Is excel allowed in cfa exam?

Because then you'll have to do the test on a computer. And I doubt that the CFAI will ever go that way. It's true that I feel sorry for planting ideas, and I want to approve them, so let's stick to paper, pencil and tracing. I'm just trying to imagine someone with no Excel experience with a CFA.

Would it be valuable as an analyst? I think it should be, since many people without quantitative practice would find it difficult to do that kind of analysis in real life. I used to work in the area of risk management and quantitative analysis and it is very important to have good programming knowledge and basic visual knowledge for the job, although that is not the intention of CFA. Therefore, if you're worried about having to calculate betas, covariances, multiple regression lines, ANOVA tables, etc., it's very unlikely that you'll need to calculate these things on the exam. Why Excel? Why not numbers? Or Minitab? Why don't we also use some of Thomson Reuter's accounting programs to prepare financial statements? Should we also master Word and Powerpoint? What about Adobe Acrobat? And why don't we ask for a Bloomberg terminal to be able to research our own corporate governance statistics and obtain real-time beta versions for portfolios? The CFA exam isn't meant to teach you everything about your job. Its objective is to teach some financial concepts and to demonstrate that you have a basic understanding of these concepts.

If you want to learn how to do your job, learn by doing. The problem is that this isn't the real world, it's an exam, an exam that has nothing to do with the real world. I find it hard to believe that there are many positions in the real world that cover as wide a range as the one the CBoK expects us to know—given that the real world expects a much deeper understanding of certain issues—but not the breadth. No, I think that the CFAI tests us to not make sure that we have skills that can be used; they assume that we already have them in some area due to the requirement of work experience; they prove that they don't have them to prove our application in the real world (once again, we do it in our jobs). Rather to ensure that, if we belong to your club, we have some area of specialization (acquired at work) and can talk, at least intelligently, about most general areas of finance.

We may not be able to determine how to price a surprise sale, but at least we can talk about the structure and the assumptions someone would make to do so. We may not be able to determine if an SPV truly is a remote bankruptcy, but we understand the ramifications of the warranty if it is. The CFA exam isn't about doing anything — there's basically no way to do the exam — it's about interoperating someone else's work. It is true that I agree with the concepts, but imagine how far you can go if the exam lasts the same 6 hours, but incorporating several concepts at once, so that you can use Excel to take advantage of other answers.

That's the route I was thinking of. Honestly, being able to build an LBO model is much more constructive than “how to test it” (in my opinion). Yes, they are theories and we must understand them, but I think that the application of theory is just as important, and that means knowing how to use the right tools to execute them. In the real world, pen and paper don't work.

Our CFA study plan (in Excel) does just that. It helps you keep track of your progress and provides you with key statistics that you need to know at all times. You can keep track of the readings you've completed, those that are in progress, and those you haven't touched at all. You can also set as a goal the hours you want to spend preparing for the exam and, as time goes by, keep track of the time you need to spend to avoid being overwhelmed as the exam approaches.

The CFA Institute itself suggests that a candidate should spend between 300 and 350 hours preparing for the exam. Personally, I would make the exam incredibly complex and difficult, with full access to Excel books, Google books, anything you need to bring to the exam to help you solve the questions. However, in the CFA exams, you will find information about how the calculation works, what it means, how to interpret it, how to use it and what are its deficiencies. For the current CFA Level 1 curriculum, there are 67 readings, each containing 8 to 10 learning objective statements.

I have noticed that CFA candidates talk about how extensive the CFA curriculum is and how difficult it can be to keep track of what you have studied, what is pending and how much you should dedicate time to your studies. We previously published a 3-month study plan for CFA level 1 and also a study plan for CFA level 2.

Serena Lubahn
Serena Lubahn

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