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Tips for Accomplishing Success in the CFA Exams

The CFA exams are tough, candidates prepare for long hard hours and the passing rates are still only 43%. You are said to study a minimum of 300 hours in over a course of 6 months. So what are some things you can do to higher your chances of success? Follow these tips and you are likely to see positive results.

Go through long study sessions

If you want to successfully get through the CFA exams you are advised to study for 300 to 400 hours in 6 months. There’s no point in trying to attempt the June exams now, now would be the best time to start preparing for the exams in December. Your chances of success is directly related to how early you begin your preparations and how much time you give yourself to absorb this vast curriculum. By covering less material per day, and increasing the number of days, it also gives the brain a greater chance to absorb the material, as the result of more nights of sleep.

Don’t take it lightly, there’s a lot to do for the preparations, you need to study the CFA materials practice one CFA practice exam every week.

Plan carefully

Six months is a long time. And during that time it’s easy to go astray and to spend less time studying than you’d intended.

To prevent yourself from neglecting study times, you can try using Outlook to block out 12 hours of revision time every week over the next six months. If things get in the way, make sure you transpose those blocked out hours to other times.

You need to keep the last month strictly for CFA practice exams and revision, having free time in hand is a way you can absorb any professional or personal issues which might come up. If nothing comes up, you can simply have a break. Or you can use that extra time to go back over the most difficult parts of the syllabus.

Find a study technique which is most efficient for you

Different people work better with different study techniques, so figure out what works best for you and use what has proven to be most efficient for you in the past.  Also the environment you are studying in has a lot to do with your levels of productivity, some people work best in the morning while many do better at night. Many people like spending their study hours quietly in a library. Find ways in which you can stay motivated, you can talk to successful Charter Financial Analysts which can reassure you about your targets. Talking to those people with successful careers can help remind you why you decided to take the exams in the first place. On the other hand avoid CFA exam forums, which can be stressful places when you’re studying.

Use the materials as proficiently as possible

The CFA itself offers a tone of information; with your login credentials you can gain access to heaps of information and advice from the CFA website itself.

Students nearing the end of their study period look at the list of ‘Learning Outcome Statements (LOS)’ provided by the CFA Institute. They’re especially good for running through during a commute, or on the morning of the exam.

Practice as much as you possibly can

Many candidates spend an awful lot of time on practice questions, obsessing, memorizing, and drilling into them. You should focus on the curriculum and topics and try to do at least once CFA practice exam every week.

Study it ALL

Each of the ten units is important for CFA level I, you can’t leave anything out. Even the smallest little details will make a difference to your exam grade, so study EVERYTHING!

Have a tactic

No one really knows the passing score of the CFA exam but it is said to be 70%, so to achieve that you need to know everything from the materials provided, as mentioned earlier.

Take care of yourself

You need to kind of treat yourself like an infant as the exams approach, because the state of your health will reflect on your papers.

Don’t get yourself banned

After preparing for long hard months it would be a tragedy if you did something stupid to get yourself disqualified.  The CFA website has all the important instructions that you need to follow. Make sure the information on your passport conforms to what you’ve written on the CFA entry forms. Recharge your calculator batteries. Give yourself enough travel time – remember that quite a few people will be converging on the exam hall.

Keep hold of your common sense

As with all exams, you should:

– Start with the easy questions.

– Always give an answer. You have nothing to lose.

– Make an intelligent guess if you don’t know the answer.

– Don’t panic. At worse this is just preparation for your next attempt!

“Remind yourself that, if you don’t pass, you have to wait some time to take the next shot.”

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