How to Pass the CFA Examination in Canada

Learn how to pass the CFA examination in these 10 tips!

Basically, the chartered financial analyst examination (CFA exam) is a daunting challenge with a 20% success rate. However, with proper planning and preparation, you can excel against all odds. Therefore, you need a proper orientation on how to pass the CFA examination.

Becoming a chartered financial analyst is a nice decision for your career. It is a great choice as you will be open to many rewarding and satisfying opportunities. But you must pass the examinations before you’d qualify for the charter. So, we have provided you with ten tips on how to pass this examination. So read carefully to you know the cut and pass for any of the levels you are writing

About CFA

CFA (Chartered financial analyst) is a certification that is provided by a global nonprofit professional organization to comprehend extraordinary financial analysts with the drive to help businesses, Industries, and organizations. It is known across the world as a professional leading organization with an emphasis on investment, proficiency, ethics, and analysis.

You will join the directory of members of the Institute if you’re accepted at the Institute of CFA charter and will get to input your contact information so that corporations, institutions, and individuals may reach you for business deals.

What are the CFA exams?

The CFA examination is in three parts. It is a program that is carried out by individuals that have a background in economics, accounting, business, or finance. Your understanding of the fundamentals of Investments tools, portfolio management, wealth planning, and valuing assets will be examined.

It is an examination that requires that you invest lots of your time because you have to pass all the levels of the CFA examination. You can either choose to concentrate solely on the exam without taking a job, or combine your studies and work together. Either way, success in the examination is important to becoming a chartered financial analyst.

There are three parts to the CFA examination. Which are

  • Level I: investment tools, will test your knowledge of professional and ethical standards
  • Level II: asset valuation, will test your ability to apply standards to situations that analysts face
  • Level III: portfolio management, will test your ability to apply standards regarding compliance and portfolio management

How to Pass the CFA Examination in Canada

Without a doubt, there is no magic in passing the CFA Examination in Canada, you will have to prepare. Setting aside distractions and obstacles and choosing to concentrate on succeeding in the examinations is the most important let to succeed in this examination.

We have collated 10 tips for you to pass the CFA examination with excellent grades. They are

  1. Create a study plan long before your examination
  2. Dwell more on the most tested topic
  3. Value every second of your time
  4. Take a prep course
  5. Don’t stop practicing
  6. Focus more on concepts
  7. While studying don’t push yourself too hard
  8. Know how to operate your financial calculator well enough
  9. Formulate effective study plans
  10. Revise and review your book over and over again

#1. Create a study plan long before your examination

Proper planning will lead to immense success, while poor preparation will lead to poor performance. It doesn’t matter if you decide to study for specified hours, what matters is to be committed to your study plan and stay on track.

You need to start preparing and studying for your CFA examination about six months before your exam date so that you can have enough breathing space and time to digest all your materials.

#2. Dwell more on the most tested topic

Basically, the topic weights and Learning Outcome Statements of all levels are on the website of CFA. So, you can utilize this opportunity to know the topics that are mostly tested. You don’t need to be so immersed in every line of your topics, you will pass the CFA examination if you can study smartly.

For instance, topics like Ethical and Professional Standards are often asked in the Level I CFA exam, while there are usually few questions on Derivatives, Technical analysis, and Portfolio Management & Wealth Planning.

#3. Value every second of your time

Making the best use of your time is one cogent way to pass the CFA examination. Basically, you are to have about 285 hours of scrutiny study (as recommended by the CFA Institute). However, by pivoting your time management skills, background, and prep course, you can make every second count by cutting down on your study time

For instance, you can complete your preparation in about 140 hours by setting aside distractions. So that the remaining you can use your time for other productive things.

#4. Take a prep course

Preparing for CFA exams might be difficult to deal with alone because you might eventually spend too much time, miss deadlines, and overlook details. But if you enroll in a prep course, you will not have to do your courses alone because you will be updated on the important topics for your exams while your time is judiciously managed.

#5. Don’t stop practicing

Time management is one of the key tips on how to pass the CFA examination. The exams are usually lengthy, oftentimes you’d spend 6 hours for each level. You will need to understand the question and put your knowledge into writing so that you can earn your desired mark.

Before the exams, you will get practice questions and mock exams from the institute of chartered financial analysts which you can start using. So, find and focus on the topics you are not good at and start practicing the mock exams for a minimum of 8 weeks before the exam.

#6. Focus more on concepts

Maths is important in your exam however you should focus more on concepts. This is more peculiar to the level 1 exam that gives questions in a conceptual form that will need your common sense to figure out. You will need to figure out the formulas you will use for your calculation by understanding and following the conceptual questions.

So, you must learn to focus more on concepts so that you can freely derive any formula that you will need to answer your question.

#7. While studying don’t push yourself too hard

Preparation is indeed very important to pass your exam. However, you can give yourself a break when you are feeling overwhelmed. You need some moments to reset and gather momentum when you’re digesting a large amount of information, you can leave about one-hour breaks between your study sessions so that you won’t feel overloaded.

Note that the topics on the CFA are not so difficult, but it is often bulky and overwhelming. That is why you should start your exam preparation long before the exam date. Also, with the right mentorship and prep course, you should be good to go.

#8. Know how to operate your calculator well enough

There are two specific operating finance calculator models you can use for your CFA Examination. You should practice in advance with the calculator model you choose so that making calculations will be easy on the exam day.

#9. Formulate effective study plans

Without a doubt, the difference between passing and failing can be differentiated with an effective study plan, especially when you’re always on the move. You can make use of a flashcard which is much lighter and more portable to carry, than carrying the entire CFA curriculum. You can also use memory techniques such as using the first letter of each word to memorize a particular concept. There are some other tricks to get some terms so that learning will be easier for you.

You can study both qualitative and quantitative materials differently by starting with qualitative subjects such as behavioral finance or ethics. You should enjoy this book as if you’re reading a nice book so that you can grab the concept.

However, when working on quantitative material, study the concepts and solve the problem over and over again. Trying the questions over and over will give you an understanding of how the problem is solved, after which you can review the material again to understand better.

#10. Revise and review your book over and over again

The last tip on how to pass the CFA examination is to review your material again for like one month after you’ve gone through all the stretches. Reviewing and revising are very important before going to the exam hall, so you need to finish reading all materials early so that you can have sufficient time to revise.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the pass rate for the CFA exam

The most recent pass rates in 2021 are: 27% for Level, 46% for Level 2, 43% for Level 3

Can I study for the CFA exam on my own?

No, you study alone. You can sort out for assistance, register for prep courses, and many more

What level of CFA exam is most difficult?

The level 3 exams are the most difficult of all CFA exams


Being a charter financial analyst is no joke. You wouldn’t need to worry about how to pass the CFA examination if you set enough time to study, organize your material, and do a proper review.