CFA CFA Level 1 Tips for a Newbie

Tips for a Newbie

  • This topic has 8 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated Jul-17 by Hobbes.
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  • JohnSmith9834
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    Hey all,

    I just registered for the 2014 June CFA level 1 exam, and picked up the Schweser books to prepare.

    There is so much information to learn, I was hoping some of you might have some insights into what the best method is to approach the material – did you guys read 1 topic book completely before starting the next, or study a little bit of each topic area as you went along?

    Thanks in advance for you input

    Immortal1989
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    hey man! same here! just cant figure out how to go about my preparations! i have got the shwezer videos and books for quite some time now. i am just hoping to find some help coz i feel i really need it this time. stay connected! cheers!!!

    Wellstate
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    I started my prep recently and had the same questions. I’ve read and heard a lot about how to start and the there are 3 main keys that everyone seems to be in agreement of:

    1) Make a realistic study schedule
    2) Stick to your schedule!
    3) Take practice tests like there’s no tomorrow.

    Just my 2 cents!

    Sophie Macon
    Keymaster
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    Spot on @Wellstate! I love your summary – my nagging must have been effective :))


    @JohnSmith9834
    , @Immortal1989 – fret not, it can be overwhelming seeing the pile of books and studies to be done. You’re in good hands, and to avoid repeating myself, here are a few good articles from our blog to start you off:

    300 Hours’ Rough Guide to a Solid CFA Study Plan

    Sharing my Level 1 experience here: CFA in 18 Months: How & Why I Did Level I

    The practice comes later, so let’s take this step by step. You guys are proactive and early in your planning, it’s a good start.

    Our view is that there is no particular order the materials should be read, hence I’d go for chronological, but skipping Ethics and leaving it till last to revise as it’s more subjective but a very important subject for CFA.

    Track your studies using the simple study plan above, stick to it, do End of Chapter questions after each chapter, carve out the last month before exams for hardcore practicing!

    Zee Tan
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    I did the topics by order as well – I was afraid I’d accidentally leave out some topics otherwise.

    Dr_Pain28
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    I studied the topics chronologically, trying to finish 1 of the 18 study sessions per week. Each study session is broken up into smaller sub-chapters and I attempted to study for 2-4 hours a day (depending on length) to finish one sub-chapter per day. And since you got the schweser books you can use thier Qbank to create quizzes over the sections you studied the week prior. At this pace I finished studying in around 4.5-5 months. You have some leeway if you miss a day or so. Then the last month I did a practice exam every saturday and then during the week I would grade my exam, review the answers, and study my weaker areas.

    cfanewbie
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    Hi, I am new to the CFA aswell sitting it in June 2014. I not too sure how I am getting on. I started with my best topic Economics and ethics and I am now on Quant methods, which I am struggling to get through it at a decent pace. I am scoring in the late 60’s to early 70’s in the end of chapter questions. Should I be worried about this score?
    I also study about 2.5 hours on average 4days a week and then one full day at the weekend, roughly 5-6 hours. Does anyone know if this is enough to get through it?

    Sophie Macon
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    @cfanewbie, don’t worry about scores so early in the studying process. It’s a good score anyway, but leave that until the last 2 months. Your purpose now is to best understand the material and check your understanding by doing end of chapter questions. I suggest you create your own study plan – as only you can make sure you meet the deadlines and finish revision on time.

    Hobbes
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    On top of making a study schedule and sticking to it (and rewarding yourself for meeting weekly goals)
    – make flash cards for every formula as you go through the material for future reference
    – quit binge drinking alcohol (if applicable)
    – exercise regularly
    – don’t stress!
    – if you’re having trouble completing a practice exam in the allotted time, work on moving past the questions you don’t get and returning to them later if possible

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