Advice for new level 1 joiners

I passed first time but i was expecting to fail. My results were not ‘fantastic’ but I scaled through with > 70 in 7/10 areas. Take note that: • I have an economics background and some knowledge of finance • I had little or no commitments - no job, no school (but still didn’t spend every minute of the day studying; I don’t know how many hours I did) • I started studying in January • I made a study timetable and tried to keep to it as much as possible • I tried to avoid jumping from subject to subject and spent some time on each book before moving on. • I couldn’t afford any of the CFA tutorials so relied on personal study (I would advice you to attend but avoid substituting it for personal study) • I browsed the curriculum (i.e read summary sections) and read schweser notes simultaneously (read weakest areas twice) and reviewed most questions and answers • I invested most of my time on fsa because of my weak back ground and I considered it one of the most important areas. I read curriculum book 2 (the only book I read entirely [apart from ethics]) • I read book 1 on ethics, first and last • I took 2 cfa mock exams about 2.5 weeks to the exam day and scored max 60 (at this point I was convinced that I would fail; it seemed like the more I studied the worse I performed on the practice questions) I think that this is the barest minimum you should do to have the slightest chance of passing (ofcourse it is given that you have a similar background).

Hi thanks for the input. This is a question really for everyone - but how did you go when you did the end of reading questions in Schweser? what scores are you getting either on the first try or subsequent tries? And how do you think the Schweser questions and CFAI Curriculum questions compared with the actual exam?

I want to know the answers to those too.

I wonder I can make it through with an engineering degree upon reading your advice.

Hey Keelim, you can surely make it through even with engineering degree…i had a similar background…what matters is how much effort u put in…read the CFAI material cover to cover and u will be through… my wishes… Akash

ANYONE who is dedicated enough can do this exam. Take it from me, someone with NO finance/accounting background with a BA in political science/economics. I passed on the first try with >70% on 8/10 sections and now moving on to level II. You just have to really want this CFA and study for a good 5-6 months. Also try as much as possible to have “fun” with this…it sounds weird, but studying eventually becomes an obsession that you can’t seem to live with or without. Its a bizarre relationship but, for me at least, I actually enjoyed learning about something completely new. For Keelim, I think you have an advantage in that your quant skills are probably good. Although CFA I isn’t too complex, your skills will come in handy here. I’ve also heard that engineers, out of the non-business backgrounds, tend to do very well. For Joshua’s question, don’t stress out about not being able to answer the end of reading questions. On the first try, try your best and circle/mark those you missed. Every couple of weeks, try to go back and see if you can answer them. By the end of your studies, you’ll find that everything magically comes together. At that point, make sure you know how to answer them all (only multiple choice…those CFAI questions where you’re required to write out answers, I skipped…although they could be good if you need extra practice). If you’re still unable to answer some questions, find someone who can help or ask on here. Schweser Concept Checker questions (at the end of each reading) are NOT like the CFA exam. They’re merely testing your comprehension of concepts covered. Schweser questions that are most similar to the actual exam, in my opinion, are the Practice Volumes. Be sure to sign up for a couple of the practice exams on the CFA website. These are great and will give you a sense of what the questions are like. CFA I questions, again, are very straightforward…you either know the answer, or you don’t. Practice Qbank like crazy til you gain speed and mastery of the concepts…I personally loved Schweser and felt like I was very well prepared using their material. Good luck!

^ I also did Poli Sci and Econ in my undergrad…did you have any trouble with the stats or other math portions of L1? I’m thinking of getting started, but I’m not sure if I’d be able to handle the math portions…I’ve done the CSC (similar to US Series 7) but that’s about it as far as finance goes…

newera& akash, Couldnt appreciate mroe with the motivation you have given. Thanks

newera Thanks. Sorry you may have misread my post. I’m not really stressed at this stage. I’m scoring about 85% on the end of chapter questions on first try, and just wondered whether the questions were any guidance as to the level of difficulty of the actual exam questions. As for spending 5 or 6 months studying for it … I wish I had that much time. I’m getting about an hour each day. Work just gets in the way hahaha aarrgggghhhh … hahaha.

brafique - the statistics portion doesn’t really get more complicated than econometrics. The math is NOT hard! You’ll be learning a lot of formulas where you literally plug and chug. Your economics background has provided you with enough math skills for CFA I. And for the more complex finance problems, you can use your calculator. Learn to rely on that thing. You will gain speed and in the real world, we use are dependant on calculators. Keelim - no problem! You can do it! Don’t underestimate yourself and don’t get bogged down by some negative ppl on here. Joshua - work is a pain, I hear you! But try try try to make time.

newera, I commute to work daily. While in the train, I read my own notes (approx 10 pages per study session) amidst of being sandwiched in the forever ‘Rat Race’. These notes consist of the fundamentals and concepts of each readings. :slight_smile: It’s great to do your own notes. I do not have much time on the weekdays. Work commitment has started to take its toll on me. I have to studied from 4.30am to 630am daily before commuting to work. I foresee I wont have time to revise the whole curriculum. Hence, study notes prove useful to me. On the weekends, I have some video editing to do for my company’s annual dinner apart from CFA. It’s a dull life…especially when I am from an engineering background with no finance knowledge. No time for questions. hmm… Anyone feel me?