How To Best Practice for the CFA® Exam

Serious CFA candidate learning how to best practice for the CFA Exam

You’ve probably heard about the Five P’s or some variation of the P’s. It goes something like this: “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.”

If you’ve played any competitive sports, you know all too well that how you practice informs how you’ll perform. This is especially true for professional and Olympic athletes, who spend countless hours honing their craft so they can deliver near superhuman athletic feats. These same principles apply to any rigorous activity, including the CFA Exam. This article will explore the critical factor to passing the CFA Exam – practice; and not just any kind of practice, but smart practice.

Practice With Active Learning

Generally speaking, practice makes “perfect,” but all practice methods aren’t intended to work the same way. One of the most effective ways to prepare for the CFA Exam is using an active-learning approach. This involves being an active participant in the learning process, eg, taking notes, creating and reviewing flashcards, and doing practice questions. The more you practice, the better you become because you’re more familiar with the material.

Practice and repetition allow you to build concept mastery and improve your retention. Moreover, practicing with test-realistic questions on areas that you’re likely to encounter helps you build the required stamina to excel on the CFA Exam.

Practice With a Focus

Sometimes, less is more. It’s better to use fewer, highly effective resources to prepare for the CFA Exam than casting a wide net and becoming overwhelmed with too many prep courses or review materials. This focused learning approach may prove to be more effective in the long run because it allows you to study smarter, not harder.

By focusing on relevant CFA topics using the CFA Institute materials and a trusted third-party provider, you can improve your weaker areas and practice more efficiently without burning out. The key is to find a credible prep provider you can trust to supplement the review materials the CFA Institute provides you.

Practice Keeping It Simple

The CFA Exam is as rigorous as it gets, requiring about 300 study hours on average to succeed. The Exam is challenging enough; your preparation doesn’t have to be. Find a prep provider that offers a simplified approach to complex problems. The best ones will let you study with practice questions that simulate the actual exam experience, show you in-depth but concise explanations and illustrations to understand the concepts thoroughly, and mock exams to assess how ready you are to take the CFA Exam. This simplified approach gives you a straightforward path to concept mastery, eliminating the need for cramming and reducing what you’ll need to memorize.

Practice Over and Over Again

Ultimately, no matter how you choose to practice, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to preparing for the CFA Exam or a single key factor to passing the exam. It requires a combination of good study habits, efficient and effective prep materials, and the discipline to create and stick to a study schedule. That said, preparing for any high-stakes exam also takes a significant amount of practice and repetition. The more hours you spend practicing using the right tools, the more likely you will succeed on the CFA Exam.

At Uworld, we believe that when you practice like it’s the real thing, the real thing feels like practice. We wish you the best of luck as you prepare for the CFA Exam!

Click here for a FREE trial of our Level 1 CFA Learning Platform.

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