Sam is our first CFA exam blogger. He was born and raised in Illinois, currently working in New York. He is contemplating when to retake his Level 1.
To those who live in the States, happy July 4th!
I gave an autopsy of my epic Level 1 failure here in the last post. I’ve taken a rest, gone for a short delightful trip with Sally in the long weekend, and I am all ready to tackle this beast again.
The thing is, should I go for the December exam, or the June exam next year.
I have this Huge Adrenaline Rush. Something Tells me to Calm Down
My instinct is to go for the fight as soon as the gate opens. I am 30 now, and I know I should no longer act on my instinct.
So I found this pretty useful article on this site, analyzing the pros and cons of taking the CFA Level 1 in December. You really should read it for yourself if you are in the same situation, but anyway, here is the summary:
- This is the fastest way to do it (didn’t realize that!)
- Most concepts are still sticking, so I don’t lose the momentum
- It’s a free option – if I don’t pass this time, nothing to lose, I can take it again in June.
- I only have 4 months to get ready for Level 2 if I pass
- Can I actually study effectively in the summer? The Central Park is too tempting… I also doubt if I can study effectively during Thanksgiving that is right before the December exam
Stephanie’s Tips Not Useful to Me, Hmm…
Stephanie also offers tips for those who plan to take the CFA exam in December, such as how one can get ready way in advance, and pretty much overstudy for L1 because this will help in your L2 study.
Unfortunately this works for those who take the exam the first time. It doesn’t work for retakers like me because it’s already late July and I don’t have the time to “overstudy”… but anyway, I’ve gone through all the L1 materials and theoretically I can go overboard with my studies this time.
Her last tip is good though — that I must have a solid, workable plan this time. No more “sort-of plan” in my head. Something tangible, that I can print out and stick to it. Better yet, maybe I can take a look at the Wiley CFA offer. The online study planner is intriguing…
My Decision on Taking CFA Level 1 in December
After some tossing and turning I decided to go ahead to take the CFA exam in December. Why? Because it is a free option (the term really sticks). Again money isn’t a big factor so I don’t want to forgo an opportunity to get this done.
I do need a better planning this time though.
Big relief after making this decision! Action time next week!
Latest To-Do List
- Eat healthy food
- Find a way out with Sally
- Sign up for free trial from Wiley CFA
Decide whether to take CFA Level 1 in December or June next year
Note from Stephanie
Thanks for summarizing my post — you are spot on on the pros and cons. The December exam isn’t for everyone. In your case, I agree that it’s doable because you have two distinct sections (FRA and Econ) to work on, and you seem to have done most of the work on FRA. Just keep your solid performance in Quant and Equities. I would also work a bit more on Ethics given it is a heavily-tested section and that you seem to be able to do well with more practice.
Glad you made a quick decision on the December exam. Good luck and hope to see more items crossed out on your to-do list!