The countdown for the December 2013 CFA Level 1 exam has officially begun. With less than three months to go, we want to share with you 3 powerful tools that will help you better study for the exam without loosing sight of what’s important to you in the social sphere.
As you begin preparing for the exam, you will notice that you’ll start experiencing urges to check your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles all the time instead of concentrating on actually studying. Don’t worry, its normal. Procrastination and resistance is omni present every time you decide to pursue something worthwhile that requires long hours of focus, dedication and persistence. If you want to find our more about Resistance and how to conquer it, we invite you to read Mykola’s analysis of the Do The Work by Steven Pressfield on Actionable Books.
More people fail Level 1 than any other level not because of the lack of knowledge and understanding of the material, but because they underestimate the time commitment required to master the topics. On average, studying for the Level 1 requires 300 hours of reading, doing exercises and practice exams and reviewing everything thoroughly. Don’t forget that this is an average, so some people require to study a lot more while others can get by with minimal efforts. Its better to play it safe and study more in order to feel comfortable going into the exam room.
Obtaining the CFA charter does require making sacrifices but its also important to stay grounded and connected to the things that really matter to you. Often candidates assume that they need to stop doing the things they love like going out with friends, working out or reading interesting books in order to dedicate all their available time to the CFA. Unfortunately, this only works in the beginning when you are vey motivated and at the end near the exam date when you are very stressed. Since your CFA experience is a long term journey instead of a one night stand, you cannot isolate yourself or stop doing the things you love for 3 months without loosing interest, motivation or sense of purpose.
It all comes down to organization and prioritization. Having a strong social network and support is essential to maintain focus and dedication to the program. However, once we go online, we usually tend to spend too much time interacting with others instead of dedicating the precious time to studying.
Here at the Financial Analyst Warrior we love finding and sharing practical tools and strategies to guide candidates along their CFA journeys. That’s why we want to share with you how to stay connected online while maintaining focus on studying the required material.
If you are an active tweeting machine and you find yourself tweeting and checking other people’s tweets all the time, then this tool will definitely help you save precious time.
TweetDeck is a sister company of Twitter and it enables you to have a global view of all your Twitter activities in one simple and organized place.
You can use the browser integrated buttons, download an application to your computer (Mac or PC) and even have the application running on your smart phone and tablet.
TweetDeck is super useful if you have more than one Tweeter account since you can manage all of them from one single interface. All you need to do is create a new TweedDeck account (you cannot login with you existing Twitter profile) and within minutes you will have a complete overview of your Twitter activities.
This social tool is great because not only you get an overview of all the topics that interest you almost instantaneously, but you can also schedule your posts to be published at a future time/date in order to put Twitter on the side and concentrate on your studies.
Buffer is another great tool for Twitter power users. If you tend to tweet multiple times per day then you’ll love this app. Buffer enables you to prepare your tweets a head of time, chose which frequency you would like your posts to be tweeted out and buffer will take care of spreading your tweets automatically during the predefined time interval.
So for example, you can prepare 5 tweets in the morning, tell buffer that you want to tweet every 2 hours and Buffer will evenly post your tweets in the following 10 hours. This is a great tool if you want to tweet throughout the day without checking your profile every two hours. Buffer has a free plan than enables you to connect only one profile of a particular service (one Twitter account, one Facebook account, etc) and a premium account than enables you to connect up to 12 profiles of different accounts.
This is an amazing tool that will definitely help you manage not only your Twitter profiles but also your Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and many other social media accounts. Hootsuite is a very powerful tool that enables you to fully customize how you manage your social profiles, schedules posts ahead of time, keep an eye on what is being said about subjects/keywords that interest you, explore analytics to see how your content is being shared and much more.
Hootsuite has a free version that enables you to manage up to five different profiles and a premium version that enables you to manage an unlimited number of profiles and with a lot more awesome features. If you find yourself overwhelmed with the tools at Hootsuite, you can also explore the Hootsuite University and learn how to master this awesome online platform. Did we mentioned that Hootsuite is based in the beautiful Vancouver, Canada?
TweetDeck, Buffer and Hootsuite are very useful online tools that enable you to concentrate on mastering the CFA curriculum without loosing touch with what matters to you online. To successfully pass the Level I exam, its important to implement specific strategies in order to maximize your study efforts without sacrificing your social interactions. Isolating yourself in a dark basement and studying 7 hours a day is not the ideal solution to obtaining the CFA designation. Instead studying for the CFA should be fun and well integrated into your everyday life. Instead of balancing the CFA and your social life, try blending the two together.
We hope you found this article useful. How are you managing your social profiles online? Are you using other powerful tools? We want to hear from you. Send us a message or leave your comments below. We’re always looking to connect with interesting people and help fellow Warriors in their quests for CFA domination.
Our eBook is at most two weeks way. We’re putting the final touches to make sure the material is not only relevant to your studies, but also practical and helpful. Have you downloaded our free sample yet? We invite you to check it out and let us know what you think.
After all we’re writing the eBook for you. If you have topics that you are struggling with, let us know so that we help you better understand and prepare for the exam.