Level 1 most difficult topic

What topic/reading/los/whatever was the most difficult to you while you were preparing to your CFA level 1 examination?


I would say FSA. I still dont get half of it

FSA for me, rest I found to be interesting…

FSA: It’s straight memorization of various assorted GAAP vs. IFRS

SS9 takes awhile.

ss9 fo sho

Ethics and FSA

I think Econ was most difficult for me – not to learn, but to retain.

econ because its SOOOO boring

Ethics and FSA, hands down. Derivatives was very easy for anyone who has seen them before. Econ concepts weren’t hard, but they were very demanding in memorization.

I would say that FSA took the most time to learn, but Ethics was the hardest on the test because most of it is so subjective.

macro economics. real gdp, money supply, aggregate demand, curves shifting up and down , left and right depending on the fed’s chairman’s mood and other abstract and vague bull***t like that. i got no love for macro whatsoever

i never got my head around eco. also struggled a bit with fixed income

The most difficult topic is usually the one you study the least.


The most difficult topic wasn’t even in the curriculum: study technique and study discipline.

SS9=worse than waterboarding. I found it strange that in cases where the LI FSA material actually got complex, CFAI textbook would depart from the methodical explanation style and multiple examples they used in the easier materials, instead launching into a half-cooked example to both illustrate and explain the material. Found this very annoying in both LIFO/FIFO conversions and Deferred Tax assets/liabilities. Did anyone else get this from the CFAI texts? I’m guessing Schweser probably did a better job with these sections.

Mine was Eco. it was so easy to understand but difficult to retain.so may rules…

SS9 was a real bitch, but I thought the questions on the exam were pretty straightforward and hardly the nightmare I was expecting. Thank goodness - as FSA was one of only three topics where I got more than 70% (others were econ and ethics). Probably just squeaked by with a pass…