AuthorTopic: Thoughts on how to pass level 1:
@2015-07-27 14:42:50
I should post how I passed it so all you hopefuls out there will know what it takes:

You must study religiously everyday for at least 2 hours.

You must spend one week on every study session.

You must take practice exams until you score in the top third of the other candidates (2 thirds fails this exam!).

You must study like the test is tomorrow for the remaining 4 weeks leading up to the exam.

Go back and review everything (every section), 1 section every 1 to 2 days leading up to the exam.

Then complete all mock exams without notes.

Make sure you understand along the way why and how you got the questions wrong.

Make a cheat sheet for yourself along the way of the hard to remember points and formulas.

I even read all the books, but realized too late this was futile. In retrospect, I would have just read the analyst notes they are more than enough for the level 1 exam.

Good luck, with hard work and determination, you can pass this exam.

Thanks to analyst notes, I did.


PS - I'm not taking level 2. Too much work!
@2015-07-27 16:22:18
The site is really helpful and the practise questions and mock exams are very closely aligned to the real exams. I found the review questions and mock exams especially useful for receiving continous feedback on my level of preparation
@2015-07-28 02:38:28
You gotta understand that no matter where you read them from, the concepts are the same. So it is better to go deeper than spread out.

Concentrate on learning the concepts very well and make sure you have no doubts about them. I bought CFA Study materials and used Analyst Notes. But, I feel now that if you have a finance background then Analyst Notes is enough. This approach should help. I used it.

1) Read Analyst Notes thoroughly.

2) Concentrate on learning and absorbing all concepts...use forums, google, investopedia etc to clear your doubts.

3) Answer as many questions as you possibly can on this site. They have around 8000. (That's a lot and enough and I did around 6000)

4) If possible go over the your favourite questions and questions you got wrong, read the comments by others and given explanations.

5) Take the Mock Exams (they are good, I did 4). I feel that more important than your scores on the Mock exams are the explanations to the questions.

6)And, you are ready for D day.

7)Lastly, there are a lot of smart and helpful guys out here who, I'm sure, can help you with other tips, tricks and suggestions.

As for your question regarding other Study Notes I didn't use them. But, I think that with the money I'd have to spend on Sta..., Sch..., Pass...Etc. I could make a small budget Movie on the CFA Exam. One of the Notes providers is charging as much as $899. Holy moly, that's a lot of money. And, it may seem that how can Analyst Notes charge you so little and still be as good. Believe me it is and they don't rip you off. I've seen other notes though and they are nothing special. Rest, talk to ppl who have used it and get their suggestion. Hope this helps. Best of Luck.

(By the way my previous ID was Sourav and is now SouravL2 -I registered for L2 at analyst notes I've full faith in them, now)
@2015-07-28 13:35:39
I passed too. Using thr 40-60-80 method I estimate I received a 72% on the exam. I didn't blow it away but that's a comfortable margin.

I never scored higher then a 60% (compared with other analystnotes users) on a mock exam. So, for all the new guys using the service, remember there is a difference between what will be your percentage score and your percentage relative to a self-selected group of particularly intense studiers. I had no finance, accounting or math background and had to balance the CFA with a maximum course load from a top 5 law school. This service really helped and I'm quite positive I would have failed the exam had I not stumbled upon it.

I recommend people take a class. Use the practice questions here and save the mock exams for the last 3-4 weeks of study. Good luck.
@2015-08-03 18:24:14
How does Analystnotes compare to other study notes like Schweser?
@2015-08-04 01:34:00
I passed L1 on my third try. I made the mistake of using the 2010 study materials from Stalla in order to take L1 in 2011. There was no good excuse for my second fail, I was not aware of Analyst notes. For my third try, I found analyst notes and used it religously. I bought the materials from CFAI (the 4 volome set of books) and read about half of it. Of course I did not do as well on the sections of the test relating to the sections of the text books that I did read.

