Crunch Time - Does and Don'ts for Level I Candidates

With less than 3 months left for the exam it is crunch time. Spend as much time as possible studying and make your study time as productive as possible. Here are some do and don’ts:

With every reading focus on the main points; do not get hung up on the details. (If you try to understand the depth of every single point you’ll not have time to practice… which is suicide.)

Understand the curriculum examples… especially the ones which are relatively short and focused. Some examples seem to go on and on. At this stage it does not make sense to spend much time on such examples.

Practice problems at the end of ever reading are very important. I suggest you do these at least three times before the exam. You might make the same mistake twice, perhaps three times… but hopefully never four times. Mostly the questions are in MCQ format. Needless to say, these are critical and the best indication of what you might see on the exam. Some candidates ignore the non-MCQ practice problems. If you don’t have much time read the questions and jot down your answers. At the very least think about how the problem should be solved. Then read the solution. In general the curriculum explanations are very good. They are short and to the point. You should carefully read these explanations even for questions that you get right.

In addition to the curriculum questions you should also do practice questions from other sources. Do as many questions as you can without falling behind schedule.

Make your own fact and formula sheet. During your final revision you’ll find this far more useful than someone else’s fact and formula sheet.

Make every effort to finish the course at least 4 weeks before the exam. The last few weeks are best spent reviewing, revising and doing lots of practice exams.


Arif Irfanullah

Thanks :slight_smile: I m stuck in the last readings that i have.: quants and derivatives. I feel that i forgot everything and honestly i have to read the whole curriculum for a second time if i wanna feel goodaboutt it. Unfortunately there is no time left for a working and studying candidate. I also have a problem with qbank…i don’t wanna spend more in buying qbank questions but i m afraid not to be ready without it. I don’t know if there is other candidates having the same problems?

I would just add that in situations like these, with not so much time to finish exam preparation, it is vital to use some of the tools for time management. Most of the candidates that failed, according to the CFA Institute survey, stated lack of time as the main reason why they didn’t solve Mocks or finish their preparation on time.

Study routines are important. CFA Institute now pushed for somewhat more serious study planner, but still far away from the TimePrep apps, the pioneer of this market. McGraw Hill also issued a study planner recently, which means that everyone is already emphasizing how important time management is.