Are you preparing for the CFA level 1 exam in December? You surely worry about passing the exam when you do not have much time to practice and overcome a lot of obstacles during the exam.
In the December exam, you have only a few months to prepare, so you need to come up with your plan immediately. Whether you decide to have a self-study or choose a center to practice, your strategies and your plan still are necessary. Here are five main steps for getting your rear in gear on this December exam right away.
Step-by-step instruction for preparing the CFA level 1 exam in December 2017
Step 1: Check your international passport
There is a critical point in the CFA Exam is registering, and a passport is also an important paperwork to register the exam. If you do not have a passport, then you should acquire it as quickly as you can.
Please keep in mind that acquiring a passport is a long process in most countries, so you should check and start the process in case yours is expired before the exam day.
Step 2: Register the CFA Level 1 Exam
The CFA level 1 Exam and the level 2 and 3 exams are provided annually, but you should check the exam day and other related days on the CFA Institute website such as early registration fee deadline, mock exam available, standard registration fee deadline, final (late) registration fee deadline, etc.
If you are deciding on taking the December exam for level 1, you will need to register on March, August or September.
Step 3: Create space in your life for CFA studying
It is difficult to balance your studying and other activities during the period of practicing, especially when you have the office job. This is the first obstacle you need to beat.
Before designing a plan for the CFA Exam, you should take care of anything that you are able to do now. Hanging out with your lovers and friends, purchasing presents for family birthdays, completing important projects in the company that those projects will be done on this month, etc.
Then, you should reduce the overtime period at weekends to focus on practicing the exam. If necessary, you could take off your work in one or two days a week or reduce your working time for studying.
After that, you make a detailed schedule for working and studying. When will you need to focus on your working and when will you should take much time to practice the exam.
Step 4: Make a study schedule
Set up a study schedule will take many hours and you will be bored, but establishing a detailed timetable and weekly schedule is truly a worthy effort. CFA Institute recommends you spend at least 300 hours practicing and preparing for CFA level 1. To make your calendar, divide your practice months into two certain pieces as below:
The first period (three or four months): review the full curriculum. The level I curriculum has ten topic areas. In ten topic areas, you will also be tried on easy analysis by using some investment tools. Here are ten topic areas you need to know and study:
- Ethical and Professional Standards
- Quantitative Methods
- Financial Reporting and Analysis
- Corporate Finance
- Equity Investments
- Fixed Income
- Alternative Investments
- Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning
The second period (about 45 days): study the entire curriculum again and be sure you understand these ten topic areas clearly.
After making two periods, make a weekly plan with appropriate sessions which you will cover these sessions each week.
Ten topic areas will be suitable for 18 study sessions, and you will feel that you are fitting some pieces of a puzzle game in a whole picture. You enable to study a session depending on the length in the CFA Exam study materials. Each session could be longer with two weeks or shorter with a few days only.
If you do not have much time to undertake these two periods, then you should use a mind-map method to cover all knowledge in ten topic areas. The crucial thing is making a right plan from day one for your effort.
Experienced candidates always choose the topic area like QA subject that they feel easier to build their inspiration to learn other harder subjects in the upcoming time.
Step 5: Start the studying and practicing process
When should you start learning? The question depends on your schedule. If you have a full-time job, you will begin your studying process as soon as possible. In general, candidates often begin their practicing about five months before the exam day.
Find out the right studying materials and divide these materials into two groups – studying materials and practicing materials are also extremely important that you should not miss out.
Nonetheless, if you have one or two months only, applying the mind-map method will be the best option. A mind-map methodology is a visual map to display your ideas which placed on a radial structure around a central thought.
The curriculum is long and tough, so you have to study and practice the content for many times to remember. To use mind mapping for learning CFA level 1, you make only the central subject and build your notes around this subject.
It would be a powerful way for you to learn the CFA level 1 exam if you enable to summarize the certain points for ten topic areas. Then, you could revise what you are given a brief before in the next rounds to ensure the understanding of knowledge in ten topics.
In case you do not know how to use the min-map method, you still ought to apply our set of e-Mind Maps for ten topics. Way to Finance Success could also offer one or other topics if you think you need more topics or less than ones.
The bottom line
Because of the length and meticulousness of the CFA Exam, passing this exam not only requires a sensibility for the material and responsibility to learning but also specify understanding how to do the exam and to forecast what information will appear in the questions.
On the flip side, candidates should develop dealing and exam-taking strategies which will allow them to surpass the average level. These strategies are a large set of obstacle that most of the CFA charters should overcome the line between failing and passing, especially the CFA Level 1 exam.
Examines could make a small group and begin the studying CFA program, but each member of a group needs to have the similar goals and they are serious about their learning to get the best result.