The part that I found so difficult is the wording on the actual exam and the two part answers. English is my first language but I found that I had to unwind some the questions to understand what they were asking. Phrases like " Which is least likely to be negatively related to" does not seem so tough but if you have to stop and think, you lose time. So mock exams are a must. Do as many as you can!

In a nutshell, I have been very persevering in my studies and committed to passing the exam even when I failed and did bad on the mock exams.
@2015-08-04 01:37:31
Correction. I did not do well on the sections of the test that related to the sections of the text books that I did NOT read.
@2015-08-04 15:59:52

What is the 40-60-80 approach that was mentioned in an earier post?.

Also - I am a tad confused as some people are saying that the analystnotes are sufficient to pass the exam and others are saying that we should read the official CFA 4 books.

I have the 4 books + analystnotes + Audio CD's and flashcards, but wonder if the analystnotes/CD's and flashcards will be enough?

I did the CSI- CSC and IMT exams with good marks (80%+) but wonder if the CFA exams are at a much much higher level?

I really really need to pass L1 in December and any good advice will be welcome.


@2015-08-05 17:29:25

CSC is no comparison to the CFA exam, both in terms of scope and difficulty of the questions (I'm taking it in Dec in Vancouver).
@2015-08-06 17:08:37

You are taking CFA L1 in December?.....what SS are you doing and what method are you using to study (Combo of materials).

I passed the IMT course within 1 month of study and expect CFA to be harder but need some guidance on whether analystnotes + Audio CD's and flashcards will be enough.

Do you know what the 40/60/80 approach is?

Are you a local (BC based)

Good luck

@2015-08-07 02:34:50
The 40/60/80 approach is a way to calculate your approximate score on the exam.

From what I've gathered, I think this is how it is calculated. I'll illustrate with an example.

Multiple Choice
Topic Max Pts <=50% 51%-70% >70%
- Alternative Assets 12 - * -
- Derivatives 12 - - *
- Economics 24 - * -
- Equity Analysis 24 - - *
- Ethical & Professional Stnds. 36 - * -
- Financial Statement Analysis 68 - - *
- Fixed Income Analysis 24 - - *
- General Portfolio Management 12* - -
- Quantitative Analysis 28 - - *

[(12/240)*40] + [(12+24+36)/240]*60 + [(12+24+68+24+28)/240]*80 = 72

So, the candidate scored approximately 72%. I don't know how efficacious this method is, but going by the method ppl would do well by calculating a max and min scores by areas.

Seems though that this method is around for a pretty long time.
@2015-08-08 03:46:31
Good explanation Sourav.

Yup I'm sitting for the Dec exam and yes also a local. I'm on SS7 right now having fun with CFO, CFF and CFI. The study materials I use are Schweser notes, analyst notes, some textbook readings, secret sauce. For practice I'm using Schweser Pro. I haven't used schweser flashcards yet but mostly use their audio to retain the knowledge.

Are you becoming a CIM?

we can chat through emails:

@2015-11-19 19:06:21
Also - I am a tad confused as some people are saying that the analystnotes are sufficient to pass the exam and others are saying that we should read the official CFA 4 books.

I am finally starting to understand this--I think what folks are saying is that if you do not come from a pretty solid finance background you should probably read the CFA reference texts. If you do have background AN might be enough for you. This has been a real issue for me as I do have a finance background to say the least--my knowledge of probability and statistics is for practical purposes zero--yet I also have a very intense full time job, family etc. I think the answer for me might be to accept that it will take a lot longer than most to prepare well.
@2017-12-23 12:04:23
Sourav - Cheers for the 40/60/80 explanation.

Tim - Good to hear that you will be taking the exam in vancouver too.

I will do the PMT after the CFA Level 1 unless I can squeeze it in, but I wont risk failing the CFA paper for it.


CFA Discussion Topic: Thoughts on how to pass level 1:

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I used your notes and passed ... highly recommended!