# How to Prepare for December 2019 CFA Exam in 3 Months?

CFA exam / Study plans / Level 1 Dec 2019, 3-month

NEW STUDY PLANNER available for ALL LEVELS

## 3-Month CFA Study Plan: Intro

This post tells you how to efficiently prepare a 3-month CFA study plan. We are confident, you will find it worth reading no matter if you have already started studying or if you are about to open the Curriculum for the first time today.

Apart from the study plan, below you will also find 4 CFA level 1 topic categorizations together with some relevant exam preparation hints designed to let you make the most of the upcoming 3 months.

### What Kind of Learner Are You?

To equip you with the right mindset for the next 3 months preceding your CFA exam, we begin with a BIG question:

#### ARE YOU A SUPERHERO?

Very Important: Your aim after reading this post is to accept who you are. Possible choices: natural learner vs supernatural learner:

• I am a supernatural learner possessing intellectual skills worth a superhero.
• I am a natural learner, which means I can acquire any kind of knowledge if I have enough time (as for my CFA exam, I would make do with these 3 months).

YES! There are (only) 3 months left before the exam is due. This implies lots of hard work for natural learners. For supernatural ones, it presumably makes no difference ;).

Have you ever heard a story how someone passed their CFA exam having studied for only [choose the option applicable to the story]:
6 weeks/4 weeks/2 weeks
?

We have.

And we know what it is when we hear it. A fairy tale!

It’s surely better to take it that you are not a superhero kind of learner and NEVER BELIEVE SUCH FAIRY TALES! This kind of devil-may-care scenario simply has no happy ending.

If you dream of a happy ending for yourself, take your CFA exam prep (and the exam itself) seriously. Otherwise, you may as well join the 25% of CFA candidates who do not even show up for the exam because they know they did far too little to pass.

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## CFA Level 1 Topic Categorization

There are 10 exam topics, which can be handled using different ways. Below, you will read about 3 possible categorizations we prepared for you (plus 1 you will be guided how to create on your own).

Exam topics can be divided according to:

• exam weights,
• difficulty,
• efficiency.

### December 2019 Topic Weights

The graph presents the topic weights for the upcoming December 2019 exam. The most significant topics, and so given the highest-weight, are:

• Financial Reporting and Analysis, with the weight of 15%, and
• Ethics, which also makes 15% of all exam questions (note that ethical issues are important in the exam also because of the ethics adjustment).

Then comes another group of topics with the same moderate weight of 11%, namely Fixed Income and Equity Investments.

Economics, Quantitative Methods, and Corporate Finance closely follow with their weight of 10%.

The last group is made of 3 topics given less weight. These are Portfolio Management, Derivative Investments, and Alternative Investments. Each topic weight amounts here to 6%.

#### Exam preparation hint

Spend more time on the topics with higher weights - the higher the weight, the greater the number of topic questions per exam session.

### CFA Topics & Their Difficulty

Another criterion used to categorize CFA exam topics is their difficulty. Contrary to the weight criterion, this one is subjective, which means that the classification we propose below may not work for you.

Our division is based on our observations during the courses we provided, as well as the opinions of Soleadea users given mostly through questionnaires.

According to this classification, we distinguish 3 groups of topics: difficult, moderate, and easy. Note that the sequence of topics is very important here: the higher the position, the more difficult the topic.

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#### How do we define difficulty?

If a topic is said to be difficult, it means that the concepts it covers are considered difficult. It does not have to mean it will take you long to acquire the topic.

Just the opposite, if you easily grasp mathematical concepts but you find it difficult to memorize things and learn them by heart, you may feel that Equity Investments is a greater challenge to you than Fixed Income.

Difficult topics:

1. Fixed Income (FI),
2. Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA),
3. Derivative Investments (a positive thing about DI is that although its concepts are difficult, level 1 exam questions often prove much easier).

Moderate topics:

1. Ethics,
2. Economics (ECO),
3. Quantitative Methods (QM).

Easy topics:

1. Portfolio Management (PM),
2. Corporate Finance (CF),
3. Alternative Investments (AI),
4. Equity Investments (EI).

#### Exam preparation hint

If you happen to REALLY struggle with something while studying, be careful not to lose too much time on it. Instead, consider leaving it out (at least for the time being) in favor of other concepts & problems. Go back to it when you feel you can afford it.

### Efficiency of CFA level 1 Topics

The last classification we are going to present is about the efficiency of the topics.

