CFA Exam Preparation
CFA Exam Preparation Tips & Materials
There are many ways to undertake CFA exam preparation. The CFA institute recommends a minimum amount of necessary study time for each examination as well as giving some helpful hints specific to each level of the CFA exam.
One of the first things to do for CFA exam preparation is to study. The CFA institute recommends a minimum of 250 hours of study time foe each exam. This includes reading and reviewing the curriculum set out in the candidate book of knowledge as well as taking multiple online sample and mock examinations. The CFA does warn that this may be a vast under exaggeration of the necessary amount of time due to each individual’s personal learning style, study habits, and educational background.
For overall CFA exam preparation, the CFA institute recommends that a candidate has a schedule for studying. They encourage one to block off specific time every week to study and take notes and to stick to that schedule diligently. They also highly recommend completing each task assigned in the Candidate Book of Knowledge (CBOK) even if they seem elementary.
For the level I exam, a candidate needs to master time management. To complete the 120 questions in 3 hours, a candidate must finish a question every 90 seconds. Taking timed practice tests and getting used to keeping a steady pace will allow a test taker to be much more confident when they actually take the exam. There is no penalty for wrong answers, so candidates are encouraged to guess on questions they do not know how to answer. No candidate has ever received a perfect score on and Level of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Exam.
For the Level II item-set exam, the CFA institute warns that since there are fewer questions, 120 compared to 240 on level I, that you will need to go slower and analyze more. Because the set-up of the item-set questions is a short reading followed by 6 multiple choice questions, they recommend that you underline and/or highlight important items in the passage.
On the Level III exam, a candidate has one session of 10 item-set questions (afternoon session) and one session of 12-15 essay questions (morning session). The item-set questions should be handled in the same manner as the level II questions were. The essay questions are only graded on content not language style or spelling. Phrases and bullet points are encouraged. When studying for Level III of the exam, the provided sample answers are intended to be far superior to those which would receive full credit on the actual examination.
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