CFA Exam Preparation & Best Practices to Score High

Q1. What is the CFA exam?

A chartered financial analyst (CFA) happens to be a globally-recognized professional designation given by the CFA Institute, (formerly the AIMR (Association for Investment Management and Research), that measures and certifies the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Candidates are required to pass three levels of exams covering areas like accounting, economics, ethics, money management, and security analysis for the certification.

Q2. What is the eligibility criterion for CFA exam?

A CFA aspirant must have a bachelor's (or equivalent) degree, or should be in the final year of your bachelor's degree at the time of registration, or have four years of qualified, professional work experience or a similar combination of work and college experience that totals four years.

Q3. What score do I need to pass CFA exam?

The Minimum Passing Score in CFA exam, also known as MPS set by the CFA Institute; is by rule of thumb not above 70%. This means that the maximum bracket for passing any given topic is 70%-100%. But that doesn’t necessarily mean a CFA aspirant has to score 70% in all topics. Any lag in a topic can be covered up in another. For example, a score of 69% in one topic can be compensated by scoring 71% in another, so that the total stays at 70%.

Q4. Is CFA necessary to become partner at accounting firm?

Yes.

Q5. What’s the difference between CFA and CPA?

Although both a CFA and a CPA pass examinations and minimum educational qualifications and have to do with the finance of things, their roles are different. A CFA is someone who works on the analysis of financial reports while a CPA is someone who compiles and audits the same reports. CFAs are engaged in the process when there is a need for analysis of the investments made or wealth planning is pending, while CPAs have to do more with accounting, taxes and audits

Q6. How Should I prepare for the CFA?

Aim to start out about 5/6 months before exam day if you are a first timer. By the rule of thumb, if you are enrolling for the June exams, start your prep in January and start in June if you are gearing for the December schedule.

But first things first, put your priorities first and draft a CFA study plan with clear mini-goals and stick to it every week. The short term goals help you keep a tab on your ultimate larger plan and also give you a sense of achievement when you meet a landmark or achieve a target. A CFA study plan should have elements planned out so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by the amount of studying you are required to do. 

CFA study sessions could work wonders for preparation of CFA exam, and find a CFA study group to be at home and interact with people working towards the goal of acing CFA in the first attempt. Work on a CFA study group meeting at least once a week, or find CPA study partner near you who can meet up whenever you need a help with CFA study prep or loose motivation. A CFA study partner can be like your personalized cheerleader and you can help each other score that crucial 75% in your next exam. 

Q7. What Should I expect on my CFA test day?

When you arrive at your exam location, you’ll need to check in with your international travel passport as well as a copy of your admission ticket. The ticket needs to be printed on clean, unused paper and list the correct test center and exam date. You should bring in as few belongings as possible, since there are strict rules about what you can bring into the exam room. There will be an area within the test centre where you can leave things like bags and mobile phones, but they will be gathered with everyone else’s.

Q8. Why do we need CFA study partner?

While prepping for  CFA exam, why not have a study partner over and learn together, killing boredom and lack of motivation in one clean swipe! Sign up on Studypal.co, upload your study goals, and choose filters and viola! Find a study partner for CFA exam prep today!

Q9. How is my CFA score calculated?

The CFA Exam scores are calculated using the Modified Angoff Standard Setting Method, which gives us the MPS or Minimum Passing Score. The MPS score is then used to calculate the marks of the appearing candidates and the score they receive is relative and varies with factors like the number of aspirants taking the exam, the difficulty level and the highest points allotted to a question in that particular exam.

Q10. How many times can I take CFA exam?

There is no limit to the amount of times you'll take each exam.

Q11. How long will my CFA score remain valid?

It doesn't have an expiry date

Q12. How long do you have to wait between CFA exams?

You can retake the exams immediately after the results are out

Q13. Can I cancel my score? How to do it?

CFA exam cannot be cancelled. However there is a two day window after payment to decide if you want the refund and cancel the exam scheduling beforehand.

Q14. How much does it cost to take the CFA?

Depending on when you register, you can pay anywhere from $1,950 to $4,140 USD total to take all three levels, assuming that you pass each exam the first time. Add the $450 USD enrollment fee, and therefore the total CFA exam fees ranges from $2,440 to $4,590 USD.