Level 1 December 2020

I’m looking to write Level I in December 2020, but registration isn’t open yet and looking to get a head start on the readings without having to register for June 2020 exam. Given the curriculum doesn’t change for June/Dec, what are my best options? Buy books from Wiley? CFA doesn’t sell their texts (digital/print) unless you’re a member or candidate that’s registered for an exam.

Thanks for your advice.

I’m all about starting early but this is waaaaay too early for December 2020…

I don’t think you can be ever be over prepared especially since this designation is so intimidating. I don’t come from a Finance background so I may need a much bigger head start :grin:

Okay. Then, you have a chance to really master some of the tougher topics. I would focus on Quant, FRA, Equities, and Fixed Income. Really learn those inside and out. Then in july/August learn the rest. You can also score really high in ethics. I found drilling ethics questions regularly really worked well. Scoring high on ethics can put you over the top. I think you can get 3rd party material easily. Any one is good with the amount of time you have. Some have free materials from past years on YouTube, etc. Get the curriculum books as soon as you can though. There’s no reason you can’t read the entire corriculum. I think a lot of people fail by a few questions because the 3rd party summaries don’t cover everything that’s testable.

You can study based on the 2019 syllabus. Just be careful as there are updates to FRA for 2020 (leasing) and QM (hypothesis test for correlations)

Thanks for the advice!

I’ve found Mark Meldrum’s material pretty good so maybe I’ll start with his videos and get the curriculum once registration opens.

gwoods: Did you actually read all 6 volumes of text cover to cover? I know the exam only tests LOS, but unsure what “extra” buffer material that’s included that won’t add much value.

fino_abama: Thanks, I was thinking of using 2019 but worry I won’t catch the new changes. Do you know if the curriculum varies significantly from year to year? I"m sure the fundamentals won’t change, but not sure about FRA since IFRS rules seem to change all the time.

I did not. I used Kaplan and the realized I was missing a lot of information when I started my review. I wound up speed reading the CFAI books just to catch up. I also had to buy MM to review Videos. I pased, but on the margin. My best subject was ethics at over the 90th percentile and it’s because I did read that whole section first, and I drilled ethics questions from the beginning of my studies.

So you started just using Kaplan and encounterd gaps, but I wonder if I just use MM, will I encounter the same issues? I am trying to optimize my time and if studying the text is not as useful, then I’ll probably only refer to it if I’m encountering issues with a concept.



. Was browsing around and found your answer in the Level I forum very helpful!

Why would you go for Dec 2020? Just go for June 2020, you have so much time to prepare before next June that it is pretty much the same as preparing for Dec 2020. If you pass, which I believe will happen if you start now, you’ll have a full 10 months to prepare for L2. If you go for L1 in Dec 2020 and pass, you only have 5 months to prepare for L2 in 2021.

Other than that, I recommend MM for derivatives, make sure you allocate a lot of effort to quantitative methods on L2 (given that you don’t have a finance background) and try to study the entire curriculum. No shortcuts, approach the task as a one-and-done process. I find it much better to overprepare once and pass than go half-ass and maybe fail.

I’ve thought of this as well, but I feel like i’ve already lost so much time since registration opened two months ago, I feel already behind… :frowning_face:

Is it possible to only read the materials given by CFA upon registeration, or I have to buy others books for level 1 exam? any recommendation

If I were you I would start trading options/FX right now to make sure you have a strong understanding of the international economics and derivatives readings given you don’t have a finance background.

This FX trading should be done with as much leverage as your broker allows. This strategy will show you another important aspect of finance : leverage works both ways.

Did you actually read all 6 volumes of text cover to cover?

Yes, I actually read all 6 CFAI volumes of text cover to cover. I also did half of the EOC questions. I used no other material. During the final five weeks, I reviewed the chapters and did Mock Exams. My goal was to learn the material. Fortunately, I do have an Accounting / Finance background. I scored about 95th percentile.

Register with IFT to gain free access of Level 1 videos and start from the most fundamental infact a building block of Finance which is “Time Value of Money”.