How to Claim a VAT Refund in the UAE?

All the registered business are required to file a VAT return furnishing the details of sales, purchases output VAT and input VAT paid during the tax period. Here, the output VAT is the amount which is collected on sales and Input VAT is the amount which is paid to the supplier towards purchases/expenses. The eligible input VAT amount will be allowed to be adjusted with the output VAT amount. After adjusting the output VAT and Input VAT, the result will lead to one of the following situations.

  • VAT Payable: If output VAT amount is higher than the Input VAT, the balance will be VAT payable which needs to be paid to FTA.
  • VAT Refundable: If output VAT is lesser than the input VAT amount, the excess balance will be VAT refundable.

If you have excess input VAT, an option will be available on the VAT Return to request a refund. The following are the steps to submit VAT refund form ‘VAT311’:

1. Login to FTA e-Services Portal using your username and password

2. To access the refund form, navigate to the ‘VAT’ tab and then to the ‘VAT Refunds’ tab

3. Click ‘VAT Refund Request’

4. On clicking ‘VAT Refund Request’, the refund form will open. Fill the details in all the applicable fields. Mandatory fields are mandatorily to be completed to submit the Refund Form. Most of the details are auto populated. The following are the fields available in the VAT refund form 311:

  • TRN, Legal name of entity (English) etc.: This section is auto populated based on the information contained in your account user profile. It is therefore very important that the information contained in your profile is both correct and accurate. Please check it before completing the refund form
  • Total amount of Excess Refundable Tax (AED): This field is auto populated based on the excess refundable tax reported in the last VAT returns less administration penalties due (except for the late registration penalty which is shown separately)
  • The amount you wish to have refunded (AED): Please enter the amount you wish to have refunded here. This amount must be equal to or less than the ‘Total amount of Excess Refundable Tax’
  • Remaining amount of eligible Excess Refundable Tax: This field is auto populated and represents the remaining amount of excess refundable tax which you may apply for a refund in the future.
  • Late registration penalty amount (in AED) : This field is auto-populated depending on whether you have a penalty imposed and have settled the late registration penalty for VAT or not.

5. Authorized Signatory and Declaration: Authorized signatory will be auto populated, and you need to tick the declaration before submitting

6. Once you complete the form, click on the ‘Submit’ button.

The refund form will be processed as per the FTA process. You will receive an email notification from the FTA on the result of your application. Once your claim is approved, the amount will be refunded. You will receive a confirmation email of the refund and you may check your balance in ‘My Payment’ tab -> Transaction History section displaying the amount refunded.

If you are interested in gaining a Certified Diploma in VAT for the Middle East region, then Kaplan Professional Middle East is here to help you achieve it with the support of the industry’s leading taxation trainers.

Types of Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value-added tax (VAT) refers to a type of indirect tax that is imposed on the supply of most goods and services. The VAT is charged and collected at each stage of the supply chain. It is generally the final consumers who bear the VAT cost while businesses collect and account for the tax.

In the UAE, there are primarily two VAT rates applicable: The standard rate of 5% and the zero rate of 0%. Although VAT is not accounted for in respect of both zero-rated and VAT exempt supplies, there is an important distinction between the two.

What is a Taxable Supply?

Most business transactions are based on the supply of goods or services. To be taxable, some conditions would generally need to be met. Hence, the supply:

  • should be a good or service
  • needs to be done for a consideration

VAT may be charged at either the 5% standard rate or the 0% rate for taxable supplies. As mentioned earlier, some supplies are exempted from VAT and hence, are not considered as taxable supplies.

Types of VAT

Depending on the nature of supplies, UAE VAT can be classified into three major categories:

1. Standard Rated VAT

A VAT rate of 5% is applicable to the supply & import of most of the goods & services in the UAE. The country’s law states that when a business is registered for VAT and VAT is charged at the standard rate, the company may be entitled to recover the VAT charged by its supplier (terms and conditions may apply).

