CFA CFA Level 1 Dec Level I’s – how’s studies coming along?

Dec Level I’s – how’s studies coming along?

  • Author
    Posts
    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      1
      Down

      I said it all in the title!

    • edulima
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      Hi @Sophie, thanks for checking.

      Going well for me. I’m following the “chrono” order and have covered the first 2 books so far (Ethics & Quant + Economics), diving now into FRA which will be a review for the most part for me (I took a course on this not long ago). I found Econ to be difficult at times, but very interesting and felt I learned a lot.

      My target is to be done with this detailed pass through the whole material by late October, and so far it looks attainable – a lot of hard work, though… here’s what I’m doing: first I carefully read a chapter (CFAI “reading”) while highlighting it, then I read it again a bit faster (just the highlights), while writing up my summary (in a mind-map type interface), and then I go over my summary and do the EOC problems.

      When I’m done w/ book 6 I’ll buy a question bank from a provider (haven’t decided which one yet) and will do those while reviewing my summaries, and then will do a few mock exams as we move into December. Hope to be very sharp on Dec 7.

      Let me know how this sounds to you.

    • MattyJ
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      @edulima that sounds like a decent plan!

      The only slight tweak I might suggest is to purchase the question bank sooner. There is a risk that by the time the end of October comes you may have forgotten some of the earlier concepts/formulas. If you have the question bank you can do regular short bursts of questions to keep it fresh.

      When I did L1 I read fixed income early on. By the time I read everything else I forgot all the FI concepts!

      Also, plough through as many mocks as you can…vital for L1!

    • edulima
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      Thanks @MattyJ, I’ll probably do as you suggest. Which provider would you recommend for qbank / mocks? I also have the impression that I’ll have forgotten much about the ethics material and so I’ve built in a few days at the back end to review that stuff…

    • MattyJ
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      @edulima yes building in some back end ethics is worth whole, but you will also get ethics practice from mocks and question banks.

      I studied with 7city (now Fitch training) which I found really good. They had a decent online portal which allowed you to track progress, make custom tests, and raise questions if you wanted further explanation.

      I also used Schweser for mock exams. They have two books, each with 3 full exams, so six in total. I hear the Schweser question banks are good too, although I have never used them personally.

    • Dr_Pain28
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      When I was studying for level 1 I used the schweser q bank and mocks and I thought they were both really good. In my class at school we would do a 40 or so question practice quiz a week and review the answers. I think it helped to remember the concepts over the 6 months. The mocks are really good too and I felt they were pretty close to the real thing.

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      4
      Down

      Sounds like a solid plan @edulima. Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂 I’d leave the whole month of November free for intensive sessions of practice questions. I’d also recommend taking the last week before exam off work.

      I used Schweser for Level 1 too, they’re pretty good for extra practice papers. Got the Qbank at that time too.

    • microeconomist
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      In the middle of QUANT at the moment –updating a couple of my old non-finance models from college at the same time, so learning it well. Embarrassed to say that I forgot wayyy more than expected. QUANT and ECON will be done within 3 weeks.

      Slow going since I’ve been doing questions along the way. I was worried about running out when lo ‘n behold a family member stopped by and dumped all of her June CFA material on my doorstep. As much as I’d like to think it was out of love…she just wanted to see the look on my face as I unpacked the boxes. She was like, you have noooo idea, just before a disturbing bit of maniacal laughter.

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      4
      Down

      Love the coffee picture @edulima – that succinctly describes the CFA studying process! 😀

      LOL – I can understand why she did that @microeconomist! You’ll be fine, just stay on schedule and finish the revision on time. You’ll learn the most in the last month before hammering questions.

    • edulima
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      Thanks @Sophie, yeah coffee is one of my best friends these days… ~O) But this definitely feels like a marathon, so gotta get a decent amount of sleep as well. I’m finding that regularity is key to making swift progress.

    • Reena
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      Great @edulima – I’m a Level 3 candidate now, but totally agree you need to maintain sanity & pace as it’s not a sprint. Have some work/life balance and save up your energy for the last month. And yes that keeps your productivity going too until the exam. Let us know if you’ve any specific questions then.

