CFA CFA General Harnessing Your Memory for the CFA Exams – Part 2

Harnessing Your Memory for the CFA Exams – Part 2

  • This topic has 20 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated Apr-17 by Sarah.
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    • Sarah
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      I apologize to my loyal fans for the delay. I was caught up trying to write an essay for a behavioural economic course I am taking.

      Before I continue with memory improving techniques, I feel like I need to back pedal. The sheer volume of material that issued by the CFAI isn’t the only thing that makes approaching the material difficult. It is our collective inability to read (coupled with CFAI meandering way of presenting ideas). We aren’t “bad” at reading nor I am saying that we are lacking in comprehension. But there are really weird notions floating around about reading.

      Before you Start Reading…
      Most of the CFAI material that we learn are imparted by reading (unless you are one of the lucky few that can stay awake during the video lectures offered by prep providers.) So before I divulge more memory techniques it is important to know how to read effectively.

      • Review before reading
      • Ask questions while reading
      • Use the dictionary
      • Read at your own pace

      I’m sure you can predict what what I am going to say next. Yes, you are absolutely right. Unfortunately you can’t triple your reading speed and double the amount of material remembered. Sorry.

      So what does this mean when you tackle the first chapter? Read the LOS, know what you need to take away from that chapter. This is akin to consulting the map before you set off to a foreign destination. Read the introduction. Jot down, for example, which equations you need to memorize and which merely require comprehension. Get to know what the author is trying to convey.

      How to read ACTIVELY
      Now we start with the main course.

      Ask question while you read the chapter. This is the difference between being “active” reading and “passive” reading. This is the difference between understanding or just churning through material and retaining nothing. Passive readers read all the words, maybe memorize some overarching concept. Such as diversification is a good thing. Industry allocation is more effective than selecting individual companies, so on and so forth. But next week you won’t be able to articulate why. So after sloughing through a chapter of portfolio management you’ll have achieved essentially nothing. Memory techniques will help you remember the formula which is useless if you can’t understand how to use it. You’ll be at a loss at what to do if CFAI decided to throw a curveball (which in my experience they thoroughly enjoy doing).

      Don’t rush, take your time
      The third point is obvious and doesn’t warrant elaboration.

      I’m not a proponent of speed reading. Finishing the readings faster means more time to do other things but…sitting again for any level chills me to the bone. Skimming also comes with the risk of missing an important word and completely misunderstanding the sentence. The secret to reading faster is understanding. “People who can see a whole word at a time will read faster than people who can only see a letter at a time, and people who can see several words in a phrase at a time will read faster than people who can see one word at a time. As your eyes move across the page, you occasionally have to stop, so the more words you can see before stopping, the faster you will read.” This is why looking up words in the dictionary is vital, the larger your vocabulary the smoother the ride to the end of the page.

      Try out these techniques and tell me do you still remember (without scrolling up) why I was late with this post?

      Source: How to Get Straight A’s

      Preview
      Pick a location you are intimately familiar with. We are extremely good at remember places, have you ever forgotten where the kitchen is at your best friends house?

    • Zee Tan
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      Try out these techniques and tell me do you still remember (without scrolling up) why I was late with this post?

      Ooh, you got me there.

    • Snippy
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      I know, i know! You had to write an essay for your behavioural economics thing! :D/

      I swear i didn’t scroll up!

    • Zee Tan
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      I know, i know! You had to write an essay for your behavioural economics thing! :D/

      I swear i didn’t scroll up!

      Another test for you then @sidmenon – what was my original profile pic?

    • Snippy
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      The capital Z in black font with a white background?

    • Zee Tan
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      That’s pretty good. @sophie couldn’t remember. haha.

    • Sophie Macon
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      I blame old age @zee

    • Snippy
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      I should get a “Memory” badge :-” “

    • Zee Tan
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      More badges! :-t

    • Sarah
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      @Sophie it probably has nothing to do with age and more along the lines that you have more important things to remember about @Zee likes his birthday and so on and so forth that remembering his display picture just isn’t priority.

    • Sophie Macon
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      On a side note, gawd i just watched Ironman3, and on the subject of old age, how on earth does Gwyneth do it!? 41 lookin’ like 25!

    • Snippy
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      I saw Iron Man 3 too. What a movie! And yes, even Robert is already starting to look old!

    • Sophie Macon
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      Well, he’s looking quite epic for 50+ I must say!

    • Snippy
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      Exactly. Did you wait till after the credits to see the extra scene that no one ends up watching?

    • Sophie Macon
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      Yup I did @sidmenon 🙂

    • Snippy
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      Awesome 😀

    • Sarah
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      @Sophie I was watching a drama recently (Flower Boy Next Door)

      and in the drama he is suppose to be 17 (and I believed he was too) but then I checked and was like…he is old enough to be my oppa…

    • Sophie Macon
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      Korean, or people of the far east in general, seem to have mastered the art of looking young. I suspect it’s the dislike for extreme sun exposure like the Westerners

    • Sarah
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      I found out that they also start using “anti-aging” stuff much earlier than their western counterparts. Their BB creams has finally found its way to the North American market last year but it isn’t nearly as good D:

    • Sophie Macon
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      An excuse to visit Korea perhaps?

    • Sarah
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      @Sophie I just order online :p

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