Should I Sign Up For The December 2011 Or June 2012 CFA Exam?

It’s an interesting question and one that many future CFA candidates are contemplating right now. There are obviously pros and cons to either choice and a large part of it depends on your own personal circumstances. How much time will you have between now and December to study? Do you have any personal events such as a wedding of your own planned? Any sick relatives that you need to take care of? If none of these or other “special events” are occurring in your life, I would personally do my best to study for the December 2011 CFA exam. Why?

You Have Ample Time: I’ve discussed this in the past but you do not need 6 months of intense studying to pass this exam. In fact, starting too early can diminish your efficiency in the crunch time.

You Will Save One Entire Year: Starting in December means that one year from now, with a lot of hard work and sacrifices, you could be two thirds into the program and, have a good 6 month break from everything about the CFA before getting ready for that level #3 exam.

If You Are Like Almost Every Other Student… You will not start studying for some time even if you sign up for the June 2012 exam. I mean, honestly, you might open your books a few time but how much do you really expect to learn between now and December if you sign up for the June exam. How much of that will you remember by the time your actual exam takes place? If you sign up for the December exam, that means you will very quick fall into the “No life mode”. Not a bad thing overall.

Why Would You Do It Later? I think that anyone considering doing the June 2012 exam should ask themselves: “Why Would I Not Do It In December? Is it procrastination only or is there something else?

If You End Up Failing The CFA Exam: We hope to never consider that possibility but in reality it’s possible. If such a thing did happen, I’m fairly confident that you would much prefer having the opportunity to do it a few months later (June) rather than wait an entire year.

Of Course, It’s Up To You And You Only

I know, if you are reading this, you are simply weighing your options and considering different possibilities. I personally think you are much better off writing down and pros and cons. The biggest downside is probably that you don’t feel like studying right now. Trust me, you will not gain any such temptation in the next few months. It won’t happen. Today is as good of a day to sign up as any other.

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