How to Pass the CFA Exam
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation can be quite a challenge but it is possible to succeed when you persevere and as long as you are prepared.
There isn’t a magic trick or a secret code to navigate the program and pass the test. Your approach just has to be organized and disciplined to help you pass each level of the program and to achieve your goal. If you are a first time candidate, here are several tips you can keep in mind to make the cut and pass each level on the first try:
- Make a good study plan and stick to it. This can get difficult along the way but it is one of the most important steps in your exam preparation. You should be realistic and don’t make your plan too tight as you could fall behind your schedule at some point.
- Have proper time management. Don’t procrastinate – manage your time wisely. Time can be your worst enemy so keep in mind how much you have left until exam day. It might seem that the exam date is too far away but time flies. You do have several thousand pages to read and this doesn’t include the practice and review period yet.
- Never underestimate the exam. You think you have covered most of the subjects on the curriculum but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy. Thinking that “it will be easy” or “I got this” is one of the biggest and most common mistakes you can ever make. Even if you covered that particular subject a few years back, you could still forget a few important details. If you feel that you don’t have to read or review that chapter, go to the end to answer the chapter questions and move on only if you get more than 70% correct answers.
- Choose your CFA study material. Since you will be studying for hundreds of hours, it is essential to find a course that best fits your background and learning style. A good course can assist you a lot in your study program especially if you need clarification on some concepts you may be having trouble with.
- Find a study group. Even if you are comfortable studying by yourself, it is also important to find study partners but don’t study with them all the time! It can get counterproductive. Once a week with a study group of around four people is more than sufficient. It can be helpful to discuss on those subjects that you are having some doubts with. Sometimes, it can get easier to understand a subject when someone is explaining it to you.
- Practice between readings, chapters, and at the end of each section and also on the review period. This is another important tip you will need to keep in mind. Make at least five full mock exams before the actual exam, as this will help you to know what to expect and will give you an idea on how you can manage your time appropriately.
As a candidate on the CFA program, or if you’re planning to register, you need a concrete plan in order to succeed. Plan, organize your material, study and review so that this way, you’ll be able to pass each level of the CFA program on your first try.
More ways education can help you grow, and examples of people who have made a lot of money check out these other articles.
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