How to Study for the CFA Level 1June 25, 2016
The CFA conducted by the American-based CFA® Institute is one of the most renowned and powerful certificates you brandish for a lucrative career in Corporate Finance and the financial markets. Imarticus offers two programs, a classroom based 120 hour course and an online 100 hour instructor led course that includes 3 mock tests, a question bank of 3000 questions, access to discussion forums, a 24/7 learning management system that gives you access to material and mentorship to help you learn and study better and ace the CFA Level 1.
If you’re starting now, you are most likely preparing for the exams on the 5th of December which gives you around 5 months, a perfect length of time to get through the 10 modules. Here are our tips to help you study for the CFA
Start NOW! – CFA study is a marathon, not a sprint and that is why you need to start today to ensure you are ready for your exam on the 5th of December. Today, in fact, is already a little late. Starting now means the pressure is off you a little, and you can allot more time to each section.
300 hours: They say you need 300-400 hours of study to pass the CFA. You already do about 120 in our classroom program or 100 online, which means the 300 you do outside the program will be pure revision, which is excellent news. To start with ensure you attend all your classes at Imarticus and do the required reading before hand. 300 hours sounds like a little but they’re actually quite a lot and the amount of material in the CFA means that when you allot an hour, that hour does not include a chai break to enjoy the monsoons or Facebook.
Step off Social Media– coming back to Facebook and general social media distractions, let your family and friends know that you are preparing for the CFA and your weekends, especially if you work, will not belong to you anymore. It belongs to the books until December. In fact, we recommend getting off social media all together.
Create a study plan and stick to it– The great part about doing the CFA course at Imarticus is the ability to build a study plan around it. You have six months and need to do 300 hours of revision, so plan it out by blocking out 12 hours of revision a week excluding the Imarticus coaching, which you should consider study. Also build in some time off, Diwali for instance, which can also be useful when you don’t stick to your plan. Remember that six months is a long time, so don’t try and plan every hour. Instead ensure that if you do block 4-6 pm that you start studying at 4 and finish at 6 pm. Account for breaks as well.
Learn to love your Texas Instruments calculator: get familiar with the calculator because that’s all you can bring to your exam hall.
Practice, practice and practice: You need to practice full timed exams to ensure that you solve problems in the allotted time frame. Apart from a question bank of 3000 questions, Imarticus holds a mock version of the real exam to give you an idea of what it will be like. This is critical to your success because most students fail because they never practice under real exam conditions.
Study all the modules – Module one in our course is Ethical and professional standards. It is also the reason why so many students fail because they think it’s easy or that they can cram it at the last minute. Don’t leave anything for the last minute because a wrong answer on Ethics for instance, something you could have easily gotten right, might mean the difference between a pass and a fail.
Find a mentor: Talk to someone who’s done this before and can guide you through the process. The self-study experience can be a lonely experience, which is why courses like the one at Imarticus can help you become part of a community where you can share your worries. It’s also more fun to be in the same boat together. Our mentorship program will ensure your study plan is on track and can guide you through any problem areas you might be having.
Find a work – CFA balance- If you happen to work, then you need to come to an understanding with your boss, especially regarding your weekends. You have to manage expectations regarding travel and project deadlines. Don’t cram all the study into the weekend as well and try do an hour or two in the morning before you head to work, so that concepts are not forgotten.