2. Zero Rated VAT

The VAT is not accounted for on zero-rated supplies (since the applicable rate is 0%), but such supplies are still treated as “taxable supplies” in all other respects. As a result, the person making the supply has the right to recover the VAT incurred on their own business expenditure in the same way as they would if they made standard-rated supplies. According to Article (45) of. The Federal Decree no. 8 of 2017 on VAT, the zero rate shall apply to the supply of the following goods & services:

  • A direct or indirect export of goods & services to outside the Implementing States.
  • International transport of passengers and Goods which starts or ends in the State or passes through its territory, including Transport-related Services.
  • Supply of air, sea, and land means of transport for the transportation of passengers and Goods.
  • Supply of Goods and Services related to the supply of the means of transport mentioned above and which are designed for the operation, repair, maintenance, or conversion of these means of transport.
  • The first supply of residential buildings within (3) years of its completion.
  • Supply of aircrafts or vessels designated for rescue and assistance by air or sea.
  • The supply or import of investment precious metals.
  • The supply of preventive and basic healthcare Services and related Goods and Services.
  • The supply of educational services and related Goods and Services for nurseries, preschool, school education, and higher educational institutions owned or funded by Federal or local Government.
  • The first supply of buildings specifically designed to be used by Charities.
  • The first supply of buildings converted from non-residential to residential.

3. VAT-exempted supplies

Products and services in this category are not subject to VAT. It means they do not incur VAT charges at the time of purchase or sale. In addition, businesses which are in the business of making mixed supplies with varying VAT liability will have to apportion VAT incurred on general costs.

According to Article (46) of. The Federal Decree no. 8 of 2017 on VAT, the following supplies are exempt from VAT:

  • Financial services which are not conducted for an explicit fee, discount, commission, rebate, or similar type of consideration, such as life insurance and reinsurance of life insurance.
  • Residential buildings, other than the residential buildings which are specifically zero-rated.
  • Bare Land.
  • The local passenger transport.

If you are interested in attaining a Certified Diploma in VAT for the Middle East region, then Kaplan Professional Middle East is here to help you achieve it with the support of the industry’s leading taxation trainers.

Information Source: Creative Zone Tax & Accounting

CMA Exam Grading Scheme

The IMA CMA exam uses a scaled score, so candidates are sometimes confused about their final CMA scores. However, the system is easy enough to follow if you know the basics of US CMA passing marks.

But before going over an average CMA exam score, you must know the format of the exam and the types of questions.

CMA Exam Scores and Question Format

The CMA exam is a two-part test:

  • CMA Part 1: Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics
  • CMA Part 2: Strategic Financial Management

The CMA exam format is the same for both parts, each with 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and two essays. So between Part 1 and Part 2, candidates must answer 200 MCQs and four essays.

On test day, you tackle the MCQs first. If you answer at least 50% of the MCQs correctly, you can move on to the essays. On the other hand, if you incorrectly answer 49% or fewer MCQs, you cannot attempt the essays and will automatically receive a failing CMA score.

Additionally, you are allowed 3 hours for the MCQs and 1 hour for the essay question. If you manage to finish early in the MCQ section, then you can use the extra remaining time on the essays. Once you confirm that the MCQ section is completed, you cannot go back and make changes.

Key Points to Note

  • All MCQs are weighted equally – A simple question about a definition, counts as much as a long question with a lot of calculations.
  • There is no penalty for incorrect answers – Never leave a question unanswered, even if you must guess. A 25% chance is better than a 0% chance.
  • Mark questions to review later – You can come back and look at marked questions later after you have gone through all the questions.
  • Points are awarded for each step – You get points for every part of your answer that is correct. You do not lose points for anything that is incorrect.
  • Show your work for partial credit – By showing your work, math errors that get carried through the whole problem won’t be penalized more than once.
  • Never leave a question blank – Leaving a question blank earns you zero points. If you write something, you have the chance to earn some points.

The CMA is a qualification that requires guts, grit, and significant hard work from aspirants. If you are looking to pursue CMA training in UAE, contact Kaplan to find out how we can help you.

A Career in Chartered Accountancy with ICAEW CFAB

A career in chartered accountancy spans a wide range of sectors and industries as professionals sit on the board of multinational companies, testify in courts, advise governments, as well as support charities and businesses across the globe. Chartered accountants play a vital role in the running of organizations and offer advice, assurance, and information that has incredible potential to shape business-critical decisions.

Why a career in Chartered Accountancy?

  • Great Earning Potential: Globally ICAEW Chartered Accountants earned on an average of £108,000 in 2018.
  • Global Recognition: Accountants who have completed the ACA qualification are sought after by employers all over the world.
  • Chartered Profession: The ACA qualification enables you to use the title ‘chartered accountant’ to distinguish you from other accountants.


Founded in 1880, ICAEW (the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales) is one of the oldest accountancy bodies in the world and has more than 189,500 members and students in 147 countries.

ICAEW Chartered Accountants are the largest source of business advice in the UK, reaching more than 1.5 million organizations. They undertake a large variety of work which can see them preparing financial statements, developing profit projections one day, and identifying strategic risks or advising on business improvements the next.

How to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant?

To become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, one must complete the ACA qualification, which involves three years of on-the-job training, a series of rigorous examinations, and continuing professional development.

These series of requisites ensure that candidates are transformed into highly qualified individuals and are in demand from all types of organizations, all over the world, and command an average annual salary of £51,000 in the first two years after qualifying.

Your first step to begin training for the ACA qualification is through completing ICAEW CFAB, which is made up of the first six modules of the ACA. This must be done before going on to complete the rest of the ACA qualification and offers you a certificate at the completion of each of the six modules.

CFAB route

What is the ICAEW CFAB qualification?

The first six modules of the ACA make up a stand-alone qualification, ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting, and Business (ICAEW CFAB). This can be completed independently of the ACA and is a globally-recognized qualification. It is open to everyone and can be completed via self-study or with a tuition provider.

The six exams can be completed in any order and are assessed via computer-based assessment at local exam centres. As you pass each module, ICAEW will send you a certificate of achievement.

ICAEW CFAB can be achieved in 12 months and upon completion, you will receive your ICAEW CFAB qualification certificate. You can then go on to complete the rest of the ACA qualification and earn the coveted designation of an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.


If you are interested in joining hands with a leading ICAEW CFAB tuition provider to earn the qualification, then Kaplan Professional Middle East is here to offer you the expertise of the industry’s leading finance and accountancy trainers. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our ICAEW CFAB training program.

Top 7 Reasons to Achieve a Professional Qualification

A professional qualification is an advanced vocational credential that provides you with specialized training in a specific profession or industry. Since some types of professional qualifications require candidates to undergo extensive training and pass difficult examinations, many employers accept these credentials as equivalents of a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a doctorate. Some employers may additionally require you to have relevant work experience too.

Professional qualifications are essential in various career fields to gain work opportunities, advance to senior positions, and receive salary increases and benefits. By understanding the time and effort necessary for obtaining a professional qualification and the job benefits it can bring, you can decide if getting that credential is likely to suit your long-term career plans.

1. Showcase Commitment

You may have a degree, which offers scope for a range of jobs, but a professional qualification provides you with much better chances of getting a specific job. Commitment matters and getting a professional qualification in an area of work you are interested in will show your dedication in that area.

2. Networking Opportunity

With most professional qualifications, candidates are also awarded memberships within the distinguished awarding bodies. These memberships grant you excellent networking opportunities and access to member networks that have incredible potential to help you stay connected with like-minded people.

3. Cost Effective

Professional qualifications are usually more affordable compared to a university degree. Additionally, many employers will sponsor individuals to undertake professional qualifications as they provide a recognizable benchmark of competence. Also, as many courses offer the choice of exclusively online learning, there is no obligation for you to relocate for the sake of your education, which may save you money and stress.

