It is tough to prepare for the CFA exam; taking and passing all three levels are the most challenging things you'll undertake in your career. And for many, it is also one of the most rewarding accomplishments. The CFA exam is a big commitment. Since it requires a significant investment of time and effort, many finance professionals postpone taking the CFA exam.
So, let's get everything out in the open!
Here are a few common excuses that aspiring charterholders use to delay taking the CFA Exam. If, by any chance, you find any of these excuses relatable then we hope you'll change your mind after reading this.
Possibly You: “I’m afraid I’ll fail the CFA exam.”
The fear of failure is one of the biggest roadblocks to achieving success. In fact, most people never even try. Ironically, those that don't try mostly fail because they refuse to.
You should take pride in knowing that the path to success is not always easy. In fact, failure affords us benefits. That’s right, benefits because failure allows us to learn from our mistakes and apply those lessons the next time. It’s always easier to say no to something than to say yes, so it can also help us build the courage to try new things.
Have a change in perspective. So, imagine failing the CFA exam as a step toward escaping self-imposed limiting beliefs, NOT a permanent setback that will derail you from ever reaching your CFA career goals. That's just not true and never will be! This mindset will honestly help you stop delaying taking the CFA Exam.
Probably You: “I need more career experience before I take the CFA exam.”
Being a finance professional requires long hours, significant responsibility, and constant pressure to deliver consistently and compelling results. Although gaining more experience never slows the profession’s demands, waiting to take the CFA exam will defer the benefits of becoming a CFA charterholder. So, take the CFA exam as soon as you can to enjoy the career growth benefits sooner.
This Could Be You: “I don’t have time to study for the exam.”
Most working professionals lack the time to study in a world full of competing interests and demands. But time is not something you can just find; it’s something you make. Your personal priorities should always be your top priority, but it's important to balance those responsibilities and try new methods to budget the limited time you have.
If you are serious about getting this professional certification, you will make time to do what it takes to get there. But keep in mind, studying for the CFA exam is only one phase in your life whereas reaping the benefits of being a CFA charterholder will last a lifetime.
Maybe You: “I can’t afford the CFA right now.”
Without a doubt, the CFA exam is a pricey proposition. However, there are ways to manage the costs of registering for the CFA exam. If you can schedule your CFA exam early, you'll save about $300.
Moreover, the CFA Institute offers an Access Scholarship Program to ease the financial burden of CFA candidates who can't afford to pay the full program fee. You can find out more information about the Access Scholarship Program at the CFA Institute’s website.
Here's the rundown: the longer you wait, the more likely you are to delay taking the CFA Exam. It's never too late to start studying for the exam. By starting now you have a better chance of getting a passing score the first time around. If you're committed to moving your finance career forward, then it's time to focus your energy on the things that DO matter. To be able to achieve the CFA certification, you should be aware of your skills and strengths.
So, don't waste anymore time! Go get that certification!