Looking Deeper Into 10 CFA Myths

The CFA exam is a difficult enough challenge by itself, when you add all of the rumors related to the exam, it becomes easy to become overwhelmed, badly prepared, two things that could make a world of difference on your exam day. Here are 10 myths that we’d like to address:

Candidates Must Study 300 Hours To Pass The CFA Exam

No doubt, some candidates do spend hundreds of hours over several months studying. They start by reading the entire material, taking notes, study summaries, by heart, doing mock exams and question banks. Honestly, getting to 300 hours is much easier than you could imagine. That being said, I would argue that the relationship between the number of hours spent studying and the passing rate would be minimal once you include students that have studied 100 hours or so and more. Why? Because being efficient is much more important than spending hours as is the case in everything else, but especially for the CFA exam.

It Is Impossible To Pass The CFA If You Fail Ethics

We wrote about this in the past, it is a rumor. Passing and doing well in ethics is important in many different ways and can certainly make a difference for candidates that are on the fence. But to assume that failing ethics means you are failing the exam is false. So don’t panic on exam day when those ethic questions are so difficult.

Being Lucky Is A Big Part Of Passing The CFA Exam

Because both levels #1 and #2 are multiple questions based, many expect luck to become an important factor. That is not really the case. If the CFA had 20-30 questions, it would become much more relevant but by having 240 questions or so, it makes it incredibly difficult for luck to play much of a factor.

Reading The CFA Books Is A Must When Studying

That is completely false even though going through school we are certainly not used to that being the case. In fact, I have known of many candidates such as myself that passed all 3 exams without ever reading the books while some that had ended up failing. Obviously, reading the books will never hurt you, quite the opposite. However, if reading the books is taking away time where you could be doing mock exams or qbanks, that might be a mistake. It’s all about being smart.

Passing The CFA Exam Will Make Me A Millionaire

Unfortunately, passing the CFA will only give you a much increased chance at those good interviews. It will still be about you performing however and the passing the CFA gives your potential and current employer a better idea of what kind of person and worker you are and can be. The rest will be up to you of course.

You Should Wait For The Perfect Timing To Sign Up For The CFA

Never in a million years will there be a perfect timing to have no life. The CFA is such a life changer that waiting for the perfect time is no doubt going to take you to retirement. You might not be as sharp when that happens:) Do it as early as possible and get it over with!

Studying With Study Partners Will Increase Your Chances

Studying with partners can certainly help you out but as wrote, it is much more about finding the perfect study partner as anything else than that will actually diminish your odds of passing this exam.

Mock Exams Are The Best Way To Prepare Yourself

For some reason, everyone assumes that mock exams are the top way to get ready and yes they will help you a lot but I think that qbanks turn out to be much more important in the long run. Mock exams are not always representative and they take up so much time that while they are great for certain aspects, relying only on mock exams would be a big mistake.

You Need To Study The CFA Material For Several Months

It is very possible to do well while studying for several months but it is much more about being effective and in that sense, I think that passing the exam by studying 1-2 months is not only possible but very realistic. It will not be easy but if you follow our CFA preparation crunch time tips, you should be starting off right.

The Level #1 Exam Is The Most Difficult

I think it’s easy to assume that the level #1 exam is the most difficult simply because the passing rate is much lower than for other exams but the fact is that the level #1 exam counts many less serious candidates that are not truly committed to the exam. While I think all the exams are almost as difficult, I would say that the level #2 exam is the key. Why? Because many candidates failing the level #2 end up giving up but all of those who succeed do usually end up finishing the 3rd one. It requires a lot of work but with the right study plan, you should be ok.


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