Efficiency is understood as an average number of exam questions for a given topic per 100 pages of the CFA Curriculum and it is calculated using the following equation:

$\text{E}=\frac{\text{W}\times\text{240 questions}}{\text{N}}\times\text{100 pages}$

Where:

• E – topic efficiency,
• W – topic weight,
• N – no. of pages on a topic in the CFA Curriculum.

For example, if the efficiency for Ethics is 12, it means that in the exam you will find about 12 questions per every 100 pages on Ethics in the Curriculum.

#### Exam preparation hint

If during your exam preparation you feel that you have to give up on certain topics, make sure that Portfolio Management and Economics are the first to drop out. Do not give up on other topics too easily!

The last division is yours to decide.

You should consider your previous knowledge of topics. For example, if you took your finance course at university or you work in finance, you will definitely know some topics better than others.

You need to take this into account while arranging your 3-month study plan.

#### Exam preparation hint

When planning your CFA exam prep, take into consideration what you already know.

CFA LEVEL 1 CURRICULUM = over 3000 pages

Are You a Superhero?

If NOT get down to work now using our.

YES? Quit the CFA exam & save the world like superheroes do .

## 3-Month CFA Study Plan

If you plan your CFA exam prep as of 2 September, you will get a study schedule exactly like the one below. Of course, unless you choose to personalize it... and personalize you should! By all means, we recommend you to choose topic difficulty or tick off the already-studied readings. 'Cos a personalized study plan is what you need! Let the one below be a sample 3-month schedule then...

START on 2 Sept

1st Study Block (2 Sept – 27 Sept)

• Ethics
• Quantitative Methods
• Portfolio Management
• QM+PM Review

2nd Study Block (28 Sept – 20 Oct)

• Financial Reporting & Analysis
• Corporate Finance
• FRA+CF Review
• QM+PM Review

3rd Study Block (21 Oct – 6 Nov)

• Fixed Income
• Equity Investments
• FI+EI Review
• QM+PM+FRA+CF Review

4th Study Block (7 Nov – 24 Nov)

• Derivative Investments
• Alternative Investments
• Economics
• DI+AI+ECO Review
• Ethics Review

FINAL REVIEW (25 Nov – 6 Dec)

END on 6 Dec

### 3-Month CFA Study Plan Timetabled

Ethics 8 Sept 2019
Quantitative Methods 15 Sept 2019
Portfolio Management 22 Sept 2019
QM+PM Review 27 Sept 2019
Financial Reporting and Analysis 11 Oct 2019
Corporate Finance 18 Oct 2019
FRA+CF Review 20 Oct 2019
QM+PM Review 20 Oct 2019
Fixed Income 27 Oct 2019
Equity Investments 3 Nov 2019
FI+EI Review 6 Nov 2019
QM+PM+FRA+CF Review 6 Nov 2019
Derivative Investments 10 Nov 2019
Alternative Investments 12 Nov 2019
Economics 22 Nov 2019
DI+AI+ECO Review 24 Nov 2019
Ethics Summary 24 Nov 2019
Final Review 6 Dec 2019

NOTE: If you set up your personalized study plan,

### 7-Point Summary

Let us recapitulate the key things you need to remember after reading this post:

1. There are 3 months left no time to lose before the exam.
2. You should spend more time on the topics with higher weights in the exam - the higher the weight, the greater the number of topic questions per exam session.
3. If you happen to REALLY struggle with something while studying, be careful not to lose too much time on it. Instead, consider leaving it out (at least for the time being) in favor of other concepts & problems. Go back to it when you feel you can afford it.
4. If during your exam preparation you feel that you have to give up on certain topics, make sure that Portfolio Management and Economics are the first to drop out. Do not give up on other topics too easily!
5. When planning your CFA exam prep, take into consideration what you already know.
6. Soleadea offers a free CFA Study Planner, which allows you to organize your personalized CFA exam preparation successfully.
7. Not everyone can be a superhero ;).

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Below you can see both calendar and weekly view of your 3-month study plan:

Study Plan: Calendar View That’s where you can view all the weeks of your CFA exam prep to see how much you’ve done and how much is still ahead of you.

Your Current Week View You will be asked to focus on your current week of studying. You will know what to study, when to study, and how much to study. At the end of the week, your hard work will be evaluated (hit the ‘Sum Up Current Week’ button).

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