A Week Left for Your CFA Exam, What Do You Do?

What is the CFA program?

Before getting into the details, we need to know what the Charter Financial Analyst program is and what it can do for us. The Chartered Financial Analyst program, offered by the CFA Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, is intended to educate investment professionals a “candidate body of knowledge” (CBOK). The CBOK tests candidates on morals, quantitative analysis, financial statement analysis, economics, portfolio analysis, corporate finance and the analysis of stocks, bonds and alternative investments.

The exam comprises of three levels, each of which concludes in a six-hour exam. The first exam that takes place during both late spring or late fall, (usually the first Saturday of June and December) and the level 2 and 3 exams are held only in the late spring (usually the first Saturday of June). After successfully completing all three levels of the exam, each CFA candidate who has a minimum of four years of professional investment experience is adequate to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Are you ready to give it your all? In order to make it work, make sure to have an efficient study plan and do your revision.

It would be great if you could dedicate a two or at least one week before the CFA exam only to learning, reviewing the CFA study guide and solving practice problems. Namely, if possible try to get days off or vacation from your boss. Very often, especially if the Company has paid you the program fees, you can find days off for learning clause in the program contract. Some employment agreements even allow you to take a couple of days off if you prepare for the exam not financed by the company. Those days off probably won’t decrease the number of days you can take for holidays.

Let’s move from the legal aspect to the CFA exam preparation. It is very important to go through everything you have already read once again, follow the CFA study guide carefully, and go through problems you have already solved. You have to revise as much as you can even for a brief moment, because you will not be able to remember all the details on the exam. If you just skim through the CFA study guide and revise some of the most important practice problems a week before the CFA exam it will be much easier to remember the most important stuff on the exam day.

Put your special attention on the practice problems and formulas. If you have read the majority of readings you will probably remember the most important logic necessary for the practice problems, but formulas might be an issue. Use your cheat sheet or buy them from prep providers (recommended). You can find some cheat sheets even on tablets and smart phones, which may be convenient because you can revise formulas whenever you have free time.

Use your day offs to go through the materials, notes and key practice problems, but also try to relax and sleep well. Relaxation and vacation are as much important as learning. Just remember, the success on the CFA exam isn’t a result of the last week, it’s a result of your weeks’ long effort. You just have to push hard for one more week and give it your best shot while you are at it – the positive results will follow.