How to Prepare for CFA Level 1 Exam 2021 - Tips & tricks
How to Prepare for CFA Level 1 Exam 2021- It is important to clear three levels of CFA exam to complete the Chartered Financial Analyst Course. The CFA level 1 exam is the stepping stone on this journey. As per the last result data released by the CFA institute, the pass rate for Level 1 of CFA is 26% as per August 2021 exams.
LATEST: Check CFA Level 1 exam dates to formulate a plan.
The CFA exam preparation requires an intense level of dedication and a meticulous, effective study plan. Candidates should dedicate approximately 303 hours of study to the Level 1 CFA exam preparation to clear the exam. Time should be carefully divided so that all 10 topics of the core curriculum are covered appropriately before the CFA level 1 exam date.
Sample papers and mock tests are an effective way to practise finishing the exam within the time limit. These mock tests also give an idea of the exam difficulty and CFA level 1 exam pattern to the candidates. The article below will give you tips on preparing for the CFA level 1 exam in a structured manner.
CFA Level 1 exam preparation Tip 1: Understand the CFA Level 1 Exam pattern
CFA Institute has introduced the computer-based test starting from the 2021 exams. It is important to understand the exam structure to prepare well for the exam. The salient features of the exam structure under computer-based examination is as given below:
Exam pattern for CFA level 1 exam
Type of questions
Multiple choice question
Total number of questions
Number of sessions
Duration of the exam
Number of questions/session
CFA Level 1 exam preparation Tip 2: Manage time to study
On average, a successful CFA candidate spends 303 hours in preparing for the CFA level 1 exam. If you take into consideration the total time duration of 4.5 hours, the candidate should spend approximately 90 seconds for each question. Candidates should prepare a study strategy such that they get enough time to prepare all the topics and practise well using mock tests before the Level 1 CFA exam date.
According to the 303 hours study time, if a candidate sets aside 1 year to prepare for the level 1 exam, they will have to study for 25 hours each month.
It is ideal to set aside at least 4 months to prepare well for the Level 1 CFA exam.
At least 4 weeks before the CFA Level 1 exam date, give mock tests by simulating the exam conditions at home.
CFA Level 1 exam preparation Tip 3: Get Familiar with CFA level 1 topics
The CFA level 1 syllabus consists of 10 core curriculum topics, 19 study sessions and 57 readings. The candidate needs to prepare these topics before the exam date of CFA level 1. Each topic carries a different weightage in the exam. The two sessions of the CFA level 1 exam cover different topics of level 1. The sessions cover the following CFA level 1 subjects:
First session- Ethics & professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, and financial reporting and analysis
Second session- Corporate finance, Equity, Fixed income, Derivatives, Alternative investments and portfolio management
CFA® level 1 Topics weightage
Ethical and Professional Standards
Financial Reporting and Analysis
Portfolio management and Wealth planning
The study material provided by the CFA institute or any trusted third party resources consists of end of chapter questions. These questions give you an idea of the important aspects of the topic you cover. It is ideal to solve these questions after each chapter is finished.
CFA Level 1 exam preparation Tip 4: Understand the multiple-choice question
Each multiple-choice question in the CFA level 1 exam has three answer choices (A, B and C). There is no negative marking for wrong answers in the exam. The answers have to be derived from assessing either a question, a statement or a table.
The formats of the questions are :
CFA Level 1 exam preparation Tip 5: Practice using Sample papers
It is ideal to solve a sample or attempt mock exams for the CFA level 1 exam as it helps a great deal in the exam preparation for CFA level 1. The sample papers are prepared in the same manner as the actual exam and it gives the candidates a brief idea of what to expect in the examination.
Click here, to find 20 sample questions for the CFA level 1 exam.
What are the CFA level 1 exam day tips?
Prepare well using your calculator and practise as per the learning outcome statements
Know that the questions referring to Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA) will be based on the International Financial Reporting Standards
The questions based on the U.S. GAAP will have it mentioned along with the question statement.
Try answering all the questions as there is no negative marking.
Dress in comfortable clothes for the exam as it is a long duration exam.
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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - How to Prepare for CFA Level 1 Exam 2021 - Tips & tricks
Question: Will the changes in CFA level 1 format affect the exam preparation?
No, the changes should not affect the preparation for the level 1 exam as the topic-wise weightage remains the same. CFAI will make sure not to compromise on the level of testing even though the number of questions is reduced.
Question: I am preparing for the CFA level 1 exam in February 2021. Should I prepare using question banks?
Yes, it is helpful to solve the CFA level 1 questions from previous papers to get a better understanding of the actual exam.
Question: How can I prioritise the CFA level 1 topic to study for the CFA level 1 2021?
It is helpful to prioritise the topics which have more weightage in the main exam. So, more time should be given to topics with higher weightage in CFA level 1.
Question: Does the CFAI provide mock tests to prepare for the CFA level 1 exam?
Yes, CFA institute provides dedicated mock tests to registered candidates to get an understanding of the actual exam.