We are currently working on an ebook giving detailed techniques that will help to pass the CFA exam in 16 weeks, something that many candidates are faced with for various types of reasons. One of the keys as you can imagine is being smart about how to use your time. As I’ve already discussed, the best way to learn the material is not through reading the material or doing mock exams but rather a clever use of the qbank. That being said, reading the material can still be very useful and make a big difference in passing the exam. The key does remain to avoid spending too much time on the material. You generally have 2 different tools that can be used to read the material:
They each have pros and cons but I think they are much more comparable these days than they once were. In the past, the CFA institute was using material from other books, it was way too lengthy, contained unnecessary material and was not very practical to use. These days, the material provided is much easier to study and while I still think the Schweser summaries are easier to study, they both can be used quite efficiently.
The Major Challenge
Receiving 5-6 books of 300-400 pages can be overwhelming but as you know, you can easily read through all of these if you go one page at a time. Just take the time and you’ll get it done right? WRONG! It’s critical that you remember at all times what this exam is about. It’s about time management and understanding as much material in a minimal amount of time. Reading and understanding every single page will not help you pass the exam and might even hurt your chances if you focus on the wrong material.
How To Do It
I think it’s important to give yourself an amount of time to read the books. If you have 4 months or more, you can probably afford to spend a few weeks on each book and that is all good and fine. If you consider 2 weeks to be what you can afford to spend, stick to it. Do not adjust. What you should be adjusting is your reading pace. Why? Because as useful as reading the books can be, it is probably the time spent where you learn the least because it’s difficult to focus on the critical material or to spot it out of the entire book.I would focus on the following:
-Use your highlighter (whatever seems imporrtant)
-Do not spend too much time on the questions
Why so few tricks? Because the main use of the book will be going back to it when you are having a difficult time while reviewing, doing mock exams and qbank questions.