Dark gray backdrop with headline on top of Focus logo, which resembles an eye. The headline reads "Success takes Focus," with "Success takes" in white type while "Focus" is in teal type.

Your Step-by-Step Plan for Your Last Month of Preparation

by Team Salt Solutions

As CFA® Charterholders ourselves, we understand how crucial the month before your exam is. Every moment is precious, and it can be tough to know what to do next. 

That’s why we introduced Focus. Focus is Salt Solutions’ approach to review and assessment and our second phase of CFA exam preparation.

Once you’ve finished learning each topic, we suggest devoting your last 30 days to using Focus to review the curriculum, take our practice exams, round out your knowledge with custom quizzes, and leverage our analytics to figure out where you should spend your limited time.

By the time you’re within days of your exam, Focus will have you as ready as you’ll ever be. It’s your step-by-step plan for your last month of preparation.

Why Focus?

Focus helps you remove the clutter, find your weak areas, and focus your energy where it matters most: the topics you’re struggling with that are most important to passing the exam.

We’ll say that again. More than just which topics you’re struggling with, we point out which of those topics is the most important to passing the exam, so you can devote your attention to where it’s most urgently needed.

Let’s walk you through the step-by-step process we’ve created to help you Focus.

Step 1: Review materials take you back in time.

Preparing for each CFA exam takes up to 300 hours. By the time you reach the end of that journey, it’s understandable you might forget things.

That’s why we created Focus review materials. Our topic-by-topic reviews give you a quick summary of every reading, as well as new review questions to test your knowledge. You will look back at everything you’ve learned, so you can refresh yourself before you dive into practice exams and quizzes.

We recommend spending one-third of your review and assessment time making your way through these review materials. The CFA Program curriculum is large. Just taking a retrospective look back through it will take you time. But remember the hours you’re putting in will be so worth it when you pass the exam.*

*Results aren’t guaranteed. But we’re confident in our process.

Step 2: Just-like-the-real-thing practice exams.

Once you’ve completed your review, it’s time to truly test your knowledge with our practice exams. In every way, our practice exams are designed to mimic the experience of actually taking the CFA exam. That comes to life in three ways:

  1. The user interface of our exams is modeled after Prometric, the computer-based testing interface CFA Institute is using for their exams.

  2. From word choice to sentence structure, the language of our exam questions mimics the real questions on the exam. Each question is written and reviewed by our team of content experts. 

  3. The structure of our exams is modeled after the actual exam, too. We stay true to the real thing and encourage you to stick to the general guidelines, but offer you the flexibility to walk away and come back. We also provide a countdown timer.


Simulating the exam experience was important to us, because taking an exam is about more than your knowledge. It’s also a mindset. The earlier you prepare your mind to sit down with the CFA exam, the more comfortable you will feel when exam day arrives.

When you finish each practice exam, you will get detailed analytics fed to your Focus dashboard. You receive additional feedback from your post-exam reports and even see a breakdown of how your performance compares to other candidates.

How do you act on that information and strengthen your weak areas? You take quizzes, of course!

Step 3: Quizzes built to your specifications.

According to our friends at 300 Hours, taking quizzes and practice exams is one of the most effective ways to prepare for your CFA exam. “There’s loads of evidence,” they write, “that practice testing improves learning across an impressive range of practice-test formats, types of material, learner ages, outcome measures, and retention intervals.”

That’s why we added a custom quiz builder to Focus. Our quiz builder lets you create a quiz that fits your needs. Choose your topic, grading style, and number of questions. We draw the questions from our extensive bank with thousands of questions, so it’s unlikely you will see the same question twice (unless you’re really drilling hard).

Note that we recommend quizzes as a way to absorb and truly understand the CFA Program curriculum, not memorize the material. 

Step 4: At-a-glance analysis.

We know how much CFA candidates love analytics. That’s why we made data visualization a key component of your unique Focus dashboard. You will see three different panels every time you log into Focus.

  • Daily Topic Activity gives you a look at your accomplishments and performance. Circles of varying sizes and colors indicate how many questions you answered and how well you performed on each day. A big circle = you answered many questions. A green circle = you did well. Every day is a new opportunity to get stronger.

  • Performance By Reading helps you figure out your weakest topics among the wide range of Focus readings. We believe a weakness only remains a weakness if you ignore it. What you pay attention to will get stronger.

  • Overall Topic Performance gives you a rolling record of how you’re improving from day to day. This graph is designed to inform and motivate you based on your score. Ideally, this chart will go higher every day.


Finally, your Focus dashboard features a Focus Performance score that summarizes your efforts into a single percentage. The higher the percentage, the greater the likelihood you’ll pass the exam. Our research indicates that reaching a score of 60% means you’re likely to pass the exam, while 70% or above means you’re VERY likely to pass the exam. Aim for 60 and above and you’re set.

Ready to Focus?

You can access everything there is to Focus, from review materials to practice exams, for just $129. Get started with a one-month subscription to Salt Solutions. Subscribe Today.