After completing two rounds of Chartered Financial Analyst exams, Senior Manager Lisaveta Ramotar offers her top tips for passing CFA exams.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams have long been known as the most difficult exam in finance or otherwise. According to eFinancialCareers, only roughly 43 percent of the more than 50,000 people who take the test every June or December are able to pass. Senior Manager Lisaveta Ramotar recently passed level two of the CFA examinations and is currently enrolled to complete the final level, level three. Lisaveta Ramotar is now offering her top tips to help others who are pursuing or thinking of pursuing the exam pass the grueling test.
“The topics must be your second nature” Lisaveta Ramotar says, that means not only should you be studying for it daily, and doing the practice problems offered at the end of each chapter, but at least 30 minutes per day should be allocated to reviewing past topics that would have already been studied. In this way, Lisaveta Ramotar says, you are able to commit the topics to your long-term memory.
Lisaveta Ramotar also points out that there is something magical that as she puts it, “when you put pen to paper and start to write; your thoughts are made clearer. Even doing a basic summary of a section of the reading or chapter allows you to better remember the material”.
Lisaveta Ramotar explained that major changes can occur during the period between tests. She said that test candidates should stay up-to-date by checking the CFA Institute website often. Lisaveta Ramotar also stated that understanding the format of the test is essential. Level one exams begin with a three-hour-long testing session, including 120 multiple-choice questions. A one hour break is then given, and testers must return for another three-hour-long session of another 120 multiple-choice questions. Lisaveta Ramotar explained that level one tests should never be underestimated.
“Learning to manage time properly during the exam is arguably as important as the process of studying,” Lisaveta Ramotar said. “Understanding relationships between concepts is key. For instance, you should know whether total assets increase, stay the same or decrease if LIFO is used versus FIFO etc.” This allows for an efficient use of time she stresses.