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Level 1 Study Strategy

Hi Guys - I started studying for the December Level 1 last week of May.  I’ve been watching Mark Meldrum’s videos during the weekdays for 3 readings and then focus on solving Mark Meldrum’s quizzes.  So far I’ve been solving 40 questions/reading during the weekends.  But I’m already feeling worried that my study plan not work.  Can you guys share your study plans?  and for those who watched Mark Meldrum’s videos, were you guys able to understand perfectly what he was saying?  I like his videos but for some topic, I feel very lost even after watching his lectures.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  Cheers!

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Hey man. I’m on the same boat that you’re on. I’m using Kaplan Scwheser and have been following the study calendar pretty closely. I have been doing CFAI questions after I do some of the Schweser QBank questions. It looks like you might be studying with Schweser too? At least that’s what it says what you’re studying with above. My recommendation is to stick with the plan they have laid out for you and if you continue to struggle with topics start to find alternative ways to have the concept broken down for you. There are tons of resources that describe these concepts: Analyst forum, schweser, Mark Meldrum, CFA institute, investopedia, etc. Sometimes I’ll need to see how a concept works three or four different ways before I have my “ah-ha!” moment. 

I have also noticed in the CFA Curriculum learning environment there are discussions below the topic areas. A lot of people tend to have the same questions about the same topics. It’s not always helpful but there are some fruits of knowledge in those discussion sections. It’s encouraging to find out that you’re not the only one struggling on the same concepts. 

As for Mark Meldrum I’ve watched his videos, never taken his quizzes. I can say I’ve certainly gotten lost from his videos but that might be more of an indictment on myself than on Meldrum. winkIn all seriousness though, I had a few friends that used his quizzes and generally I’ve heard very positive things. 

Overall advice: Stick to the plan and trust the process. 

Hey all December L1 here. I have a vacation coming up so haven’t wanted to go all out just to stop in a week or two.  Plus might be my last break for a while (especially if I’m lucky enough to pass in Dec) so I want to enjoy it.  I’ve been very casually reviewing free material for the last three weeks in areas that I perceive to be my strengths, to see if my perception is anywhere near reality indecision.  So far so good, but not getting too far ahead of myself just yet.

My plan is to roll with the MM lifetime package plus CFAI materials for topics I need more help in.  I’ve decided to forego one of the major providers.  My local university also offers a CFA review course which includes a real world live mock the sat before the exam.  I’m not taking the full course for L1, but they offer the mock only for something like 70 bucks and I figure that’s money well spent.  If I pass L1 plan is to take the full class for L2 next June because by that time I’m going to need some push; haha but one step at a time.  

As for more specifics, I’m adapting what worked for me on the CPA.  Start with end of chapter questions to give a guide as to my starting point.  For each question I get wrong, review the chapter and videos if needed, and take notes.  It’s time consuming but you end up with a good first pass plus solid notes on all weak areas.  It’s critical at this point to stay on schedule, discipline is always key but especially during this phase, no procrastination.  This only works if you can get through all of the material with plenty of time left.  I’m giving myself 10 weeks and 180 hours to do this (yes I have a structured weekly schedule but I’ll spare you on that haha).  Then rewrite my notes and formulas to get good structure (originals are always messy) and to drill down into my head.  Then I start with the Qbank, with a specific mix of strengths to weaknesses, depending on the point in my study plan, but I NEVER stop going over strengths; I believe this is where a lot of candidates go wrong.  You want to focus on weaknesses but still on a regular basis keep some percentage of Qbank on your strengths.   Anyway, same process, add to notes, Qbank, review(book/videos), repeat until vomit, and then one more time for good luck.  Finally, about a month before the exam, rewrite my notes again, this time in typed format, and start the mocks.  Guess what? Same process only at this point I’m also reviewing my weakness notes on a daily basis and attempting to memorize what hasn’t truly stuck with understanding.    Adjust notes as needed/final real life mock the sat before/take an easy final 6 days, put the Qbank away and just review what notes I have left that are still weakness.  Go in on exam day and crush it.  Phew!  Long I know….but that is the plan.  

Anyway, I’ll be around.  Looking forward to discussing topics with you guys for the next billion hours smiley

What areas are you having trouble with?