Have you received a large pile of CFA study material from the CFA Institute and have felt intimidated or scared with the sheer volume of information that they contain? If yes, then let me tell you that you are certainly not the only one who feels like this.
This is probably a feeling that every CFA student has had in the initial preparation stages. No doubt the study material for CFA is quite voluminous and most students get scared with their content and keep wondering as to how they will even manage to go through the entire material.
Let us discuss the importance of choosing the right CFA study material and the options available to you.
Importance Of Choosing The Right CFA Study Material
Without the right study materials in hand, you will have a tough time in completing the syllabus. There is no hard and fast rule regarding the type of study materials that you must use. It will depend on your learning habits and the time available in your hand.
While the CFA study materials might look vast, you can certainly study from those if you have adequate time in your hand. However, if you are running out of time then you will have to combine your studies with some external aids that will help you in understanding the materials better and in completing the most important areas faster.
Types of CFA study material that you can use
The original study materials for CFA
The biggest mistake that you can make while preparing is to ignore the original study materials during your preparations. While you can certainly get access to a lot of supplementary materials, the importance of studying from the original study materials sent by the CFA institute can never be ignored. Do not forget that the questions that will be set in your CFA examinations at all levels will be based largely on what the CFA study materials contain. So ignoring them completely is not advised at all. In fact, you must use the CFA study materials as your primary resource and then think of studying from any other source.
If you are thinking that you do not have enough time to study everything that is contained in the original study materials then think again. You need to work the other way around and plan your level 1 examination appearance in such a way that you are able to devote at least 6 months in the preparations. Rushing through the material will not help you at all and in case you omit certain parts of the material then you will be significantly reducing your chances of passing the examinations in the first attempt. This is strictly not advisable.
Supplementary CFA study materials
Nowadays you have several options if you want to refer to some additional CFA study material along with the original study material for CFA.
Technology has progressed rapidly and has impacted the world of learning in a big way. Keeping up with this development nowadays a lot of additional study materials are available which will help you to prepare for the CFA examinations in an easy manner. Let’s discuss some of these additional resources that you can use.
- Online CFA courses: Several educational institutes which specialize in CFA exam preparation have come up with online courses for CFA preparations targeted at students who are preparing for the different levels of the CFA examinations. You can check out the course by SuperProfs here.
These courses are available online, so the student does not have to travel to attend classroom courses at fixed times. This is extremely beneficial for all students especially the ones who are working. They can access the online courses at any time of the day, from anywhere. These courses can be accessed easily from mobile devices, making it extremely convenient for the students to learn whenever and wherever they want to.
- Online quizzes: A critical stage of every exam preparation process is the revision. Unless you revise what you have learnt, there is very little chance that you will retain what you have learnt.
You must also practice answering question papers and quizzes at this stage. This will help you to test how much prepared you are and identify your areas of strengths and weaknesses. You can buy a question bank which will contain past question papers as well as questions which are very similar to the ones that are actually asked in the examinations. Purchasing this question bank is highly suggested and even if you study solely from the original study materials and don’t buy anything else, don’t forget to get hold of an online question bank during the revision process.
I think these are all that you would really need. Do not buy too many study materials as that will again confuse you and ultimately do more harm than good. Be selective in what you buy and buy what you really need.