You are 15 days away from the SFM exam. I am sure you have worked hard and you are raring to go. Bit nervous? That is natural. As somebody whose favourite subject is Finance and as a professional coach for SFM, allow me to give you my opinion.
What should be the last mile approach?
Don’t go overboard on SFM. Remember it is one of the many papers. You need to rationalise your time over all the subjects. Focusing on SFM- divide your time over ALL the chapters. I repeat ALL the chapters including chapters like – Mutual Fund, Financial Services in India or Derivatives. Don’t consider anything as less important for exam. So if there are 12 chapters, allot hours of study to each and try to stick to it.
For things (questions or concepts) which you would want to study once again before the day of exam, keep a note of it in a separate dairy. In each chapter create the maximum quota of such ‘to be visited again’ questions/points (let say not more than 5 for every chapter). This should be the list that you spend your time on, a day before the exam.
For chapters like; derivatives, portfolio management, security analysis you have quite a few formulas. It might do well to have the list with you all the while, just to go through as and when you get time and especially before the exam. For others like Capital Budgeting, Leasing, Equity Valuation, M&A which are ‘general concept’ driven – do a few large problems and move on.
Keep a balance between actively working out problems and just thinking or going through the solutions. Personally I worked out one problem for every 5-6 problems (and solutions) that I would walk/think through. That keeps you engaged as well as speeds up your coverage.
If there is some specific chapter(s) nagging you- take a grab of the video tutorials of those chapters. Remember you might not want to spend too long a time and hence keep it limited to a point when your gather enough confidence.
Finally, enjoy what you are studying. Keep it intense. Next two weeks, give it everything. Eat well, Sleep well. Take a 10-15 minute break from hours of studying. No Facebook, No WhatsApp, No long calls for a while. You will have enough time for this after the exam.
A Finance enthusiast, Online SFM, CFA and FRM Trainer
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