We receive a lot of mail from readers asking for advice for their own CFA preparations. While we try and reply to every one personally, it got me thinking about readers that may not have written in, but still have the same questions nonetheless. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could benefit as well?
So I thought I’d share eight of the most frequently asked questions by our readers to us, as well as our answers. Hope they’ll be of help to you, and if you have any further questions, just pop them in the comments below!
“I’m currently in university, and the CFA registration fee is quite expensive for me. Does the program offer any discounts that I can take advantage of? Appreciate the help, thanks!”
- CFA Institute offers an Access Scholarship that you can apply for. If successful, your one-time registration fee will be waived, and your exam fee will be reduced to $250. You can learn more about the Access Scholarship from the CFA Institute website.
“Hi Christine, love 300 Hours by the way, it’s been very helpful!
I’ve recently completed my degree and I’m looking at continuing my education while looking for a job. I’m considering the CFA charter, but I’m also looking at possibly an MBA or FRM. Basically looking to further boost my resume and upgrading myself! I’m currently still looking for a job – my ideal job would be in investment reporting, covering energy.
Which qualification would be the best fit for me?”
The MBA is a different beast, really – although there are executive MBA programs which are part time, on the whole they require more time and money, but you get a more generalist boost to your CV. Although the CFA can still help you outside of finance, the MBA would be helpful if you’re possibly looking outside of finance in the future. The career and networking focus of most MBA programs are also great plus points.
If you’re interested in MBA programs, these articles can help:
“I’ve just signed up for CFA Level I, and I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment! There’s so much to get through. Where do I start at 300 Hours for help?”
“I’ve just signed up for CFA Level I, and I really want to finish all three exams as soon as possible, with no failures. How do I go about achieving this, and what are your recommendations?
However, we do have a few in our team that have done it before, and reading about their experiences might give you ideas on how to adapt their techniques for yourself. Sophie completed all three exams in the space of 18 months – you can read Sophie’s experience here:
“The CFA curriculum is so vast. Even though I’ve completed studying the study notes, but I feel like I’ve forgotten complete sections of the curriculum. Some of the earlier sections seem completely foreign to me now even though I know I read them previously! Is this normal, and what do I do to address this?”
- Make sure when you complete practice exams that you really spend time understanding the questions you got wrong and weren’t sure about.
- Read the topics that gave you trouble during the practice exam.
Do all of that before starting the next practice exam, and by the time you reach 5-7 practice exams you should have a better grasp of the entire curriculum.
“I’m currently in a pretty demanding job. My boss is really pushing the team hard at the moment, and I’m not getting much slack or sympathy to prep for the CFA exams. What should I do? Do you have a way to help me cope? Or should I write off the CFA exams for this year? :(“
Careful and strict time-management is key to successfully balancing your work and CFA studies. The two articles below will cover everything you need to know.
“I know I’m supposed to be progressing soon to practice exams, but I just can’t seem to finish my studying! I keep getting stuck – rereading the same passages over and over without comprehending. Help!”
If you’re really strapped for time and need to finish your studying soon, we have also written a guide to rush through your notes:
“I’ve done my initial review and I’m now progressing to practice exams. However, my scores are horrible! I got a 57% on my first practice exam. Is this normal? Would I be able to bring this up to passing-standard?”
If you want more tips, you can get them from these articles:
- How to Improve your CFA Mock Exam Scores
- Got a Really Low Score on Your CFA Practice Exam? Don’t Panic, Here’s How to Improve
We also have 100% free Practice Tests for all our readers for every CFA level. If you haven’t claimed your free Practice Test yet, make sure you do: