40 Days are all that remain until I write for the CFA level 3 exam.

I am entering the fatal funnel.

The fatal funnel refers to the entry point of a room that is being cleared of possible enemy combatants. It is the most dangerous instant because the enemy knows that you must go through the fatal funnel and you have no idea what you are barging into. It could be a room full of infants or a machine gun pointed at you. You just don’t know. It takes a lot of discipline, training and trust in your team to get through the fatal funnel. If I don’t perform now in the fatal funnel, I will fail the CFA level 3 exam. There is no short cut or luck involved; if I don’t prepare I will fail.

Last year at this time, I was running around in the woods with the Belgian army failing miserably at studying for the CFA level 2 exam. I still managed to pass the CFA level 2 exam last year, but it was a serious emotional event during my final preparations. I committed to studying 200 hours during my last 36 days, which was trying for my family to say the least.

This year is a bit more promising. I have managed to secure 13 days of leave during these last 40 days. I also have a pair of 4-day weekends giving me 21 days which I can dedicate to preparation. This is huge. Last year I was involved in an exercise right up until test day. Actually, the exercise ended 2 days before I had to go to Munich and sit for the exam. I can study out in the woods if I have too, but I get much more done sitting at my desk. There are just fewer interruptions to deal with. I will also be much better rested. For whatever reason, militaries always start their missions at 2 a.m. which puts a serious damper on my sleep.

I am not going to commit to a set number of hours of studying. It worked for me last year, but total hours of studying are likely correlated with a passing score but they are unlikely to cause a passing score. Instead, I am going to commit to comprehension. I will work as many hours as it takes until I score 75% or higher on each reading in Schweser’s Q-Bank and I score 75% or higher on Schweser’s practice exams. I have ¬†6 practice exams from Schweser and a mock exam from the CFA Institute. Comprehension I believe is more likely to cause a passing score.

Through the fatal funnel I go!