Seeing as how my MBA was such an amazing success and having discussed it during several interviews and having recently been given a surprise online quiz basically about my status as a candidate even though it was not a requirement for the job if you had an MBA, I’ve decided to officially enroll. I’m now a CFA Level I Candidate.
What this means is I’ve committed to studying at least 250 hours and taking a really hard test, in order to be able to study even longer and take an even harder test. Only one in five people who register for the certification program complete it. The first test actually has the highest failure rate as it weeds out the most people. I’ve looked at some sample questions and I’ve had similar questions on exams as an MBA student. I plan to study a lot and decided to give myself the maximum amount of time by choosing the December examination date.
I’m curious as to what official calculator I can use, I did not like the last official calculator I was forced to use. I plan on doing a lot of sample problems with the official calculator, Excel is very much not allowed and I was burned a bit by relying too much on Excel during the MBA Core assignments, when the finance final rolled around. I corrected this in Period One, getting an A on my Finance class by doing sample problems over and over with just pencil and paper. Through hard work and a healthy dose of skepticism I managed to do very well on Accounting during the Core, even helping others. The other area tested is ethics, I’d like to think I’m an ethical person, but some people might not believe that…
I’m now about a thousand dollars poorer. To register for the test is $760 US dollars, but then you need to buy the books. You actually get a discount of forty-five dollars on the books once you pay the seven hundred and sixty. Of course as a Canadian I had to pay GST. It may be possible to study for the test without the official text books, but why would you want to try? The ethical questions come straight from the professional code of conduct and other official sources, though you could teach yourself some of the accounting and finance calculations from a third party source I guess.
Update July 24th 2012
Today is exam results day, so it seems like everything I’ve ever written about the CFA Level 1 exam is being reread by random strangers. Lucky me. I actually passed the CFA Level 1 exam, but most definitely not on my first attempt. I made a blog post about it, it is probably more relevant than this five year old post.
I’ve also written a lot of posts trying to help others pass the CFA Level 1 exam including giving away my personal study materials. I don’t recommend blogging about your experience as a CFA candidate but since I did you might want to try these links:
- Free CFA Study Materials
- 29 questions a CFA Level 1 candidate should be able to answer if they expect to pass
- My Top 10 CFA Level 1 Tips
- My Personal Collection of CFA Flash Cards
Good Luck! And remember it is always too early to quit.