AuthorTopic: for those that passed the exam - words of wisdom
@2008-07-24 12:01:49
Congratulations to all of you who passed...looks like everybody did very well.

Can we please have the customary words of wisdom from all of you who passed / didn't make it this time...what to do, what not to do , how you prepared, your trade secrets , study tips etc. for all of us planning to take the exam in December?
@2008-07-24 12:21:03
buy the cfa books and read them and do practice problems at analystnotes, especially the mock exams. read em and weep.
@2008-07-24 14:19:46
I did not buy any of the books. I used analystnotes exclusively (the study notes, the ebook and the online mock exams). I put roughly 260 hours of study, I used the online review exams to identify my weaknesses, I prioritized those weaknesses in order of importance for the exam and I hammered on those weaknesses.

I passed.
@2008-07-24 15:43:06
I used schweser books till the last month ... then switched to CFA books and realized i was missing hell lot of points.. too a week break and covered all four books by putting 18 hours a day for a week..

proly only schweser would have killed me in final exam where the questions were combination of two concepts.. books really helped

i would say read all four CFA books like story book..... especially economics. mock exams on this site definitely helped as they were closer to real questions than any other mocks Ive tried.
@2008-07-24 16:32:30
Used AnalystNotes exclusively.

Started studying in October. Put in about 7.5 hours/ week. Total study time was probably over 250 hours.

Read each section, took the end of section review questions. Once all the readings were done, started on the practice tests. Took all analystnotes' review questions of each study session twice.

Time and money (only $99) was worth it considering I passed with >70% in all sections. Did not want to fail and feel like I wasted 7 months of my life.
@2008-07-24 16:53:12
I've taken level 1 too many times to count and I finally passed this time around. The amount of time you need to study varies from person to person. I found that I have a very good short term memory and I focus my most difficult subject (FSA) last. I changed my study habit since my previous study pattern was not working for me. As for studying, I figured I took enough actual exams that I did not need to focus on reading the AnalystNotes/Schweser/designated textbooks over and over again. I figured all of the knowledge was in my head and I only need to reorganize it to pass. I only refreshed on FSA since that was my weakest point.

My strategy:

I gave myself 1 month to take half practice exams every other day. One day to take the 3 hour exam and quickly score it. The next day I evaluate the exam bit by bit to see where I was falling short and re-read the areas I was having trouble with. I noticed my score rose with each exam. About 1 1/2 weeks prior to the exam, I took a whole exam (all 6 hours) and graded it the same night. The next day I took notes on that exam and all other practice exams I took on what went wrong. I used those notes as my only study notes prior to the exam. I did not study the night before the exam but I did use my notes prior to taking the actual exam and during the break. It helped a ton.

I hope this helps!!
@2008-07-24 18:40:12
I thank God for the success. I advise that you ensure you go through the materials at least twice and arrange your revision in a way that makes you go through the subjects with the most weights. Read the standard of practise handbook a day b4 the exam.
@2008-07-25 10:15:29
You need to stay cool through the whole period of study. Learn calmly and understand. Odds are that you wont understant 50% of the material especially FSA. This signifies that you need to practice to get a grasp of the material.

Allow one month for revision

And most importantly never never give up
@2019-06-29 21:21:05
passed. never went to exam so insecured. I did slog like a donkey. really there are no shortcuts here. be over prepared. I must have put 300 hours since june -10 in addition to full time work. I studied from swesser notes, but I used this site for review questions. Swesser notes are good for review but not for practice questions.


1. work on concepts. however slow you are.
2. don't worry about speed. it will be automatic based on your familiarity with concents. see it as running. as you start running your time is miserable. as you continue running, muscles gets stronger and timeing automatically improves.

I did not do any practice exams or mock tests. just the review questions and pass with >70% on everything.

Be a turtle, not a rabbit and you will get thru it.

Chance favors the prepared minds.

CFA Discussion Topic: for those that passed the exam - words of wisdom

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I am happy to say that I passed! Your study notes certainly helped prepare me for what was the most difficult exam I had ever taken.
Andrea Schildbach

Andrea Schildbach