4 Tactics and 1 Strategy to Pass the CFA Exam

Too many CFA Candidates get lost on their journey to becoming a Charterholder. 

Maybe it's that the curriculum is so overwhelmingly large they don't get started early enough. Or it's that they spend too much time on the minutiae and don't leave enough time for practice problems.

There's a lot of ways to screw up your experience and have to take the SAME TEST a year later.

The good news is there's also some easy recipes for NOT making predictable mistakes. It only has four ingredients:

  1. ​​Spend enough time with the material
  2. Learn what to study--commonly tested material, material you suck at etc.
  3. Do enough practice problems
  4. Mimic the exam as closely as possible with 3+ full length mocks

That's it.

If ​​you put in the time, focus on your weak areas, solidify strengths in the most commonly tested areas by repeating practice problems over and over again, and then give yourself enough time to improve at the art of actually taking the test you will drastically improve your chances of passing. ​​​

OK. Seems obvious right? You already know what you should do. 

​​The list above is "just" tactics. 

​​But tactics only get you so far without the will to execute on them. So how do you hack that desire?

Buying in to your CFA strategy

We don't need to complicate our strategy. There's one simple "trick" that will have you becoming a CFA studying machine.

In fact, this one rule is so simple that when we suggest it to Candidates who have failed multiple times they sometimes look at us in disbelief that there's not more advice coming.

It's like they're saying: "You can't boil down your entire philosophy on how to pass the test in consecutive attempts to one simple strategy right?​​"

There must be more. Some trick to teach they wonder.

There is no trick. You don't need one.

​​Our strategy is rooted in a simple philosophy of doing only a few things, but doing them relentlessly. Every. Single. Day.

The Only CFA Study Trick You Need 

All you have to do is avoid zero days. Zero days are days where you planned to study but didn't.

​​Zero days are poison.

They rob you of momentum. They stall your carefully constructed timelines. They prevent you from getting through the material quickly and starting to see the outlines of the forest through the trees. They turn study sessions into sub-optimal marathon sessions. They rob you of processing things in small chunks and getting key concepts into your long-term memory.

​​Zero days are so bad we've cited them in this post on how to get started studying.

The One Week Goal

Let's start small. Set a goal of no zero days for seven days. That's just one week. Your total study time could be 49 minutes. Seven minutes a day for seven days is completely fine (we'll tell you why later). Plan some great reward for day seven right after you study. 

This is about building a habit. About jump-starting momentum. About getting the ball rolling.

Trust us. Avoiding zero days compounds into major gains.

Want to get started now? Here's a 1 page tear guide for Ethics. Boom. Six more days to go.

(P.S. Tell us on Slack about the experience)