7 tips to choose the best institute for financial training
With the growing number of prep providers for the CFA® course, candidates are often confused by which prep provider is the most effective and offers value for money. To help clear your doubts, a series of factors have been mentioned below for consideration.
1. Suggestions from friends and family:
Do you know candidates who have completed the desired qualification? Your first move should be to interact with these individuals as they would be aware of the most effective study material and the key factors to focus upon during the CFA journey. On the off chance that you don't know any prior candidates, reach out to your local CFA Society and inquire if either of their members would be willing to share their experience.
2. History of the Prep Provider:
Some financial training institutes have been creating prep notes, question banks and mock exams for quite a long time, while others have just barely entered the market. The experience of the provider is crucial as it guarantees that their content and knowledge has been streamlined and refined throughout the years. This helps you effectively understand the CFA Institute’s exam requirements and prevents studying with a prep provider who is learning about the course requirements themselves.
Value must also be given to the volume of mock (practice) examinations provided and ensure that the online question banks are customizable so that you can work on your weak points. Select a provider who can offer you high-quality mock exams - an integrated learning test that targets all the areas of the curriculum rather than each topic individually which helps in recollection significantly.
3. Training by a certified instructor:
Being part of a financial training institution wherein the trainers themselves have studied and completed the certification enables them to have a student-centric perspective. This is imperative when identifying how to solve problems faced by candidates during their journey and offer tips and tricks. It wouldn’t be wise for you to take the advice of someone who hasn’t mastered the exam disregard of the attempts.
4. An ‘approved prep provider’ status:
Certain Prep Providers that meet the CFA Institute's guidelines receive a stamp of approval upon adhering to the ethical, educational and professional requirements. Being an approved provider denotes that the institution has achieved the required benchmark for excellence and can collaborate with the CFA Institute by sharing feedback from the candidates regarding the course which helps update and improve the CFA Program curriculum and exam according to the latest trends.
5. Effective Study Plan:
One of the most common reasons why candidates fail is the lack of competent study practices. The habit of reading and note-taking which is commonly followed at universities is an ineffectual technique when it comes to the CFA Program exams. Aim to find a provider who has the study materials available as soon as the previous results are out and a trainer who applies real-life experiences into the learning process which will help you understand quicker and tackle the stringent rule of incorporating 300 study hours per level.
6. Classroom Education vs. Online Education:
Certain candidates prefer studying online as the classes are flexible and aren’t restricted to a specific time zone or location while others find learning in the traditional environment more convenient. Certain providers offer either of these options while others provide both, you need to effectively evaluate your learning environment and choose the one that enhances your knowledge. Along with, you also need to compare the type of study materials offered – E-book or Hardbound textbook. When choosing between either, you need to ask yourself whether you will have the patience to stare at a laptop screen for 300 hours especially if you have been staring at it all day.
7. Size of Candidates:
The number of candidates using a specific financial training provider can speak volumes regarding their quality. More candidates imply more feedback for the institute to create and refine their examination materials. Moreover, a few also offer you with the chance to compare your result against the other exam applicants.
At last, remember that a remarkable financial training provider can help ease your learning journey according to the program requirements. Although, even the best can’t substitute your need for hard work. There isn’t a sure shot in the market, and you must be wary of anyone who claims they can ease the examination responsibility significantly.
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