The Magic Number

300 hours has become a massive catch phrase for the CFA exams, but is there a magic number for the amount of practice problems and questions one should do in order to boost the chance of a candidate succeeding in the exam.

Yes there is, and it is around 800.

You should try to do at least 800 practice problems before you sit down to write your first CFA exam. Just like the 300 hours mark, the 800 questions mark is just the base line you should be aiming for; a lot of students will do more than this. I suggest trying to do between 800 and 1200 practice problems whether they are end of chapter questions, from practice exams or from digital Q-Banks.

“But, Clyde this is so many!” I know that 800 practice problems seem like a lot, but let’s break down those numbers a little bit.

If you give yourself 2.5 minutes per practice problem (You are only allocated 1.5 minutes per problem during the exam) you will spend approximately 33 hours doing practice problems, which is only 11% of the total 300 hours.

Now that you realize that only about 10% – 15% of your overall study time will be taken up by practice problems it does not seem enough. Don’t worry you can always do more.

If you do manage to do more practice problems do not do that at the cost of the time you spend actually reading and writing summaries for the CFA Curriculum.

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