Tips on Passing the CFA Exam Back to Back

I was anxiously awaiting my results for December 2012 CFA Level I results this time last year. Level I, apart from being your initiation into the Program, is a quite voluminous reading and a lot of new concepts. My first tip is this:
I tell this to all who will listen. The curriculum is beautifully designed and decades of experience by CFAI really shows in their presentation. As you progress through the levels, mastery of the curriculum will become more serious.

I won't dwell on Level I. If you are reading this, you are probably interested in assessing the effort required in passing Level II in four months time. I will share my experience and hope you gain from it.

After feeling euphoric for a day after passing, I had to make the decision. Go for Level II 4 months away or wait a year. I opted for the former but with a grim outlook. Life will be hell for a few more months. Received my books, and started crackin. I shot for 1 reading/day. Extra on the weekends. I was at the job for a steady 8 hours, so I would usually study evenings and nights (~ 5 hours). Weekends full time (~ 10-12 hours). Second tip is this:
  • GET THROUGH YOUR FIRST READING. The faster you get through it, the quicker you know where you are weak. 
Once you isolate, you can keep drilling those areas. Shoot for a first reading in 2 months. By April, you should plan out your second read and the topics that need work. Personally, I focused on working through the FRA and Equity books. I went through those books at least three times.

May. T-30. You have 2 weeks to keep drilling at problem areas. These are your swaps, PBO, and other difficult topics. Third tip:
  • At the 2 week mark, drop all your books. Start drilling practice exams. Shoot for 5 - 7.
This will get you stamina up and see the layout of the problems. Passing this exam is a function of the effort you put into it. And always keep your eye on the prize:
Bon Chance!

1,001 street chairs in Cairo - Your Middle East

‘You can do so much more with a chair than you can with a painting’

-Andy Warhol

Great art piece about street chairs in Cairo. 

1,001 street chairs in Cairo - Your Middle East