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Studying hard…

I haven’t been posting much – mainly because I’m starting to get pretty stressed out about the upcoming CFA Level II exam, and so spending a lot of time studying (or at least trying to). The big day is Saturday, June 6th. On that day all candidates taking any level of the CFA exam (I, II, or III) anywhere in the world will go to their chosen test center and suffer through the six hour beast. It’s interesting that the test is a coordinated effort across the whole world – I suppose it’s a good way to minimize cheating. If we could generate light from brain waves, we could probably light up the world on that day! I took Level I here in Chicago – the test center was something to see: rows of chairs almost as far back as the eye could see. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it (for a standardized test, that is). Can you imagine what the NYC or London test center must look like?

Anyway, I’m about one third of the way through the curriculum. The institute recommends 250 hours of studying for each level. At that rate I have just over 160 hours of studying to do over the next 8 weeks, or an average of 20 hours/week. Between work, family, and life in general, that’s just not going to happen. Of course, my M.O. (modus operandi) has always been to study under intense pressure and manage to get through in the end – hopefully that’ll happen again this time. Reading the message boards at AnalystForum, I’m certainly not confident of a repeat show. Some folks there have been studying since August, 2008 – for a total of 10 months by exam day!! Many have completed the entire reading (the curriculum weighs 20 pounds) at least once through, and have devoted these last two months to re-reading and practice tests. Damn, I’m behind! There are a lot of smart folks on those boards and their level of preparation relative to mine is just intimidating.

At the end of the day, I suppose I have no one else to blame but myself. I should have gotten things started sooner, and been more systematic in my preparation. That terrible habit of procrastination is something I have to learn to kick!

Oh well, back to the books. Wish me luck!

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