CFA Study Guide
CFA Study Guide - Exclusive NotesI have been receiving dozens of emails regarding the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Hedge Fund Professional (CHP), and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations so I've had a guest blogger put together this one page CFA study guide for those looking for straight and simple answers on this topic. Hope this helps:
The CFA institute does not specifically provide a CFA Study Guide; the study information for each exam of the CFA, including study sessions, assigned readings, and practice problems, are included in the program curriculum. The CFA also provides additional study materials for the candidate.
The study material for each level of the CFA exam comes from the Candidate Book of Knowledge (CBOK). The CBOK’s content comes from real world practice; thousands of current CFA professionals weigh in on the skills needed to succeed within the investment world. The surveys the CFA collects from these charter holders provide the framework for the study material and for the exams.
The curriculum for the study material for each level of the CFA exam is divided in multiple sections. Each section will contain assigned readings drawn from textbooks, journals, cases, and analyst reports. Learning Outcome Statements (LOS) are also another section of the study material for each level of the exam. A LOS is a description of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) that each candidate should master before taking the CFA examination.
The main purpose of not having a CFA Study Guide is to teach each CFA candidate that the value of the test lies in its application to real world scenarios. The CBOK is drawn from surveys of charter holders to determine the knowledge, skill sets, and abilities, which are most relevant to the profession. These surveys also help determine what the appropriate weighting for each topic on the examination should be. A committee of practicing charter holders along with the CFA institute designs the curriculum for each level of the exam. The exams themselves are also written by charter holders, which further emphasizes the amount of study time that should be devoted to the practical application of the knowledge learned from the assigned readings and LOS’s.
The CFA does provide candidates with various tools to help their course of study for the examinations. These tools include sample questions, CBOK topic outlines, exam topic area weights, and the curriculum itself. Within the Curriculum, there are the learning outcome statements as well as sample and mock exams. For a more traditional CFA study guide, a candidate can use an outside study source such as Kaplan or Schweser, which will provide a more traditional approach to preparing for the examinations.
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