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 Effective Strategy to pass Level 1 
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Joined: 01 Mar 2013
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Ok, this might be promoting Schweser but it worked for me, so I thought of sharing in the AF - instrumental in my passing L1.
Key to passing CFA Level 1 exam- I passed with 70% in every section.
* Watch Schweser Videos for each study session. About 16CDs covers all the study sessions.
* Read Schweser Notes. Reading notes after listening to the videos will help to understand the material quickly.
* Pay attention to each concept in the note. Where you are not clear read the CFAI text.
* Don’t overtly focus on the CFAI text as you will be lost in details. Schweser helps to give the key message.
* After reading Schweser Notes, do all the concept checkers in the Notes.
* Reinforce the reading with the Schweser Pro Question bank that has thousands of Questions for practice.
* Time yourself for each question- aim for 1.25 min though you get 1.5 min for each question in the exam.
* After this read the Secret Sauce- this is condensate of all the reading in 220pages. You should be able to understand each line of the note and it should be deeply assimilated in you. You should always carry this and review so that everything is in your mind.
* Follow a concurrent strategy- essentially means read each section and devote at least few hours to revise whatever you have learnt in the past. Remember this is key. The volume is so much that you have to keep everything in RAM.
* If you haven’t don any Finance, follow this order
o Quant
o Econ
o Fin Statement Analysis
o Rest is your choice but these sections are cumulative and they pervade thru out the material.
* Know the calculator very well. Substantial time saver. BA II plus pro is recommended unless you are familiar with RPN of HP calculators.
* Do the Volume 6 and 7 exams after you have finished all material. You should aim to get 75%. Schweser tests are difficult but if you crack 75% you will surely get at least that much in the real exam which is far more conceptual. By working with maths, you will know how things are affected. After you have done the question, take broader look at the question and think what was tested there. Focus on the concept and the message emerging out of it.
* You need to get 70% in the real exam to guarantee a pass.
* Remember the real exam is less numerical and more conceptual.
* Constant revision and keeping tons of key messages in the mind is crucial.


31 Mar 2013
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Joined: 02 Mar 2013
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Excellent advice. I printed it out and keep it as my reference. Thx much and congrats to you!!!


31 Mar 2013
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Joined: 01 Mar 2013
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Congratulations Saurya, thanks for the advice, Do u still have these CD’s and question bank with you, I have schweser notes but don’t have these question bank and CD’s .
Let me know if you want to sell.
Also, u said that the exam is more conceptual, that means is it more of ethics, more concepts from FSA and less problem solving questions, how much time did u devote to your studies on avg per week.
Once again, congratulations!


31 Mar 2013
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Joined: 02 Mar 2013
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for me the key to passing is
1) doing all the readings and making sure you understand it while you read it - end of chapter problems are good to make sure you got it all straight
2) then doing as many problems as you possibly can (i did about 6000 problems in total during the month before the exam from schweser and stalla)


31 Mar 2013
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Joined: 01 Mar 2013
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I passed every sections with over 70% too.
1.read text books to start
2.read the notes to get what will be tested in exam
3.passed practice exam more than 70%
4.if not, do again
5.study at least little everyday
6.sleep earlier before exam.
7.dont read anything during lunch break at exam day. turn your brain off for one hour
8. read the outline one month before exam to find out what is ur weakness
9.be calm and confident
I didn’t have any difficult questions during exam. I finished morning section with 2.5 hours and finished afternoon section with 2 hours.


31 Mar 2013
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Joined: 01 Mar 2013
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my key to passing was reading the CFAI books cover to cover and realizing that the test is about knowing all the sections good enough to pass
some people think you can bomb a section and still make it. could be true, but why take a risk.
also, know your calculator.
lastly, order or make flashcards. I bought some last minute from schweser and went over them the night befpre exam in a smelly, dirty motel room i was staying at close to the exam center.
good luck to all taking it in December


31 Mar 2013
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Joined: 01 Mar 2013
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Thank you all for sharing.
I took the exam in June, but in fact i didnt spend much time on studying. I knew i would not pass it once i walked out of the exam venue.
now, everything seems settled so i will definitely kill it in Dec!!
i will come to this forum more often. i didnt last time. big loss for me!
This forum is really helpful!!!


31 Mar 2013
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Joined: 01 Mar 2013
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I didn’t spend much time on studying, either. I guess there is no shortcut. I only used the Q-bank and did few practice exams. Fail with only AI 70% and the rest in between these two. Performance band 10. ….. Still thinking will do it in Dec or not…..


31 Mar 2013
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What this exam needs is consistency and dedication.
With no Finance/Eco background:
1. Read Ethics 30mins everyday in Aug 07 (before deciding to write CFA)
2. Finished FSA, Corp Finance, Portfolio Mgmt using CFAI books b/w Nov 07 and Jan 08Found material to be confusing and I knew no more than 30% of the material. Essentially, all time lost!!!!
Beginning Feb 08:
3. Got 2007 Schweser notes - only study material I used that helped me pass!!!
4. Banged them out 3-4 hours every night; 10 hours over weekend
5. Made own flashcards
6. Got QBank in April and solved probs everyday
7. Finished Equity, Derivatives, AI in 1 month
8. Revised FSA, Portfolio Mgmt multiple times. Repeated this multiple times.
9. Didn’t touch Economics
10. Read Ethics from Scheweser and 120q in 3 days
11. Read GIPS 1.5 hour
12. Solved Schweser sample exams
13. Took CFAI exam
Recommendation:
1. Give yourself at least 5 months
2. Schweser study notes are more than enough and really good!
3. Create flashcards - good to revise on the go! Secret sauce is too big with 220 pages!
4. Solve as many q from QBank
5. Do take CFAI exams
6. Read Ethics atleast once from CFAI
7. STUDY DAILY. KEEP REVISING. MEMORIZE EVERY FORMULA (the only functions I used on my calc were TVM, NPV and + - / *. I didn’t even know how to use the memory key!!!)
L1 is not really hard if you are committed! Goodluck!


31 Mar 2013
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Joined: 02 Mar 2013
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The plan that I mentioned above, I read according to that for two months. Infact, I registered fro the test on last possible day and ended up in paying $1400 or so. I managed to finish both the sections in 2 hr 15 in. So was really worried that I must have fallen to the exam traps but since I passed, I am Ok with it.
There is no shortcut- you need to read the material couple of times and have everything in mind. The material is quite wide but less deep but you see the depth in L2.
best


31 Mar 2013
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