CFA exam preparation | 7 powerful tips for the last month

Last month Preparation for CFA Exam

As you have entered into the final month of the CFA exam, it’s important for you to know how to make the most out of this remaining time. Also, the way you have been studying for the last 5-6 months is not how you have to proceed during this month. And this piece of writing will thus offer the key tasks to do in your final month. Whether you are going to take a CFA level 1, CFA level 2, or level 3 exam, these tips remain to be powerful.

Solve the end of chapter problems, “Gray box” examples, and mock tests

cfa test

These problems are created by the Institute itself, so are they are as close to the real things as you can expect. Also, the gray box examples are the examples that are within each chapter. The CFA Institute even provides the mock exams; they are a useful resource for your prep study. Or else, look for the Online Schweser Mock CFA Exam.

The mock tests are the ones that put everything together. And they give you a good sense of timing, so you may want to do as many practice exams as you can. The key aspect of taking the test is to be able to retain all that information and recollect all the ten topics at the same time. Whether it is CFA Level 1, CFA level 2 or level 3, you will be tested on each one of them.

When doing the mock test, try to replicate the day of the exam. And when you are done with the 3-hour test, give yourself half an hour break, and then sit for another 3-hour test. Make sure that there are no disturbances – no phone calls, no interference, no offer of meals in between.

Review what you have done

cfa exam

When doing any kind of exams, problems, practice exercises, reviewing them is equally important. Even though there may be several questions which you feel that you know, but they may be the guess, and you get them right.

Still, you have to revise them to see the correct procedure of answering the question. Also, you will know the technique in which you can answer the questions in the shortest possible time. A useful tip for reviewing task is keeping certain codes.

A tick when you are confident about the question, a question mark for when you don’t know the question, and an approximate sign when you are making a calculated guess. These codes will give you the extent of your certainty about the question. And if you are even sure about it, you still have to review the answer.

Stick to the study plan

Given that you have completed the syllabus, the final month is a great time to plan your wrap-up actions. The plan for CFA Exam should include revision, doing mock tests, reviewing tests, reviewing graphs and formulas, revising weak areas, solving practice questions, and relaxing time. Below is a suggested detail prep study plan.

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat


Revision Revision Revision Mock Test 1 Review Test Revise weak areas Mock Test 2
Review Test Revise weak areas Revise weak areas Practice questions Relax Mock Test 3 Review Test
Revise weak areas Practice questions Practice questions Relax Practice questions Mock Test 4 Review Test
Revise weak areas Practice questions Relax Practice questions Mock Test 5 Review Test Revise weak areas
Relax Revision Revision Revision Review graphs Relax and revise formulas Exam Date

You can use this calendar for either CFA Level 1, CFA level 2, or CFA Level 3. The principles are that you need to focus toward practicing, answering questions, and revising your answers.

Memorize the formulas and main content

cfa formula

The CFA exam does not allow for any cheat sheet. You are supposed to remember everything. And if you can’t recall the formula immediately on the exam, you may run into troubles.

Along with memorizing the formulas, spend some time to review the graphs. You can have questions based on graphs, so they should be fresh in your mind. Graphs can also help you to answer some theoretical questions.

One of the effective method for this is to use Mind Maps to memorize everything. You can download some CFA Mind Maps here

Take some time off from work

relaxing after cfa exam

This may not be possible for everyone because of their work commitment. It also depends on how well prepared you are for the exam. However, have at least one day off for every week in the last one month. Having a day off before starting a new hard-working week will revive you up for the test.

Some people like to take the entire last week off, but this is not really recommendable. The whole week not doing anything may make you even more anxious, it can also create some missing pieces in your memory. During the last day off before the test (I recommend it to be the first day of the last week), take your time to check the calculator.

Get enough sleep

cfa exam

You may not have a good sleep the night before the CFA exam. So make sure you get a good sleep every other night in the last month. As a result, you will have some sleep surplus. On the exam day, remain calm is one of the essentials.

The night before the final day, it’s a norm to be anxious, but don’t panic. Have your checklist of items checked and add at least one buffer hour for the transferring time from home to the exam venue. It’s for the flat tire, broken vehicle, or traffic jam.

You don’t do any revision in the morning because you worked very well for the last month. And if you didn’t, it also will not help. You should be confident with the syllabus. A lot of people have taken this test, and many of them have been successful, so can you be.

What to avoid in the last month before the CFA exam?

Over study in the few days before the exams

Don’t burn yourself in the last few days before the exam. Over studying will make you exhausted, thus not to be sound in mind and body for the test. So don’t try to burden yourself with anything.

Simply keep reading

There are thousands of pages in the curriculums. And by the time you read page 150, you forget what page number 100 was all about. That’s why it’s crucial to do the practice problems, exams, and mock tests.

Expect to know everything

The institute has said that no candidate has scored a perfect on this test. And you don’t even need to score 100% on the exam. It’s a relative performance measurement exam. If you do several practice problems, exams, and if you are well-rested, you will be just fine.


Keep in mind that the exam is not something impossible to strive forward. But the important thing is to remain calm and stay focused. This piece of writing hopefully helps you to be more productive with your study time and study smarter. Best of luck with your CFA exam prep study.

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