Need motivation for level I test prep

Hey all,

I am looking for some words of encouragement. I am trying to get through the material, but it seems pretty daunting. Econ is going pretty slow. I would appreciate candidates sharing how they stay motivated in general and how to get un-stuck.


Do it or fail.

If you need motivation to get through L1, then the CFA may not be for you. Seriously.

I skipped Econ at L1 and still got 50-70% in it. It’s very boring and a few questions repeat themselves over and over which are the logical ones.

If you’re finding econ dry then move onto a different topic and come back to it later during your review stage. It’s much better to get a strong score on FRA or Ehtics…


Motivation is a personal matter and thus intangible. Nobody on this forum can type any magic words that will make you study or enjoy the material more than you currently do.

The material is daunting (that’s the point) and that can be viewed as an exciting part of the challenge. Embrace it wholly and make the material your b*tch or put in a half assed effort and fall victim to it, whimpering as you go down, it’s up to you, nobody else can make that choice for you.

Understand that boredom is part of the game. Everyone who has put in hundreds, even thousands, of hours into the pursuit of the CFA knows that boredom must be embraced openly. That’s a positive offshoot of the CFA, conquering your own need to stay constantly entertained by the unlimited amount of noise in the world vying for your attention.

Take a day or two off and don’t think about the CFA, occupy your time with friends, family or whatever you do that makes you happy. After that time off, revisit your motivations, and if you can’t find them or they’re not sufficient, then stop wasting your time studying for the exam.

Good luck!!

Agreed. I’m surprised Black Swan didn’t say this earlier.

If you’re having trouble getting through Level 1, know that it will get much, much worse at Level 2, and any motivation you had left after Level 2 will be 99% gone for Level 3. If you’re having this much motivation trouble this early in the game, just do yourself a favor and get out now while you’re ahead.

Motivation can ebb and flow. If you are constantly trying to motivate yourself throughout the entire curriculum though, then the CFA may idneed not be for you.

Although it is a lot of work and hanging out with friends and family is more fun, most people who complete the program at least find the material somewhat interesting. Perhaps not all of it, but enough that motivation is not a huge issue. Managing fear of failure is a different story: nearly all of us have had to slog through that.

If you dislike a particular part of the curriculum, that’s not too unusual and you may just need to persevere through those sections for a while, but you should be finding at least some of the material interesting enough to pursue without needing constant motivation.

Make a bet with someone that if you can’t do it 3/3 in 18 months, you’ll cut off your ‘thing’ with hacksaw. I’ve found fear to be the greatest motivator.

I distinctly remember thinking this. For some reason though I decided not to bother. What can I say, Black Swan is nothing if not whimsical.

Do this. It’ll work guaranteed

^ you don’t need to make the bet with anyone. If you don’t go 3/3 in 18 months, BS and CvM will know, will find you, and will cut it off. The hacksaw is already dull and rusty, so just imagine what it will be like later.