CFA mock exams are one the most important steps preparing to take the chartered financial analyst exam. These practice tests give you a feel for what the exam is actually like, so you aren’t surprised on your exam date.
There’s nothing worse than showing up on your test date and getting confused simply because you are unfamiliar with the layout or structure of the software. You want to be familiar with it and feel comfortable when you open the testing program for the first time.
Getting to know the layout is really only a side benefit of mock exams. The real benefit is that these can help you study and prepare for the exam in a ton of different ways. There’s no better way to prepare for the exam by taking a few practice ones. That’s why more than 75 percent of CFA candidates choose to take mock exams during their studying process.
Where to Get Mock & Practice Exams
Before we get into all the benefits of using these study tools help prepare yourself for your exam day, I just want to share the different places you can get them from. There are a few different companies that make these materials. Here’s a comparison of the best ones out there.
|COMPANY||Wiley CFA Test Bank||AdaptPrep CFA Test Bank||Apptuto CFA Test Bank||Analyst Prep CFA Test Bank|
|NUMBER OF FULL-LENGTH EXAMS||3||User Generated||Test Bank||2|
|LEVELS AVAILABLE||1, 2, & 3||1, 2, & 3||1 & 2||1|
|PRICE|| Level 1 - $145
Level 2 - $195
Level 3 - $125
|$49 - $199||$199 (Includes full study materials)||$69|
|PRACTICE QUESTIONS|| Level 1 - 4,000
Level 2 - 2,000
Level 3 - 950
| Level 1 - 3,000
Level 2 - 600
Level 3 - 11 Essays
|CUSTOM EXAMS|| Level 1 and 2 Only.
Also, custom quizzes from Testbank.
|Yes!||Yes!||Custom quizzes from Testbank.|
|FULL MOCK EXAMS||3||You Make Them||None||2|
|Pros|| Looks exactly like the Real Exam.
|Customize difficulty to help you prepare.||Comes with the Full Course.||Most Affordable and Best Value.|
|FREE TRIAL||Try it Now!||Try it Now!||Yes!||Yes!|
|Our Review!||Read Our Review||Read Our Review||Read Our Review|
|Start Studying Now!||Get Started!||Get Started!|
We also review and compare all of the full length review materials, so you can pick which one is right for you.
Now let’s take a look at a few of the benefits.
Top CFA Mock Exam Benefits
Like I already mentioned, going through the practice software let’s you get a feel for what the environment looks and feels like. You get to know where the buttons are, how to use the lookup tools, and how to navigate the entire program.
This is an important part in your preparation process because you don’t want any surprises on exam day. You want to walk in and feel right at home. The last thing you want to worry about is how to get back to previous questions. You should be focusing on answering questions why you are taking the test.
These will help you understand what will be covered on the test. You might say, “Well, I used a review course. That tells me what is covered.” Well, it does and it doesn’t. Every year the CFA Institute changes the content of the exam to reflect current events and changes in procedures. Just reading through your book won’t give you the best up-to-date guide as to what’s on the exam. It helps, but it’s not enough.
Going through a practice test you get to know what types of topics are covered and what they really like to focus on. Remember some topics fit into multiple choice questions a lot easier than others.
Questions and Answers
People think that knowing the information is enough to pass the exam, but one big thing that they tend overlook when studying is that they need to know how to recall the information the way the test writers want them to. What do I mean by that?
The exam questions are written a certain way to confuse you and make it difficult to pick the right answer. You need to get used to reading these questions and be able to understand what they are actually asking, so you can pick the right answers. This is more than half the battle.
Understanding the format of the exam plays a big role in how well you do. You have to understand what is worth more and what is more worth your time. You can read about what the exam is like all day, but it won’t prepare you for what the format is actually like.
I think the biggest benefit from taking mock exams is developing a test taking strategy. The real test is timed. Answering questions in your book is not the same as trying to answer them under the pressure of the clock. You need to get used to being timed and understand proper time management.
How long do you have to answer each question? What types of questions should you go back and take a second look at? Should you read the questions or the answers first? You’ll figure out all of these strategic test-taking questions during your mock practice questions. You’ll also be able to identify your weakness as a test taker and improve.
Stress is a huge reason why people fail the exam. They just aren’t good test takers under stress. This doesn’t have to be you. Practice before you go for the real thing. This obviously won’t completely relieve your stress, but it will put make you feel comfortable in the actual testing environment.
How Many Mock Exams Do You Need to Take?
The answer is, it depends on you. Are you a good test taker? I know I’m not. I need as much practice as I can get. And that’s the typical answer for most candidates. Why would you want to chance things? I’d recommend taking as many practice tests as you can, but many review material publishers encourage you to take at least 7 before your exam day. You will never regret being over prepared on exam day.
There are several different study materials that make practice mock exams out there. All of them have different merits. I would personally recommend using the Wiley CFA platform for your studying. They offer 3 different full-length exams. They also have a quiz builder that you can use to make your own custom quiz for Level 1 and Level 2.