    • Jwa
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      @edulima no idea where you are based, but in the high Northern hemisphere I found studying for LI a lot easier once there was no light after work… 😉

    • Sarah
      Participant
      Up
      0
      Down

      Lol that’s so true. I always found it easier to study in the winter semester. Studying in May was brutal with the sun shining so brightly.

    • edulima
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      @Reena thank you, good to know L3ers validate some of my thoughts.

      @Jwa
      I’m based in Canada, so totally agree with your comment.

      @Sarah
      I look forward to fighting sun king in May 😉

    • vincentt
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      I get a little depressed during winter especially when the sun sets before I even leave work. You would feel that it’s so late after you get home even though it’s probably still early in the evening.

      Not too say I like to study with the heat during summer lol.

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      5
      Down

      Yea, I found that it works better for me when its cooler and gloomier too. Because then there’s no fun alternative except studying!

    • Jwa
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      @Sarah in London we had two incredible bank holiday weekends leading up to June, could well have been a contributing factor to my LIII fail. I wish they would do it in December.

    • Sarah
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      @vincentt when I worked during the winter months I had the flexibility to start work whenever I felt like it as long as I got the work done. I prefered to start really early so I could usually leave when the sun was still up. But those days I’d watch the sunrise on the way to work.

    • Arbitrageur
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      Just finished reading FRA (book 3) of Schweser Notes. I’ve been trying to get through about 1 chapter (or half a chapter for the particularly tedious accounting ones) every workday and then do a section and 3 hours of qbank on the weekends. I’ve found it imperative to test everything you’ve studied to date often as it is very easy to forget concepts/formulas, even if the material was easy to grasp when I read it.
      I’m doing the online class from Schweser too and being one month ahead of the class has been great for the same reason – it is always a review session.

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      1
      Down

      sounds good @arbitrageur. I agree it’s easy to read stuff only (i.e. passive reading, a concept I talked about in this blog post), testing is a good way to reinforce what you’ve learned. Writing a short summary of what you’ve remembered and comparing it with the materials later is also another effective way.

      Keep up the good work!

    • dpittle
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      What a great question! I’m looking for some feedback on my process; I’ve had to make some tweaks throughout the study process when I find that things aren’t working. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

      I’ve just finished the FRA book with Schweser and starting the 4th book this week before September. My goal is to finish the readings by the beginning of October. What I’m NOT doing is reading through each chapter, rather reading and taking notes on the key concepts. When I hit the Concept Checkers I take that opportunity to go back into the chapter I did not read fully and research the answer. I do this about 2 days a week. The remaining 4-5 days I study I’m drilling Qbank quizzes on the sections for 2-3 hours a day. I also go back to older chapters and take quizzes on them to stay fresh.

      Oh! And also, if anyone else would like to join me, Wednesdays I have officially dubbed ‘Ethics Wednesdays’ where, that’s right, I do Ethics for 3 hours every Wednesday. I think it helps jog your brain a bit right in the middle of the week.

      This whole process allows me to go back into readings or videos or what have you on material I’m still struggling with. You know, like DTA/DTL’s…..

      If I’m done reading by October that leaves me plenty of time to continue quizzing and doing Mocks. Thoughts?

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
      Up
      5
      Down

      Love your idea of Ethics Wednesdays @dpittle! I’d be happy to pitch into a discussion on e.g. a particular ethics question via the forum.

    • HoboJoe
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      I just finished the Corporate Finance section of the Schweser notes. I’d also like some feedback on my process if possible!

      I follow the Schweser study calendar pretty strictly, I try to stay 1-2 weeks ahead at all times with an end date of October 26th to leave some time for the CFAI materials, mock exams and the Qbank.

