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The CFA exam is notorious for its difficulty. Even so, thousands of candidates attempt it every year and pass. How? Because these candidates planned their study sessions and passed the test the first time they took it. You see, there’t a reason why most people fail the exam time after time again; it’t that challenging. The real problem is that most people aren’t willing to put in the work required to pass it. If you are serious about becoming a CFA charterholder, investing your time and energy into studying is essential. Fortunately, we have outlined some helpful tips to help you succeed on this difficult test.
Create a study calendar and stick to it
It is easy for candidates to lose focus and get distracted with something else during their studying process. Without a study calendar, you can easily get off track and lose a lot of study time by getting sidetracked. For this reason, a calendar is essential to help you keep track of your progress and focus on your test date. The best way to use a calendar is to create a daily schedule of study sessions. This will help you stay focused and organized while studying, which will help you to pass the exam on your first try. When forming a study schedule, be sure to include breaks. You don’t want to go at your studying all day every day, or you’ll end up over-extending yourself and burning yourself out. Breaks are important for your mental health, as well as for your long-term studying.
Don’t forget the importance of math in your study sessions
Many candidates forget to spend time reviewing math concepts and end up spending too much time reviewing concepts that they already understand and are proficient in, such as valuation and risk. The most important thing to remember is that you need to focus your study sessions on the topics that you struggle with. For example, if the Modified Sharpe Ratio (MSR) is giving you trouble, then don’t waste your study time reviewing the Modified Foster-Williams Price-to-Book ratio (MFWR); instead, spend time studying the MSR. Math concepts on the CFA exam can be challenging, which is why you need to spend time reviewing and practicing math to help you become familiar and confident with the different topics.
Utilize online flashcards to reinforce your learning
Flashcards are another effective way to reinforce your learning and study for the CFA exam. Not only will flashcards help you better understand topics, but they can also be used as a study tool to help you improve your timing. When studying for the CFA exam, you want to be able to answer questions and go through topics quickly and efficiently. Flashcards can help you get more done in less time and improve your overall study process. Flashcards can be beneficial in a number of ways and can be used to help you remember specific topics, formulas, and more. Another helpful tip is to create a group on a website like Quizlet where you and your buddies can share flashcards and help each other learn and review topics.
Get comfortable with Excel and Research Tools
There are a number of Excel tools that you will be using during your studies. You can practice using these tools and become comfortable with them before the exam. Likewise, there are a number of data and research tools that you’ll use during your study sessions. Becoming familiar and comfortable with these tools will help you save time when preparing for the exam. When studying for the CFA exam, you will have to conduct a lot of research, so you’ll want to become familiar with the tools that you will be using to help you save time and energy.
Don’t forget to review the most important topics
The most important topics on the CFA exam are the ones that you are unfamiliar with or struggle with. The topics that come naturally to you should be reviewed, but not as often. The best approach to studying for the CFA exam is to focus on the topics that you struggle with and review the topics that come naturally to you more lightly. Doing so will help you save time and energy, which you need in order to pass the exam.
With proper planning and preparation, you can easily pass the CFA exam on your first attempt. However, this can only happen if you are willing to dedicate enough time and energy to studying. With the help of the tips outlined above, you will be well on your way to becoming a CFA charterholder. The CFA exam is challenging, but it is also very doable if you are willing to put in the work. With the tips outlined above, you can be sure that you are well on your way to passing the exam.