AuthorTopic: Retake?
@2013-01-23 15:22:40
Ok I just got my Dec level 1 exam result and i didnt pass. This was my 2nd attempt and I seem to have done worse than the first. Should I try again and what study methods work? Ive been using schweser supplemented by analyst notes and that obviously isnt working 4 me. All advice would be helpful.
@2013-01-23 17:25:42
I know this is a review site and I did use it but only really to supplement my learning. I failed the first time and i'm not sure it was lack of time (4 mos) to study or method. But I do know the first time I relied mostly on review sites. This past time I passed and I changed my strategy.

It may work for you, it may not but I know how frustrating things like this can be when they aren't working out due to time and money committments.

I decided to actually read ALL the material given by the CFA institute. Then after I finished one book I would go back through and put on Index cards any important concepts, graphs, etc that I needed to remember a concept (I starred these things while i read) so that I wouldn't have to reread the first book when I got to the last one.

Then I studied my notecards any time I had a small break in the day. So once i started doing practice exams and I got stumped I would look at my note cards or maybe just review the concept from this site or the book. This allowed me to take my studying everywhere.

One other thing I want to say is I believe that this test is passable without a calculator (both times i took it). With that being said Know Your Calculations but when studying them it is as, if not more, important to understand what they tell and the parts that make it up than just doing the math.

So when studying if you can't talk out loud the relationships in your Covariance equations to ideas of risk and standard deviation, memorizing the equation will only get you so far per the way they ask questions. The notecards helped me focus on that part of it and the site helped me focus on the math.
@2013-01-23 20:28:17
I am in the same situation too, how to persevere?
@2013-01-24 02:03:17
one piece of advise...dont spend time surfing the analystnotes discussion forum... its a waste of time...rahther spend tht much time with its study notes...
@2013-01-24 03:34:32
Its disappointing and frustrating that you didn't pass but try not to feel too discouraged. CFA is a very tough course and most fail one level at least once - but its worth perservering. CFA suggests a min. of 250hrs. I recommend at least 350hrs. Analyst notes sample exam questions are simply tougher on average than the exam. If you are consistently exceeding 70% on the sample exams for topics this is as good an indication as any that you really know the material. If you don't work in the industry or have some markets experience the actual CFA materials are the most comprehensive and reliable (they are just long thats all). Good luck.
@2013-01-24 03:49:13
When i registered i couldnt receive the materials from the Institute? WHy is it so? Every time I had registered i didnt get the materials....
@2013-01-24 06:44:35
I will have to disagree with prado's statement. Being a constant poster can be good and bad. However, browsing this website definitely helped me a ton when studying for the exam.

Some words of advice to those who failed and those that are just reading to get an idea because they haven't taken the exam:

1. Do browse this page throughout this week for people that post "Words of Advice", many can be very helpful. This should give you an idea as to what works and doesn't depending on your learning style.

2. There are many different types of learning styles and backgrounds. Many in this forum are not your average learners or may have more extra time than the average working person. With that said, just because someone here posts that the exam is easy, it doesn't mean it is. These 39% pass rates speak for themselves: The exam is challenging, but not impossible. Do what's best for YOU. If you try to mimic someone else's strategy (especially those requiring little effort), I will save you the suspense -- You are likely to fail!

3. Do a lot of problems and practice exams. I started off doing the readings from the book itself and didn't use Schweser or Stalla. Luckily, a friend of mine passed in June and recommended to me this web site, which was invaluable in the last month.

4. Make your own flashcards. I just made flashcards of formulas, concepts, some LOS, and anything that I felt I should know for the exam. Again, doing problems can help you identify what to focus your flashcards on.

5. If your finance background is weak (be honest with yourself), make sure you put in AT LEAST the recommended time. Otherwise, it depends on whether you have an MBA, PhD, etc.

I'm sure others can add to this, but these are just some critical points off the top of my head that helped me along the way.

Best of luck to the new June CFA Level 1 Candidates!
@2013-01-24 09:38:29
I think the flashcards idea sounds very promising....but shall i buy new literature rather than using schweser? I reckon I put in about 400 hours of study so 2 have not passed is really dissapointing. I think the key here is not the amount of time u put in but how efficient u are. I need to study smart.
@2013-01-25 02:36:06
In my opinion, the most important thing is to understand the main concepts. There are only 20-30 of them, trust me. As the exam doesn't have that many questions, these 20-30 concepts are heavily tested. You should have noticed that the exam is not about calculating, it's about understanding.

Write down the core concepts which you think important. Then try to understand them. Learn the important formulas as well. If you think u do understand them, find someone without a finance background. Then try to explain him/her the concepts. If you succeed, you have probably understood the stuff as well. (I mean, REAL understanding). This should be enough to pass the test.
By the way, the questions from this site is very helpful.
@2019-06-19 17:14:41
I too used flashcards but what are the steps of studying smart? Its right the amount of time is not the criterion....I fail in time management... How to allocate time amongst the different sections such that I get >50% in all the sections except one? What should be the appropriate strategy?

CFA Discussion Topic: Retake?

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I just wanted to share the good news that I passed CFA Level I!!! Thank you for your help - I think the online question bank helped cut the clutter and made a positive difference.
Edward Liu

Edward Liu