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Keep reading to learn some of the most important factors in preparing for the Level I exam, plus get expert tips that will help you prepare for exam day.
According to the CFA Institute, candidates that received a passing grade on the Level I exam studied for an average of 300 hours. This means you’ll need to study for about 13 hours per week if you start your exam preparation six months before your exam date.
Break down the material with the weight of the exam topic areas in mind and be sure to prioritize the topics that don’t come as naturally to you or that you don’t have as much experience with. We also strongly recommend using guided video lectures when studying for the Level I exam because they can help you absorb the concepts more effectively.
Topics that are heavily weighted include Financial Reporting & Analysis and Ethics.
Next on the priority list is Quantitative Methods, Fixed Income, and Corporate Finance. And don’t forget about Portfolio Management, Derivatives, Economics, and Alternative Investments.
Learn more about CFA Level I Topic Weights.
Joining a study group is another excellent option, as successful CFA candidates report that groups help with memory, discipline, and motivation and can even help you absorb more material than when you study alone. Wiley offers a wide range of study materials to help during this process, whether you’re studying alone or with others.
Compare Wiley’s CFA Level I study materials.
The Level I exam can change from year to year but was most recently made up of 180 multiple-choice questions split between two 135-minute sessions. To ensure you have enough time during the exam, you can break this down with a target of taking on average 90 seconds on each question during the actual exam. And be sure to pay close attention to time management.
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of time it takes to prepare, so pace yourself throughout, with plenty of scheduled breaks. Your last month of studying should exclusively be for practice and review.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about how to study for the Level I CFA exam.