exam.
A couple of weeks before the exam, make sure to review your logistics plan for the day of. This means looking up your exam location (if you’re testing in person) and planning enough time to travel there and arrive early. If you’re using ProProctor to test remotely, double-check all of the equipment, connection, and environment requirements to make sure you won’t have any trouble meeting them on exam day.
Don’t bring any unapproved items to your exam and be incredibly respectful to the exam proctors. The CFA Institute is very strict when it comes to exam procedures, so don’t break any rules, take any unapproved photos, or post specific exam questions on social media.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about how to pass the CFA exam the first time.