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No Passing Will Not “Just Happen”

[1]I always find it interesting when I hear CFA candidates discussing their chances of passing the CFA exam. As of writing this, there is a bit over one month left before the exam and that is more than enough time for anyone serious enough to get ready for the exam. No, the idea that “I will give my best effort and we’ll see how it goes” is not good enough. Not close in fact.

The Exam WILL NOT Surprise You

Sure, you might see a few questions that will surprise you and maybe you will not even remember seeing the relevant material when studying. But the reason why the exam has so many questions is exactly for that. To take away (as much as possible) the possibility of having someone or failing by luck. Mock exams taken one at a time might not be representative [2] but over the course of a few weeks, you will get a very good idea of how ready (or not) you are.

If you feel surprised by the content of the exam, it will be because you did not prepare even close to what you should have. In reality, any decent preparation will help you understand exactly what will be tested and how it will be done. From the moment you understand that, the power is in your hands.

It’s All About Preparation

Prepare your exam, know the material, focus on the critical parts and you will be alright. You should start to feel in control at least 2 weeks before the exam and that “critical week” will be what makes the odds of passing go from “average” to “significant’. Why is it that some candidates pretend that it will “hopefully happen”? It beats me. Nothing about the CFA is luck. So why do they do it? To prepare an excuse? A reason why they might end up failing?

Don’t Give Yourself Excuses

If you think that things are not going well and that you are not on pace to pass, don’t start giving yourself excuses or reasons, change your plan, and take action.