When You're a Month Out from the CFA, Take a Pause

It's been awhile since I've written a post.

I like you, have been heads down buried in the CFA material. While you've been studying, I've been creating videos, grading problem sets, and refining our material.

You study. I try to help you study more effectively.

When You're Lost in Detail, It's Helpful to Take a Step Back

Late April and early May are prime time hours to ramp up your CFA study time. Maybe you are scrambling to catch up in your studying. Or maybe you've moved from reading to more intensive calculation based questions and are really starting to memorize equations. 

Either of those things is a good, necessary step. But too often we forget to take a step back. Literally it helps to breathe and get some space. 

More directly CFA-wise there's a couple things that you should do now, while you have the luxury of being deliberate. I've written about how to know and work on your weaknesses, but it's also about getting a feel for the balance of an exam across the different study sessions. Each level has a different emphasis, which will present different challenges based on your unique strengths and weaknesses as a Candidate. 

Step 1 - take a practice test

Step 2 - get to know what types of questions are on it

Step 3 - understand how you perform against those types of questions

Step 4 - Spend time back on the Curriculum material in those areas even while you were doing what you were already doing

You Don't Have to Want to Study in order to Study

It's a myth that you should do everything you want. Most CFA candidates who have passed a level or two have internalized this lesson. Time spent on studying, regardless of how you feel about that passed time, has value from a sheer repition standpoint. 

Study in bite size pieces, make daily a habit. Don't let a lack of familiarity be the reason you fail. You should know your weaknesses even if they still doom you.

Keep it Easy

Don't set up STARTING to study with a mental hurdle. Make it easy. Review 2 flashcards. Commit to 5 minutes, or read 2 pages. Just get started. Momentum is powerful. Plus if you can turn five minutes into extra study time 4-5 times a day at work that will really compound.