How to Prepare for CFA:

Time to be spent on preparing for exams

On an average the candidate spends 318 hours for preparing for exams , with Level III candidates reporting the most time preparing for the exam. The most commonly used study material was the CFA Institute curriculum (75%).

CURRICULUM AND EXAM VALUE:

The candidates are highly satisfied with the quality of the exam and exam administration experience , with 97% agreeing to the fact that CFA Program curriculum improved their understanding of important topic and 96% agreeing that the examples and practice problems at the end of the readings are helpful in explaining the concept.

CHARTER VALUE, PROGRAM AWARENESS, AND CAREER RELEVANCE

The candidates have rate the value of earning the charter very high: 9 out of 10. The main motive behind registering for such exam is that of career advancement , 85% said they are likely to recommend the CFA Program to someone else.

TOP 6 WAYS CANDIDATES BECAME AWARE OF THE CFA PROGRAM

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK

A survey conducted by CFA institute had asked various candidates that in coming 12 months do you expect employment opportunities for investment management professionals in your local market whether it will increase, decrease or stay the same?

TOP COACHING CLASSES IN MUMBAI:

The different points of views are articulated based on the reviews and comments by students on their experiences.This list are on the basis of parameters of the educator extensively acknowledged for and not a ranking.

Teaching quality & student satisfaction: Rajaram Kamat CFA Classes

Experience: Laukik Shah

Brand image: Rajaram Kamat CFA Classes

Student friendly: V D Shah

Online portal & Flexibility: Edupristine

IMS ProSchool

TOP COACHING CLASSES IN PUNE:

IMS Proschool:

The weekend batches are designed such that working professionals and graduates are not at a loss. The program is available across various mediums i.e., classroom sessions, live virtual sessions and distance/ self-study mode. Online and paper based study material is provided on candidates personal Learning Management System. The institute being mobile friendly the setup and applications is accessible for people who travel a lot. Also 3 full length mock exam, subject wise mock tests and quizzes.

EduPristine:

Edu Pristine provides 110 hours of exhaustive classroom training. The program is available in all mediums i.e. classroom sessions, live virtual sessions and distance/ self-study mode.

Study material is provided in the form of presentations. They also provide one full length mock exam, 40 hours of doubt clearing sessions and 22 days of Live Virtual Training if you opt for online classes.

Students can also have an online access to materials and recordings, doubt solving forum to interact with faculty and fellow students. The only hitch being that they do not have a student help centre in Pune since everything is controlled from Mumbai.

3.Profit Shastra

4. Fin Tree

CFA LEVEL I (EXAM PREPARATION STRATEGY AND LAST MINUTE TIPS)

If you feel like you’re running out of time to study for the CFA Program exam and you are behind on your study schedule than to increase your chances of passing, following are the last-minute CFA Program exam tips that can be followed and you can make the most of time left for studying.

1: Strategically Select Topics to Focus On

The Level I CFA Program exam is weighted by topic area, hence to increase your chances of success you can give weightage to your lessons similarly. Ethics being on all three levels of CFA Program should pay special attention to.

  • Financial Reporting and Analysis – 20% weight
  • Ethics – 15%
  • Quantitative Methods – 12%
  • Debt – 12%
  • Equity – 10%
  • Economics – 10%/div>
  • Corporate Finance – 8%

2: Put More Focus on Practice Problems

If you are late in the game than putting more focus on practice problems makes sense. You can use the questions to learn the concepts since there is not much time left to read the entire reading material. Answer the questions the best you can, and then make sure you’ve mastered the concepts embedded in the questions by going through the curriculum where those topics are covered.

3: Minimize Distractions

For last minute preparation you can minimize your distractions by using an auto-response to emails and texts. You can also minimize distraction by anticipating your internal needs (hunger, boredom, stress, sleep deprivation) and plan ahead.

4: Fill Small Pockets of Time with Studying

Work on flashcards or Question Bank while on the ride or while travelling back home from office and make the most use of time. Review study notes while exercising. Your study materials should be with you at all times you must utilize your time to the fullest.ered the concepts embedded in the questions by going through the curriculum where those topics are covered.

5: Use the 50/10 rule

Rather than half-studying with periodic distractions use a timer to study for 50 minutes of every hour with zero breaks or distractions and a 10-minute break. If you can train yourself this way, you will study hard 80% of the time, which is more effective than half-studying.

CFA LEVEL II

Topic Focus

In Level II it’s difficult to focus on a few topics as most of them are interrelated.

  1. Ethics (10-15%) - because it's a must, and you just need to learn one or two new concepts and the rest is similar to Level I. Easy way to cover some ground.

  2. Equity Investments and FRA(10-15%) - these are simply too big to ignore.

  3. Fixed Income (10-15%) - CFA Institute has up weighted Fixed Income and it is also important in Level III - make sure you get enough focus here.

  4. The rest You'll need to pick two or three more topics from the rest (all 5-10%) each. Choose your strong suit.

Format

  • 2 papers at 3 hours each, totalling 6 hours.
  • Each paper has 10-11 item-sets with 4-6 questions per item-set
CFA LEVEL III

For this level, the topic concentration works in your favour, but knowing that nearly all of Level III candidates perform worse in essay questions may discourage you at first. Following things can be done in order to maximize chances of passing.

