May '09 CFA Newsletter

Dear CFA Program Candidate, I hope this message finds you well into your CFA exam preparation. If you’ve been keeping up with the recommended preparation pace you should have worked through most, if not all, of the study sessions by now. As I write this, we at CFA Institute are closely following news reports on the H1N1 flu situation. We take your safety and the integrity of the examination process very seriously. Although it is too early to determine how this issue may affect the June 2009 CFA exams, please know that we will continue to monitor the situation and will contact you if there are any changes that will affect you. In the meantime I urge you to use the remaining weeks before the exam to complete your preparation and to set aside some time to review. In the weeks leading up to the exam, remember why you are in the CFA Program. The path to professional excellence represented by the CFA charter is now more important than ever: it is precisely during periods of market turmoil that dedicated, ethical investment professionals are most urgently needed, and I applaud your continued dedication as the June CFA exam approaches. Exam Admission Tickets Now Available I’d like to note several important items. First, exam admission tickets are now available online. Be sure to review your name and test center immediately. The name on your admission ticket must match the name on the valid identification you bring on exam day. Access your ticket now. If you need to change your name, please submit the Identification Information Change Request form along with supporting documentation as listed on the form. Please note that you will need your username and password to access your ticket (as well as to access your results after the exam). Click here if you have forgotten this information. You will need to print one admission ticket on clean, unused paper and bring it with you to the test center on exam day. You will only be admitted to the test center noted on your exam admission ticket. If you have difficulties printing your ticket, or if the information is incorrect, please contact us. Mock Exams Now Available Second, remember to set aside some time at the end of your preparation to take the CFA Institute mock exam (available now) to test your progress and identify any areas of weakness for final review. You have access to one sample and one mock exam included with your registration, free of charge. You may purchase additional sample exams as well. We have designed these to be effective preparation tools and I recommend you take advantage of them. There are important differences between the mock exams and sample exams: Sample exams should be taken earlier in your preparation as an assessment and diagnostic tool so you can gauge your progress through the Candidate Body of Knowledge. Mock exams are downloadable PDFs, and should be taken near the end of your preparation period. They can be used as a “rehearsal” for the actual exam. Level I and Level II candidates can download a three-hour “morning session” and a three-hour “afternoon session.” Level III candidates can download a three-hour item-set mock exam. As with the sample exams, mock exam questions reflect the 2009 CFA Program curriculum, as well as the structure and format of exam questions. Also do not neglect the great collection of resources available to you in the online Candidate Preparation Toolkit. Here you will find examples of question formats for the 2008 examinations, along with study and testing tips, many of which come from candidates who were successful on recent examinations. Identification and Candidate Responsibilities Third, I urge you to check your identification (ID) now to make sure it meets all of the criteria listed in the Identification Policy. Some of you may need to obtain an updated ID. If your ID expires before 5 June 2009, you should get it renewed now. You will not be admitted to the exam if your ID is expired. I’d like to remind you of your responsibilities as a candidate. By signing the Candidate Pledge, every candidate acknowledges that a violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program will result in CFA Institute taking disciplinary action, which can include the voiding of examination results and may lead to suspension or termination of candidacy. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these rules and regulations. Preparation Tip Lastly, some of the concepts in the study sessions may be superseded by updated rulings and/or pronouncements issued after a reading was published. You are expected to be familiar with the overall analytical framework contained in the assigned readings, but you are not responsible for changes that occur after the material was written. For questions relating to financial reporting and analysis, you should assume International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) apply unless otherwise noted. The next newsletter will provide test-taking strategies and important exam day information. Until then, best wishes in your preparation. Kind regards, Tom Robinson, PhD, CFA Managing Director, Education Division CFA Institute