A Comprehensive Guide to CFA Practice Exams, Level I December 2015

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By Sophie

So, how many practice papers should one aim for? The rule of thumb is aim for 5-7 sets of practice papers (including the free CFAI mock paper). It’s best to aim for doing at least 4 sets of those papers under exam conditions so you’ll get used to it when the big day comes. 

The next question is, where can I get extra practice papers and which should I get? As per previous years, we’re happy to list CFA providers in an easy-to-choose menu. Just read on to see what are the options, why we like them, and decide whether it suits you!

Go for variety

Diversity is key in choosing practice papers. There’s a risk one can “get used” to one provider’s question style which may or may not represent the actual CFA exam. Here are our favourites based on a balance of quality, affordability and variety, and where available we’ve highlighted 300 Hours exclusive discounts for our readers. Pick, choose, and good luck! We’re here for you in the forum if you’ve any questions.


Bloomberg: 1 exam for $60, $250 for 6 exams
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What’s the offering?

  • 1 Practice Exam – $60
  • 3 Practice Exams – $150
  • 6 Practice Exams – $250

Why do we like it?

  • Bloomberg started offering Level I candidates their CFA materials recently – you can read my review here
  • Their pricing is competitive, similar to the other big incumbents, and gets cheaper the more you buy, so check them out!

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What’s the offering?

Why do we like it?

  • BPP’s been in the CFA education business for over 15 years. They focus on live classes, so it’s a good thing that their mock exams are now available online too!
  • We are partial to old-school mock exams – that is, paper mock exams that mimic the real thing. BPP’s are available to buy, download and print out in minutes – useful if you’re keen on getting started now. 
  • Full explanations are also included.

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What’s the offering?

  • A 6-hour online mock exam for $50

Why do we like it?

  • Sometimes the best representation of the actual exam is to go for a proper, timed mock exam. Fitch Learning’s online mock simulates this timed environment
  • Full solutions and debrief included!

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_What’s the offering?

Why do we like it?

  • Kaplan Schweser has consistently delivered high quality and quantity of practice papers. Their papers train you well for calculation-based questions; make sure you balance that out by trying other papers of different styles as well.
  • If you’re up for tons of practice (and you should!), their Practice Exams Volume 1 and 2 are great value.

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What’s the offering?

Why do we like it?

  • Wiley Efficient Learning (formerly Elan Guides) have been known for its high quality materials. Wiley currently offers a time-limited 15% discount on some of its products with the code CRUNCH. For all others, remember that you can always use our 300 Hours exclusive code 30010146 for a 10% discount.

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What’s the offering?

Why do we like it?

  • Passed Tense is a relatively new provider, but has built a good reputation through their focus on quality L1 products and their Questions of the Week in the 300 Hours Forum.
  • Passed Tense operates a time-based subscription  model which starts from $41 (for 3 days). 30 days costs $75, and $85 for 60 days.
  • Alternatively you can get their L1 mock exam to download and print for $39 – although labelled June 2015, the syllabus is identical to Dec 2015
  • We like the ability to customize difficulty level and practice by topic – it’s an excellent complement to doing timed practice papers. 

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What’s the offering?

Why do we like it?

  • Analyst Notes has a reputation of being excellent value for money with a huge question bank to practice to your heart’s content. The variety of questions are good with clear explanations of concepts you need to grasp.

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What’s the offering?

Why do we like it?

  • While Finance Train is clearly a smaller provider compared to the others, they have always offered all 300 Hours readers 20% off their CFA products.
  • This makes their material one of the best value-for-money options in the market. If you’re looking for extra practice, this is definitely an option!

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What’s the offering?

  • Free trial with 120 questions
  • 10% off full package (3,000+ questions) with code EARLYBIRD

Why do we like it?

  • Who can say no to free practice questions? Signing up for a free trial gets you 120 questions, and if you choose to upgrade to their full package, you can get 10% off with the code EARLYBIRD

​So how many practice papers are you aiming to cover until the actual exam? Which ones are your top choices? Share your plans and strategies with us through the comments below!
Zee Tan
Author: Zee Tan

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