Those of you retaking Level 1...

I’d be grateful if you could share your experiences and the lessons you learned from not passing Level 1 previously: 1. What did you miss? 2. What would you have done differently? 3. What extra steps have you done for your current preparation? I’m going for the June 2009, and I just started studying. My company is sponsoring me on the condition that I pass (if not I have to pay them back!). I intend to stick to the CFAI books because I genuinely like this stuff and want to know as much as possible. I have started mapping out my study plan, which I foresee will probably extend beyond the original deadline here http://blog.5m10y.com/my-cfa-level-1-exam-june-2009-plan/ If you could share and perhaps offer some tips for a first timer like me, I’d be really grateful. Thank you Ray

I’m not a retaker, but you should really pony up the ~$579 for at least the Schweser notes, QBank, and sample exams. I feel it’s a must. Those CFAI books are terribly boring to read. Notes & Qbank are key to retaining the info.

I am a retaker…I didn’t do any of the CFA questions in the book. I failed band 10, and when I am going through the CFA questions in the readings/end of chapter…ALOT of them look very familiar. I found Qbank to be helpfull, but the questions they ask are not like the ones on the real exam.

Thanks for the replies! BrokenSocialScene, I feel that I still have enough time to go through the CFAI book. So far they don’t look so bad. I’ll see when I’ve reached SS9 I guess. I’m planning to create my own notes as well–but we’ll see. beingthatguy, thanks for the tip–so basically what you’re saying is that one shouldn’t skip the questions at the end of each reading in the CFAI books.

Hi beingthatguy, I’m reading from Schweser but did some questions from the CFA txts but a lot of them are not multiple choice & require a lot of time, so I just skipped those ones. Is that a bad idea? Should I go back & do the CFA questions that are not MC?

even the not MC questions do deal with important issues that may become a part of a MC question so do not ignore a question.

would you say the practice exams from schweser are comparable in difficulty to the real exam?

I’m not a re-taker but I find it tough to argue with CFAI questions that are actually from the 2005 exam for getting a feel as to the nature of the actual exam questions. The longer winded non MC questions are more like homework questions in that they’re a hassle and far too involved to make it onto a 240 exam in their current form but working through them is certainly worthwhile for learning/understanding the concepts. I’m more interested in being good at my profession than being a good test taker.

I saw your schedule. I would not spend one day on each Reading as you have outlined in your plan. If you spend 3-4 days on a study session, you are probably going through it too quick and a review of 4 days of studying isn’t going to be all that helpful. If you don’t think you will burnout and want to start now, a better approach would probably be to spend about a week on each study session, have a couple days review and buy Passmaster/Qbank and knock out hundreds of questions, then move on to the next if getting 80% - 90%. Schedule 1.5 - 2 weeks for SS9 and you should have a month to focus on weak areas and knock out as many questions as possible for the June exam.

Thanks very much projectplatnyc, for taking a look at my schedule. I agree totally–1 day each reading is the initial estimate I came up with before I actually started reading. A few days into the reading has shown this to be unrealistic–I went through some reading really fast–but reviewing it to make sure that it sticks take a long time. Add that to the fact that 1 day during weekdays actually translates to at most 2-3 hours of study time, considering my schedule. Let me think about that Qbank approach–that sounds good. I’m planning to take a week off one of these days to go through SS9… let’s see. Thanks again, I really appreciate it, Ray

I agree with you, Paul. As these books are exam-based and not for earning a degree, I definately think CFAI should tailor the questions in the book to the real exam. I personally feel doing those homework-like non MC questions takes too much time and energy. I will switch to Stalla books for MC questions for these chapters.

those comprehensive problems - yes they take a long time to solve, but going through them gives you a great understanding of the topic. Think of it this way, any one part of those long questions could be given as a multiple choice Q on the exam.