Any advice for June 08 Exam takers?

First, congratulations to all those who took L1 on DEC 1 and good luck to you! I’m sure it will be tough waiting for the results to come out but I hope you all graduate to LII. Now down to business. Having grinded it out for the past several months and completed the grueling (I’m sure) exam, what advice do you have for us first time June 08 L1 exam takers? What did you do and use to prepare for the exam? What do wish you had done differently? Any surprises? Any and all words of advice/suggestions are appreciated. Thanks to all in advance!

I wish I had exercised more during my 4 months studying

I wish I would have taken a practive exam sooner than 1 month prior to the test so as to beter judge what I knew and didn’t know. I’d suggest taking a test in early March so that you can better concentrate on those areas where you score poorly.

Do understand how changes in inputs affect changes in output… this is VERY aimed toward econ (int rates, inflation, money supply, etc.), financial ratios, inventory accounting methods, and depreciation methods. Do not skim ethics. The questions are there in numbers. The CFA text examples are very indicative of exam questions. These are easy and plentiful points… nail that stuff. Do not study hungover, in front of a TV, with friends, in public places with lots of people, or without study breaks. Do take CFA online sample exams. Do review the questions you got wrong and the ones you guessed on.

For L1, I think Schweser does a very good job of preparing you. I’d recommend everyone purchase the study notes and the Q-Bank. Book 7 is totally unnecessary. I wish I had spent more time on the Schweser notes and less time reading the CFAI Texts back to back. I would have spent more time than I did on FSA and really understanding all the effects on the cash flow statement for everything. There were a ton of questions involving two part questions on that stuff. If you have the money, definitely take the online CFAI sample exams. There were probably 2 questions that were taken almost verbatim from those. They also give a very good idea of what’s on the exam. Make sure you really grind it out the last month and especially the last week. That’s when you really retain the information for the exam.

* Study in proportion to the exam sections. In other words, don’t spend two months on econ just because you figured out you really like it. * Ethics can be mastered and it is worth your time to do so. It’s easy money once you know what they’re looking for. * Work to understand major relationships in FSA (inventory, dupont, dilution, etc), econ, and fixed income. If you understand the relationships and drivers, then you can figure out what you need to when they throw you a curve ball on the exam. It’s also easier to memorize things that don’t seem to stick, like how ROE compares in capital v operating leases in my case. * Broker a really good tip: take a practice test soon. I waited until ten days before the exam and that was stupid. I covered a LOT of ground in those last ten days by hitting every topic related to a question I missed and reworking chapter problems. I don’t know if I passed the test, but I *absolutely would not have* if I had not done this step … so do it well in advance of T minus ten days. * It’s worth your time to cram the quant formulas into your head just before the test. There was a binomial prob question on the exam and I had memorized that formula literally the day before. A practice test said I was weak there, so I thought, “Well, I’ll just rework some of these problems and commit some formulas to memory.” Whew!

Schweser QBank: How much of a benefit is this? Necessity?

necessity… for sure.

KJH Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Schweser QBank: How much of a benefit is this? > Necessity? From a fellow Minnesotan, get the Q Bank.

I don’t have a finance background, other than doing the Canadian Securities Course. Things I’d change… 'd take the “compare and contrast” LOS’s more seriously until I could wake up in the middle of the night and answer the effect of a capital lease on the lessor’s cash flows. I’d use the QBank I bought right away instead of waiting till after I read all the study notes. Every time I finished a study session, I’d use it to build a practice test of I just finished plus all the previous study sessions. (I really underestimated how much I forgot of what I previously read, even though I made sure to answer all the questions at the end of every session). Overall, I’d finish 6 weeks ahead of the exam and drill the Schweser book 6 and CFAI exams. 4 weeks wasn’t enough, given that I had to reread.

