CFA CFA Level 1 Exam Performance Tips

Exam Performance Tips

  • This topic has 16 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated Apr-17 by Snippy.
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    • padniaki
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      Hey guys,

      Here is a write-up I did (as part of a larger one that I’m currently working on) with some specific tips on exam performance. Tips for studying are offered all the time, but I rarely see much discussion about performance on the exam itself (which I think is a huge part of passing).

      Here is the link: [removed]

      It is quite long (4-5 pages in Word), but I think it is worth the read. Let me know what you think.

    • Sarah
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      Very detailed. Intense might be a better description.

      I think in terms of preparation I am your opposite.

      Earplugs…hmmm, I like the distraction. I paused at times to listen in to the protractors walking by.

      I chuckled at the glasses part.

    • padniaki
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      Yeah, it was meant to be detailed. I understand that some of that stuff is a bit “contrarian,” but that’s precisely my point: a lot of people come on to these boards looking for advice from people who have been there, and I want people to know that you have to know yourself and how you learn best. Listen to advice, but put it through your personal filter first.

      Most of what I wrote can be summed up in a few lines:

      1. There is no excuse for being unprepared (i.e., showing up at the exam without your passport).
      1b. There is no excuse for writing past when time is called.
      2. Have confidence and stay positive throughout the exam. Thinking about how much you don’t know will not help you at all.
      3. Don’t put pressure on yourself on exam day.
      4. Don’t be afraid to go back and change answers.
      6. @Diya and anyone else who doesn’t wear earplugs is superhuman and should not be trusted.

    • lulu123
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      @padniaki

      lol at #6 :))

    • Sarah
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      @padniaki I don’t trust anybody that doesn’t carry their passport in their back pocket.
      Oh and did you write till the 2 hour and 55 min mark? I always admire people that last that long.

    • Sophie Macon
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      *raise hands* I was just slow in the exams and finished on the dot usually… :D/ Well not for Level 3 essay paper as you could see from my blog post

    • Sarah
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      I’d like to add:
      Don’t leave home without breakfast and
      Start exercising in the last month (especially if you have been neglecting it because the CFA is so demanding).

    • Zee Tan
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      Don’t eat anything too controversial though.

    • Snippy
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      I’d like to add:
      Don’t leave home without breakfast and
      Start exercising in the last month (especially if you have been neglecting it because the CFA is so demanding).

      I do neither of those. I wake up at 1 pm in the afternoon after sleeping at 4 am everyday. So no question of breakfast. And is excercise really necessary? I am 6 feet tall and weigh only 60 kgs lol.

    • padniaki
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      I do neither of those. I wake up at 1 pm in the afternoon after sleeping at 4 am everyday. So no question of breakfast. And is excercise really necessary? I am 6 feet tall and weigh only 60 kgs lol.

      I would strongly recommend trying to adjust your sleep schedule over the next month so exam day doesn’t completely shock your system and impair your performance.

      For what it’s worth, I find my after-workout studying to be much more productive than any other studying time. I think you’d benefit more than you think from exercising. And yes, I understand the frustration of being way too skinny, as I too struggle to put on any weight/muscle. Go do some squats and drink a few galllons of milk! 😉

    • Sophie Macon
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      Exercise is not just for losing weight @sidmenon, which you don’t need. But it helps clear the mind, increase focus, and makes you happier too.

    • Sarah
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      @SidMenon wow that is a crazy sleep cycle you have. I used to be like you a couple of weeks ago but NOW no matter when I go to bed I force myself (or simply roll over and fall over the edge) around 6am.

      If you don’t like exercising like me take up a sport. 😀

    • Zee Tan
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      @sidmenon exercise can be for putting on weight too!

    • MockTurtle
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      Before Level 1, I trained myself to get used to a low level of background noise because my husband didn’t give up his TV watching when I was studying in our open plan kitchen-dining-living room. So I managed well enough without earplugs. Also I find earplugs really uncomfortable.

    • Zee Tan
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      @shantala Urgh, I hate concentrating with the TV on.

      Do you have the factory-type earplugs? They’re really comfy.

    • Zee Tan
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      I paused at times to listen in to the protractors walking by.

      @diya This protractor? 😀

    • Snippy
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      @padniaki I do plan on changing my schedule a week before the exam. I sleep so late because i feel very productive at night, with all the peace and quiet i can get. I might end up doing a little exercise anyway 😛

      @Diya Crazy cycle indeed. But i just can’t seem to change it, I’ve tried a couple of times. On the exam day though, sheer adrenaline will keep me awake to write the exams. I sleep realllly early the day before the exam.


      @Zee
      I do plan on exercising for good once these exams are over, to become less skinny and more well built 😛

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