The best way to prepare for the CFA without running out of time
Studying for the CFA exam, while balancing work and social life commitments, can be a juggling act. This is why Kaplan Early Start courses are proving so popular, allowing CFA candidates to better manage their time.
Traditionally, most candidates start their courses in January, giving them about five months to knuckle down ahead of the CFA exam in June. This equates to around 15 hours of studying a week to reach the magic total figure of 300 study hours.
But what if things don’t go to plan? There could be greater work commitments or urgent family matters to deal with, meaning they miss a couple of weeks’ study. Suddenly their obligation to study has gone up from 15 to 16, 17 or even 18 hours a week. This can swamp people on top of their day job.
“By starting in October with our Early Start courses, candidates have nine months to study, which brings the hours down to about nine a week, which is far more manageable,” explains Jonathan Bone, CFA Course Programme Director at Kaplan. “They can pace their studies, deal with any bumps in the road, and avoid the mad dash to the exam finish line.”
Why time really does matter
“Most students who fail the CFA exam don’t do so because of a lack of technical knowledge; it’s more to do with running out of study time and therefore being ill-prepared with their exam techniques and practice,” says Bone.
By doing the Early Start courses, students have the time to properly hone their technical and study skills. They are supported by experienced Kaplan tutors who have invested a lot of time in mastering learning science, so they can teach students how to get the most out of their studies.
Practice makes perfect
“Extensive question practice is absolutely vital,” says Bone. “It proves whether the students understand the CFA material, but it’s also fantastic for recall. If they get something wrong, they can work out why and it sticks in their minds.”
Kaplan prides itself on being one of the providers with the greatest access to practice questions. This is largely thanks to its ownership of Kaplan Schweser, the pre-eminent provider of study materials.
“We have two big volumes of mock examinations and an Online Question Bank [SchweserPro™ QBank Practice Exams], which allows students to do anything from replicate an entire exam to drilling down into specific areas of the syllabus,” says Bone.
Study packages that work for you
There are a range of different study options to choose from, depending on your budget, personal circumstances and requirements.
The ‘Classroom Enhanced’ option is the most popular and comes highly recommended. It includes both class tuition, across 6 days or 14 evenings, and revision sessions (5 days or 12 evenings).
The ‘Blended Enhanced’ option is much the same, only with online tuition instead of in the classroom. Students can still interact with their tutor by sending email questions and queries.
The tuition is all about providing the technical understanding of the syllabus in an interactive classroom environment.
Where both these packages really stand-out from the competition is with their unique revision sessions in late April to early May. “These give the candidates a vital period to go over all the material again, drill down into the harder topic areas, do the mock exam questions, and work out a strategy to maximise their results in the exam hall,”
“Our candidates have told us that these sessions are vital to not only gather what they know, but also what they don’t know. The course is designed so there is enough time to plug the gaps before the exam.” says Bone.
They also provide invaluable exam techniques. For example, while the tendency for CFA students is to start at question 1 and work their way through to the end, Kaplan shows candidates how to jump around, pick out particular questions so they are better prepared.
Depending on your preference, Kaplan also offers the Distance Learning package which is very popular with those who cannot commit to scheduled classroom dates. Students can still attend a tuition and revision course, but online.
Throughout these courses, tutors are always on hand to provide support and guidance. All of them are CFA qualified, so know what it takes, and many have had experience in industry, working as fund managers.
“We cherry pick the best and brightest teachers from our world renowned accountancy training, and train them up from the CFA examinations,” explains Bone. “But more importantly, we make sure all our tutors are effective communicators - entertaining and engaging.”
Ultimately, the Early Start courses are the perfect preparation for the CFA exam. Tutors guide candidates through their studies at a pace and approach that suits them, so that they are fully ready to maximise their marks. If you’re thinking about studying the CFA, what are you waiting for?
Save 10% on your Early Start course
Get ahead for the CFA exam and save 10% on Classroom Enhanced, Blended Enhanced, Distance Learning and Tuition Plus study packages when you book before 2 October 2017. Simply use promo code ES10 at the checkout.
Image credit: PeopleImages, Getty