AuthorTopic: Some counter-intuitive advice on the last two days CFA exam prep
@2018-11-01 02:42:36
An old post, for your reference:

Congratulations to all the L1 takers - you're in the home stretch. I wish you all the luck you need on the exam on Saturday

I thought I'd give you a bit of unusual advice for your last two days' prep - GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP TONIGHT!

I've been a college professor for almost 20 years, and while I don't personally conduct research on learning processes and memory (I'm Finance, not Psychology), I follow it pretty closely, since it's a big factor in how students perform.

So I can tell you that there's a huge body of evidence that even a bit of sleep deprivation can have surprisingly large effects on academic performance. I recall one study (the reference eludes me, unfortunately) that indicated that if you take a student who normally performs at the 80th-90th percentile academically and short them even a couple of hours of sleep for 2-3 days running, they'll perform at the 50th-60th percentile.

It's a normal tendency to try to stay up late the last couple of nights to cram in those last few problems/concepts. But it becomes counterproductive at this point. The chance that you'll learn enough new things that you'll offset the effects of sleep deprivation are pretty small. So if there's a choice between studying more and hitting the sack, hit the sack.

The evidence seems to be that sleep deprivation is cumulative, so my take is that it's important to get a good (and FULL) night's sleep TONIGHT, since nerves will make probably it hard to get a good sleep tomorrow.

This is particularly important for an exams like the ones CFA Institute writes - if they were a pitcher, they wouldn't throw heat, but they do throw a lot of junk. In other words, what makes them hard is that there are a lot of little things in them that you can easily miss if you don't read them carefully. And that's exactly what sleep deprivation will do - make you miss some of the little things that result in the wrong answer.

And tomorrow, review Ethics - if that doesn't put you to sleep, nothing will.

Once again, good luck.

CFA Discussion Topic: Some counter-intuitive advice on the last two days CFA exam prep

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I am happy to say that I passed! Your study notes certainly helped prepare me for what was the most difficult exam I had ever taken.
Andrea Schildbach

Andrea Schildbach