The most common topic on here must be “How do I pass the CFA exams?!!?” with the unambiguous implication that there must be some big secret or special method that some candidates have cracked. Of course, there isn’t. I passed on the first go in consecutive years, with straight top bands in both of the first two exams, and then top bands in 16 of 19 topics in level III (ahem, pending my appeal to the Supreme Court). I read the CFAI curriculum, from start to finish, first page to last page. Did the end of chapter questions. Did about 4-6 practice exams for each level in the last couple of weeks before the exam. I read the tips on answering essay type questions given it seemed like a big deal from the prior comments (in hindsight, I don’t think it deserves quite the amount of attention it gets). Is that a secret method? If there IS a secret then it’s that you can’t just go through the motions. It’s not about counting the pages you’ve read that day, or just being happy with a pass. I don’t apologize for saying that. With that attitude you’ll too easily fail to grapple with and grasp the fundamental concepts underlying the material. If you don’t understand something then my advice is to pause on that until you do, don’t leave it until “later”. Of course, given the nature of the curriculum and its constituent readings that are written by different authors in different styles, there will very occasionally be some concepts that aren’t explained as clearly and precisely as the vast majority of the curriculum. If you feel you have a good but not perfect grip on those concepts then move on. Otherwise I don’t think anyone can really give advice on how to “grasp” concepts. That’s a complex question and it presumably depends on many factors. But if you take the time to THINK about a new concept and not be mentally lazy then you’re probably 95% there. Finally, I don’t think this “advice” will be of any use. The question for these exams and any others will always be “what’s your study secret?!?!?”
ok just tell us the secret, don’t hold back!
I guess one just need to feel he is a “CFA warrior” to kill the exam!!