CFA® Survival Guide Part 6: Six ways manage your CFA® exam time effectively
In our last CFA® survival guide we look at dealing with time pressure when preparing for the upcoming CFA® exams.
When we asked BPP CFA® students how time pressured people found the exam, 11% of people said that they didn’t finish the paper, and a further 34% replied that they only just finished – i.e. they had no time to look over their answers.
Bear in mind that this is a sample of people who had already been very well schooled in exam technique and time management.
Apportion your time for maximum impact
It’s always worth remembering that the one thing you are in control of in these exams is your time management, so here are a few pointers for you:
- All questions are equal, so time spent worrying about one question carries a high “opportunity cost” as you could be picking up marks in easier questions elsewhere, but….
- Ethics is used as the decider as to whether you pass or fail if you are borderline, so if there is one section you make sure you don’t run out of time on, it is ethics.
- There is no reason to do the exam in the order of the exam paper. Do the section you like best first, but remember…..
- Periodically check that your question and answers are matching. There is nothing worse than realising on question 87 that you are filling the answer sheet in for question 86.
- It is hard to allocate exactly 1.5 minutes per mark, so it can be better to assign a finish time for each section of the exam and move on when you reach that time.
- It is better to guess than leave a question blank as there is no negative marking.
Ideally you want to leave a bit of time at the end to review questions you were not sure about. So, it might help to shave a couple of minutes off your allocation for each section, to build in a but of a time cushion for the end.