If you are on the career path to becoming a financial advisor, then you have no doubt heard about the perils of the CFA exam. Showing that you have passed the CFA exam and have become a Certified Financial Analyst shows commitment and is an essential part of the path to becoming a financial advisor. To pass the CFA, you must dedicate hundreds of hours to study. The knowledge you gain in and out of class and in CFA internships is vital to your understanding of the subject material. It will take physical and mental discipline—a process that can take months to develop and maintain—and all of this is only for people who hope to pass the exam in two or three attempts. Many people fail to pass the exam on their first try, and yet there are still people who do. Some of these people may be finance savants, but there are still many common financial advisors who have achieved the task. So, how do you pass the CFA exam on the first try? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Utilize All of Your Resources
When it comes to the CFA exam, cracking open a book and burying your nose in it for hours will simply not be enough. On average, prospective financial advisors will spend over three hundred hours of studying per section. That adds up to well over nine hundred hours total! You will need to use all of the resources at hand to understand the material you need to know, and the best method of actually taking the test. It follows then, that if you come into the test armed with as much knowledge as possible, you will have much more confidence in your success. Below you will find listed a few of the resources you can use to better prepare yourself for the CFA exam.
- CFA Courses
Taking a CFA course is an excellent way of diversifying your learning experience. Although it may be tempting to spend hours huddled away in your own room or local library to study, sometimes nothing beats sitting in a classroom with your peers. In a classroom, you can communicate with the instructor in real time if you have any questions. An engaging professor will create presentations that will captivate audio or visual learners. You will also have the opportunity to network with fellow students, those of which can become a part of your support system through the process and even become your future colleagues.
- CFA Mock Exam
Once you have cemented the material in your brain through rigorous study, it is time to take the CFA mock exam. Taking a mock exam will give you a glimpse as to how the test works. Understanding the structure and mechanics of the test will give you a better idea about how to answer the questions. Getting firsthand experience before sitting down for the real thing will give you a huge advantage because it will psychologically prepare you for the day of the test. Doing so will make the actual test day seem much less stressful and allow you to relax a bit more.
It is Okay to Fail the First Time
The truth is, it is statistically more likely that you will fail on your first attempt. However, remember: you are not alone. Many of your peers will be in the same boat, and that means that you all will study harder and be more successful the next time. Arguably, you may retain more information than someone who passed on their first attempt because you had to study all the more. Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, note that the prestige of passing the CFA exam on the first time is miniscule compared to all of the other skills you must have to succeed. Boasting about your genius may not be attractive to your potential employer in an interview, but they will appreciate seeing both your technical skills and soft skills in action. Passing the CFA exam is just one step in a life long journey, so be kind to yourself. If you do not succeed the first time, try and try again.