CFA exams are extremely comprehensive, exhaustive and time pressured. The key to crack this challenging exam is thorough preparation. Over 60% of the candidates who take up CFA training fail to clear this examination. With such a scarce passing percentage, candidates should plan the preparation of this exam well in advance. Determining where the focus has to be and seeking the support that you require to clear the CFA exam in the first attempt is extremely important.

Here are some tips to increase the chances of clearing the CFA exam at the first attempt.

1. Detailed Study Plan – Making a detailed study plan and adhering to it is very important. Having a strategy in place and managing time is a must.

2. Begin with Interesting Topics – It is a proven fact that topics that interest you can be studied quickly rather than those that seem complicated. Therefore, commencing your preparation with the topic of your interest helps you in building your confidence. For example, if corporate finance seems easier than quantitative methodologies, then go ahead and begin your preparation with that. This motivates further success.

3. Memorization and Usage of Flash Cards – In order to ensure highest chance of passing, it is necessary for the CFA aspirants to memorize the equations. Making use of flash cards for revising the formulas is extremely helpful particularly for clearing the CFA Level 2. Understanding the manner in which the equations work is also important before memorizing them.

4. Make Notes – Making relevant notes is certainly a redundant process. However, writing is important for memorizing various calculating procedures as well as important topics.

5. Mock Tests – Taking up mock test can give you an idea on the timings of the CFA exam. This also helps you in watching out for those stringent rules, various question types and calculator policies. Once you get accustomed to these, nothing can panic you on the day of exam.

6. Repetition and Problem Practicing – Memorizing the entire syllabus and reproducing the same within a short frame of time is extremely challenging. It is definitely hard to remember all the concepts and formulas. However, you can master these by repetitive learning. Focusing on the most expected practice problems during the revision phase can be of great help.

7. Combined Studies – Studying with another CFA aspirant who is equally enthusiastic can be very helpful. This is because, knowledge increases by sharing. Explaining various concepts to each other will make you have a clear idea about all the concepts. Having a company while studying can also become a valuable resource.


No matter what tips you follow, it is extremely essential for you to spend a good amount of time in studying the material. There is no short cut for successfully clearing the CFA exams without working hard. Making a firm time commitment can avoid last moment CFA exam related stress.

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