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CAIA Level 1 Exam Prep

Hi All,

I am about to start my preparations for Sep-2015 level 1 exam and would appreciate your suggestions on the materail to be used for prep. I would like to know the following:

 - Is it necessary to purchase the Level 1 core book or will notes & qbanks suffice?

 - If notes & qbank is enough, then could anyone please suggest which institute will be the best one

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1. not necessary

2. it depends

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop" Confucius
CFA L2 retaker:)))

Schweser/Kaplan is inferior to Uppermark in my opinion… questions were too easy for Level I and didn’t reflect the tone of the exam… original text or Uppermark would be my recommendation.

I disagree that Schweser materials are inferior to Uppermark’s. It’s a matter of personal preference, I compared both and liked Schweser’s way of presenting topics more.

I used Schweser books for Lev I & Lev II and liked them more than Uppermark materials (I had both and got rid of UM books).

As for the practice questions/exams - I used UM software. I never compared it to Schweser, but based on feedback on this forum more candidates prefer UM product and consider their questions to be more in line with or tougher than real exam.




I used UpperMark materials (books , online courses and QB) and I felt very well prepared for the Level I exam  I’m using them again for Level II in September. Did not buy the CAIA official books.

I made some flashcards on my own just to reinforce some of the formulas/concepts and review those at the end. I did 4  full practice exams (3 using the UpperMark QB) and the one offered in the CAIA website.

Funny enough i was scoring in the high 60s/low 70s in all 4 which made me very nervous but at the end the concepts and how the questions were structured became very familiar.

If you are in a limited budget and all you can get in addtion to the official books, I HIGHLY recommend the UpperMarks QB. To me that was key in my preparation.

Spend a month doing a hundred questions a day from the Uppermark question bank with a few mock exams thrown in randomly and you will nail the exam. I used the original books for both levels but that is up to you.

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How long did you take readingthe materials? 1 month 3 hours daily or more less?

Just read through the whole book in a month if you can and then practice questions. There’s just one book; you don’t really need to read the Ethics book. Just do the 54 end of book questions in the Ethics book.