Passing the CFA Program exams is a herculean task as far as average studying students are concerned. It requires strong discipline and an extensive amount of studying hours. Depending on the number of hours spent studying, many candidates are deterred from continuing the CFA Program after failing one of the levels. To receive a charter, each candidate must pass all three exams and have four years of qualified work experience in investment decision-making.
In spite of the over said difficulty level, there are more than 135,000 members across the 150 countries and territories. And their success stories are a brimming source of inspiration.
The CFA Institute reports that historical pass rates for each level of exams are typically between 40 and 50%. These exams need a stretched study schedule, and cannot be rushed.
After a conversation with few of the CFA exam veterans, including full Charter Holders, CFA exam coaches, and senior members of the CFA Institute; we have the following tips which can help you Crush the Financial Analyst Exam
Know the course inside out:
Forget about starting the CFA program without an awareness of the implications. If investment research is not that dish on your platter, the CFA exams are not a good use of your time. You have to sacrifice time with your family or girlfriend, and sometimes food too!
Earlier the Better
The CFA institute advocates at least 300 hours of study for each of the three levels. You need to plan your study time well in advance of the exam date, and stick to it religiously. If your working hours are long, you may need to start as early as January to manage the CFA Self Study Material and buffers to allow for your personal and professional commitments.
Use the CFA Institute’s online study planner
The planner indicates how much time you’ll need to allocate to each topic and allows three weeks to review your knowledge.
Focus on your weak points
Resolving the weak points at the end of study sessions has helped many candidates through practise sessions. For most of them, derivatives and financial reporting and analysis was a hard timer. In general, candidates will tend to get more mileage from their studying by focusing on areas they are weak at.
Take a break and Unburden:
Balancing work and study is a tough job. If your do not have leaves in hand, apply for leaves for a peace of mind. Sit back and study; smartly utilize the last three days of time before exams, at the comfort of your home.
CFA EXAMS are difficult, but candidates can increase their chances of passing by studying for over 300 hours, utilizing alternative prep materials, answering as many practice questions as possible and creating a structured study plan. Finishing the entire CFA Program can be very rewarding, and the designation is recognized by companies across the finance industry. Candidates must develop study and exam-taking strategies that will allow them to outperform the average, that large set of exam participants that straddle the fine line between passing and failing.