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3 Keys for Succeeding as a CFA Candidate



We teach just three principles about preparing to pass the CFA exam (and then offer notes, cram guide, study app w/ 900+ cards, equation sheet etc. built to help you apply those time tested strategies in important ways).

That's it. Three principles:

  1. Passing the CFA Exam is NOT just about knowing the material
  2. Successful studying involves hacking your habits  
  3. Learn to manage and steal time  

These are not fancy ideas, just effective ones.  

Principle 1: Passing the CFA Exam is NOT just about knowing the material

It's about anticipating how different parts of the material are most likely to be tested and spending more time drilling the right types of problems in these sections. It's about seeing how each reading is interconnected so you can "chunk" material throughout the curriculum. 

It's also about test taking strategies and time management. 

You need to come in knowing how the tests are built, what types of problems you will encounter, the areas you know you might be weak in (and therefore won't let bother you).

Principle 2: Successful studying involves hacking your habits

This is true for both your study habits AND your life habits. 

This fact is, studying for any CFA exam is a long grind. It takes a different type of discipline to put in the hours for Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.

You can't rely only on willpower to sustain you. 

You need to macro manage your life and habits. For example: I will arrive to work 25 minutes earlier and sit in the lobby studying until my normal start time. Or, I will review 30 notecards every day. Or, I will not let myself have any zero days

Every CFA Candidate will have a slightly different study style and cadence. Whatever your approach, all of (you) have anchor habits that can either help launch you or derail you before you even get started. 

At the end of the day its simple...You know if you're doing what you need to be doing. 

Principle 3: Learn to Manage and Steal Time

Learn how to steal study time. If the average Candidate needs 300 hours of prep time, anything you can do to meet and exceed that goal is important. Time spent studying also compounds.This really matters because the CFA is often won or lost on the margin.

Of course the net benefit of that new found time also depends on how you manage that time...

So you also need good time management. 

  • You need it because you have to answer every question in the allotted time (obviously)
  • You need it because you have to know when you will finish seeing the whole curriculum once and how you will manage mini-periodic reviews.
  • You need it because you to manage your life to carve out distraction free study time.

Decide ahead of time on the sacrifices you want to make in your life to buy the time you need. Then once you commit, commit. Respect your sacrifice(s).

Applying these Principles to Passing the CFA Exam

What does this have to do with today?

You know if what you did last weekend helped put you on the path to passing the exam. Did you put in enough hours? Were you effective? Have you taken a mock exam yet?

Chances are if you're reading this you have enough more time left to study than you think. If you're efficient in how you prepare you can learn a lot in a short amount of time. You can cram for a major exam, even one as comprehensive as the CFA. But you need the right approach and the right habits in order to blend your effort with intelligence.

We will help you get there via our products and our free newsletter. 

For more tips and tricks, see https://gostudy.io/blog/tips-for-studying-cfa-material-at-all-levels