This is my debrief on how I cleared the CFA Level 1. Lets get started!
Background: 22/ Male / Commerce graduate from India/ CFA LEVEL 2 Passed/ MBA Aspirant/ Worked in a BIG 4.
Study Process: Took coaching from Knowledge Varsity (Tremedous Value), India and Schweser study notes.
Mock Tests: 3 Timed Mock tests from Knowledge Varsity.
I started my preparation in the month of August for the Level 1 Exam, went to weekend coaching classes, listened to all their lectures, took notes, read schweswer after class and made my own notes on every topic. I used to study only on weekends, 4 hours coaching and 8 hours studying on my own. I did try to study on weekdays but seriously derivatives, fixed income,economics etc etc used to make me sleepy, I used to doze of in between and sometimes i used to get fed up and throw the book away! 9 hours work and 3 hours travelling to work and coming back and then a schedule to study TIME SERIES ANALYSIS and DEMAND AND SUPPLY…a big no!! But during the weekends I concentrated well.
I used to study the topic and simultaneously make my own notes, I would revise that every weekend. So I divided the process into 3 parts- CONCEPTUAL CLARITY, REVISION and PRACTISE QUESTIONS. When I read things I understood the topic a little but when I did questions on the topic I learnt to appreciate the subject matter. Initially I used to get demotivated when I got a question wrong but I realized that QUESTIONS ARE TO MAKE YOU LEARN THE TOPIC BETTER NOT TO DEMOTIVATE YOU.I cannot stress enough on the value of doing as many questions as possible.
Why are mock tests so important? You can get every question in the book correct but on the exam there is something called as the ‘time factor’ and ‘stress factor’. In the exam you will be stressed out ( a 6 hour exam man). Your brain might stop thinking and you might even start panicking. On the exam day due to stress I even forget the concept of LIFO and FIFO. So the bottom line is time yourself during mock exams TAKE AS MANY EXAMS AS POSSIBLE. IT DOSENT MATTER HOW MANY YOU GOT CORRECT WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT YOU LEARNT FROM EACH QUESTION WHICH YOU GOT WRONG. So I put in about 350 hours for Level 1 exam and 600 for Level 2.
Finally I am a very poor test taker. I hate studying and I hate reading books but I WANT TO EARN THE CFA CHARTER. Just belive yourself. Average Intelligence but Extra-Ordinary Hardwork. I am following the same approach even for the GMAT.
A bit more than a month for the exam- All the best guys.