4. Higher Earning Potential

The additional skills and training you get with a professional qualification can make you eligible for well-paying jobs that can enhance your earning potential. For example, a survey conducted by 300Hours in 2022 showed that earning the CFA charter led to a salary raise of up to 153% among charterholders.

5. Stronger Practical Skillset

Today, professionals have to learn, relearn and unlearn in order to thrive in a changing environment. Flexibility and adaptability are crucial in helping professionals and a professional qualification can help you achieve just that. Furthermore, you may have previously studied at university or already stepped into one career path, only to find that you would like to switch careers; undertaking professional qualification is the shortest and most efficient route to gaining foundational knowledge in a new field, learning new skills or expanding your existing knowledge.

6. Short in duration

A professional qualification is generally shorter in duration than a university degree. While the former could range anywhere between a few weeks or months to one year, the latter is generally at an undergraduate level for three to four years and at a master’s level for one to two years. Therefore, professional qualifications are advantageous in helping candidates save significant time and effort as well as assist in an early start to their professional careers.

7. Earn credentials

Employers look favorably on a CV featuring professional qualifications in addition to work experience and many specify them as a pre-requisite for their hiring requirements. It shows initiative on a candidate’s behalf, whether you are just starting your career, or have experience working within the industry and are looking for a new role or a step up to your existing role.


If you are interested in joining hands with a training provider to help achieve a professional qualification, then Kaplan Professional Middle East is here to offer you the expertise of with the industry’s leading finance trainers. Explore our wide range of professional qualifications, and begin your career progression journey today.

Challenges in Risk Management (FRM)

The process of identifying, assessing, responding, and monitoring the threats to an organization’s industry position is commonly referred to as risk management. The process is often ultimately the roadway to drawing an estimate of total earning predictions for organizations. The risks to companies can stem from a range of various sources, such as technology, natural disasters, internal systems, legal liabilities, company branding, compliance needs, etc. The insights into these potential threats is crucial in helping businesses make informed decisions about future investment decisions along with the preparation for long-term decision-making. It also allows for the better positioning of a company and for strategic planning that avoids unexpected last-minute costs.

What Are the Biggest Challenges in Risk Management Today?

Currently, the top challenges in risk management are ESG risks that include climate, social, and regulatory issues, ongoing concerns about the global supply chain, and the ever-present fraud, tech, and systems risks. Here are the top challenges to look for:

1. ESG Risks

ESG risks are the environmental, social, and governance-related risks that may influence a company. There are a lot of elements that fall into ESG, including climate change impacts and mitigation, environmental management practices, employee working and safety conditions, a company’s anti-bribery and corruption practices, and an organization’s overall compliance regarding industry-specific laws and regulations. When evaluating risk in this space, it’s useful to recall that every problem may also hold an element of opportunity. For example, the IMF reported last year that sustainability initiatives are a growth area in Asia. In addition, Fast Company shared that in 2021 ESG investments hit an all-time record at an estimated $120 billion — more than double the 2020 $50 billion commitments.

2. Supply Chain Issues

COVID’s disruption to the global supply chain continues to impact a range of industries. Marketplace reported on why industries are still facing snarls. Risk assessors need to factor in what those supply issues mean for them. It’s a good idea to understand if high-priority assets for your business have outside dependencies, and to build back-up plans. Unfortunately, supply chain risks aren’t going away any time soon.

3. Fraud Concerns

Those supply chain gaps have created holes that fraudulent companies are quick to fill. There has been deceit regarding PPE gear since COVID first emerged, and it continues into 2022. The New York Times recently reported on how consumers can find quality KN95 masks due to the prevalence of counterfeits. Due to an early outpouring of government assistance during the COVID outbreak in the United States, there was an increase in loans and loan forgiveness. Some scams pose as government agencies offering aid, and the FTC has a list of warning signs to look out for if your business has been approached with unsolicited outreach. It’s recommended that companies conduct fraud risk assessments, and review for both external and internal fraud.

4. Cyber Risk

Cyber risk is always top of mind when prioritizing issues amongst the many challenges facing risk management. The pandemic has exacerbated issues, with a mostly-remote workforce for many companies. This has elevated risk due to less device control and increased points of potential exploitation resulting from at-home assets being used by employees. As Forbes reports, work-from-home employees are at a greater risk of hacking than those in offices. Home connections are less secure, and the increase of online tools for team collaboration and productivity often have minimal login security settings. The prominence of remote teams has also slowed the roll-out of new technologies, which could expose companies to more security gaps.

5. Inadequate Processes

Risk assessments need to go beyond a standard checklist. It’s important to review the basics, but risk management must also suss out gaps and uncover information that teams are missing — working to determine what they don’t yet know. Make sure that your risk assessment process takes into account steps to investigate and probe for the potential concerns you aren’t even aware of yet, enabling you to uncover every issue.

*Information Source: AUDITBOARD


If you are interested in joining hands with a leading FRM training provider to help achieve the Financial Risk Manager certification, then Kaplan Professional Middle East is here to offer you the expertise of with the industry’s leading finance trainers. If you are looking for FRM training, join us as a student to kickstart your FRM exam preparation.

How to register as a Tax Agent in the UAE?

All persons considering becoming a tax agent must refer to the detailed guidance on the criteria required to be met in order to become a tax agent, as well as details of the FTA registration, amendment, linking, and de-linking processes for a tax agent.

Since tax agents play an important role in assisting with the operation of the UAE tax system. To ensure that they are qualified and experienced, a series of measures (including registration requirements) have been put in place.

All of the following conditions must be met before a person applies to be registered as a Tax Agent:

1.Hold an accredited qualification from a recognized university or institution showing your specialization and practical experience, i.e.

  • A certified bachelor’s or master’s degree in tax, accounting, or law from recognized educational institution; or
  • A bachelor’s degree in any field plus a tax certification1 from an internationally known tax institution.

2.Have at least three years’ relevant recent experience as:

  • a tax professional
  • a qualified lawyer
  • an accountant

3.Have the ability to communicate orally and in writing in both Arabic and English

4.Have passed any tests to meet qualification standards as these may have been specified by the FTA

5.Be able to prove good conduct and that you have never been convicted of a crime or misdemeanour prejudicial to honour or honesty, notwithstanding that you may have been rehabilitated

6.Be medically fit to perform your duties as a Tax Agent

7.Hold professional indemnity insurance or be covered by one.

If you are interested in attaining a Certified Diploma in VAT for the Middle East region, then Kaplan Professional Middle East is here to help you achieve it with the support of the industry’s leading taxation trainers.

Information Source: UAE Federal Tax Authority

The Future of Bank Risk Management with FRM

By 2025, risk functions in banks will likely need to be fundamentally different than they are today. As hard as it may be to believe, the next ten years in risk management may be subject to more transformation than the last decade. And unless banks start to act now and prepare for these longer-term changes, they may be overwhelmed by the new requirements and demands they will face.

So, what will the risk function look like in 2025? It is likely to have broader responsibilities, to be very engaged at a strategic level, and to have much stronger, collaborative relationships with other parts of the bank. At the same time, its talent pool will probably have experienced a massive shift in expertise toward better analytics and greater collaboration, and away from operating processes. Most of the latter can reasonably be expected to be automated, real-time, and paperless by then. IT and data will likely be much more sophisticated, often employing big data and complex algorithms. As a result, the risk function may be able to make better risk decisions at lower operating costs while creating superior customer experiences.

The six structural trends that will transform bank and financial risk management over the next ten years:

Trend 1: Continued expansion of the breadth and depth of regulation

The scope of regulation will continue to expand, propelled by four drivers. First, public and hence government tolerance for bank failures has shrunk since the global financial crisis, and the appetite for interventions using taxpayers’ money to save banks has evaporated.

