Studying for the CFA exam is a process, there are ups and downs involved that can be caused by different things. Having a bad day of studying, feeling overwhelmed, getting a bad score on a mock exam or just feeling like the progress is too slow. When that happens, it’s easy to become discouraged. Why? Because it’s a long process and while you would like to think that you always feel like things are going well and that progress is being made, it’s not the case. There will be ups and downs.
It Will Happen
One important thing to keep in mind is that you should expect a breakdown at some point. In fact, you are lucky if it only happens once. If you know that it’s going to happen, that will help. Thinking about the what if’s (what if I fail, how would I tell my boss, etc) is pointless but that is rarely enough to help us avoid doing so.
The Trend Is The Important Part
What you have to remember beyond anything else is that you are not looking to always do better, to improve your mock exam scores every time, etc. It would be nice but it’s not going to happen. What you are trying to do is simply to be improving at a nice trend, that would ideally be very steady (this will ensure that on exam day, the odds of getting a “bad day” are as minimal as possible.
Take Some Time Off
When a bad feeling starts to overwhelm you, it’s easy to get more and more depressed and get into a downward spiral. Don’t do it. Even if you feel like taking a break will just make things even worse, that is exactly what you should end up doing. Take some time away from it all, spend some time with friends or family that is not involved in the CFA exam and take your mind off of those things.
Remember The End Goal
Don’t panic, just remember that it is a long term project. Once you get back into a more positive frame of mind, recap what is going well, what isn’t, take a look at your studying plan and adjust if required.