AuthorTopic: I studied exclusively from CFAI readings
@2018-07-24 18:04:33
Background - I am an engineer with minimal knowledge of economics, some exposure to quant and FI, and other topics equally unknown. I have worked for one year in Fixed Income operations department for one year. That is it.

Study Material - I studied exclusively from CFAI material. Yes, I tried to read all those 3000+ pages on my own, without any third party help. I read all that material, solved EOCs at least twice and all blue boxes, also mostly twice.

How was exam for me - I felt it was easy. The exam mostly touched basic concepts, when their was scope to really dig in and have some trick questions. AM was mostly straightforward, PM had some little tricks. With the kind of material we have to study and concepts we need to know and blue boxes we need to understand, questions were OK.

Will I pass - NO.

I may score more than 70 even may be 100 for 3-4 topics, between 50-70 for others, but I am not sure about ethics and economics. I really do not think after putting so many many hours I will pass.


I spent so much time reading the material. I had less time to practice because reading text and revising used to tire me down. I tried to understand everything that was written. Economics took so much of my time, it was so difficult to understand, and in the end I am not sure whether I will even score in the range of 40-50. Revising that voluminious material in the end (even after taking notes was very time consuming). I regret solely studying from CFAI material. Depth of questions was OK, I would have been better off, studying third party material. Extra enthusiasm brought me down.

What's next.

I think I have studied hard enough, but I need to practice more. Any third party material should be sufficient , even those who will be studying for the first time. Don't waste time reading the verbose material. Third party material will help you devote time equally to all topics, without getting stressed. (This I am writing after reviewing AnalystNotes vis-a vis CFAI material, this in case I fail and I have to re-appear.)
@2018-07-25 02:18:30
I used the same sort of approach where I studied majorly from CFAI books and solved EOC problems and the problems from AnalystNotes Pro and some from Schwesser. I felt once you read the topic from CFAI book it really prepare you well for exam and one can solve the problem easily compared to reading solely from a third party.

But as mentioned by others as well that studying these books is a huge task and will take lots of time. I am not sure about myself clearing level I this time and have to appear once again in December. I guess AnalystNotes, Schwesser and other third party material prepares you better for exam compared to CFAI books which are primarily for gaining the knowledge.

I felt that best approach for this exam is to have focus on passing the exam by learning and practicing the all major topics and try to score above 70%, rather trying to master the CFAI material. Would like to know what others feel about it.
@2018-07-25 19:50:23
I also used CFAI material. I got half way through Econ and was not making good progress, I decided to can it as it is such a small portion of the exam. I had been shooting about 50% on Econ in the mocks but made up for it in FRA/Eq/FI/Eth. Skipping the latter half of econ was the best decision I ever made. By doing mocks and practice tests you can learn enough to get 50% on that section. For my exam the AM section was significantly tougher and seemed like they picked random topics. PM was more familiar and similar to other Mocks and practice tests.
@2018-07-26 00:47:02
If it makes you feel any better, I majored in economics in college and I thought the econ section of the Level I exam was hard to get through.

One of the hardest things to realize when you sit for the exams is that you can't spend too much time studying any one topic. You have to keep moving forward even if you don't know the material as well as you'd like. Once you start doing problems, youâ??ll better understand what the major points are that you need to know for the exam.

Best of luck in your studies.
@2018-07-31 03:49:51
If you go with the official CFAI material I strongly recommend you to purchase the books as hardware.

The online version via VitalSource is a real pain in the ass. After 10 minutes trying to use the online version I skipped it and since then only used the real ones.
@2019-08-20 20:35:40
I wrote the original post after appearing for exam, as I was feeling very depressed, and misplacing my tremendous efforts. But, I think I need to tell my result, because I had studied exclusively CFAI material, and in the end it does not seem it was worthless.

So I passed. For Ethics, FRA and Quant I got between 50-70 and others I got > 70.

After being so depressed about Economics section I can not believe I got more than 70.

I had not given even one complete mock before the exam, because revising the material itself had tired me down to leave any scope for mocks. But in the end I passed and I am happy with my result.

So, anybody trying to study only from CFAI material, my experience is, level 1 does not go very deep in asking questions and third party suppliers which make reading/understanding/reviewing/practicing this material easy should be good to pass.

There are many candidates here who had passed level 1 using only third party material, which after the exam I believe is attainable.

However, for level 2 I am planning to use CFA1 material mostly, but also using Schweser and/or AnalystNotes this time.

CFA Discussion Topic: I studied exclusively from CFAI readings

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