      I read each LOS and summarize the key points in a notebook while reading, I think it helps me retain over the long 6 month study period. I’ll complete the concept checkers without referencing my notes or the book with a score around 65-80%. I’ll also review the flashcards and take Qbank quizzes as the calendar demands. After I finish each topic, I’ll go to the Schweser website “browse LOS” section. It lets me read through each LOS, a summary of each LOS and take a 3-10 question quiz on each LOS, I’ll bookmark the ones I need to review. I plan to have this process completed by the end of September.

      Once I reach that point I plan to read through the CFAI materials one time without taking notes in 2 weeks. From there I will begin consistent Qbank quizzes and mock exams up until exam day.

      My big question is should I bother reading through the CFAI materials after having read the Schweser notes in detail? Would my time be better spent using the Qbank? 6 weeks of Qbank practice seems somewhat excessive to me. Thoughts ?Any advice is appreciated!

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      0
      Down

      Hi @hobojoe! Thanks for sharing your plan with us in detail – I think it’s a solid plan, with sufficient time for practice questions, so good work so far!

      If I had to choose, I’ll definitely go for doing more practice questions than reading! It’s not purely 6 weeks of qbank, but as you do questions and mock papers under timed conditions, you’ll soon discover sections where you’re weaker in, of which you will carve out some time to reread materials in that section to ‘plug the knowledge gap’. Repeat this until your score is consistently high enough. CFAI materials are to me optional once you used a provider’s material. I did Level 1-3 all without referring to the curriculum to be honest, as I didn’t have time to go through those thick books!

    • CFAaspirant
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      hi all @300hours i have just started my studies & wish it gets better with the passage of time & also get a good grip of the subjects………..

      will post more later………….

    • microeconomist
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      This weekend, I mixed up 90 questions from FRA, QUANT, CF, ETHICS and took 2 timed exams (late morning; early afternoon) using a prep providers question bank. I limited myself to 60 seconds per question –definitely an eye-opener. Here are a few things I took away from each session.

      1. If I could not arrive at an answer within 12 seconds of reading the question, then the full 60 seconds was needed

      2. Spotting “time-wasters” is essential.

      3. I am way too quick to finger the calculator. Estimating & choosing the closest answer is a serious time-saver. . . . must..suppress..detail-oriented… tendencies

      4. Using the same routine for STO & RCL keeps all those numbers in memory organized and easy to access. For instance, my numerators are always STO 1 and denominators are always STO 2. Expressions of the equation are STO 7,8,9. I use STO 0 as a “pagefile.”

      Good news is that learning the 12c with my left hand, and only my left hand, has marginally benefited my scratch time.

      Final session scores were 66% CF; 71% FRA; 72% QUANT; 79% ETHICS. I still have a long way to go. Study Well & Remember the sig!

    • edulima
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      Sounds like good stuff, @microeconomist! Congrats for taking the initiative of doing this and for the decent scores. And thanks for sharing your learnings.

      I am just back from my planned one-week break from studying, as we had friends over. This coming week will be my last for FRA (CF will be next). I’m still debating whether I should take a couple of days next week to do a partial mock as you did (except that I’d include ECON instead of CF). My concern is that I would want to do a thorough review of the material seen so far, before taking this mock, and am afraid that’s going to use up the whole week, and will get me to the end of the material a week after my planned schedule (assuming no unexpected future events). That would probably be ok, since I’d still have 4 weeks for reviews/mocks before the exam date.

    • microeconomist
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      I understand your concern. After scoring the morning set, I had to fight the urge to pull out and review all my notes. Instead, I made minute adjustments to technique (#2, #3, #4 above) which improved my FRA & QUANT scores by a few points. I lost a couple points on CF, but that was due to time-waster questions that I did not go back to answer. And, since I have been filling the end of my weeks with questions (if I finish a topic early), the 90 questions were a lot less daunting than they would have been otherwise.

      Also, I forgot to mention that I felt better during the afternoon session because I just ate. So, I will be eating a regular lunch on exam day instead of the measly granola bar and apple that I initially planned on. I hope this helps!

    • Sarah
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      Time wasters? Elaborate?