Gastun, I took L1 on Dec 1st with no finance background and approx. 3 months of serious study. I guess my engineering background helped to a certain extent in quant and FI calculations. I am fairly confident i passed the test. There were 2-3 questions i had no clue where to begin and about 25 questions I narrowed down to two. My 0.02$: 1. Make notes on each reading, nothing detailed but just one pagers would be sufficient. Albeit some readings like 38 will require more detail. This is invaluable while revising in the last few weeks. Also, do a few questions from Schweser q-bank after each reading. This makes the information you have learnt “sticky”. 2. Try to find a study partner who is equally intelligent and co-ordinate study sessions. I worked with a friend of mine and we spent about 6 weekends holed up studying in my company boardroom. This really helped! We employed the same strategy for GMAT this year and walked away with 760+ 3. Definitely try to finish the theory one month before and dedicate the last month to review and questions. The Schweser book 6 questions are life savers albeit more calculation intensive than the real exam. Misc. Remember for FI “Semi annual” calculations there are 5 inputs: N, I, Pv, Pm, F. There are always three inputs with /2. Make sure you check that you have accounted for all three every time you do semi-annual calculations. It’s not all that difficult it’s cracked up to be. All the best!

HI Sarthak, Thank you so much for your suggessions. I am going to appear for L1 in June 08. Can I please have your Chat ID, I need some suggessions for the exam that are little personal to me (Background, Job etc…) and I would like to take them offline. Thanking you, Venkat

Q-bank, CFAI sample exams, Ethics questions. Do Q-bank questions after each chapter, regardless of what materials you are using. It helps solidify the concepts and make sure you understood the material. I also copied into Word those answers or explanations that seemed difficult to review again. Take as many CFAI sample exams as you can. That is the actual format of the real test. Not to mention that 5-6 questions were on the real exam. That may seem insignificant, but those 5-6 were the ones I got wrong on the practice, so knowing that I got them right made me feel better. Make sure you print the screen after answering each question to read the explanations and review later. I used SnagIt, pretty handy, i got it for free, but if you don’t have it, I am sure you get a trial version for 14 days, that’s all you need. Read the ethics material from CFAI and read these examples 2-3 times. Again, some of these were on the real exam, and the rest of the questions were pretty similar. Good luck to all!

Read the Standards of Practice handbook first, and get a handle on it. Ethics is a very, very important section, and most of the questions are easy points if you study it. Read it again 1 or 2 days before the test. It only takes about 2-3 hours to do so. Don’t fluff over Alternative Investments. Lots of people didn’t bother because it is only 5% or so of the exam. But that is 12 questions of easy points you are neglecting. Easy concepts, no real way to make it confusing.

bud has a point. Make sure to get the Standards of Practice handbook and read ALL the examples in each topic. Concentrate on the concepts and pay attention to the details. The TEST is not calc oriented. Bear this in mind, always.

Does it help to read CFA Textbooks before going over Schweser material? Currently I am reading the Econ part (Volume:2), and it takes me forever to study all these graphs…And after a few weeks, I forget everything… Should I maybe solve questions from Schweser Q-Bank after reading chapters of the CFA material? Thanks!

I’m taking 4 weeks off before the exam would this enough to revise everything I just started ethics… how many days off you guys take before exxam??

I’ve heard reading Schweser first is best. Going to CFAI text is good for additional help. It takes a very long time to read all the text and doing so disorts the LOS statements. I understand its alot more money to throw at this thing, but I’ve come to realize that this is the path of least resistence. Also ordering Schweser Essential package gives you the QBank which everyone claims is a necessity.

cfalombok Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I’m taking 4 weeks off before the exam > > would this enough to revise everything > > I just started ethics… > > > how many days off you guys take before exxam?? I took 2 days off. I would’ve liked a week, but I had to take what I could get during a quarter end at the office. 4 weeks off is more than enough given you have gone through the material once before.

Honestly time is essential. I am concurrently doing my MBA, have a 3yr old and never have enough time to focus on the CFA material it seems. I wish I had time to just focus on this material, its so much more interesting. My advice (if it works for you) is stay calm, be a good test taker, and workout (briefly) the morning of the exam. I got up and went for a 20min run (stretching 10min before) and felt absolutely great during the exam. I may fail or not but I didn’t get uncomfortable, I was very focused, the blood was flowing and I felt ready to sit through both exams. But that’s just me.