It’s a common feeling among all CFA candidates isn’t it? In fact, it’s one of the things that becomes a reality the moment that you sign up for the exam. No, your life does not immediately stop and yes at some point it does resume. But the moment that you sign up for the exam, if you are taking it seriously enough, you should prepare for a tough 2 months from a social point of view. Friends, family, girlfriend/boyfriends and any other activity that you have will have to be sacrificed in order to pass that one exam. If you are lucky, you are only saying goodbye to 6 months (2 months for 3 levels) and if you start failing these exams, it will only get worse.
Here are a few tips I would recommend in order to better manage that period:
–Prepare everyone: You know it’s coming, let everyone know so that you will not have to feel bad about missing out on all of those activities
–Schedule a few activities even during that last month, but they should be few and you need to be sure that you are productive the next day (no very late nights out in the last month)
–Reward yourself: Is there a specific restaurant/food that you like? Treat yourself
–Study outside: Living in a library at on your desk can be depressing. Some things, like formulas or lists to know by heart can easily be done while walking outside
–Have a study buddy: You will feel like you are turning insane. Have someone to express that to and talk about it
–Plan something great after the exam: It can be a trip or a big night out, but it has to be something that will make you feel like having no life was worth it
–Take care of yourself: Do some activities, and stay rested. These are essential in order to be efficient in your studies
–It is temporary: Don’t forget, this does have an end. After the exam, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy yourself.
–Don’t burn yourself out: You must be able to keep up the pace for the entire studying time so adapt whatever studying plan you hear about to yourself. What is the most effective way for you to study?
In the end, I think it comes down to motivation and knowing how badly you want it. If you do, you will find a way to endure those painful weeks of monotone existence where you basically live to study the CFA….just think about how amazing you will feel if you pass and how incredibly disappointed you’ll be if you don’t…that should be more than enough to get you through it.