    • kidwaibhai
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      using shweser also. After reading the notes I do the questions that at the end of every chapter in the curriculum. I was told that some times questions very similar to these appear in the exam.Only chapters that are left to do are fixed income, alternative investment and ofcourse ETHICS. I hope to be done by the end of this month. I will then hit the qbank and Mock exams hard.
      I am currently taking a prep course at NYSSA (New York Society of Security Analysis). I am ahead of the class which makes attending these more like a intense review.

    • microeconomist
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      Hi @Sarah. Before the LSAT, I attended a local Kaplan course. Our instructor always reminded us to “skip the time-wasters” –a question whereby the amount of time spent answering can be used to finish at least 2 other questions.

      If, after first reading the end of the stem, I notice irrelevant information in the beginning of the stem (first couple of sentences usually), I move on. For example, I had a two paragraph CF question that went into detail about a royalty agreement –the answer was a simple leverage calculation 8-|

    • edulima
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      Yeah, @microeconomist, another good tip for avoiding wasting time with irrelevant information is: when starting a new question, start from the back: first read the actual question (end of stem) and the 3 multiple choices (possible answers), which should take a few seconds, and only then read the question from the beginning, keeping in mind what was already read.

    • MattyJ
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      @microeconomist do you skip the time waster questions altogether? Wouldn’t it be better to do them if they are actually just an easy question with a bit of reading? (Sorry if I have misunderstood)

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      3
      Down

      Sounds like excellent progress @kidwaibhai – keep up the good work!

    • microeconomist
      Participant
      Up
      0
      Down

      @MattyJ, that is a good question; I skip and sort them out for last.

    • tkadylak
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      I have gone through all 5 Schweser books, and answered the questions after each reading. I’ve been taking a bunch of 60 question quizzes from the QBank covering the entire body of content and am pretty consistently hitting 65-68%, which I think is probably good this far out but I still don’t feel like I’ve mastered the material at all.

      For those that have taken it, what was a mock exam score you felt comfortable with getting consistently that would lead you to believe you were in good shape for the actual exam?

      I plan to spend the next two months going back through the material, but this time the dreadfully thorough institute books. That will leave a solid month for cramming.

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
      Up
      2
      Down

      For those that have taken it, what was a mock exam score you felt comfortable with getting consistently that would lead you to believe you were in good shape for the actual exam?

      I was at about 85% for Schweser mocks approaching the exams. So I’d say that’s my comfort zone.

    • jaz0020
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      using the analystnotes notes on-line learning all the LOS for now . Done with ethics, eco and now on the FRM left with QUANT and equity , corporate finance . Trying to finish all the LOS reading at least once before oct 1 st and then books reading by oct end while giving exams every alternate days keeping the month of nov for review and mock exams. Hopefully this should work 🙂

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      3
      Down

      sounds good @jaz0020. Sounds like a good schedule and pace

    • peekabooitsme
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      I’ll be through all the Schweser books by the end of next week. I have just been doing the chapter concept checks not anything from Qbank. I was going to then go though all my highlights and notes – and read each LOS to make sure I understand it. Then do read/do questions from Qbank and then as many mock exams as possible. Is this a good use of time?

      I am getting nervous as I feel like have forgotten everything that I had read earlier! Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      3
      Down

      @peekabooitsme – that sounds great. Don’t worry about it, it’s normal to feel this way. But where you retain and learn most is in the last month of hardcore practice and revision. It helps to take the week before exams off work too.

    • varun1584
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      Hi Guys!
      M in a situation where i feel that what i had studied, is already lost in my brain, Course is vast, m still unsure that when i will start practice questions, i will be able to recall everything!
      So far m done with ethics, FRA, Eco and Corporate Finance and Portfolio management! All these r like a cocktail in my brain!

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      1
      Down

      Hello @varun1584, that’s completely normal, don’t worry! Sounds like your brain is absorbing it – it’ll all be tested when you do tons of practice questions as well. :))

    • microeconomist
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      Anyone know when we get notified of the exact location of the exam? I’m taking the exam in San Francisco, so I need to book a room ASAP.

