Just signed up for Level 1...what's the best area to start?

Hello everyone, I have just signed up for exam, was wondering what’s the best area to begin with. Thanks for any advice!

Ethics then quant…start with the first book :slight_smile:

If you are unsure about your quant skills then do the quant section first. PV calculations are used in almost every book except Economics. If you are good at math then start with FSA first. I am not sure about you but I was really uncomfortable with FSA and had to go through the book 3 times for it to settle down in my brain. Do questions after every reading and QBank as well. It will help in retaining the stuff.

I would highly recommend reading ethics LAST, unless you just wanna give it a quick read through (no more than 2 days) at the beginning. If you read it last, the little intricacies will be fresh in your mind when you’re going through the QBank questions and such. (Did you order the Schweser Essential Solution? If not, do it now) I started with Quant and went forth from there. That’s probably a good way to do it because many of the other sections use concepts you learn first in Quant. Especially TVM if you’re not already familiar with it and how to use your calculator to solve those problems easily.

Read ethics from CFAI text…i would consider reading it three times and doing practice problems. Also check on AF consistently to do some quick practice problems that people post. Good review.

Start with Quant / TVM first at the very least. But in general, Quant is a good place to start as a lot of subsequent concepts are based on it. Otherwise, Econ / FSA / Corp Fin are mostly independent of Quant so you can probably start with those too. If Quant is too unpalatable, start with something that is more interesting for you (bc it’s a long slog after you start and you want to start with as much energy as possible). IMHO I would do Ethics last too. It made a lot more sense to start with a “pre-test” (I created one with Schweser QBank), then read it (because it’s about the most boring one can ever read), then focus heavily on the questions as you will get an intuitive feel for what they’re looking for more effectively (and remember that better than trying to memorise such boring source material). But the most important thing – whatever you start with – is to keep up the pace at your planned level. While it’s easy to start slacking, that’ll end up being a score-killer as it’s not easy to get back. So before doing anything, your first step ought to be very methodical planning to get through everything with enough time to spare for review.

Dude, I advise to read Ethics in the beginning, yet don’t give too much time to it. The reason is because Ethics is all about doing million questions on it to actually get used to their concepts. Thus, if you are familiar with the Ethics material from the beginning, you can keep practicing it for the next 5-6 months on and off. It will truly drill down in your memory. This is something you can’t really do at the end. By that time, you will also be concerned about your other weak areas. Towards the end, memorise the headings and subheadings under each heading in Ethics. Next - Quant would be a good area to start with, but I wish I had started with FRA. It was one of my weak areas and it has the highest weightage in the exam. In the beginning I found myself most energetic and high-spirited, so if you are something like that too then rather tackle most important/weak area of yours.

Cool…thanks a lot for your input

If you have flashcards for ethics then just start with quant and work your way through and review your ethics flashcards daily. Ethics is an easy 15% to get right. You either know it or you dont (with some tricky exceptions). But really there’s no excuse to not get at LEAST 80% on ethics. Just keep doing it and then the questions get pretty easy. But like other posters said, ethics is pure question drilling. I learned alot more doing questions than reading; but going back and forth from the CFAI readings to flashcards helps too.

Whatever you start with first, don’t ignore the weightings published here. http://www.cfainstitute.org/cfaprog/courseofstudy/topicareaweights.html It doesn’t matter what you start with, but if you start with book 1 and progress to book 5, that makes most sense. I didn’t do that, but later realized that that would have been the correct method. I suggest you read through all 5 books once with shallow understanding, then revisit and when you revisit all books, this time make sure you understand each and every LOS well. Finally, choice of study material is most important factor apart from how hard you work. FSA is not for faint at heart. Ethics is pure memorization. If you work hard, the material is not difficult, you will learn a lot. The challenging part is that the passing grade is 70%. Don’t let the 34% passing rate fool you. I have seen smart people too take this exam too lightly and fail. Or they have a job thats demanding. Family, etc. Its not like people who fail fail because they are dumb, its just that they didnt have time to study. Remember: If you study and work hard, you have a better than 34% chance of passing. But another factor that matters is what interests you. Maybe you are a biologist and like plants. You might be a genius then, but you may not like this material so you could fail.

I read them in order (e.g. Ethics first, then Quant, etc.), and re-did Ethics again at the very end.

you should follow the order of the books, except the Ethics part which is read finally