Second, governments are policing illegal and unethical behaviour much more tightly. This has been driven by a general shift of attention toward financial crime, the vanishing tolerance for tax avoidance, and the perceived increased threat of terrorism from individuals and countries since September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

Third, governments are increasingly demanding both domestic and global compliance with their regulatory standards. They want “good banks,” not just “good banking practice within their borders.” As a result, laws, and regulations are increasingly applied with extraterritorial effects.
Lastly, we expect the regulation of banks’ behaviour toward their customers to tighten significantly, as the public increasingly expects improved customer treatment and more ethical conduct from banks.

Trend 2: Changing customer expectations

Over the next decade, shifts in customer expectations and technology are expected to cause massive alterations in banking and give it an entirely different profile. By then, widespread technology use is likely to be the norm for customers. The current tech-savvy younger generation will be the major revenue contributor to banks by 2025 because banks make most of their money with customers over 40. Simultaneously, older bank customers are expected to adopt technology at a much higher rate.

Customers will likely expect intuitive experiences, access to services at any time on any device, customized propositions, and instant decisions. To deliver on the customers’ expectations, banks will probably require redesigning the whole organization from a customer-experience perspective and digitizing at scale.

Trend 3: Technology and analytics as a risk muscle

Technology will not only change customer behaviour but also enable new risk-management techniques, often coupled with advanced analytics. The proliferation of new technologies provides cheaper, faster computing power and data storage, which enable better risk decision support and process integration.

Trend 4: Additional (non-financial) risk types are emerging

Although management of financial risks has advanced significantly over the last 20 years, this is not the case for other risk types, particularly nonfinancial ones. The tremendous increase in fines, damages, and legal costs related to operational and compliance risks over the past five years has forced banks to pay much more attention to these risks. This will probably increase even further, due to the regulatory trends discussed earlier and given the expected rise in capital requirements for operational risk.

Trend 5: Better risk decisions through the elimination of biases

Another risk is that of making wrong decisions due to unrecognized biases. Over the last 30 years, enormous strides have been made in understanding how real humans, not the Homo Economicus of traditional economic theory, make economic decisions. We have learned that even when people attempt to approach a problem rationally and diligently, their decisions are often suboptimal, due to various conscious and unconscious biases.

For example, some energy utilities that have to make multibillion-dollar investments that can make or break the company (e.g., building a nuclear-power plant) have completely redesigned their major investment-decision processes. These are very relevant for banks, which make thousands of risk decisions every day; every bias that affects each decision can lead to an incorrect underwriting decision or poor pricing. Not only that, but a cascade effect can set in, with multiple biased decisions having a cumulative effect on the bank’s overall risk levels.

Trend 6: Need for strong cost savings

The banking system has suffered from slow but constant margin decline in most geographies and product categories. Banks have worked very hard and used operational cost improvements to compensate for these declines, resulting in a constant return on equity at the lower end of the long-term average, which is in the upper single digits. While there will probably be substantial regional differences, the downward pressure on margins is expected to continue across all geographies.

As a result of these disruptions, banks will possibly need to rethink their operating costs so they can deliver more value at lower costs. Once banks have exploited traditional and incremental cost-cutting approaches such as zero-based budgeting, value-added analysis (i.e., demand management), and outsourcing, we believe that simplification, standardization, and digitization will likely be the only sizable avenues left for substantial cost savings.

This article is an excerpt from a McKinsey&Company report.

Who is a Tax Agent?

Tax agents in the UAE play an extremely important role in assisting with the operation of the country’s tax system. The concept of a tax agent is to help businesses to be compliant in respect of their tax obligations:

  • A person is allowed to appoint another person(s) as their tax agent(s) to act in their name and on their behalf regarding their tax affairs with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).
  • A tax agent assists the person in the fulfillment of their tax obligations and the exercise of their associated tax rights.

