I made another giant step towards achieving my goals last night. I finished my Equity Analysis class in the MSAPM program, and somehow maintained my 4.0 grade point average. This will be my last class until after I take the CFA Level II Exam this June. I can’t believe I only have two classes left until I am complete with my masters degree. With only 95 days until the big exam, there is no time to waste though. Up next is Fixed Income and Derivatives. I have only given myself one week to work through the 11 readings which make up Fixed Income and Derivatives. As if 11 readings in 7 days wasn’t enough to deal with, I need to solve another problem.

The problem with my study method is that I am using a “batched” system. That is, I study one topic (e.g., equity) and move on to the next topic. However, with 10 topics, by the time I loop back around to a topic, I have forgotten a great deal of what I spent so much time learning. Inefficient to say the least. This the primary challenge with the CFA Exams though; there is such a tremendous amount of material, that it is difficult to master it all. Since I am running out of time, I have to figure out how to remember most of what I am studying while I keep stuffing material into my head at a geometric rate. I also need to do this efficiently, because as I already pointed out, I have 11 readings to cleave through over the next seven days. Here’s my plan:

  1. Read a topic in Schweser’s Secret Sauce each night before bed. These are usually 10-30 pages long and are a quick read which go over the main points. It doesn’t cover everything, but it works on the Pareto principle, covering the 20% which will make up 80% of what I am likely to see on the exam. I am going to start with quantitative analysis tonight (13 pages).
  2. In the morning, before I go off to work, I will review the same topic from the prior night on Schweser’s tri-fold QuickSheet, which is like applying Pareto Principle to the Secret Sauce.
  3. Then I will take a 20 question quiz with Schweser’s Q-bank on the same topic before leaving for work.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 with the next topic in the order in which they appear (e.g., economics is next).

With 10 topics and 95 days remaining, this will ensure I get through each topic multiple times and I will get a chance to answer approximately 1800 Q-bank questions. The idea is to spend one hour or less per day on this plan and just keep the material fresh in my head until exam day. The rest of my study time will be spent on my “batch” system which I linked to above.