CFA®

Four Things Keeping You From Taking the CFA® Exam

four things keeping you from taking the cfa exam

Studying for, taking, and passing all three levels of the CFA Exam will be one of the most challenging endeavors you will undertake in your career. But it is also one of the most rewarding accomplishments. Since it requires a significant investment of time and effort, many finance professionals postpone taking the CFA Exam. Below are a few common excuses that aspiring charterholders use to delay taking the CFA Exam:

1. “I need more career experience before I take the CFA Exam.”

Finance professionals know that working in the profession requires long hours, with significant responsibilities, and constantly imposes pressure to deliver consistent and compelling results. Gaining more experience never slows the profession’s demands, but waiting to take the CFA Exam will defer the benefits of becoming a CFA charterholder. So, take the CFA Exam now to enjoy the career growth benefits sooner.

2. “I’m afraid I’ll fail the CFA Exam.”

At some point in life, everyone fears failure. Yet, ironically, most people fail because they refuse to try. If you can relate, just remember that there are benefits to failing. That’s right — benefits. Failure allows us to learn from our mistakes and apply those lessons the next time. It also helps us build the courage to pursue new things, knowing that we can keep trying until we find the best solution. 

Think of failing the CFA Exam as a step toward escaping self-imposed limiting beliefs, not a permanent setback that should derail you from ever reaching your CFA career goals. This mindset will help you stop delaying taking the CFA Exam.

3. “I don’t have time to study for the exam.”

In a world full of competing interests and demands, few working professionals have enough time to study. But time is not something you ever find; it is something you have to make. We all make time for our priorities. Start by balancing your responsibilities and trying different ways to budget the limited time you have. 

If you are serious about obtaining the CFA Charter, you will make time to do what it takes to get there. Remember that studying for the CFA Exam is only one phase in your life whereas reaping the benefits of being a CFA charterholder will last a lifetime.

4. “I can’t afford the CFA right now.”

No doubt, taking the CFA Exam is an expensive proposition. But there are ways to manage the costs. It is better to schedule your CFA Exam early to pay the Early Registration Fee, which saves you about $300. 

Also, CFA Institute offers an Access Scholarship Program to ease the financial burden of CFA candidates who can’t afford to pay the total program fees. You can find more information about Access Scholarship Program eligibility on CFA Institute’s scholarship page. 

The simple fact is this: the longer you wait, the more likely you are to delay taking the CFA Exam. If you are determined to take your finance career to the next level by becoming a CFA Charterholder, you need to stop focusing on all the (made up) reasons why you can’t. Instead, focus on affirming your capabilities, and you will manifest your potential, including acing the challenging CFA Exam. 

We wish you the best of luck!


If you are ready to take on the CFA Exam, prepare with UWorld; click here for a FREE trial of our CFA Level 1 Learning Platform.