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Whether in your personal life or in your profession career, Focus is definitely crucial skill to master. It is almost a pre-requisite when you begin to studying for your upcoming CFA ® exam. Since all three exams require countless hours of studying, preparation, practice exercises and practice exams, you need to be able to control your attention for longer periods of time without being easily distracted by your environment.

Without the ability to focus on one particular task at a time, you risk spending too much time studying a particular topic and you will most likely also end up over-stressed, and ineffective while facing an increasing pressure from the exam date.

Featured article discussed in this episode: The Digital Degree by The Economist, June 28, 2014.

Here are our strategies to help you focus and study better for the upcoming CFA ® exam:

  1. Study in a quite environment and develop a study mindset. You need to be physically active. Working out before you need to study will help you concentrate better afterwards.
  2. Martial Arts, Yoga and Meditation are great ways to train your mind to be more focused.
  3. Juggling helps to build up your focus and be more aware of the present moment.
  4. Explain the CFA ® concepts your are studying out loud to yourself.
  5. Instead of only reading the material, move on to solving problems. This will help you increase your focus.
  6. Take a break between study sessions. Get your mind off your studies.
  7. Avoid studying with your friends. The first opportunity you have not to study and talk, you will take it and you’ll begin to procrastinate.
  8. Study groups can be interested if you do not know the people very well so that you can be more dedicated on the studies instead of talking to the friends around you.
  9. If you are not productive in one environment, try to change and move to a different location where you will be more productive.
  10. Eliminate clutter around you so that you can have a dedicated space to your studies. Eliminate all the distractions.
  11. It take some time to get into the study flow.
  12. Keep a paper next to you while you are studying. This way in case you get an ideal that is not related to your CFA ® studies, write down your ideas and thoughts on the paper, get them out of your head and move on to studying instead of thinking about your new ideas.
  13. Have enough time to sleep each night. If you have trouble concentrating and being focused, try to sleep more than usual (at minimum 8h each night).
  14. Take a power nap for 30 minutes in the middle of the day.
  15. If you are reading a topic that you do not really interested in, move on to a more interested topic in order to continue studying without wasting your precious study time.


We hope you found this Episode valuable. Most of all we hope you will be able to apply these techniques to help you increase your Focus in order to be better prepared for your upcoming CFA ® exam.

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Miguel & Mykola

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