Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CFA Chartered Financial Analyst Preparion, How Many Practice Exams and What Percentage of Success?

CFA preparation guidance to make sure you become a CFA chartered Financial analyst.
Most of us preparing for the CFA Chartered Financial Analyst examination are wondering what would be the optimal amount of practice problems and mock exams to do, as well as the percentage we have to score during our CFA preparation to be sure or at least more confident to pass the CFA examination.
By asking other CFA candidates what is their average percentage score during the preparation, they might give some higher scores than the reality, and obviously you do not have to score 100% to each CFA topic preparation to consider yourself ready, moreover the answer to these questions are not clear, indeed the CFA Institute does not give their grading system and CFA examination results available to public, and beside the approximate topic weights and survey reports, there is no precise to way to direct your learning effort.
We tried here to collect experiences and results from CFA forums and successful CFA candidates to give you an idea of how to prepare for the examination.

CFA Preparation Guidance:

  • There is no maximum practice problems you can do, whether you are CFA candidate for level I, II or III practice problems are the key, but I recommend you to do no less than 800 total. The optimal range of practice problems would be between 800 to 1200. I also advise you to study well the topic before practicing the exams, otherwise you will run out of practice problems and if you re do it you will remember the answers and it will boost your score but not your knowledge.
  • Don't get discouraged when you start practice problems, a lot of candidates will score as low as 20 to 30% for the first trials and your performance will improve little by little, once again don't focus on getting 100% but a solid 75-80% shoud be your goal.
  • It is important to spread your studying effort on the various sections of the CFA curriculum, do not spend more time than you planned on a section with the only objective of scoring high on this topic, disperse your effort and try to get the same performance range on every topic, neglecting one section could lead to your failure, eventhough this section is only 5% of the CFA examination weight.

  • I totally agree with the fact that the CFA examination whatever your level is, requires a massive amount of preparation which is above the 250 hours recommended by the CFA institute, but you should be also smart in your learning process, preparation and pre-exam revision, in order to do that you should determine clearly a deadline for each of the section you study for and note your weak points during the revision phase.


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