Four Tips for Working While Studying for the CFA® Exam

Studying for CFA

Studying for the CFA Exam can sometimes feel like a full-time job in its own right. Combine that with an actual full-time or part-time job, and it gets even more daunting. The journey to the CFA Charter is long and requires discipline and commitment.

But that shouldn’t discourage you from pursuing your CFA certification. Although arduous, the rewards will make it worth your while. Not only will the prestigious charter empower you to grow your professional knowledge, but it will also foster your personal development, unlocking your resilience, discipline, and hard work.

If you are preparing for your CFA Exam while also working a full-time or part-time job, here are a few pointers to help you achieve balance.

1. Create a Routine

Time is valuable. We only have so many hours and minutes each day to accomplish crucial tasks. Trying to keep up with the rigorous studying required for the CFA Exam while working will make you realize that your time is far too precious to waste. That’s why you need to create a routine.

First, plan for your entire CFA Exam process. Schedule the order and time frame for each topic covered by the test. Not each topic has the same weight in the Exam, so it’s important that you devote the appropriate amount of time to each topic. Determine your big picture plan first before you try to scale it down to bite-sized action items.

Then establish a daily schedule that allocates time for work, study, and personal time for friends, family, hobbies, and sleep. Finally, and most importantly, stick to your schedule! Having a plan is moot if you don’t execute it.

2. Make Use of Your Free Time

When you have breaks or downtime at work, it is tempting to spend it making small talk with coworkers or scrolling endlessly on social media. It may not seem like it, but these short intervals can make for excellent study breaks.

Again, every minute of every day is valuable. Rather than wasting your breaks watching the latest TikTok star, use it to be productive and take another step toward your goal of securing the CFA Charter.

3. Technology Is Your Friend

There are so many helpful study resources at your fingertips, whether using your phone, tablet, or laptop. Use them!  It doesn’t matter where you are. Don’t have your computer on you? No problem. Online learning tools with mobile apps for iOS and Android, such as UWorld’s CFA Learning Platform, are flexible to use on the go.

Whatever electronic device you have at your disposal, you can use to study. For CFA candidates who work, portable devices provide great opportunities to study while out and about. Whether listening to lectures during your commute to work or reviewing digital flashcards on your lunch break, leveraging technology’s versatility is an intelligent way to make time to study outside of your home. 

4. Keep a Long-Term Perspective

One of the most important things to remember, especially if you are working while studying for the CFA Exam, is to maintain a long-term perspective. Keep your eyes on the end goal. After a long day of work, it can be hard to find the motivation to sit down and study. . Just remember that the rewards are worth it — the Charter can help boost your career, and you’ll know that you achieved something special.

We wish you the best of luck as you prepare for the CFA Exam.

Maximize your chances for success by preparing with our UWorld CFA Level 1 Learning Platform. Click here for a FREE trial.

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