By Sophie
This is a howto guide for CFA exam users of the Texas Instruments BA II Plus calculator. If you use the HP12C calculator, you can read our howto guide here.
If you'd like a full guide (and help us keep 300 Hours going), remember that you can get our BA II Plus Guide as an ebook or on Amazon.
Time management is a common problem CFA exam candidates normally struggle with in the exams.
While doing tons of practice papers would help calm the nerves, one could also take a little bit of time to get to know and use the calculator better for some epic timesaving tips!
Here's a list of a few lesser known functions that I used for my exams for the BA II Plus calculator (if you need choosing a calculator, read our guide here). I hope it helps speed up your calculation process in the exams and reduce errors at the same time!
This is a howto guide for CFA exam users of the Texas Instruments BA II Plus calculator. If you use the HP12C calculator, you can read our howto guide here.
If you'd like a full guide (and help us keep 300 Hours going), remember that you can get our BA II Plus Guide as an ebook or on Amazon.
Time management is a common problem CFA exam candidates normally struggle with in the exams.
While doing tons of practice papers would help calm the nerves, one could also take a little bit of time to get to know and use the calculator better for some epic timesaving tips!
Here's a list of a few lesser known functions that I used for my exams for the BA II Plus calculator (if you need choosing a calculator, read our guide here). I hope it helps speed up your calculation process in the exams and reduce errors at the same time!
Recommended BA II Plus settings for the CFA exam curriculum
A few introductory notes:
 Press the CEC button twice to clear your calculator before moving to the next operation.
 Don't press the RESET function (i.e. [2ND] "RESET") unless you want to reset all your settings back to factory settings. If you accidentally did that, you would have to reconfigure your calculator settings as below.
Switch to a 9decimal setting
Set the Period Per Year to 1
Use Algebraic Operating System (AOS)
General Tips
The tips listed here applies to all levels. Try them, and choose whichever works best for you. This section is not meant to be a comprehensive section about all the TVM and CF functions that you need to know for your exams, but rather a few tips that hopefully speeds up your calculation process whilst maintaining accuracy.
Parentheses
Backspace
This is a useful backspace button, especially when you make a mistake in the middle of typing out a long equation, you don't have to restart.
For example, pressing 2 x 3 →2 = will give you 4, as you have reversed the mistake of pressing 3 without the need to restart the whole operation. You have better control and can delete by character/numbers, rather than clearing the whole previous entry like the function below. 
Clear Everything
The K function
Storing and Recalling numbers
To store a number:
To recall a number:

Crucial for more complex calculations. Storing STO and recalling RCL numbers in the calculator's memory speeds things up significantly. To store the number on your calculator screen, press STO then for example 1 to assign it to slot 1. To recall that same number, press RCL 1. Lifesaver!
To clear all 10 stored memories (numbers 09), press 2ND 0 2ND CEC. 
Recall your last answer
Clear the Time Value of Money worksheet
Statistic function  the hidden gold
While I'm not going to go into detail of how to use TVM or CF functions (you should know this anyway), I find that Statistics function is one of the relatively unknown functions that actually saves a ton of time especially for Quants or Portfolio Management topics. Basically any question that requires calculation of the standard deviation or mean from a data set.
Example with sample data set: 20, 15, 5, 3, 8
(Repeat ↓ as needed)

Then, you enter into the Stats function to see '1V', which is the correct setting. By toggling with the ↓ button, you'll see the results: n=5, mean x̄=9, sample standard deviation S(x) = 8.92, population standard deviation = 7.97. A quick way to get the population mean and standard deviation!

I hope you found these useful. If you'd like a full guide, remember that you can get our BA II Plus Guide as an ebook or on Amazon:
Do you have any tips to add? Share them with us in the comments below!