I’m 100% sure I wouldn’t have passed the CFP® exam without the help of Linda & Nancy and all their prep courses. When I think back to all the teachers, professors and tutors I’ve had since elementary school, I’d say they are two of the most effective instructors that exist in this world, or at least in my world. Not only are they experienced, knowledgeable and equipped with a strong curriculum, they are also crazy funny! Okay, now that I’m done singing their praises, let’s get to the not-so-fun parts of prepping for this exam.
To squeeze in as much effective studying time as I could per day on top of working full-time, I woke up around 5:30am Monday through Friday and studied for about 2 hours before work. I also studied everyday at lunch (1 hour) and then 2-3 hours after work. For me to wake up that early every morning and still have the mental capacity to absorb anything, I had to stop studying by 10pm every night. The CFP® exam is a marathon, not a sprint. So cramming will not work for 99% of us. On weekends, I spent all morning and afternoon studying or attending one of the prep classes I mentioned earlier. I missed birthdays, reunions, dinners, hang-outs and even a wedding ceremony (thankfully, I was able to make it to the reception). Unfortunately, my situation is not unique. A lot of my friends who passed the exam can attest to giving up any resemblance of a life while they were studying. But they’ll all agree with me when I say it was totally worth it.
I passed the March 2014 exam, which was my second attempt. My first attempt was November 2013. My studying methods didn’t change too much the second time around because I don’t think I studied ineffectively. I just needed to go over the material a second time to really master it.