Are we expected to memorize 500 formulas for Level 1?

I have calculated around 500 formulas that we havea covered on the CFA. Are we supposed to know all of these formulas?

I’m using Schweser right now. At the end of every book, there is a couple pages of formulas for everything we learned in the entire book. This is much less than 500 formulas in the CFA curriculum, maybe 200 or so. Will the Schweser formulas suffice?


only 500? should be around 540

If you mean the formulas from the study notes (not the formulas sheet) then yes they’re enough. You will have to recite the formulas in your sleep. Sorry for the bad news my friend :stuck_out_tongue:

the actual level 1 exam is not THAT quantitative…so don’t worry too much

was it really 500?

If you understand the concepts then you shouldn’t need to really memorize the formulas (or at least only a fraction of them).

Just understand why a * b = c, then you can derive that a / c = b, etc. Understanding a concept and deriving a formula from that is a lot easier than memorizing 10 different formulas.

500 formulas??? oh gosh i dont think all the formulas i have encountered while studying are this many but i agree with cleverCFA that its about understanding the concepts behind the formula. i think formulas worth memorizing are those we encounter in Quants, most of which are just difficult to understand hence the need to just memorize, all the others are somewhat straight forward if you understand the concepts and logic behind them…

Would the formula for the mean really count as a formula to remember ?? If you remove all the easy and conceptually logic formulae, I guess you only need to remember 150 to 200 of them, maybe even less…

What do you mean when you refer to study notes and formula sheet?

Agreed. I think i had it down to about 150ish, which i crammed into my brain the last week before the exam. If I hadn’t done that, I’m not sure I would have passed.

You can check out the formulas here:

Not only would understanding the concepts behind the formulas help during the L1, but it will help all the more during L2 when you will have a much more solid base.

Had the test required to memorize 500 to pass I would had failed miserably…even after retaking it 100x.

So for sure you won’t have to memorize that many. Probably 50 formulas the most…ok maybe more but less than 100 for sure.

As somebody has said, it depends on what you call as a formula.

You cant call A = L + E as a formula (believe me it was a formula for me when I started CFA level 1, because I was an IT guy … well am still an IT guy… sigh…) :slight_smile:

Try to understand as much as possible and some of the formulae you dont need in quants as you have the fin-calc with you anyway…

And the best advice I got from AF when I did level 1 - “You will use your calci far less than what you think you would”.