Time Management Tips - Help!

Hi guys,

Looking for any ideas, suggestions, tips for helping me (and all others out there) manage time particularly for the AM exam. On avaerage it’s taking me 45min - 1hr extra to complete (AM). I’ve taken 4 practice exams (Sch & CFAI) already, and have been fairly consistent in how long it’s been taking. I’ve also attended a live mock and left 1 4-part question blank.

Trying to write as concise a possible + bullet points, but I keep going over. I’ve been advised against “short-hand”. I know that sometimes, not being exactly sure what they are looking for / asking, I tend to over-write. That’s part of my prob.

Just looking for some helpful tips and advice!

Skip the first individual IPS question or quesitons and come back to them later.

Never get bogged down on any one question. If you are spending too much time on anything move on and come back to it at the end.

Read the question (A, B, C…ect) first so when you are reading the story you’re primed on what to be looking for.

Have to know the information well enough to be able to recall it quickly. Obvioulsy easier said than done but its why successful candidates put in 400+ hours of preparation.

Always keep moving. Better to get 70% on everything than have to skip full questions because you ran out of time.

To be perfectly frank, if you’re really timing yourself at 45 minutes over you’re going to struggle on exam day. The vast majority of candidates take more time on exam day than they do in the comfort of their own homes. The pressure of the real thing, environment, nerves, etc… slows a lot of people down. But you did okay on the live mock so what did you do differently? You can still pass if you leave one small-mid value question blank.

Are you actually sitting down in one spot for 3.75 hours and simulating the exam or are you taking breaks and summing the time it takes you for each question?

You are not alone. I 'm struggling too. Do people usually finish them all?

Paulson’s advice is pretty good. But I’m pretty burned out at this point, Some formulas that I knew inside out from level II,e.g. H-model, all of a suddy became blurry when I was doing the mock.

I write “don’t know = Skip” on my hand to remind me don’t get bogged down. i also write the time i start each section on the 1st page so i manage how long i’ve been working on it.

and with practice i went from 1.5 hours over to being on time with a few minutes to spare.

This was one approach I was thinking I would take, considering it is these types (individual + some institutional) for which I’m am spending WAAAY too much time

Thanks for everyon’s input. All useful. Any others have any other advice?


I would suggest not writing anything on your hand on exam day. Just don’t. Will get you in trouble no matter what’s on there…

I would suggest not writing anything on your hand on exam day. Just don’t. Will get you in trouble no matter what’s on there…

Exactly. Please dont!

  1. First page has the topics given with question numbers - circle them if you have completed after each question.

  2. Last minute look at the uncircled ones and go and finish them. You would not have time to skim through the entire question paper to make sure whether you attemped all questions.

  3. Some questions have template answers to be written, with the template printed in the book. So read the question well, before writing the answers. I lost lot of time like this in 2013 when I failed.

  4. Dont know how to attempt the question, just move on. (Base your decision of reattempting these questions based on the weightage of the topic and the question)

Good luck!

Sounds pretty self evident but make sure you a) are aware of how many questions there are in an item set (I’ve skipped over 1 or 2 in a mock as I was too busy writing in a template my answer to B and forgetting that there’s a C and turning the page to the next item set, and b) before starting an item set I like to flip the pages to see if there are templates I should be using; beware…the grader cannot grade your answers otherwise if you are supposed to use the template.