6 Key Benefits of Active Learning for CFA Candidates

The CFA exam is very demanding and requires various different types of knowledge in order to pass successfully.

The CFA exam is very demanding and requires various different types of knowledge in order to pass successfully. In addition, Level 1 has earned the reputation of being extremely challenging with pass rates hovering around 43% historically. 

Candidates taking the CFA exam are educated, intelligent, and highly motivated but many find that passing the first CFA level is challenging and result in lost time and money. This low pass rate underscores the importance of creating an effective learning strategy. Creating an effective learning strategy is paramount, especially when learning online. Studies show that the best way to learn and retain information is through active learning with the relevant material. 

Ok But What IS Active Learning?

An active-learning approach to studying enables candidates to master concepts by participating in their learning, rather than passively receiving information in lecture-based scenarios. Here are some examples of this approach: Role-playing, case studies, think-pair-share, peer instruction, group projects, debates, and demonstrations.

Why Active Learning Is For You?

Ok story time!!: 

  • In a Harvard study focused on active learning, it was found that students learned more when actively participating in their education than they did when taking a more passive approach to learning.
  • This study used an innovative teaching method where a professor taught an introductory course online and then took a more traditional role during the second part of the semester as a facilitator of discussion among peers.
  • Students were split into two groups. One group was assigned to an active learning lab while the other group continued with lectures.
  • Those groups were then switched, so that those students who were in the group previously switched with those now switching over.
  • Both groups studied the same classes and learned the same content either actively or by listening to the lecturer.
  • At the end of each class, students were asked to take a test over the material.
  • The study shows that students perceive the lectures as more effective but learn more from the active learning methods.

Active learning is hard, and it can be more challenging than passive learning because the students are expected to put in the work. When it comes to learning, traditional lectures are much preferred by students; they even feel as though they're learning a lot more. If students are motivated to learn, they're more likely to learn when they have the opportunity to interact with their peers and to complete a variety of activities, including group discussions.

Benefits of Active Learning

Active engagement in preparing for the CFA exam is the best way to master the critical material. Not entirely convinced? Consider these benefits: 

  • Reinforcement: important material is reinforced through participative activities. You learn better by doing, so hands-on, active participation is the most effective means of strengthening understanding.
  • Feedback: active participation in the learning process provides you with immediate and frequent feedback.
  • Processing: thinking and talking about the material enables you to process and internalise the information more effectively. 
  • Connections: student motivation increases by creating more personal connections to the material through active engagement. 
  • Collaboration: you can practice critical skills, such as collaboration, through group work and paired activities.
  • Interaction: a sense of community grows through interactions as you connect with other students and actively engage in learning together through problem-solving and the completion of group tasks.

In Conclusion...

Passing the CFA exam is a vital part of your career trajectory. It's important that you don't waste time or money by taking it without adequate preparation. For the best active-learning CFA prep course available, visit MasterCFA! (obviously not biased (maybe a lil' bit)). 

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