Please help me pass CFA 1 in 3 month

I recently decided to take my CFA 1 this Dec. I will only have time to study after work and during the weekend since I work full time as a portfolio assistant. I obtained my BBA a few years back but I really don’t recall anything I have learned from then so I think I would have to start from scratch. I was hoping to get some guidance on how to tackle the CFA 1 and maybe answer a few of my concerns:

  1. Since I only have a short period of time, I was thinking about just reading through Schweser notes and maybe watch the videos instead of going through the actual books. Will that work?
  2. Should I follow the study sessions one by one or should I mix them around?
  3. How should I allocate my time with each of the sessions?
  4. Assume I start this weekend, by what time should I be working on the practice exams?
  5. Base on my situation, how many hours should I be using to prep my CFA 1?

Thank you in advance for your help.

ah yes. you can smell the sweat and toil.

Don’t be so mean already Itera :slight_smile:

  1. Schweser can work, I haven’t tried personally, but a lot of people on this forum swear by it. Still, make sure you do the End of chapter questions in the CFA books (EoC)
  2. Up to you, sometimes the topics might overlap nicely (Quants with some parts of Corporate Finance), sometimes there is no relation whatsoever (Econ?). You can mix them if you get bored like me.
  3. Based on the exam weights, ie, spend most of your time on accounting, ethics, equity, fixed income, quants.
  4. Ideally, a month before the exam, no less than 2 weeks.
  5. The number of hours is not a good indicator, 100 hours of good study time are better than 200 hours spent on a half hearted attempt to learn. Just try your best to master the most important LOSs.

All the best.

Thank you so much for your tips!

I think it depends a lot on luck…

I kinda put aside my CFA studies till the last 3 weeks and even then only in the last 1 and half weeks did I go full throttle. So, I only started doing the practice exams the day before. In retrospect, clearly a stupid decision to not do it constantly.

In any case, 3 months of constant work shouldn’t be a problem. Just got to be lucky in the exam.

Do all CFA EOC Problems at least twice + CFA Mocks & Practice problems from QBank (Schweser)…

Practice is the key to CRACK CFA exam…

Lemme get this straight, you work as a portfolio assistant and you don’t remember ANYTHING you learned in your BBA program? Sorry, but I call bullshit on this. Either your idea of “portfolio assistant” is really just being an office gopher, or you should be using at least some of the things tested in Level 1 (and what you learned in your BBA program) at your job.

I would purchase schweser qbank and take two 120 question exams and see what kind of score you get; if it’s above 70, you’ll be in good shape for the December exam. Otherwise, use schweser notes or the Finquiz notes and Schweser qbank for review.


I’m taking dec exam too. i think it depends on how fast a reader you are and ability to understand. my strategy is to go over whatever the material you choose as fast as you can then solve as many problems as possible, go back and re-study your weak parts as indicated by practice exam scores. Good luck to us all ^^

Thanks Stewart


thanks, i will get more practice books

PA is an entry level job at the bank I work for. Most of the day-to-day work in done through GP and it doesn’t require much business background. My BBA was done a few years back and I don’t recall most of the stuff I learned but hopfully I can pick it up along the way.

  1. Yes, take it from me it works, many people used it exclusively and passed. if you don’t it’s not the material… it’s you.

  2. Doesn’t matter, but i would do it one by one, just so that i don’t miss anything.

  3. No particular way, sometimes you speed through 5 chapters in one day sometimes it takes 5 days to get through one chapter. Everyone’s strengths and weaknesses are different, you just have to complete your readings in reasonable time.

  4. Next week or the next. You should start practicing as soon as you finish a reading, start doing mock exams even and do them more than once.

  5. Irrelevant question. Say i suggest 300 hours, does it mean you stop reading at 300th hour even though you have 2 books left to read? I mean, number of hours has absolutely no meaning.

You’re welcome :slight_smile: