So what’s next now that you have signed up for CFA level 1?
There must be a turbulence of emotions along with excitement now that you have signed up for CFA Level I. You must be scared and panicked too about what to do next!
I’ve always felt that the most difficult part of starting anything new is knowing what to do especially at the beginning. With some experience, research and alot of thinking, I have come up with 10 tips that new candidates can hopefully use to get a head – start on what they should do next to be prepared for CFA.
1) Stick to the study plan that you made.
Firstly make a good study plan; one that revolves around your requirements.
Next stick to it ( i. e. the study plan). Now this is the part where students face difficulties. Even though ‘sticking to the plan’ is easier said than done, it is also extremely important to make it happen. Just be practical and make a realistic plan. Don’t make the study plan so tight that you can’t follow it and are instead lagging behind schedule.
You can use the TImePreps app (it can be bought for each level). These apps will help with your reading speed and so help you rearrange your schedule if you miss and study session. If you think that’s not doing the work, 300 Hours has a free study planner that you can use as well.
Although there is room for improvements, but you can also use CFA Institutes study planner too.
2) Use time wisely.
Time and tide waits for no man. It might seem that the exam is far but time flies. So manage your time wisely. You must keep in mind that you have more than 3000 pages to read and also need time for practice and review.
3) Master the skill of using a calculator.
It doesn’t matter which calculator you are using, as long as you know all the tricks to using it smoothly. Watch YouTube tutorials and check out the Web to see that you don’t miss out on anything.
4) Do not take the exam lightly.
You might think you have covered everything and that you know all that there is to know regarding the exam, but no not underestimate the exam. One common mistake most students make is by thinking that ‘this is easy’ or ‘I know this already’. But that might not be the case. You might have studied that chapter a while ago and might need ago thorough revision on it. Our brains get rusty, so it’s better to make sure you go through that chapter again. And if you are sure then it won’t hurt to answer the revision questions at the end of the book. Only if you answered 70% correctly then you can feel somewhat reassured that your preparation is on point.
5) Prep providers
If you are a slow reader and get distracted easily then you can try prep providers. You can try Schweser Notes. It goes straight to the point and saves you alot of time.
But even if you are using apps don’t forget to go back to the curriculum and revise the chapters which you find difficult to understand. End of chapter questions help too. You can check your understanding by seeing how many of those questions you can answer. Also your exams will have similar questions so it helps you prepare better.
You might want to touch this section last, cause you might get bored with it and might fall behind schedule. So cover this topic at the end when you are under pressure and will be bound to finish it by hook or by crook.\
7) Don’t try to get a 100%
If you try to master and get a 100% on everything you will get frustrated and lose focus. Study the important topics. You can’t be an expert on everything. Know when to pick and choose your battles.
Find study partners. It helps when you explain and learn at the same time. It helps you retain better. Also getting an explanation from a partner might help you understand better. But don’t get too dependent on it otherwise it will be counterproductive.
you must start revising one month before the exam starts. Revise the parts you are weak at, summaries, etc. Take mock exams and do the end of chapter exams. Just revise revise and revise some more.
10) practice practice practice!
You can never practice too much. Practice,revise and practice. Practice while studying, after revising, between chapters, etc. Practice all the end of chapter questions and the mock papers. Just keep practicing till the very end. Remember there is no such thing as too much practice!
So that’s basically it. Plan, study, revise and practice. You will definitely make it! All the best!