Study Guide for a newbie?

Hi everyone, I am a college student, currently pursuing a Bachelors undergrad program in Business Administration - 3 year course. I am entering my 3rd year now, and plan on writing the CFA Level 1 on Dec 02, which gives me approximately 6 months of preparation (With 1 month just for review/revision and Question Banks). I am a full time student, so I can put in 2 hours daily, and 4 hours on the weekends on average, give or take 3 to 4 hours a week. I know the basics of accounting - Journal, Ledger, P/L, B/S, Cash Flow etc, which is pretty much the extent of my knowledge in this departmnet. My dilemna here is the study material and approach I should follow, keeping my profile in mind. I’ve looked this up a lot, which probably just left me even more confused. 1. From what I’ve seen, some people claim that the CFAI material is thorough, and the best for building a strong conceptual foundation, especially for Level 2 and 3, whereas others claim its exceedingly long and fruitless, especially with Schweser providing concise notes. Being from a non finance background, and keeping in mind my study hours, should I use the CFAI material or Schweser? I’m an average student, in the sense that I need to go through all the stages of study, i.e. Reading, reading again, reviewing, practicing etc. (I cant retain much with one reading). While I’m inclined towards the CFAI curriculum, will I have time to study enough to pass the Level 1? I’m aiming for >70% in a maximum number of subjects. Just to note, I’m looking at this from a learning perspective, and pricing, while steep, is not a factor for consideration for my education. PS There is another option available, i.e. of using both. I know ethics is a must from CFAI, whereas quant need not be. Could anyone advise me on such a composition for other subjects? 2. Mark Meldrum seems to have a comprehensive list of videos, which I could complement with my studying, but once again, the time factor comes under question. Any suggestions? 3. There is a wide range of material within CFAI and Schweser itself, such as Secret Sauce, Mind Maps, etc etc. which has left me very confused as to what I should do in order to prepare. Am i right in going with - a. CFAI/Schweser reading b. Questions from the end from both books after every chapter. c. After finishing the syllabus once, question banks. Do I need to constantly keep revising what I studied, say, a week before, or just keep going on? In addition, do I need to make notes, or will that be too much of a writing process, and hence, unnecessary time waste, especially keeping in mind the mindmaps, review notes etc. that are available?

PS I haven’t registered yet. The CFA Institute provides material for those who haven’t registered, through Wiley. Is that the same as the original curriculum books only?

I know these questions seem like easy google searches, but seeing the huge amount of contradictory information I’ve gone through, I’m utterly confused as to which to use. I would really appreciate any suggestions as to what I should do, keeping my profile in mind. Thanks a lot!

Just a heads up that people on AF have a tendency to avoid reading very, very long posts. If you want more input and feedback, my two cents would be to synthesize and truncate your questions before posting.

After skimming your post, here are a few things: (1) you have plenty of time to prepare adequately for the L1 exam and get >70% in all topics (I started in late July and was able to do so); (2) I wouldn’t depend solely on the CFAI material if you’re also juggling your undergraduate commitments (I was too while prepping for L1) and with that said I might try to point you towards Wiley’s study package and video lessons over Schweser (Wiley’s self-study or silver package should suffice, just get your hands on the videos, study guides, and question bank).

The best advice I can give is that no matter what study materials you depend on for your prep, the most important thing you can do is organize a plan and study schedule between the first week you start studying all the way through the final week (exam week) that outlines what you’re covering over that particular week (e.g., what readings, end of chapter problems, question bank quizzes, mock exams towards the end, etc.) Do this and you’ll find yourself plenty ready come exam day in December. Best of luck!

You’re taking the test as an undergrad? Don’t you have to focus on GPA and job search?