  1. Ethics (10-15%) - because it's a must, and they largely build on what you've learned in Level I-II. Easy way to cover some ground.

  2. Portfolio Management(35-40%) - If there's one topic you need to cover (and only have time for) in Level III, focus on the varieties of Portfolio Management.

  3. Fixed Income (15-20%) – One cannot escape from this asset class.

Format

  • 1 Item set paper, 3 hours long, 10-11 item-sets with 4-6 questions per item-set
  • 1 x Essay paper, 3 hours long

Post Level I and Level II you are almost on the verge of being successful in completing Level III.The following tips must be followed in order to complete Level III.

Keep calm

The best advice is to keep calm as you enter the last stage of CFA Program especially when the exams are nearing. Your focus is shifted if you are more stressed. Make sure you have a study plan to go over all the material by dividing it into small pieces, putting more focus on areas of weakness.

Get planning

A study calendar will help organise and plan everything within a time frame. Plot your calendar so that you cover all elements, giving each the necessary time and allotting more time to any areas of weakness.

Practice makes perfect

Make sure you get plenty of practice on the calculator that you will be using in the exam. It is important to make sure that you know how to properly clear the calculator and that you do this every time before you start a calculation.

Train to sustain

Train yourself by practice test and mock exams on CFA Institute’s website in order to keep a track on your performance.

Target weak spots

In the final four weeks you should particularly target those topics that carry the biggest weight in the exam. From these topics make an assessment of which ones you feel that you have mastered, and those that you feel need more revision.

Do your paperwork

When you find a moment that you’re not using for study, have a think about your photo identification. It is important to make sure that it hasn’t expired and that the name on your admission ticket is an exact match for how your name appears on your ID. If there is any difference, now is the time to complete and submit a Name Change Form from the CFA Institute Candidate Website.

Have a go

There is no penalty for incorrect answers, so even if you’re stuck on a question, at least try to give it a go.

Watch the clock

Timing, as ever, is key to finishing the exam with all questions answered. Be aware that the morning section of Level 3 is seen as the most challenging in terms of time management as it involves essay writing. So stay one step ahead with Morgan’s tips for meeting this challenge head-on:

  • Don’t rush to the answer: make sure you read and understand each question first.
  • Be brief with your answers – formulate a direct response to the command words, and as a time saver try bullet points or even incomplete sentences (but be clear!) as both are acceptable.
  • Always use the template if provided – it will make sure you don’t write more than necessary.
  • If you hit a difficult question, move to easier parts of the exam and come back to it.
  • Each question is allotted a certain number of minutes, so try your best to follow this recommended time.

Do as you’re told!

It’s supremely important that you follow the instructions in the exam. For example, if the question tells you to “show your work” then you should do exactly this and present your calculations. The good news is that sometimes partial credit is given when correct formulas or inputs are shown even if the answer itself is incorrect.

Pay attention

It pays to read the instructions on the front cover and throughout the exam book. Make sure you read them thoroughly and this will help you avoid missing any parts, answering sequential questions in the wrong order, or filling out your answers on the wrong pages.

Be clear

Although it’s OK to use common abbreviations and symbols, if you are in any doubt it is better to write it out in full.

Keep it focused

You will score points for direct answers to a question, but you will not score points for inserting general knowledge that does not address the question. So keep it focused!

Beware the bold

When a question features bold command words, remember to address them. These command words are defined on the inside front cover of the exam book. Take a look at LOS command words ahead of the exam. If the command words require a decision (for example Determine or Recommend), you must clearly state your choice or select it for template questions. If your intent is unclear or your answer contradictory, you will not receive points. When asked to “Justify a recommendation”, for example, make sure that you do just this with clear reasons or supporting arguments.

Be clear

if you change an answer, make sure you cross out the previous answer so that it’s clear to the grader which one to mark. Also, remember to be clear in your answers and avoid contradicting yourself.

Take care

Make sure you read each question carefully; if you rush through, you may find yourself tripping up on incorrect answer choices.

Keep it within reason

Everything that you need to formulate an answer already exists within the question information and the curriculum you’ve covered. Don’t introduce information outside this as the questions are rarely designed to trick you in such a way. Only introduce information that is directly relevant to the question asked, even if you are tempted to expand on this to show your knowledge.

And keep it simple

Do exactly what is asked of you and no more. If you are asked to give one reason or two advantages, do just this. If you add on more, only the first ones will be graded. So not only is it a waste of your time, but the correct ones may be missed further down. If you feel the need to state assumptions to support your approach to the answer, then do so.

Take note

Your exam book can be written in if you want to underline information or work out your equations, but take note that only your final answers present on your answer sheets will be graded.

Start with the obvious

If you are stuck on a question, begin by knocking out any answer that is obviously incorrect. This way you increase your odds of answering the question correctly. And, if you have to guess, make sure that logic and reasoning factor into your answer.

Mark as you go

Don’t leave the answer sheet till the end as you risk running out of time. As you complete each question, mark your answers on the answer sheet – it’s the safest strategy!

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