Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

CFA Events Calendar

View full calendar

CFA Events Calendar

View full calendar

Recommended Discussions

See how our partners can help you ace your CFA exams.

Timing Strategies for Constructed Response

I've finished almost all the Schweser and all the CFAI AM exams and have found lack of time to be my biggest issue. 
My current plan is this:
  • Identify roughly where I should be at the 1, 2, and 2.5 hour marks based on the questions before I get going. For this reason I don't skip around the exam.
  • However, if I come across a "self-contained" sub-question that's challenging to answer in less than the allotted time then I write down a quick guess and move on, marking it to come back later.
  • Remind myself that sometimes I just don't know the exact answer and wasting a minute thinking isn't going to make the answer magically appear.
  • Don't over-complicate the answer, especially on 3-4 point questions. I won't get more points for writing more.
What strategies do the rest of you practice to beat the clock in constructed response?


  • ArbitrageurArbitrageur Orange CountyPosts: 32 Jr Portfolio Manager
    To clarify what I mean by "self-contained" -- a question within a vignette that can be answered without re-reading the entire case. If it's a complex question and it required remembering all the little details I just read (e.g. a relative value tax question in an IPS case) then I aim to do it as quickly as possible, but don't skip ahead.
  • I'm taking a very similar approach.  

    For constructed response I found there to be a fairly generic structure to the guideline answers for Return Objective, Liquidity, Time Horizon.  I have now practiced these enough that they transfer to paper very easily and quickly (the guideline answers were often less wordy than when I wrote them).

    More generally, I keep tabs of where I am up to by scribbling on the cover page any of the questions I've skipped & potential points (i.e, Q1, D, 3points,  Q7, E, 6 points...).  I mark an asterix beside any that are particularly difficult/slow (ie., time to answer doesn't justify points).  

    I also keep track of approx. how many points I think I have picked up at each question.  This was I can sort of get a feel for how I'm going and whether I'm on track.

    Personally I'm not too stressed about leaving maybe 10 points worth unanswered if it means I can answer the rest of the exam well. 
Sign In or Register to comment.