What is the CFA Institute Calculator policy?

What is the CFA Institute Calculator policy?

The CFA Institute policy on exam calculators states that only two models are allowed during examinations; 

  • Texas Instruments(TI BA 11 Plus and BA11 Plus Professional)
  • Hewlett Packard (HP 12 C)

You are required to abide by the institute’s calculator policy during the exam. The proctors will inspect your calculator before you commence the exam, and you should delete its memory. The proctors can check your calculator during the exam; therefore, it should remain on your desk.

You may carry a calculator cover, keystroke cards, and loose backup batteries, but instruction manuals are not allowed into the test center. Additionally, you may bring a small screwdriver to help you replace the batteries. A backup calculator is allowed as long as it is an approved model.

Possession or use of unauthorized calculators in the exam room leads to disqualification or suspension by the CFA Institute.

Why is a calculator necessary during CFA exams?

The CFA exam requires you to solve several complex calculations. Therefore having the right calculator and knowing how to use it will save you a lot of time during the exam. You will be required to answer at least 90 questions within the allocated 135 minutes.

Consequently, it is not realistic to expect good results without the use of a calculator. You should bring your own approved calculator because the CFA Institute does not provide one. You are not allowed to share or borrow from another person.

What is the difference between the TI BA 11 plus and HP 12C calculators?

The TI BA 11 Plus and TI BA 11 Plus Professional calculator model have an algebraic operating system that allows you to enter numbers or combined operations in a sequence. TI BA 11 Plus (plus Professional) is simple and straightforward to use, and you can use it for other financial certifications, for example, FRM and in your work. In addition, it has statistical features.

The HP 12C calculator model uses reverse polish notation where users follow their operands. The HP 12C calculator is a fairly older model of calculators and looks different from other financial calculators. It is most commonly used in banks and is more expensive than the TI BA 11 Plus models. HP 12C models include HP 12C Platinum, 12C Platinum 25th Edition, 12C 30th Anniversary Edition and 12C Prestige model.

Which calculator is better for the CFA exam?

The calculator that suits you best depends on personal preferences and which calculator you are more comfortable using. The TI BA 11 Plus calculator is ideal if you have experience with algebraic input and little experience with other operating systems. However, if you have experience using the HP 12C models, it could be an excellent choice for you.

How do I learn to use the CFA exam calculators?

The CFA Institute does not allow you to use the calculator manual when in the exam room. Therefore, you should learn how to use your calculator correctly. It would be helpful to download the user manuals from the internet or watch tutorials.

How can I prepare for my CFA exam?

1. Set up a study routine and understand the key topics

The CFA curriculum requires you to put in more than 300 hours of study for each level. Setting up a study routine and adhering to it will help you cover the curriculum. You should set up a study routine as soon as possible and maximize each study session. Pay close attention to the core areas and understand the weight of each topic.

2. Practice for your test using sample questions and mock exams

To pass the CFA exams, you need to have in-depth knowledge of the material and apply these concepts to real-life situations. It is vital to allocate enough time to answer sample questions and take mock exams in the last few weeks leading up to your exams.

Taking practice questions will help you practice how to apply your skills and correctly answer the exam questions. In addition, you will identify areas of weakness or knowledge gaps and make the necessary improvements.

It is essential to be familiar with the terms used in tests to answer questions, take sample questions, and mock exams to help you understand these terms. Mock tests simulate the actual exam conditions, which will help you manage time effectively during the test and give you confidence.

3. Debrief your questions and answers

Using sample questions to practice is a great way to prepare for your exam. However, you should spend some time to debrief these questions and answers, not just taking a quiz, marking it, and moving on to the next set of questions.

You should go through your answers and ensure that those you got right were correct for the right reasons, not just because your guess was spot-on. Examine those questions that you got wrong and revisit the corresponding curriculum. This way, you will be able to identify knowledge gaps and improve on them. Find more calculations on the same topic or search for the explanation in your study notes.

4. Enroll for CFA study packages at Analystprep.com

If you have registered for your CFA exam or considering it, enrolling in our study packages. We will take you through the curriculum and provide additional learning resources to help you pass your exam, including a formula sheet and ratio sheet to help you understand the formulas you should use. Our experts will help you through challenging concepts and give you an edge to pass your exams.

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