CFA CFA Level 1 Only using the CFAI Official books for Level I — is it enough?

Only using the CFAI Official books for Level I — is it enough?

  • This topic has 11 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated Aug-17 by joe240.
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    • Tobi
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      Hi everyone, I am planning on sitting for the Level I exam in June 2014. I have been hesitant on whether to buy additional resources for the exam. I have heard from many people that the CFAI books are dense and very time consuming, but I will be studying pretty much full-time starting January, so time is not an issue. I was just wondering if you guys consider it necessary for me buy other books such as Schweser, Elan, etc., to make sure I cover and master all the material.

      I appreciate any advice you have for me! Thanks!!

    • edulima
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      In my opinion, CFAI books are enough as far as covering the material; I think they are pretty well written. But you may want to consider getting a Question Bank for extra practice.

    • Tobi
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      @edulima thank you for your quick response and advice! Do you have any suggestions on which one to buy?

    • lostinlotusland
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      Yeah, I’m just using the CFA books as well. Lots of material to keep me busy.

    • edulima
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      @Tobi, I have gotten the Schweser Q-bank. I like the fact that you can assemble different tests picking from different topics, and you can select parameters such as level of difficulty, etc.

    • Zee Tan
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      @tobi some people can find the CFA curriculum too dry to work through. If you find that happening, I strongly suggest to start using third party materials.

      Many candidates make the mistake of trying to push on and can’t cover the material adequately in time for the exam.

      Welcome to the forum!

    • pw2232
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      That was my original plan too… until I found myself spending a few weeks just to cover a few chapters in book 1! I work full time, so I have only a few hours after work each day to study. I guess, if you can study full-time, it might be ok. The books are well written and you’ll actually learn from the curriculum as opposed to just getting yourself ready for a test if you study only from the notes. But for now, I’m resorting to third party notes, only refer back to the CFA books where I need more in-depth explanation. Life’s much better.

    • 007jinay
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      If you have got time like you said then go for the “CFA material” as schweser, elan is the concise of CFA books only. You will not be able to get the full knowledge/concept of the subject if you read those so go for Institute material.

    • Sophie Macon
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      I knw what you mean @pw2232 – working full time it wasn’t possible for me to finish the curriculum either. So I used third party provider books exclusively for my prep, only using the curriculum for end of chapter questions, and it still works, referring occasionally if I need extra explanation.

    • joe240
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      I am currently getting through the material using just the cfai material (book 3-FRA, right now) but I am planning on supplementing it with third party material. I will lean on that for the review and questions I have on the material… hopefully that works. I don’t think the material is that dry but I have run into one or two questions I cannot resolve (probably a user issue). The hardest part I am running into right now is which third party to supplement with.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @joe240 – the top 3 providers are good in terms of quality, the choice is up to you in terms of preference of study package. Check out the Reviews and Offers section for 300H readers discounts.

      Do check out Schweser, Fitch and Elan’s partner profile for a brief summary on what they offer. Let me know if you’ve further questions then once you’d a look, I may be able to help depending what your needs are.

    • joe240
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      Thanks @Sophie!

      After looking at the summaries on 300 hours, exploring the websites of the “big 3,” borrowing Schweser’s older material (2011), and having used the trial access to Elan, I have an idea. But let me give you what I’m thinking and maybe you can help steer me straight:

      I will be reimburse for the cost of these materials so I am trying to focus on quality over value.

      Schweser’s books are solid, but after looking at Elan’s videos I am inclined to think they may have the best online video instruction. Fitch does seem quality but they also pricey and living in Arizona, I may not be able to take full advantage of what seems to be their emphasis: in person class/review. However, seeing as I am leaning so heavily on the CFAI books I thought maybe my best bet was Schweser as they offer 6 practice exams. I know we get one free exam from CFAI and I saw on your reviews and offers page BPP also is offering 1 free mock. Fitch and Elan only offer 3 mocks. So 8 total mocks is better than 5, right? I did see there are ways to buy mocks a la carte as well though.

      At this point I am leaning towards signing up for Schweser’s Premium and using the 3 day review online. I was leaning towards Elan but Elan’s website has me concerned about quality and the extra mocks seem important. Fitch is probably what I’ve researched the least so I’m open to ANY input anyone has. I’ll probably wait a few days and do some more research in the meantime.

      P.S. You mention on the Reviews and Offers page a 41% discount on Schweser but when I look at the packages on the website it seems to be retail pricing, is there a code or something we need to do to get a discounted price?

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