I got a question via e-mail about the CFA Level 1 exam, and how I went about preparation, so I thought I would share my thoughts here. I took the Level 1 exam in June 2003. I studied intensely for about 2 months or so, as I got married 4 months before the test and therefore couldn't go about a leisurely 4-6 month study plan as recommended. Of course, I can rarely dig into something until a deadline looms, so it wasn't really surprising. I studied a lot, much more than most, because I had no background in Finance and I wanted to actually learn the material, rather than learning to pass the exam. Here are the pillars of my approach:
- AnalystForum was a great site to find study plans and recommendations from students who recently passed the exam. Posts by RobRob are particularly useful, such as this thread
- I started by going through all the textbook assignments, as given by the CFA materials. After I finished that, I used study notes.
- I used Schweser Study Notes and PassPro online questions. I found Schweser very helpful, and PassPro less so, although still probably worth the $.
- I took a ton of practice tests, mostly the PassPro questions and Schweser sample tests that were included with the notes.
That's about all there is to it. It's not complicated, you just have to devise a plan and stick to it. Let me know if you have any questions.