Passing the CFA exam is a hard task, and to be honest there is not magic formula. All of it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. You need to maintain a solid study plan and also stick to the CFA Study guide.

Phase 1 (2-3 months)

  • Read all textbooks and the CFA study guide at once.
  • Do end of chapter questions from the text book you are following, If you are unable to solve a question revisit that chapter in your textbook or CFA study guide, study it and then come back to the question again.
  • Create a detailed formula sheet to refer to every once in a while.
  • Try solving mock exams and at this phase you can keep the formula sheet with you. Tabulate all the scores by segment in an excel sheet. Check the answers and see where you went wrong. Highlight all questions you were incorrect in or got correct by fluke for future reference.

Now that your foundation is strong, next step is to internalize all concepts


Phase 2 (1-2 months)

  • At this point you will need to cover a lot of mock tests to test your weak areas, this is the most important part of your CFA preparation. What you need to do is take a look at your scores and find your weakest areas. See where you went wrong by looking at answers. Then give another mock exam and repeat the cycle. Track your scores and see whether you are improving in your weak areas. I would recommend that you give at least 3 full mock exams
  • Go through all the examples from your textbook and CFA study guide and highlight the ones that look tricky.
  • MAKE SURE you read the important chapters (like deferred tax) from the original book.
  • Memorize all the formulas from the formula sheet and always carry it with you.


Phase 3 (last 30 days)

  • Go back to your highlighted questions, attempt all the questions you weren’t able to do and keep trying until you are able to do them all.
  • Revise entire syllabus by LOS:Go through all the learning objective statements and make sure that you have mastered (not memorization. Memorization does not work) the concepts. Again use the elimination method here as well.
  • Give one last mock exam (Optional):You might want to give a final mock 1-2 weeks before the exam to see your scores. However don’t attempt one too close to the exam as bad scores might affect your confidence.
  • Relax: Don’t forget to take breaks and enjoy time off during the process. I read many novels during my CFA prep time. The key to success for me was proper planning and execution without trying to cram at the 12th hour.

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