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How to Know When You're Ready for the CFA®Exam

By: Kaplan Schweser
February 23, 2023
How to Know When You Are Ready to take the CFA Exam

It’s understandable if you don’t know exactly when you are ready to take the CFA exam. There are several signs that indicate you are well-prepared for the exam and scoring 75% or more on mock exams is at the top of the list. In order to score that high you’ll need to accomplish a lot so let’s jump right into each task. 

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You Stuck To Your Study Plan

Sticking to your 6-month study plan is crucial to your success. You need a timeline that allows you to complete all the readings, practice all the questions and take multiple mock exams. Even if you had to adjust your study schedule to accommodate some unforeseen issues, revising your plan and sticking to it till the end will give you the best chance of success on the exam.

You Finished all the Readings

There are lots of readings to do when preparing for a CFA exam and they are all important. Finishing your readings ensures you get exposed to all of the CFA curricula and helps you become familiar with the concepts needed to pass. It will also help boost your confidence in your knowledge of the curriculum when talking with others and practicing.

You Used a CFA Question Bank or Flashcards

Practicing CFA questions and using lots of flashcards is an important part of practicing for the exam and building confidence. Flashcards especially help with learning the theories behind each reading and answering lots of practice questions helps learn how to apply those theories to solve problems. 

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You Practiced With CFA Mock Exams

You should take multiple CFA mock exams because it can take time to get used to the exam experience and learn how to manage your time efficiently. They also help you identify areas for improvement and build test-taking skills. If you get anxious during exams, getting scores above 75% can help you reduce anxiety and feel ready to take the CFA exam.

You Attended a CFA Review Workshop

Review workshops are an essential part of preparing for a CFA exam. You’ll have the opportunity to do a comprehensive review of the material covered on the exam. You’ll also be able to talk exam strategy with an instructor and CFA practice questions that closely mimic the types of questions on the exam.

You Feel Rested

You want to walk into the testing center feeling rested and ready for the day. You’ll be in there for over five hours so you’ll need your energy.

What To Bring With You on Exam Day

Develop an exam day checklist and start reading about what isn’t allowed in the testing center, which type of calculator you can use, and how the check-in process works so exam day goes smoothly for you. 




How To Request a Deferral If You Need To

It’s understandable if you need to defer your exam and this is a common question asked by candidates. In order to request a deferral for a scheduled exam, you’ll need to follow the CFA Institute’s deferral policies and procedures. Basically, you’ll need to log in to your account, fill out their deferral request form and provide a detailed explanation of your circumstances.  

Fees For Postponing A CFA Exam >>

What If You Fail or Pass the CFA Exam?

Failing a CFA exam can be discouraging but remember that it is very rare to pass an exam after only one attempt. If you failed, review your exam results carefully to understand where you fell short and evaluate your study plan to figure out if it was effective for you. 

If you pass the CFA exam give yourself the credit you deserve and reflect on what worked well. If you still have more levels to pass, you can use your study plan as a template for preparing for the next level. If you have passed the level III exam, it’s time to start the process of officially becoming a CFA charterholder so you can start putting the CFA designation after your name

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