Are mock exams important for CFA candidates?

You have invested over 300 hours preparing for the exam, attended classes by an experienced training provider and your books look like they have just returned from war. What’s next? Now it is time to put all your hard work to the test with a CFA mock exam.

There are multiple CFA mock exams on the market, but the most effective ones are designed to simulate the actual CFA exam format, difficulty, and length. It should be the closest you can get to attempting the exam before sitting for the exam.

We would advise appearing for the mock exam, a month prior to the actual exam as taking it too early will not help you remember your mistakes, and taking it late will not offer you a lot of time to improve your performance.

How are the CFA Practice Questions and Mock CFA Exam different?

Nearly all CFA providers incorporate practice questions and tests into their curriculum. For instance, Schweser offers the QBank, a tool used throughout your preparation to ensure you understand what you have already studied and are prepared to move to the next topic.

CFA mock exams are designed to assess your mastery of everything you will be expected to know when you sit for the actual CFA exam. Mock exams and practice questions are not a substitute for each other, both serve their own purpose and have unique benefits.

Attempting the mock exams

Ensure you have extra sheets of paper, a calculator, and most importantly a timer, prior to attempting the mock exam. Since the aim is to replicate the actual exam, you should write the answers just like you would during the exam and write the answers preferably in pencil to simplify corrections and adjustments.

During the mock exam, aim to attempt all the questions within 3 hours while devoting 1.5 minutes per question for 120 questions. The key skill that mock exams teach you is knowing how to save time by prioritizing the questions you know over the questions you are uncertain about.

Honesty is the best policy!

After the mock exam, be strict when marking yourself as this ensures that the score you attain represents an honest assessment of your exam preparation. While we acknowledge the fact that the score you achieve in a mock exam isn’t an accurate predictor of your final score, it will help you understand how much more you need to prepare.

The best strategy involves giving more attention to questions that you got wrong as this is the only way to close any existing gaps in knowledge. We advise candidates to not only analyze the answers but also go back and read the concepts again. By doing so, you are most likely to accumulate more extensive knowledge on a given topic, and you won’t have problems tackling similar but slightly tweaked questions.

How do you appear for the Kaplan Schweser mock exam?

Kaplan Schweser offers mock exams in over 100 locations worldwide but the rise of covid has led to live mock exams being made unavailable. Fortunately, online mock exams are still available. While you will not be able to simulate testing room conditions with the online version, an online mock exam will still be comparable in format, difficulty, and length to the actual CFA exam. From 2021, all levels of the CFA exam will be computer-based, hence the online mock exam will be closer to the real thing.

If you are looking to cut down your exam preparation time, a mock exam might provide exactly what you need to cap off your studies. It will highlight your strengths and your weaknesses while ensuring you understand the question patterns.

The Kaplan Schweser mock exam is paid, but you can access a free version of a mock exam created by our team here – Free CFA Mock Exam