This is me couple hours after a skiing accident in Austrian Alps…AT THE END OF MARCH.
Yup, I dislocated and microfractured my shoulder in my right arm - my main, writing arm.
Tell me about FREAKING OUT because of CFA preparation!!!
I was told it would be like this for 5-6 weeks with very limited mobility of the arm. It was actually 7! I had the arm like this for 2 weeks and only then could go for a surgery, which was necessary.
The whole time, I could only move the hand in the wrist and the whole arm only extremely slightly in the elbow with very limited range. Only towards the end of the period could I start to move the hand a bit more to allow me to write somewhat properly.
Anytime the thought of the exam crossed my mind, I had to bite my tongue with anxiousness - esp.after putting in a lot of time, starting early in December. However, this has proven to be a good thing as well though, as it meant I had finished reading the material. This way, I used this reduced mobility time for intensive revision whilst doing my practice writing in crazy positions which would my injured arm let me (i.e.small A5 notepad on my lap, scribbling only around the borders).
But even in this condition, I went in the rest of prep with almost head-in-the-sand attitude. I was telling myself that I would not let this accident affect me in any way. I was in insane denial.
And I kept studying.
Luckily, come May, I could basically write fairly normally again, kicked of with mocks and after a rough start, started to improve. After initially obviously bombing in the AM format I really focused on it and it started to make sense. I learned to cut down my writing (see useful link here).
When the exam came, I was fairly confident. Some would say even overconfident (see here).
Guess what, I F*CKING PASSED!!!
Even with the condition above, fairly average (for this forum anyway) 310 hours of studying, non-native english speaker etc…my results matrix would be 1x <50, 2x 50-70 and rest >70 for the AM and all >70 fo the PM. 300hours 40/60/80 calculation gives me an average of 74% and a 99th percentile. As a 3/3. (Mind you, I dont have kids yet, mad respect for people with kids who actually even attempt the exam.)
The above might seem like bragging and it kinda is, but to actually give you some takeaway as well, I think the biggest think was my mental attitude.
As I said I did not accept the thought the injury could actually make me fail and so whilst I always had incredible but healthy respect for the exam, I knew I could do it. When exam day came, I walked in and out confident (again, see the link to my post-exam impressions above).
But this is more than Madonna-like “you have to believe in yourself” crap - no, it’s more than that. You must know that you know this shit. Don’t walk in on the exam day hoping for the right question. F*CKING DRILL THEM ALL TO PERFECTION. Nothing can surprise you! Really, when I see some of the numbers of hours people post here (more than 400 hours? Seriously?) and still fail, it really shows this is an arbitrary number. Forget the hours, focus on progress through the curriculum your understanding and finally your Mock test scores. For the record, I’ve done about 8 mock AMs and 5 PMs. I went from low 50-60s to 80s. Learn from your mistakes.
I mainly used CFAI materials and Schweser only as a complement when commutting to work. However, I don’t think it matters that much if you have good mock scores before the exam across a variation of providers, you should be fine.
You can do it!