CFA Storm

3 main reasons why you might Fail in the CFA Exam

This week we are super excited to bring you a new guest article from our friends at Soleadea.com


3 Main reasons why you might fail the CFA exam

Many CFA  Level 1 candidates have just started to prepare for the exam. If you happen to be one of them, we’ve got a piece of advice for you. Remember that even though there are still 5 months left to the December exam (which is theoretically a lot of time), these five months will pass sooner than you expect.

For many years now, we’ve been helping people in their preparations for the CFA exam and other financial exams. We have observed that there are 3 main reasons why people taking such an exam fail to pass it.

1. Gaps in your maths

First of all, though it may sound rather surprising, some people struggle with maths. It’s true not only of those who graduated from the university some time ago, but also of students who currently attend their classes. This group constitutes even up to 30% of all CFA candidates. Mathematics used in the exam is not complicated. It suffices that you know how to transform formulas and how to do fractions. Those who can calculate and analyse in their memories are better off when it comes to the real exam. If you master your maths, you will be able to do even more than 50% of all calculations in your head, which will very often prove to be much quicker than if you used the calculator.

2. Too few exam-type questions solved

Here’s the second reason of not being able to pass the exam. Most of candidates solve too few exam-type questions before they actually take the exam. Even if you read the whole Curriculum and revise it, it will not suffice. What you need to do is to solve numerous questions throughout the whole process of learning for the exam. You have to develop the right habit from the very beginning – after you cover a certain topic, go ahead and check yourself. Do some tests that will allow you to assess your progress. You will see for yourself that there will be still some areas you will have to brush up. By doing different tests, you will also make yourself accustomed to the form of exam-type tests, which should make you feel more comfortable in the real exam. If all that you know about the exam is that the exam consists of 120 questions of the morning session and 120 questions of the afternoon session, you will not feel that comfortable, trust me. Imagine that you are a basketball player and you are to play a match and all you know is that you need to throw a ball into a basket but you have never tried to score a point before. To win this match, you will need a lot of good luck.

3. Irregular learning

The third and the last reason is the volume of the study material required in the exam. To cope with it, you need to work systematically and, as we know well, it is often a great challenge.


Soleadea is a CFA Study Portal that helps people aiming for the CFA® certificate prepare for the exam. Soleadea gives access to study materials and creates common workspace that enables communication among CFA candidates. Soleadea Prep Materials consist of: full time mock exam with explanations, peer comparison and time keeping, around 50 hours of high quality videos, 2000 exam-type questions with explanations for level I, CFA Formulas App, Study Plan App.