CFA Exam Preparations In A Hurry

CFA Exam Preparations in a hurry

I often see questions about the right timing to prepare successfully for the CFA exam. There are many approaches: In the best of worlds, six months or more would be ideal. This way, you will have enough time to properly read all the required materials in your spare time, check everything with the Financial Analyst CFA Study Notes, and finally practice and prepare for the exam with sample exams or a class. But what happens if all you have left to prepare is only one month?

It’s not ideal, but it can be done. 

If you’re so strapped for time and don’t want to withdraw your exam application, there is still hope. Obviously, I don’t recommend you start this late, but if it’s your only option you might make the best of it. This is my advice in this case:

  1. First, skim the original CFA reading material. If you don’t know what this is, check this article about speed reading. However, make sure you don’t spend too much time in this first step. 3-5 days must suffice. Make notes on the way.
  2. Get the Financial Analyst Study Notes for the CFA Exam as soon as possible. Start working with them and the sample/practice exams alongside. Take the CFA sample exam from CFA Institute right when you start with the Study Notes. This way, your brain gets used to answering questions instead of just reading the material. After you’re about in the middle of the Study Notes, take another sample exam, perhaps an older one. These exams can be found on the CFA website, or ask on Analyst Forum for them.
  3. Take pratice exams early on. Try to wrap up with the Study Notes about 10 days before the actual exam. Take a practice exam (available for a fee from CFA Institute) and the two exams you previously again about three days before the exam, just to repeat the quant problems and drill them a bit deeper.

As you can see, this will be a very tough study schedule, and it will demand all your free time during the study period. If you’re seriously late in your preparation and just start reading the material, you will not get through in time. This way, at least you have a shot at the exam this way instead of staring at questions you have no clue about. In any case, if you clear the CFA exam under these conditions, kudos to you!!

If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, please let me know. You can contact me in the contact page. All the best for your CFA exam preparations!