Updated: Nov 25, 2020
I took up CFA out of sheer interest and willingness to learn about the financial markets. Its been a very fulfilling journey and at the same time it was an uphill task. From my personal experience I can say that being an engineer with no exposure to financial markets, if I can earn the charter, anybody can! All it takes is a lot of dedication; willingness to learn about financial markets and of course a proper plan to approach it.
There are ten subjects in CFA and all ten are tested in all three levels. As candidates you have to prepare well for all the subjects.
Broadly speaking what worked for me was referring to the CFA Institute books alone and solving all their questions and mock exams.Solving questions is most important. A lot of practice is the key to clearing the exam.
I was working full time while doing this certification so taking time out to study was challenging. To overcome this I made a study plan which I knew was practical and feasible with my hectic routine. I started early (six months before every exam) and budgeted 300 hours for each level, of this I kept 50 to 80 hours for revision and practicing questions. On an average I dedicated 2 slots of 45 minutes to an hour every day six days a week. One slot I would read the material and the second slot I dedicated to practicing questions of what theory I read.
CFA exams really test the application of the concepts being taught. Practicing questions helps to develop that approach. There are times when I was not able to follow my plan and found it difficult to get back on track. During such situations having a study pal or a mentor can really help.
This is just a brief about the overall approach to be followed while appearing for the exam. More detailed articles regarding preparation methodology for Level I, Level II & Level III will follow soon. So stay tuned!!
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