Dear CFA test-takers: Here’s the No. 1 advice I can give you

Urinals, men's bathroom

NOTE: We’ve featured this post before previous CFA exams were administered. The feedback has been positive, so we’re running it again for you December 5 test takers.


Dear CFA candidates,

I’m not going to give you any tips on how to memorise formulas. I’m not going to tell you how or what to eat during your lunch break.

I just have one word for you: coffee.

Maybe Red Bull or some other energy drink is your preferred source of caffeine. But whatever it is, drink it up!

Test-takers are often told that they have an average of 90 seconds to spend on each question (120 questions for each 3-hour section). At least that’s what they told me when I took the cram courses.

As such, bathroom breaks are often considered wastes of time.

But that’s a fatal error.

Drink coffee, Red Bull, or whatever gives you the juice to perform at your highest level. And give yourself 5 minutes for a bathroom break for each section.

It’s better to be efficient for 5 hours and 50 minutes, than to be inefficient for 6 hours.


Someone who sat through and passed all three exams

PS: And don’t wear a diaper. Every CFA test-taker has heard someone joke about this, and some claim they know someone who’s done it. But that’s ridiculous.

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