If you’re going for the December exam you’re probably a good way into your study. We do some coaching for candidates (with great success) and have these tips for studiers that take all non-work time to prep.
You have to optimize each one of those precious hours. So you want to make sure you’re focusing and learning the material, and not wasting any time with the “hamster in the wheel” spinning brain. To do that, keep a journal of what you’re learning. Just jot something down every half hour of what you’ve learned. If you’re spending a lot of time on certain concepts, or equations, jot those down and get advice on those later.
And don’t forget to do practice exams in last few weeks and take day before the exam off. Get some sleep -it actually is key to learning.
You’re asking the question so many want to ask — and labeled it correctly. The cash outlay to register and buy materials is a pittance compared to the real cost which is time spent away from friends, family, hobbies and work.
One way out is to change perspective and not see as either/or, but how can you have it all.
Clearly you need to create a partnership in passing the exam with your romantic partner. Is there anything in this for her, that you pass? For instance, most spouses can be supportive because there’s a promotion and bigger salary, often even after L2.
The long hours at your current work don’t leave much room for anything outside work but could you draw on your evident strong self discipline and structure study hours and relationship hours? And keep those agreements with yourself and with girlfriend?
You’re not alone — and about 80,000 people figure it out every year.
Groups are most beneficial for social people. Introverts do just fine studying on their own. Find what works best for you. Most Whatsapp groups that focus on single level exam (that I’ve seen) are focused on exam not chatter. You can sign up for whatsapp groups on the CFA candidate group through LinkedIn. Several to choose from.
I’ve been writing about fintech for CFA Magazine and find some interesting trends. 1) before long there will be no “fintech” just “fin” and it will be all tech. 2) many computer scientists looking to start or work at fintech companies are getting the CFA with no prior finance background, to add the domain expertise. Engineering and CFA go together naturally especially for a future in investing versus company management. (CFA v. MBA). (Got CFA in 1993 in 3 years.)
Many re-takers — all levels — struggle with doubt. Several have come to me for coaching to handle the mental and emotional toll especially taxing for second and third attempts. I recommend you find a coach who will work around your schedule, who has a specific structure to their coaching, who has worked with either CFA’s or other professionals prepping for exams (bar, accountancy, etc.), and who will give you a half hour complementary session. A big part of success is if you like the coach as a person — most important thing. Good luck all!