Advice for First Time Candidate?

I just joined the forum because I plan on taking the December Level I Exam. As I start making a plan for this, can anyone list some general techniques that seemed to work for them and stay focused with studying?

Have a study plan setup and follow it, prepare for at least a month of doing practice questions

Start early, don’t listen to those people who say they studied in 30 days and passed. Good for them, they are exceptions to the rule. Life throws you curve balls, the earlier you start, the better.

I echo iteracom and Mr-Z and will add that you should periodically go back to sections you have already covered and do some practice questions to be sure the material really took. The questions tend to be easier right after you’ve read the material. I also highly recommend Schweser in combination with the end of chapter questions from the CFAI texts. If you find you are having trouble with a particular area, read the actual CFAI texts for that area as well. Don’t take ethics lightly. Many people think common sense will get them through and are very rudely surprised on test day. So, read the ethics material and then read it again. There will almost certainly be a question set on the exam that is a near exact copy of one of the examples in the curriculum. Don’t miss out on those free points. Lastly, don’t burn yourself out. Make sure you give yourself downtime every couple of weeks and enjoy it. You’ll find that your studies are much more productive that way. Good luck.

Trite and true: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Thanks for the advice. It seems like a good idea to use a review course as well, is there a big difference between all the programs that are out there? What aspects would make one better than another?

Say goodbye to your sigificant other; care your books with you at all time. Squeez out very bit of downtime to read, to calculate. It is about constant exposure to the material. You should be able to play a video of the book in your head. If somebody ask you cashflow, you should be able to say that is on Book 3, page 46, lower corner of the page.

^ yea… I’m gonna say you don’t need to get to that level…

It’s not that bad. My books never once left my house for any level.

Don’t get caught up in little details you may not fully understand. Not every candidate knows the entire CBOK. You don’t need to get 100% in order to pass.

Channeling Peter Olinto here, you forgot to say “shoot the dog… …and when you get tired of studying for that exam… when you wonder whether the three letters are reall worth all the pain and suffering you’re going through … just keep your eyes focused on all the MONEY that you’re gonna be makin’ when you’re done. Beaches can come later, baby, for now you are sleeping with accounts payable and cash flow accounting by the INdirect method… …and don’t be sayin’ that youse a CFA until you got those letters, because you don’t wanna be found in violation of any ethics rules before you cash out.”

Man, I looked for Peter Olinto’s pep talk on youtube, but I couldn’t find it. However, this can help:


Any sections of the lv.1 that were particularly challening?

Did you take a course with Peter Olinto? How were his lectures?

Olinto is a legend, and well earned. He was motivating. I must confess that my first impression was that he was a bit of a slick talker in the way that a used car salesman can be, but later on, I appreciated the energy he was able to impart to the program. It was very motivating. His jokes are pretty funny too.