CFA® Exam Tips

Must read pre-exam brief

You've put countless hours and an enormously effort in your preparation. It's without a doubt that on Exam Day, all your training will kick in; your body and mind will know exactly what to do.

Nevertheless, the following are crucial pieces of advice that should not be overlooked:

  1. In the days leading up to the exam, concentrate your study time around the hours of your scheduled exam. Your body and mind must be in peak condition during these hours.

  2. You should arrive at the test center at least 1-hour early. During that window, you should warm up by attempting a set of practice questions so that you may develop momentum leading into the exam.

  3. If your exam is scheduled in the morning, then all you will have time for is a set of warm up practice questions. However, if your exam is scheduled in the afternoon, then you must be careful not to burn out. Therefore, simply redo some previously attempted mock exam questions in the morning. Reviewing notes on the day of the exam will not be a productive use of your time. At that point, you either know the material or you don’t.

  4. The exam itself is all about time management. Never spend too much time on any one question. If a question gives you a hard time:
    a) Guess it,
    b) Flag it, and
    c) Move on.

    You can come back to the flagged questions once you have completed the entire exam. Some exam questions are deliberately constructed in order to tie you down. Do not take the bait.

  5. In between the 135 minute sessions, take a ½ hour break in order to get some nutrition in you. Adrenaline will only take you so far; you will need fuel to make it the rest of the way.

  6. Do not let your performance in the first session (good or bad) influence your game in the second. Write the second session as if it’s the only exam for the day.

  7. Never give up: If you’re having a hard time on the exam, so is your competition.

  8. Do not forget to bring all your essentials: passport, calculator, earplugs, snacks, etc.
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