Tips and Tricks for the Last Week's CFA preparation

It's true that you can't just cram for the CFA exam. But it's equally true that the cramming you do in the last week can/should set you up for passing the test. 

Here are time-tested keys employed by hundreds of successful CFA Candidates before you to lauch themselves to success. 

Tips for the Last Week of CFA Studying

Take the last week off 

If you can take the last week off, or even part of that week off, you really set yourself up for intensive, focused review. Think about 10-12 hours of studying per day for the 7 days before the exam. That's almost 70 hours of review that you can cram in.

Now let's talk about how to use that extra time.

Find time to do 2-3 full length mock exams

  • TIME yourself
  • REMEMBER which problems you get wrong. Leave time to completely re-do these problems a day or two later
  • If these are your first full length mocks, do more than 3

Review the LOS and exam weights against where you have struggled

We've written about how to drill your CFA weaknesses, because the math of being "a little less bad" can be profound. Specifically, once you've identified your weaker areas:

  • Do all of the EOC questions from the official CFAI material
  • Do multiple problem sets or exams with those questions
  • Review our flashcards on that section (or your own if you've made them throughout

Take advantage of all official study questions

Drill the EOC questions from the CFAI curriculum in Fixed-income and Asset Allocation as these have sections have changed the most year over year. Do all of the Candidate only resources they provide. If you're taking L3 you should be doing an incredible amount of the past morning exam problems, especially around IPS material 

Get through the entire curriculum a few times to keep it fresh

This can be tough to do without either good notes you've built up along the way or third party material. If you're using GoStudy, start with the checklist of key testable material and the equation sheet (which is more than your typical "equation sheet"). From there look over our cram guide 4+ times...and print out 2 copies for exam day. With two copies you can look at it until you literally are at the door to the exam center...throw it away, and then dig out copy #2 over lunch

Steal Study Time

If you can't take off work you need to steal study time. Put calendar blocks in your calendar so Our flashcards remain a crazy efficient way to cover the entire curriculum. Use the NOT CONFIDENT feature to quickly create your own review deck.

Memorize formulas, ratios, and your calculator

Especially L1/L2 but even L3. For L1 Candidates, make sure you're 100% on your calculator functions and spend a bunch of time on financial ratios as well

Skim Ethics one more time

Don't just read the material, re-do all the official CFAI questions related to it so the way these are tested remain fresh.

Sync your sleep patterns so you're alert at 9am

The last week can be an intense review period. This is awesome, but you don't want to cook your brain. Make sure you exercise, get rest, and also start timing your pattern so that you will be fresh at 9am on exam day.