Advice for June Level 1ers

Any advice u guys can give to people taking this exam in June would be sincerely appreciated. Sometimes I really think I have bitten off more than I can chew

just keep doing questions, and read all posts on this forum and ask questions here when you run into them once you get the basics down, you’ll do fine

Study hard, do a lot of questions, do sample exams, read posts on the analyst forum. If you dont do well on the morning exam - dont give up, you have hope. I ran out of time in the am session and missed so many questions - but was able to make up by doing well in the evening.

don’t despair and keep going. I also felt like everything was going against me (no need for details here) but I managed to pass. The most useful tool for me - the sample exams from CFAI. If you can afford it, do all of them. I took twice the recommended time to do a Schweser exam and wanted to cry, but then scored >70% on all CFAI samples. Given I passed LI, the sample exams were a much better measurement of progress, not to mention that some questions on the real exam were so similar. If you do them, print all questions as you go and then review the ones you got wrong or seemed difficult.

  • do as many cfai practice exams as you can starting 1 month before the June exam. i did all 5. expensive at $50 a pop, but worth it when you get the pass. - learn from your mistakes. i failed 3 of the 5 (totally bombed 2 of the 3 I failed), but kept track of the ones i got wrong. for each question i got wrong, i studied the entire section on that topic again and again.

I found this board very helpful so would welcome the chance to put something back. These are my thoughts on what I would do if I had to do it again which, I’m very relieved to say, I don’t! 1) Read this board. A lot of ideas change hands on here and sometimes following discussions about various topics in combination with your own notes will help solidify the concepts in your mind. Don’t ever be daunted if it seems like other people know more than you do - they’ll almost always be happy to help. Use them like you would any other resource. 2) It’s all about the concepts. The exam in December was very much concept driven - at least that’s how I found it. Yes, there are equations that you need to learn, and yes some of the answers will be regurgitation, but the underlying concepts are what you need a firm grasp of in order to pass. 3) Don’t restrict yourself to one set of notes. I did, Schweser, and I regretted it as soon as I opened the exam book. As it happens I was lucky, but if I were doing it again I would definitely use the CFAI texts as well. Please don’t interpret this as a “Schweser aren’t good enough” comment - they are comprehensive and the online question bank is a lifesaver, but there were types of questions on the exam that Schweser didn’t prepare me for and I was caught well and truly off-guard. 4) Don’t underestimate the volume of material. I started working for the December exam in mid August and very quickly realised that because I’d started so late I was pretty much going to lose my life to those grey and green books for the rest of the year. If you’re not from an accountancy background, don’t delay your work on FSA - some of it is very difficult (not to mention quite dull) and you can bet the CFAI will dig deeply here when asking questions. 5) Plan. I did, but left it late. If I could do it again I would spend a good couple of days just focussing on how I was going to fit everything in. My bad planning meant lots of sleepless nights and long weekends with my head in a book, which, whilst not completely avoidable with this, could definitely have been made easier with a good plan. 6) Do as many questions and past papers as you can and start doing them early. Some people think that there isn’t any point in sitting practise exams until you’ve covered the syllabus entirely - I definitely thought this, and I’m pretty certain I was wrong. The sooner you start to practise, the sooner you will know how well you’ve grasped the concepts you think you’ve already studied. The CFAI has a knack of phrasing questions that makes you doubt you know the answer. The more you do, the better your chances. Again, do not limit yourself to the past exam papers provided by Schweser or 7City or whoever you’re using for notes. They are good, but I would say that you will be better prepared for the types of questions the examining body is going to set you by answering past papers written by the examining body itself! I didn’t do this despite knowing of their existence, and once again regretted it the minute I opened the exam. This was a function of me starting late and only just getting everything covered and revised in time. There is a cost associated with the CFAI past papers which, initially, looks quite steep; I think it’s about $50. Take it from me: if I’d got my results today and I’d failed I would have kicked myself for being so tight and not having taken four or five of them. It’s extremely cheap compared with the time investment of another 200-300 hours of study to pass a resit. In short: Start early Plan Read the CFAI texts before moving onto study notes from a third party provider Answer every question you can get your hands on - especially the CFAI past papers. Hope this helps. Very best of luck to you all. Cheers PassLine.

pratice questions, practice exams, CFAI exams. Questions, questions, questions!!! When you miss one, go back and figure out why and reread the sections if you notice a pattern. It helps you review, and also gets you used to answering the types of questions you will see on the test. And time yourself when you take a practice exam, and try to get it in under 3 hours. You do this with Schweser, where the questions are significantly more involved, and you will be shocked how much extra time you have on the actual exam to review tougher questions. That’s all I got.

