Thursday, 3 November 2011

The CFA Exam: Developing Skills through Psychometric Testing

It was my first job interview. Interestingly the panel had promoted me to the 3rd level, where I was supposed to appear in an aptitude test, without appearing in the 2nd level. Being shortlisted in first ever performance in a multinational was superb. It had given me so much confidence that I felt like my wings had grown. I could foresee my career prospects developing in the largest organization in telecom sector. Everything was remarkably pleasing and charming. Days went on and on and I finally I got the test call. I appeared in the test and stood second among all candidates. It went on and I started waiting for my job letter.
It is said that whatever happens happens for good. I did get a letter but unfortunately, which later proved the most fortunate one, stated that due lack of experience I was not given the job. It shattered my confidence and tore me apart. It was then I started to figure out about why experience is so essential and what is the value addition which one gets through gaining experience. 
My quest to know about experience was going on when I found that it results in gaining of required skills which are necessary for the job. Organisations are systems which provide platform to their employees to work in order to accomplish their goals along with the goals of the organisations. They invest in their employees and people with existing skills, resulted through previous job experience, are better and attractive prospects. Based upon the prevailing market conditions when the economy is running through recession and organisations are downsizing it was almost impossible to get a job without any prior experience. 
After successive failures in almost 11 job interviews I decided to continue my studies. The question then was what to study? My graduation was broad based and it did not equip me with the required expertise in terms of knowledge to further nourish my skills specifically. To cut it short I somehow enrolled myself in the CFA program and passed the Level I exam. 
It was few days back when I found this amazing document over the CFA Institute website (link provided at the bottom). It stated that the CFA program testing has empirically proven that the students appearing in the exam are equipped with required knowledge and skills for competent professional practice. Really? I mean is that so? Appearing in CFA exam is not only about knowledge but it also inculcates in us the required skills for competency and professionalism? Isn't it against the 'norms'? The detailed report highlights several interesting aspects of the CFA examination, their credibility, the inculcation of psychometric tools while developing the testing material, the creation of the CFA curriculum and the standard setting. 
Since I am in Level II and have roughly covered two important study sessions; when I log into several financial websites I can sense the difference in my understanding and I find myself able to connect what I am studying with the real world. It is remarkable and overwhelming. Several strategies which are mentioned in the curriculum are so practical that one could not only learn from them but also earn from them. 
A day before yesterday I was offered a job from a renowned organization in our country. The executive responsible for hiring and recruitment himself offered me the job. It was not that he knew me but due to fact that I am enrolled in the CFA program and have passed the level I. He knows that I do not have any prior experience but yet he offered me the job. Like I said whatever happens, happens for good. Enrolling in CFA proved to be the best decision of my life because it has added immense value in me both in terms of knowledge and desired skills. There is so much to learn through this program that words can simply not encompass it. For those who want to pursue their careers in the amazing world of finance must consider the CFA program for its capabilities to develop a winning combination.

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