General Exam Advice

Long story short: I have a degree in sports management and realized this is not what I want to do at age of 23. Getting into finance field with no academic background. Jumped into exam last June and failed miserably thinking I could handle it, I learned my lesson. Now have been prepping since January with Wiley for June exam and just do not feel strong about my skills. Struggling to retain pretty much anything imparticular. If I fail again I am not sure what my next move will be. Need some advice on just tackling this exam in general, especially as a non-finance background and starting from square one.

The best advice I can give is: Study, Study, Study…

For a non-finance background, I would also say you really need to familiarize yourself with the TVM and Cash Flow functions of a financial calculator. There are plenty of youtube videos if you’re not fully familiar with them yet. Speaking of youtube videos, some people learn better visually then just reading a book over and over again. There is a wealth of information (especially for level I), that you can access by taking some time to watch videos. I would recommend you use them for the topics you are unsure about.

Since you already took the exam, you know what to expect. Try and learn from your last attempt and focus in on what your weakest points were.

Practice is just as important as studying. You need to know how to apply the information, not just what formula to use. Don’t focus on memorizing formulas, but instead focus on the underlying concepts behind them. Do the topic tests on the CFA website. They are definitely harder than the Wiley Qbank, and will make you realize what you need for focus on the most.

Finally, if you feel as if you are constrained for time, feel free to skip a topic, but ONLY if you don’t have the time. I have a finance background but I started studying for L1 extremely late, so I had to skip derivatives studying all together. I wouldn’t recommend skipping alternative investments though, because that section is practically free points. Skipping is a last resort.