Hello, Where do we get CFAI past papers ? -Thanks,

I found on test day that my anxiety level was higher than usual. I missed the first few questions on FSA and my confidence level started to plummet. Started to pick back up after nailing a few consecutive questions. Definitely did a number on my psyche thinking about all the time I put into this exam and not doing well. Keep your confidence and don’t let up. There’s plenty of questions and no one ever got 100% on the exam. I agree with the Schweser Qbank, try to do a lot of them, helped a lot with my ethics, definitely helped me pass. HTH

I walked in knowing I wasn’t prepared, but I didn’t realize the degree to which I wasn’t prepared until I did the first few questions. What I learned: Reading and understanding concepts is NOT NEARLY enough. You NEED to do lots of questions to get used to the way CFAI expects you to put concepts together. The questions are not that hard once you become familiar with their style. Also, questions from the back of each reading are barely a starting point- answering them well means you get the concept, but it doesn’t mean you’re able to put them together the way the exams require you to. in short, my upcoming prep style is going to be questions, questions, questions, review what I don’t know, questions, questions, questions. any questions?

There are almost 500 LOS. Are you suppose to look at the LOS, read the LOS, and be able to spout everything out about the LOS? OR Are you suppose to know the LOS, be familiar with the LOS, and be familiar with all the concepts, definitions, equations, be able to apply it, etc., and be able to “recall” the information in regards taking the exam/practice exam?

> There are almost 500 LOS. > Are you suppose to look at the LOS, read the LOS, and be able to spout everything out about the LOS? I haven’t read any and yet I passed with pretty good margin OR > Are you suppose to know the LOS, be familiar with the LOS, and be familiar with all the concepts, > definitions, equations, be able to apply it, etc., and be able to “recall” the information in regards taking > the exam/practice exam? Yes. I did the Schweser practice 3 times.

Spend at least the last 4-6 weeks doing past papers. I found the Schweser Q-Bank software invaluable. And if you do fail it, don’t give up. I just passed it today at the third attempt. The difference between all three was that I increased the amount of time I spent doing past papers & reviewing the answers, rather than simply studying.

I passed after a failure; the biggest hurdles for me involved strategy. The test is not ridiculously hard on an intellectual level, meaning that you don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to pass. But you do have to study a lot … about 300 hours in my case. So warm up to that idea. Everyone here has already advised on doing questions, CFAI tests, etc. That’s all good. Do that. However, as far as the strategy goes, here’s what I f’d up on round one: * I didn’t understand how much material there really was. If you don’t study hard, every day, from three months out, you’re in trouble. * I guess it was an unconscious choice, but I studied things I knew well, like derivatives, econ, and equity. The problem with that is they make up small portions of the test. You can ace them and still easily fail. Be smart and lock down things like FSA and ethics first. (Ethics can be mastered in less than a week, btw. That’s free money. I wrote a post on here about it somewhere.) * I started doing CFAI samples about a week before the test. I hate caps, but that was STUPID. You need to do what it takes (see first bullet) to be able to take a CFAI sample 3-4 weeks out. Let the samples highlight what you don’t know, then polish that. * Not really a strategy thing, but my study routine for Dec 07 involved backtracking through notes and randomly reworking problems every time I sat down to study. That was my warm-up. Forgetting what you already learned is a common problem in this test. Figure out a method to refresh previously learned material on a regular basis. Good luck to everyone in June 08.

When i started studying level 1 it seemed overwhelming but if you put in the hours it becomes manageable, you need to put in the effort that is all, in the end all the topics will piece together and you will be ready to tackle the exam.

I would first like to thank you all for your advices! I would really appreciate if someone can clarify me this - Is there a free sample exam included in the registration fee? If the answer is yes than does this mean that there is one free sample exam and five additional sample exams available for 50$ each? Thanks! Milos

I would say don’t go too far into calculation. It is all about understanding the basics well enough to have your own answer right b/f you read the four choices. If any one of you is still doing schewser practice exam, which is generally called book7, I would say definitely throw it away! That one really did no good to me except ruined my confidence b/f the big game day! B/s, mp3 audio book helped me a lot. good luck everyone! good luck to me and my fellow candidates on level 2 too. :slight_smile: I am so thrilled, now.

@naivejoe- mp3 audiobook?Where does one get that from??

Is the Level 1 exam always more focused on concepts then calculations? Or do they switch it up and sometimes focus more on calculations?

It used to be calculation intensive in the past, from what I’ve heard, but now is moving towards more of a conceptual examination. Nevertheless, Stalla, Schweser, and even the CFAI books have lots of problems - because problems are a means to understand and digest the theory behind them. CP