Most of the recent AIM program graduates have been preparing to take the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) exam. The CFA Level I exam is scheduled each year during the first week of June and the first week of December. Specifically for 2011, the exam dates are June 4th and December 3rd. For the AIM graduates not taking the exam in June, the latest that they can register for the December exam is mid-September.
Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, “The CFA Institute is quite clear about the rules for college students taking the CFA Level I exam. If you are in college, you can only register for the CFA exam if you are in your final year of study - so you must be a college senior to register. What’s tricky for students is that during their senior year they will also likely be interviewing on and off campus, networking, and preparing for graduation. So this is not a simple decision, especially since enrollment fees are involved.”
“I’m often asked by students whether or not they should take the exam early (December of their senior year) or wait until after graduation to take the exam? In rare instances I advise students to take it for December; however, if they are interviewing for jobs and taking a full load of classes, then they are better off registering for the June exam. That way they can save enough time to study and pass the exam since the exam is scheduled after graduation and the students can use that time right after school to cram,” Krause said.
What else should students take into account? Like everybody else, students need to maintain a balanced life. If the student is a leader in an organization or working part-time, it is difficult to burn the candle on both ends. Dr. Krause stated, “I often tell students still interviewing that telling a prospective employer that you are taking the CFA exam in June, makes you more attractive for job offers than other students who are not sitting for the exam. Obviously, you need to take the exam – and hopefully pass it – by this can be a strong, positive signal a student sends….that they are serious about a career in investments.”
Good luck on Saturday!