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What Does It Take to Balance a Job and Studying for a FINRA Exam?

Keir RIA

Although high school and college may have seemed quite challenging as you were going through them, when you look back on them later in life, you realize how much time you actually had available. Even if you had a job during one or both of those periods, chances are you had more than enough time to take care of studying and then have plenty of fun.


Your previous lifestyle is why the reality of studying for a FINRA exam can come as a bit of a surprise. While it’s definitely possible to balance your current job and studying, once you start diving into the subject matter for your exam, it will quickly become apparent that you’re going to need to take a structured approach in order to be successful with your studying.


Fortunately, since you’re far from being the first person to study for this test, you can learn from what’s worked well for others. Additionally, you can learn from any mistakes they made along the way and avoid the same pitfalls.


Are Weekends the Right Time to Study?


Yes and no. It’s definitely a good idea to devote some blocks of time to studying every weekend. That being said, you don’t want to structure your entire study schedule around just the weekends. The reason is there are inevitably going to be times when obligations come up. Whether it’s a wedding or a holiday, it’s not realistic for most people to expect every single weekend to be free.


The other reason you should bring other days into the mix is there may be weekends when you’re so exhausted from work and the rest of your obligations during the week that you can only muster a little bit of focus to study. If your plan only includes studying on the weekends, that’s going to put a lot of additional stress on you. But if your schedule is spread out, the occasional unfocused weekend isn’t going to be a big deal.


Experiment with Morning and Evening, Then Stick with What Works


There are plenty of people who will tell you that you’re not going to be focused and consistent unless you study in the morning. However, there are just as many people who will tell you the same thing about studying at night. The reason there are such passionate supporters of both schedules is because we’re all wired differently.


Because only you can determine which time of the day is right for you, experiment with both and then stick with the one that works. The other important step is to set a firm start and finish time for yourself. While you can give yourself a 15 minute buffer on either end, it’s important to take these times seriously. Otherwise, you’ll find that issues like procrastination and not getting enough sleep start to become problems.


Passing a FINRA exam isn’t an easy task. But by getting the right study materials and strategy, you can be successful!

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