It’s no secret that a CFA® Program exam prep course can sometimes go up to thousands of dollars – so why not save money and do self-study for the exam?
Well – CFA Institute recommended 300 hours of study per exam level isn’t for everyone, because not every student learns the same way. (In fact, we advise an additional 100 study hours for Levels I and II if you’re not accounting or finance trained).
While self-study may be well within the grasp of some, there are some types of students that will get the maximum benefit (and highest chances of passing!) if they take up prep classes instead.
Here are 3 types of students that prep class benefits the most:
1. Those who like a study plan carried out for them
Convenience is key here. For students who aren’t the best at planning, organising a 300 or 400 hour study calendar over 9 months, and ensuring they stick to it, can be a very daunting task. Even if they do manage to make that calendar, others know they lack the willpower to follow through and keep themselves on task – due to procrastination, temptations (like sleeping in on weekends!) or a lack of self-discipline.
Here, attending a prep class means someone else will keep you on track, so long as you turn up for the class. The structured curriculum and notes are covered in time, and practices are provided to make sure you’re mentally prepared for the exam. You’ll know with confidence that you’ve at least covered all the content in the syllabus and done a few mock tests by exam day.
Many no-shows on exam day are due to students who weren’t able to finish studying the curriculum on time – so don't waste your registration and material fees by using a prep class to maximise your chances of a pass!
2. Those with busy schedules at school or work
For those whose daily lives are full of obligations, there is little time left to create and stick to that 300 -hour study calendar. They may not have time to source for good study materials that suit their learning style, or devote time to doing mock papers, marking them and fixing problematic areas in their understanding by doing extra study or reading.
Most people’s self-study pace (on things like reading speed and information grasping) may also slow down once they’re tired – making it hard to cover the syllabus on time.
By going for classes, these students benefit from having their study hours organised efficiently for them – the chance to have concepts explained, examples detailed and their doubts cleared all in one go. The fact that materials are provided and exam tips are provided reduces the time they need to search for the information themselves.
While students should still revise their textbook outside of class hours, those prep class hours make learning much more efficient than if they had to go at it alone.
3. Those who need explanations in a way they can understand
While some students can easily understand the information as it is presented in their textbook, for others, this may be quite impossible! Kinesthetic learners, for example, cannot study effectively with notes or video lectures alone, and require a hands-on approach.
Students like these may need a tutor to whom they can ask questions and clarify doubts, especially for challenging concepts or exam questions they’re stuck on (sometimes, Google can’t explain clearly enough!)
For students who need the guidance and encouragement a of a tutor, prep class is also invaluable, as tutors can give regular feedback on weak areas of understanding or common mistakes, and suggest ways to improve.
If you think CFA® Program exam prep courses will be a great help for you to pass your exams, check out our prep classes (with minimum 5-tutor guarantee) here.
What kind of student are you? Are you one of the three above? Tell us in the comments!