    • microeconomist
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      Just found it; 4 weeks prior to exam

    • toeknee9121
      Participant
      Up
      0
      Down

      Its been a while but wanted to updated the ethos on where I am and to see if I am on pace. I am about 50% of the way through the material. Finished with Ethics, QM, ECON, and 50% of FRA (SS7+8). I have been taking my local CFA chapter class to reinforce the material. The hope is to have book 3 finished this week, book 4 by mid october, and 5 by the end of October thereby leaving me with the entire month of November to review. Can’t help but feel a little bit pressed as I am averaging a score of ~67%-72% on my Q-bank quizzes.

      I have found that mind mapping per LOS as I read works really well for me. That paired with a 100 or so Q-bank questions and my class really reinforces the material in my head. Wish I had time to go through all of the CFAI material questions :/

      Anyways, how I am doing? Any constructive feedback? Any adjustments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      1
      Down

      @toeknee9121, that’s good timing, leaving 1 month off is good as you tend to learn most and improve the most in that last month. 67-72% is a fab start for pre-November results, don’t worry!

    • RichW
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      Hi Everyone, I’m about halfway through book 1 and book 2, and just starting book 6. I find I can take a break from one subject by reading another, which means I can swap around and come back when I feel ready.Gives time for something to sink in, and if it hasn’t then clearly I need to go back over it anyway. Got the Qbank this morning! Hurrah :-/
      Went to a mtg lastnight for all the Dec candidates based in Vienna, about 25, and was pleased to note that only about half have started studyin already. Although that might just mean they will take a month off before the exam to study fulltime. Anyway it made me feel mch better 🙂
      And just starting to do the speed reading which was suggested on this site… do it without realising when i get the boring part in a novel, but then slow down for the good parts. Need to apply this to the CFA books now…
      best,
      Rich

    • Lilas
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      Hi Sophie, thanks for checking. I`m totally demotivated. I`ve registered to the exam in the beginning of March and since that moment have looked through only the first 4 books. I`m afraid to start Mock exams as it seems that everything was clear to me, but now I don`t remember a lot of information. I have only 66 days left, have a job with a lot of stress as majority of us, days become shorter, time pressure is huge, what should I do? I`m planning what to study every week, but in fact it doesn`t work, I`m always very tired in the evenings and at work have no possibility to read CFA materials. I know that you get the same evident questions every day, but is there any chance to manage to pass the exam having only 2 months? Should I find a group of study, or what would be useful in my case? Thanks in advance

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      5
      Down

      Hi @Lilas, don’t give up! Not now, you’ve done too much work and need to make the effort worthwhile.

      I know what you mean, I didn’t study on weekdays either as I was working nearly midnight most days, and only studied (full time) on weekends 6 months before. You are having a good pace there, it always feels like you don’t remember a thing, but that’s what the last month intensive revision and doing practice questions are for. You always improve the most in that last month. There is of course a chance to pass.

      Here are a few of my posts which may help:

      6 Quick Fixes to Stay Focused Even When You’re Tired

      How to Study More in Less Time

      7 Habits of Highly Effective CFA Candidates

      The Last Minute Guide: How To Cram For the CFA Exams

      1 Month Till CFA Exams? Here’s The 5 Step Game Plan

      300 Hours’ Rough Guide to a Solid CFA Study Plan

    • Lilas
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      Thank you so much for your support Sophie!I read them all, fell much more better now:))

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      2
      Down

      No probs @Lilas, sometimes it can be overwhelming 🙂

    • peekabooitsme
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      I just generated an random sample of 60 question across all subject matter and scored 53.33%. Freaking out! that’s not good. I’ve debriefed and reviewed the questions I got wrong. Would it be worth the time to go back and re-reading everything or just keep doing more questions and de-briefing?

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
      Up
      4
      Down

      Hi @peekabooitsme – don’t freak out. your first few is gonna be crap.

      Do a breakdown on areas of topic you consistently get wrong or are weaker in and revise those sections in between your questions. Yea, do questions, de-brief, revise, repeat

Viewing 53 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.