Which topic to start from for L1 exam?


I registered for the CFA level I exam in June today and I want to create a study plan for myself. Do you have any suggestion where I should start from? Which topic?

My plan is to study all the CFA CBOK first and then search for other resources if I need to. I have my masters in Economics so I feel I am ok with economics, corporate finance and quantitative analysis, I have also passed several accounting courses including fundamental of financial accounting so the only remaining chapters that are going to be pretty new to me are the investment ones.

if you have followed a plan that worked for you could you please share it with me?

thanks a lot :slight_smile:

Start with Volume 1

Studying for L1 December currently. I am by no means an expert in passing these exams, but having just finished reading all of the material, I think there is a better way to tackle the test than simply reading 1-10.

Since you have a MS in Econ, I would start that section by taking the EOC questions and self-test and see how you fare before reading. I studied Econ in undergrad, and while I am sure the depth of the material was substantially less rigorous, there were things in the Econ section covered from the finance perspective that were never covered in my degree.

If I had to start over today, I would read the material as follows:

FRA, Corp Finance, Quant, Equities, Derivatives, Alternative, Fixed Income, Ethics, Econ, Portfolio Management

Front-loading the 3 largest topics by volume (Quant, FRA, Econ) can cause burnout pretty quickly as you don’t feel like you’ve made a dent in the material, whereas topics like alternative you could easily read in an afternoon. I also don’t feel Ethics or Econ give you enough context to frame your thinking for the remainder of the material, so it doesn’t make sense to lead with them. Studying Ethics first might even mean you have no framework to which the rules apply if you don’t have industry experience. Thus, learn the material first (the “fun” stuff), then apply the environment retroactively.

In short, the model here teaches Accounting (baseline knowledge to understand products) -> Product Knowledge & Valuation -> Environment -> Application. Would be interested to hear others’ perspective on this.

start with topics that you find easy to study, and quickly go through them because study material that you read for the first time will take a lot of time. for me it was quants, derivatives and fixed income because it was the first time i ever came across these topics. if possible start with ethics, this sounds laborious and dry but you have to pass ethics to pass the exam. hope that helps.