The thumb rule for CFA preparation is that it generally requires an investment of around 300 hours of study. As it is widely known that succeeding in the CFA exam is not a cup of tea and requires hours of preparation so what lies important is to prepare well and in a systematic way. The CFA level 1 course is concentrated on the introductory level of 10 different financial topics, which are further dealt with in detail in levels 2 and 3.
While preparing for the CFA series of exams, one needs to be highly concentrated and dedicated to the preparation to be able to succeed in one go. Although self-study is the key to success in the preparations, it is recommended to enroll in any CFA level 1 preparation classes for proper guidance and study material. It is further advised to stay updated on the contemporary financial tools as the CFA course also keeps on upgrading based on the financial upgradation in the market.
When preparing for CFA, one should know that completing the extensive course and going through the study material requires building a plan by allocating enough time to all the topics. Moreover, one can also divide the study time based on the weightage of the topics mentioned in the course. The 300-hour plan, however, is something that is common for everyone and no one can do without investing that many hours and cramming at the last minute.
Well, said that the question might arise what can be the best strategy to successfully complete the preparation and succeed in the CFA exam. Most importantly, these 6 months of preparation would require complete dedication and throughout the way, one must have to make many sacrifices such as missing social commitments or some memorable trips. Since CFA is no child’s play so planning for it seriously and strategically can help overcome this one of the toughest exams to enjoy the perks of a successful financial career.
Considering the preparation and the completion of the study material, what lies important is to base the overall study plan on three principles that could help in strategizing better:
Consistency: As already mentioned, studying and studying hard is the key to the preparation for CFA. If you are planning to appear for the CFA exams then books and other study materials are gonna be your best friends for the next few months. The more comfortable one gets with the life between books the better. However, one important thing to remember is that once preparing for the exams take care of consistency. Keeping the study pace helps in completing the CFA level 1 course in time and provides time for revision and practice. Try to plan out a study schedule based on the weightage topics and keep track of the overall progress of the syllabus.
Review: Try incorporating periodic reviews of already completed topics for revision and to ensure that the completed topics are not forgotten. The revision can be done based on the concept of spaced repetition, where topics are revised after a certain point of time to help in recalling later. As for any examination both studying and revision are equally important, the same goes for CFA exam preparation. Reviewing the completed topics every now and then can help to keep the preparation sound and productive. Since the CFA course is extensive, so it becomes all the more important to indulge in periodic reviews and not leave everything to revise at the end as they can be an inconvenient option.
Practice: Once the study materials are completed and the revision done successfully, then comes the time to test oneself on practical grounds and that is by practicing papers and trying to solve the questionnaire. The practice phase is the most effective part of the preparation process as this helps in measuring the overall preparation. Practicing papers can give an overview of the type of questions that can appear in the exams and prepare for different models of questions.
These three principles should be the mantra of any candidate appearing for the CFA exams as only then can one complete the course in time and be ready to appear for the exams. Appearing for the CFA means breaking the whole process into planning, progress, and perform. So once the planning and progress in the preparation are completed it is time to perform. While planning the key is to never fall behind, when progressing always focus, and perform with predictions. These few tips can eventually help in completing the CFA preparation and also successfully passing the series of exam to enter a financial career that is both progressive and economically sound.
The preparation period for CFA is vital and one should always have enough time in hand to commit to the CFA course. If you have already started preparation then congrats you have started right and now all it needs is focus and dedication to complete the extensive course. If you are part of CFA level 1 preparation classes, then know you have made the right decision, keep believing in yourself, and set your strategy to achieve the benchmark.