Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional designation given by the CFA Institute, and it has become one of the most recognized and respected credentialsworldwide. A person must pass three CFA exams to gain the CFA credential. Everyone may have heard how difficult it is to pass a CFA exam. However, some people only believe it when they experience it themselves. As the exams get nearer, it can get more stressful for the students, teachers, and parents! But don’t worry, we have covered you; here are some awesome tips to get you through your CFA exam.
#1 Set a Prep Routine
First, you must set a prep routine six months before your exam and stick to it untilthe end.Folks that have already cleared the exam(based on Quora) suggest that it’s best practice if you allocate about 350 hours towards level one, 300 hours towards level two, and about 250hours for level three. Additionally, this does not include practice and revision time.
If you are consistent with your study routine, you will be done with the curriculum within a month or two, and you can spend that time on revision and practice tests. You can also take help from education centersthat help you prep for your exam, or you can go for prep courses online, such asWiley’s CFA prep course. Wiley’s CFA prep offers different packages, including personalized test papers for practice, video lessons, mentorship from actual professors, and much more. And the best part is that you will have full access to the practice material till you pass all your CFA exams.
Plus, you can do all this at your own pace!
#2 Study Smart
You could study smartly by understanding the essentials of every chapter and focusmore on the most tested topics in exams, so you score more. For example, “Derivatives” has fewer questions in the CFA level 1 exam, whereas topics like “Ethical and Professional Standards” have more questions. It would be best if you spent more time on topics with more questions, increasing your chances of scoring higher marks. However, do not skip any topic while prepping.
Moreover, you must ensure that you take care of your physical and mental health. Make sure you take frequent breaks between prep to relax, such as reading a book or watching an episode of your favorite show.
CFA exams can belengthy, which is why time management is important. The more you practice questions, the easier you will recall the concepts during the exam, thus saving time. Practice will also ensure that your concepts are clear, so you can focus more on the topics you are weakest in. Make sure you solve practice questions as well as the mock exams provided by the CFA Institute. Trysolving questions with a timer set for the duration of the actual exam, so you will know where you stand.
Secondly, make sure that you practice using a financial calculator as well. Financial calculators can be a bit trickier to use than normal calculators. However, once you get the hang of it, they make your life much easier, especially for CFA students.
#4 Conceptual Learning
Try to focus more on conceptual learning as CFA exams have become more conceptual. If your concepts are clear,it’ll be easier to understand the derivation,and you’ll be able to associate the formulas better. Understanding the formulas usually works better than just memorizing them.
Avoidstudyingat the eleventh hour; however, consider practicing enough exam papers before the paper. Additionally, try getting enough sleep (ideally 6-8 hours), so your mind is fresh during the test. As you get closer to the exam day, you may experience a few effects of anxiety, i.e., stomach cramps, headaches, and restlessness.It’s easier said than done, but try and relax the day before and prepare yourself for the venue by ensuring you’ve fulfilled all the pre-requisites to enter the exam venue.
#6 During Exam
Exams can be stressful, but it’s critical to focus on managing your time during the exam. When solving questions, focus on understandingthem before answering them. It is common for students to skim through questions before solving them,resulting in careless errors.
Keep an eye on the time, and try not to spend excessive time on a question. If you don’t know how to solve a question,move to the next one; you can return to that question in the end. Do not leave any questions in the paper,as sometimes you don’t know the answer to a question or run out of time in the end. In that case, try to mark the answers you think are most likely correct or randomly mark them.
CFA is now one of the most recognized and respected professional designationsglobally, which is why it has really difficult exams. This makes it more difficult for the candidate to pass all three levels due to the CFA’s passing rate of 42% over the last decade. Follow these awesome tips to help you get through your CFA exams smoothly.