CFA Level 1 – 2 Month Study Plan

It is very clear that the CFA program is probably going to be one the most demanding thing you have ever done. Too many people take these exams too lightly, but here we are talking about a six-hour exam with two hundred and forty ABC questions from 10 chapters. This means that you have one minute and a half to answer each question. If you currently feel that you don’t have enough time left to study for the suggested 300 hours until the examination date, then no need to worry anymore because this is just the right place for you. Simply follow the steps and study plan below and thank me later.

Too many people who have little or no idea about the CFA exams and two months might seem too much a time for examination preparation. But here we are talking about a six-hour exam with two hundred and forty ABC questions from 10 chapters with an expected preparation time of 300 hours. If you are currently in this situation, then no need to worry anymore because this is just the right place for you. Simply follow the steps and study plan below and thank me later.

More details about the exam

Step 1 and 2: Readings and Practice Questions

Now you have a syllabus of more than 3300 pages to be read within 2 months. I am sure that is a bit scaring, especially for those who are employed on a full-time basis because it calls for a clean 50 pages per a day with literally no day off. Here at AnalystPrep, we have invested a lot of time in coming up with the most comprehensive summaries of each chapter with respect to the different study sessions.  Registering to the premium version of this website guarantees you access to all the summaries. We also provide an explanation and an example of each learning session for free. Find time within your schedule to thoroughly go through the summaries and understand every bit possible because the exams are usually unpredictable. It is also of very great importance to take your own short notes as it is proven to be more effective for most people. Be very keen on taking notes to ensure you don’t miss any important point in your revision.

After every session, there are practice questions. These questions have been put there to help you track your level of understanding in every topic. Make sure you attempt the practice questions immediately after you are done with a section. More practice questions can always be obtained from this website at any time.

Suggested Schedule – Study Plan:

Chapter Readings (days) Practice Questions (days)
Ethical and Professional Standards 2 1
Quantitative Methods 5 2
Economics 5 1
Financial Reporting and Analysis 10 3
Corporate Finance 3 1
Portfolio Management 3 1
Equity 4 1
Fixed Income 5 2
Derivatives 3 0.5
Alternative Investments 1 0.5

Step 3: Mock Exams

We also suggest you take at least 2 mock exams (4 if possible) during these two months. To maximize your learning experience, please follow the instructions on how to use mock exams.

Use your past experiences

Understand your academic and work background in terms of what chapter you understand best and which chapter gives you a hell of a time. This will help you plan your study schedule and allocate more time to those subjects that are harder than the rest. Also, understand the number of pages per topic and topic difficulty. Financial Reporting and Analysis, for example, is known as being one of the most difficult chapters while Equity Investment has been identified by many as the easier chapter of the exam. Clearly, more time should be allocated to Financial Reporting and Analysis than to Equity Investments. If you have some background knowledge in, say economics, you will have to definitely allocate less time to this chapter.

The Ethics Trap

Ethical and Professional Standards has been allocated a high fraction (15%) of the whole syllabus in each of the three levels and therefore it should be given high priority. Keep in mind that the grading system used by the Institute is not available to the public, but we know by analyzing the candidates’ results that it’s really hard to pass the exam with a bad score in the Ethics section.

It is upon you to now do much practice in preparation for the exam. Find enough time for those parts that are difficult for you. Find practical and real-life examples from our website and attempt as many as you can. Also, ensure you have time to go through the mock exams before it is too late. For the two months, spending an average of five days per topic will work for you. The remaining days can comfortably be used in taking mock exams and revising them.

Step 4: Rest

Whether you are a student, employed or unemployed, dedication is all the course calls for. Find enough time for your studies, and remember to also spare time for family and friends. It refreshes your mind and body. With all these steps followed strictly, success at first attempt is guaranteed.

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