Looking for some Studying Guidance (Senior Undergrad - 2014 December Level 1)

To start off, I’m new here and sorry if I’ve given more information than needed, I’m just trying to find my way through the CFA community.

So I’m entering my senior year, finishing up a degree in Economics & Finance with a minor in Mathematics, and plan on sitting for the December 2014 Level 1 Exam. Over my past two years in college I’ve taken courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, corporate finance, international finance, financial markets, probability, couple statistic courses, and a few accounting and finance principle courses and have been done a lot of portfolio management and equity and fixed income research at my internship over that period.

This fall I’m signed up for four classes (derivatives, financial modeling, econometrics, and discrete options pricing) that’ll help me finish my course requirements and felt were all the most applicable to the exam.

So essentially at this point, I’m looking for any tips someone may have on what topics I should focus on the most and may be the best strategy to approaching the topics that are already familiar. I figure I should spend a lot of time on ethics (biggest section I’ve had little exposure) and maybe begin the sections I’m familiar with by starting with practice questions and picking off my weakest points in those sections.

I know my biggest downfall is potentially neglecting a section or concept because of the “well I’m already familiar with that” mentality. So really trying to avoid that but still optimize my time through foregoing redundancy in my preparation.

Thanks for the help in advance.

Dude!! U’re definitely passin level 1 with that background!!

You will probably need a month’s fight.

Hi YoungCFA15,

I am in somewhat of a similar situation as you are. I’m also in my last year (last semester staring this coming September) and I have just successfully written level 1. I wouldn’t say that you have to spend the most time on ethics. Just read it and understanding it. Do the practice questions (all of them!). You just have to be able to think the way the CFA Institute wants you to think. I did not find the ethics challenging at all.

Make sure you read everything. I really never understood the whole “Just focus on A, B, C” mentality. To me, everything was equally important, and I made sure to understand all topics equally well.

You’ll come across topics that are familiar to you from your previous courses. That’s a big bonus! When i encountered such topics, i still read through it and made sure i can answer the end of chapter questions quickly and easily. In addition, I would still review these topics in your final review closer to the exam date.

My biggest lesson learned from doing level 1 is to really know the material before moving on. Throughout studying, I noticed that sometimes I’d read it and feel like “yeah i get it” when in reality, i may understand the concepts, but once it came to doing the questions, i couldn’t do it. I had to relearn many things during my final review, which was very stressful. For my level 2 im going to make sure I really know it and can apply it before i go forward.

Hopefully my advice is helpful to you! Best of luck! This exam is really not that difficult when you put in the time and study!


With that background you will cruise through L1.

Get Schweser Qbank and smash out those questions. Try complete as much of the Qbank as possible.

Do a couple mocks from Elan, which I felt were very representative of the exam for L1.

You’ll be absolutely fine

If you are looking to pass, and think your background will help, get your hands on Schweser Notes or other test prep material and go thru them. They are much less cumbersome than CFAI curriculum. You’ll find that there’s a lot of material you won’t necessarily recall from your academic studies, and they may present the material differently.

Don’t skip any sections, if certain topics are familiar to you, it will became apparent as you study them and you can breeze thru it.