How to prepare for CFA ® Exam : Strategies
by Pravin Khetan
Finally you are planning for CFA ® Exam. I expect till now you know everything about the CFA Program. However, I’ll give you a brief:
The CFA ® program is administrated by CFA Institute, USA. It has three levels, which you can pass one by one. CFA Exams are held in June and December.
Level 1: It is introductory level. You learn basics concepts in investment and finance which are covered in 10 subjects. These are divided in 70+ topics (LOS). There are 240 questions in the exams, these are Multiple choice and no negative marking. You get 3 hours in the morning session and 3 hours in the evening.
Level 2: It is advance level. You learn advance concepts of all the topics. This again has same 10 subjects as cfa level 1 but more advance, Question! however, reduces to 120. So, you get 60 question in the morning and 60 question in the afternoon session with 3 hours in each session.
Here, we’ll discuss more about CFA Level 1 exam preparation. Our objecting will be to help in how to pass cfa exam in first attempt.
Purpose of the CFA ®
The program was designed to create investment professionals in the industry. However, now days student only focus on passing the exam not understand the concept and practically applying it. So, I’m afraid it is losing its purpose.
My strong advice would be to learn practical implementation. An, easy way would be to open a share trading account and trade with small amount while applying the concepts.
10 strategies to pass CFA Exam
1. Starting with right study material: The best is core material provided by CFA Institute. However, you can also buy videos, practice questions and cfa review courses from various institutes. We also provide complete study material for cfa, which is regularly updated. It’s very important because if you study from wrong or past materials it would be disaster. Better check sample videos and contents before you buy anyone, these material comes with handy formula guides, cheat sheets, time management tables and more.
2. Allocating hours: As per my past observations with old students. Those who passed had a study time fixed and they use to manage 8-10 hours every week for studies. Which means 3 hours on alternate days if you are working or 2 hours daily if you are going to college. In total you may require 250-300 hours. Start as early as 6 months in advance and as late as 4 months in hand.
3. Skim and preview material: Give few hours in skimming material and mark topics based on your knowledge and difficulty. As, a commerce graduate will find FRA, Corporate Finance easy and a science grad will find quantitative analysis easy.
4. Start with strongest area: My recommendation would be to start with subject or topic which you already know and have command. So, that you stay motivated at the beginning and do not get frustrated. Another benefit you’ll enjoy that you could freely allocate remaining time on your weaker area.
5. Non-Finance Grads: Guys who are not from accounts and finance background, my advice for them would be to join a stock market course or any basic finance program. Else, most of your time could be consumed in understanding basic jargon.
6. Use Flash Cards and memory techniques: If you can manage to buy flash cards or create your own flash cards for various concepts. You can also use various memory techniques.
7. Attempt Practice questions: You must solve practice questions after every LOS. This’ll help you in judging your knowledge of the topic. Else, you’ll forget everything and get handy on financial calculator. My recommendation would be to use Texas Instrument BA II Plus calculator.
8. Finish it early: You must finish your entire subject at least 1 month in advance. So, that you can revise entire curriculum and lOS.
9. Must attempt Mock test: It’s been a record at our institute that student who did not attended mock test papers failed. So, attend at least two mock test paper. You learn to manage time, compare your score with other candidates, you are psychologically prepared. Moreover, you get into exam mode.
10. Exam Day: Finally, on the exam day follow these:
- Get your ID, Pen, Pencil and calculator checked.
- As everyone advises take proper sleep.
- Have light breakfast and leave home early.
- Take water bottle and few chocolates with you.
- Revise broad concepts – overall
- Start with easy questions and theories. It’ll save you time as you get 1.5 minutes for each question.
- Must attempt all question as there is no negative marking.
- Use techniques like Odd one out and match broad closest answers.
- Do not talk to others it’ll only consume your time.
- Do not cheat as cameras are allover and later your results may be bard.
Also, if you have more doubts you can mail me at: email@example.com