The Game Plan
Structure your Preparation. The most successful learning system is a structured weekly regimen of study that integrates theory, practice, application and review. In addition to ongoing weekly reading and "homework" practice, some form of periodic progress testing should be incorporated into your preparation strategy so that topics learned early in the study program are not forgotten by the exam date. If you are studying on your own, re-visiting the LOS's is an excellent way to perform such cumulative reviews.
Take notes. In addition to relying on integrated review or study programs, many candidates find highlighting passages, taking notesor making note cards to be effective techniques in preparing for the exam. All candidates are encouraged to construct their own reading notes to enhance retention and to provide a convenient source for final review. Whatever method is employed, a cumulative review of the LOS's covered through each week plus cumulative progressive practice examinations is recommended so that subjects studied in weeks past will not be forgotten by the exam date.
Finish Early. Several weeks before your exam, you should plan on completing your readings and practice, and identify a final review strategy that enables you to assess your progress to date, drill on practice examination questions, review your notes and bring it all together. A thorough review of Ethical and Professional Standards should be undertaken in the final week before the exam. (Note: The CFA Institute considers this to be an essential part of the program. Candidates with "borderline" exam scores will not be given the benefit of the doubt if they fall to pass the Ethics section of the exam).