How to Stay Inspired for the CFA Examination

There are several tips and tricks to stay inspired while studying for the CFA examination. The CFA can be particularly tough since most of us study all by ourselves. It is much calmer in university courses to stay on track when you have classmates and fellow students to intermingle with and solve and converse problem sets with. As most of us try the CFA after our business university educations, we frequently have a hard time keeping the incentive going when it comes to the ultimate stretches of CFA prep. Trust me, we have all been there. However, it’s easy to break over the motivation fence and organize well and efficiently for the examination. Here are several simple tricks that have assisted me and other CFA candidates with inspiration:

Become more efficient with readings. The CFA material is huge, and you could save a lot of time through learning how to read faster. There are numerous tricks that help you accelerate your reading method and study abilities. Quickness reading is one, SQ3R another one. Google them and find out what works best for you.

Give yourself reward. Not only Pavlov’s dogs responded to positive incentives, you could train yourself just as well. While you studied hard and did a decent job at staying dedicated, reward yourself with something. Your brain will become conditioned to look for these familiarities again, and will tell you to study harder. I am doing this all the time, through small study break where I listen to a song or watch a short video on YouTube. However make certain you get back to studying in time over (I usually set a clock for this).

Set priorities. You do not have to be a profound expert in all CFA subjects. You might have studied accounting or economics in university, so emphasis on the chapters that you don’t know much about first. If you’re need more time, it is much better to be a generalist and know little about each topics, so you can solve most hard CFA level 1 exam questions by excluding the responses that are most probably not true.

Last resort: Reasoning enhancer. There are numerous people in Finance who (heavily) depend on reasoning enhancers. Cognitive enhancers are ADHD medicines like Ritalin, chemical complexes similar Race tams. However, there are also natural ingredients like black tea or coffee. I certainly advise you to merely use legal accessible substances. Perceptive enhancers are also named “nootropics.” Just Google them, and you will discover plenty of info (but do not lose too much time, reading is more significant!). I use caffeine and a B-vitamin complex to help me concentrate, and these are general and accessible anywhere. If you actually have persistent attentiveness issues, there is a slight chance you might suffer from ADHD and should consult your doctor.

I hope this helped you in stay inspired. I practically did not want to publish this post since it looks in it like I am a control freak and a drug user. I am definitely neither. However, I just wanted to point out several hints if you’re completely stuck in your readings. Most CFA candidates will just have to force themselves and push a bit harder to finish their reading and practice problems. Therefore, it’s all about self-discipline. Anything that is value-achieving is hard in one way or another, and the CFA charter is no exception (unluckily).

I wish you all the best for your CFA prep!

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