Tax agents are usually engaged by their clients through the tax agency with which they are associated in order to provide tax-related services which include, but are not limited to:

  • Helping the businesses register with the UAE Federal Tax Authority
  • Preparing and submitting tax returns to the UAE Federal Tax Authority on behalf of the businesses
  • Maintaining tax-related records and/or information
  • Enquiring about tax-related matters with the UAE Federal Tax Authority
  • Submitting requests for reconsideration of decisions issued by the UAE Federal Tax Authority

If you are interested in attaining a Certified Diploma in VAT for the Middle East region, then Kaplan Professional Middle East is here to help you achieve it with the support of the industry’s leading taxation trainers.

Information Source: UAE Federal Tax Authority

How to prepare a successful CFA study plan

The CFA program requires candidates to pass three separate exams. Each CFA level requires candidates to prepare a lot of material. To be successful, you need to prepare an effective CFA study plan that includes a detailed prep schedule.

Having a study schedule can help you organize your study planner around the topics on which you will be tested. To master these curriculum topics and utilize the time you have we have outlined our recommendations for the CFA Charter and provided you with tips for creating an effective CFA study plan.

Tips For Creating an Effective CFA Study Plan

1. Stick to your CFA study schedule and don’t fall behind.

Once you create your study schedule, be disciplined and stick to it! To provide the motivation to stay on task, take a CFA Program review course and prepare for it like a university course; read the relevant material ahead of time, get at least a big picture of the topics to be covered, and write down any questions you want to ask.

Another great way to stick to your study plan is to form a study group that meets on a regular basis. Studying with others who are facing the same challenge you face provides motivation and support. In addition, being able to ask questions or explain a concept to someone else helps develop your own mastery of the topics. Build the class times and study group meeting times into your schedule, and, once again, stick to it!

2. Prepare, Practice, Perform.

A very useful organizing structure for your plan is based on the three key stages of learning: Prepare, Practice, and Perform. The path to success is to focus on the Learning Outcome Statements (LOS) provided by CFA Institute.

These are performance-based objectives that provide detail on exactly what you are expected to be able to DO on exam day. For example, one LOS might be “Calculate and interpret Net Present Value (NPV).” The command words “calculate” and “interpret” are what you should be able to do correctly.

3. Review regularly.

The material you learn when you begin will not stay with you until exam day if you don’t go back and revisit it once in a while. Plan to spend a few hours each week going back and reviewing material you think you’ve already mastered. Do some CFA practice questions and, if you make any mistakes, dig into those concepts again until you know them.

4. Cover all of the material.

Don’t play the prediction game by guessing which Learning Outcome Statements from the CFA Institute won’t be tested and then ignoring that material. Every LOS is fair game for the exam, and you have to be ready for anything to be tested.

5. Study Ethics and Professional Standards last.

We recommend studying Ethics and Professional Standards after you are comfortable with other CFA topics because preparing for these questions mainly relies on using the ROTE learning method, which is the process of memorizing information based on repetition.

6. Reserve the last month for CFA Mock Exams.

During the last month or so before the exam, begin to take practice and CFA mock exams in realistic settings. Take the exam on your own with no notes, and be sure to block off at least 3 hours to simulate one session. The key is to use the exams to identify how prepared you are by assessing your areas of weakness and addressing them. If you get a question wrong, note whether the issue was the application of your knowledge to the question, or a fundamental lack of understanding of the concept. Keep track of your scores and look for an upward trend…by exam day, you should be scoring above 70% consistently.

7. And finally, reward yourself.

Make a plan to do something fun and relaxing on the day after the exam…golf, hiking, time with family, video games, or simply sleeping. You’ve earned it!


If you are interested in joining hands with a leading CFA tuition provider to help make your CFA journey easier, then Kaplan Professional Middle East is here to offer you the expertise of having helped students to successfully ace their CFA exams for several years with the industry’s leading trainers. If you are looking for CFA training, join us as a student to kickstart your CFA exam preparation.