Practicing with the best CFA® mock exams is a great way to prepare and study for the chartered financial analyst exam. Working practice exams help test your understanding of the exam concepts and get you familiar with the layout and structure of the exam.
Knowing the layout and structure of the exam is extremely important. The last thing that you want on your exam day is to have an unwanted surprise when you open the testing software and find out you don’t know how to navigate through it. You don’t need any additional stress on your exam day. You want to be comfortable knowing how the testing program works.
Although understanding the layout is important, the biggest advantage of a CFA® practice exam is that you work on your test-taking skills. Using CFA® practice questions in a real exam environment will help you understand how questions are asked, what answers actually mean, and how to manage your time.
It’s no wonder why more than 75% of CFA® candidates use mock exams to prepare for the real thing!
Let’s take a look at a few different practice exams, their pros and cons, and how you can use them to prepare for your CFA® exam.
Best CFA® Mock Exams and Practice Exams
1. Best CFA® Mock Test Overall: Wiley Efficient Learning CFA® Mock Exam
2. Best CFA® Practice Test Runner-up: Analyst Prep CFA® Practice Tests
Here are the top CFA exam prep courses to help you practice for the actual CFA exam and become a chartered financial analyst.
1. Wiley Efficient Learning CFA® Mock Exam
Wiley currently offers practice exams for all 3 levels of the CFA test. Each of these tests is designed to help you with the content and format of the exam. It’s highly recommended you take each test under a similar time limit to the CFA exam. That way you can focus on developing test taking strategies while you apply your CFA knowledge.
Each test question comes with a detailed answer explanation. Wiley doesn’t just want you to memorize concepts. Instead, they want you to understand why an answer is correct and how to come to that conclusion. Developing these problem solving skills ensures that the test won’t surprise you with unexpected material.
Thanks to all of that, Wiley’s mock exams are some of the bets in the business. I highly recommend them to anyone trying to prepare for the CFA exam.
2. Analyst Prep CFA® Practice Tests
Analyst Prep offers CFA® mock exams for Level I and Level II candidates. In addition to several other helpful study materials, these exams are designed with the aid of experienced financial analysts who also understand effective methods of teaching these concepts. As a result, you’ll get the best of both professional and educational experience when working with these exams!
With 8 Level I mock exams and 2 Level II mock exams, you can print these materials out and practice in an environment similar to what you’ll experience on the day of your actual exams. Each exam contains a full bank of 120 questions, and the instructors at AnalystPrep come up with new practice exams yearly to match any new developments in the field.
While they don’t currently offer Level III CFA® mock exams, AnalystPrep is ultimately the best resource for your study needs!
5 CFA® Mock Exam Benefits and Testing Advantages
There are a ton of reasons why you should study using mock exams. The main reason is they just work. Candidates who use them are way better prepared than candidates who don’t. It’s just a fact!
That being said, let’s check out some specific ways mock exams help prepare you for the real exam.
Understand Actual Exam Structure and Format
Knowing how the exam is structured and how the exam software and interface is formatted is important on any computerized exam. You want to make sure you know how to navigate through each question and each section, so you don’t get stuck somewhere and have to waste valuable time figuring how to navigate the exam when you should be focused on answering questions.
Mock CFA® exams are designed to emulate the real exam. Thus, the software they use looks and feels like the actual exam. Using a practice exam with will make you familiar with the exam and you will feel right at home when you sit down to take the real thing with no surprises!
Understand the Exam Topics
Practicing quizzes and multiple-questions will help you think through the exam topics and understand the concepts. This form of active studying is way more beneficial than simply watching a lecture or reading a textbook.
Plus, there are a lot of different topics covered on the exam and not all of them are covered equally. Mock exams will help you understand what topics are emphasized more on the exam and which ones appear less frequently.
This will help you focus your study sessions on the more important topics instead of wasting your time studying things that will either not appear on the exam or be weighted very little.
Practice Test-Taking Strategies
Working practice problems have many benefits beyond helping you learn the concepts on the exam. Simply knowing the exam topics isn’t enough to pass. You have to be able to use your knowledge to problem solve and make decisions about solutions.
Understanding how questions are asked and how answers are phrased plays a big role in how well you will do on the exam. The more CFA® practice questions you go through, the better you will become at reading exam questions and being about to quickly pin point the correct answer.
Improve Time Management
Time management is a HUGE problem for many CFA® candidates. Spending too much time on questions could mean the difference between finishing the exam early or rushing through it and answering a large percentage of questions wrong.
Working mock exams will help you work on your time management, so you will have enough time to think through each question and come up with a solution without breaking the clock.
Reduce Stress and Improve Performance
Believe it or not, stress is a big reason why people fail the exam. It totally makes sense though. It’s just like a musician with stage freight or an athlete with nerves. Test takers don’t perform well when they are under stress.
If you are completely stressed out going into the exam, you probably won’t be able to think clearly and perform as well as you should. Practicing exams will help prepare you for the exam like a rehearsal performance. When you go into the real thing, you will be ready and relatively stress free. 🙂
How Many CFA® Practice Exams Should I Take?
There’s no real set number on how many practice exams you need to take in order to be prepared for the exam, but more is always better than fewer. I would much rather be over prepared for the exam than under prepared.
That being said, most CFA® review courses recommend that you take at least 6-7 mock exams before your exam date. I think this is a good number because it gives you enough experience and knowledge of the exam to be prepared on your exam day.
Since most prep course providers don’t offer that many different exams in their materials, you can either take the same ones multiple times or get two different test banks, so you have access to 6+ different full-length exams. Both are great strategies.
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