Are you Preparing For the CFA Level 1 Exam? Here’s Your Detailed Study Plan

preparing for the CFA

Preparing for the CFA Level 1 Exam can be challenging, but solid study plans make a huge difference. 

This exam covers a wide range of topics and requires a deep understanding.

A well-structured study strategy helps you

  • Manage your time efficiently 
  • Ensures you cover all the necessary material for the CFA Level 1 exam. 

In this blog, we have outlined some effective strategies that you can use to prepare for the CFA Level 1 exam and advance your career with confidence.


Are you preparing for the CFA Level 1? 

If you have a knack for numbers and finances, enjoy managing assets, or aspire to become an analyst, the CFA exam might be the right fit for you.

It offers a golden opportunity to thrive in the investment or financial industry.

Let’s see how you can qualify for the CFA Level 1 exam on your first attempt.

Candidates often ask how to prepare for the CFA Level 1 exam and the keys to passing it with flying colors. 

While everyone has their own strategy for exam preparation, we recommend, that you follow one that compliments your grasping power.

If you’re wondering where to find a solid study plan, you’re in the right place. In this blog, we’ll provide you with a list of comprehensive strategies to help you ace preparing for the CFA exam.

The key is to stick to the plan consistently. 

This approach will give you a clear insight into how to manage your time efficiently and take the first step toward realizing your dream of becoming a CFA!


What is the time required for CFA Level 1 preparation? 

The CFA Institute has recently made slight changes to the eligibility requirements. If you register 23 months before your graduation date, you can appear for the Level 1 exam. 

Alternatively, many candidates choose to apply while pursuing their Master’s degree to enhance their profiles.

Preparing for the CFA Level 1 exam involves covering a broad syllabus with multiple subjects. To manage this effectively, it is crucial to follow a study plan.  

According to the CFA Institute, an average of 300 hours of study is recommended to pass the CFA Level 1 exam. This equates to about 17 weeks or 4 months of dedicated study time. 

However, this is just a guideline. 

The time required for CFA Level 1 preparation can vary from student to student. If your study methods are efficient and effective, you might cover the material in less time, potentially even 100 hours, and still perform well on the exam.

Ultimately, the time required depends on your learning and grasping pace and how effectively you apply and practice the material.


5 Robust Strategies for CFA Level 1 Exam Preparation


1. Get familiar with the unfamiliar

When preparing for your CFA exam, start with the subjects you are unfamiliar with. 

This approach has two main benefits:

  • It ensures all new subjects are covered.
  • It fast-tracks your progress level

Many candidates take Level 1 lightly because it’s the beginner level and consists of multiple-choice questions. 

However, steer clear of falling prey to this illusion.

You need to study 10 subjects and be prepared to answer questions on all of them on the same day.

The first step in preparing for your Level 1 exam involves, identifying which of the concepts amongst the 10 subjects are completely new to you based on your background. 

Begin by familiarizing yourself with these subjects.


2. Group your subjects 

To prepare efficiently for the CFA Level 1 exam, try grouping your subjects:

Subjects to Group:

preparing for the CFA

The calculation-based subjects involve a lot of calculations. Studying them together can be beneficial because it allows you to visualize and understand interconnected concepts thoroughly.

On the other hand, theory-based subjects focus on understanding concepts. Grouping and studying them together helps you grasp interconnected ideas more effectively.

This approach not only helps you manage your study time better but also makes it easier to comprehend and retain information across different subjects. 


3. Prepare formulae cheat sheets 

Creating formula cheat sheets can greatly enhance your study efficiency. 

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Write out the cheat sheets by hand. This process helps reinforce your memory for the long haul.
  • Start with the formulas you find most challenging. This ensures you spend more time mastering the difficult concepts and reduces stress closer to the exam.
  • Group related formulas together. This makes it easier to review them and see how different concepts are connected.
  • Keep your cheat sheets handy and review them frequently. Regular revision helps cement the formulas in your memory.

Using these cheat sheets during your study sessions will help you quickly recall important formulas and apply them effectively in practice problems and on the exam.


4. Local Study Groups

You might consider joining our CFA Level 1 2024 batch to upskill and take your preparations more seriously. 

Along with the study material and professional guidance, you get access to group discussions and clarify your doubts as they come. 


5. Consistent Practice

Last but not least, regularly practice questions and take mock exams to build confidence and improve your time management.

By utilizing these strategies, you can effectively prepare for the CFA Level 1 Exam and increase your chances of success.

Moreover, when preparing for the CFA Level 1 exam, prioritize your study topics based on your strengths and weaknesses.

Determine which concepts will be easier or harder for you to cover between the theory-based subjects and the calculation-based subjects. 

This will help you allocate your time and effort more effectively, ensuring a balanced and thorough preparation.


Exam Structure and Recommended Resources to Ace your CFA Level 1 Exam in 1 Attempt

The CFA Level 1 Exam is designed to test your knowledge and understanding of basic concepts in finance and investment. 

Level 1 includes 180 multiple-choice questions drawn from 10 subjects. 

This means that each subject might have just one question or none at all on a specific concept. 

As a result, you need to study the entire syllabus thoroughly and cannot afford to skip any chapters, unlike what you might have done in school.

The passing score hovers around 70%.

However, it’s just an estimation as The CFA Institute never really realizes the passing score.


Here’s an overview of the CFA Level 1 Exam Structure:


a. Format 

The exam is computer-based and consists of 180 multiple-choice questions, split into two sessions. Each session lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes, with a total exam time of 4 hours and 30 minutes.

b. Session Breakdown

Morning Session: 90 multiple-choice questions 

Afternoon Session: 90 multiple-choice questions

c. Question Format

Each question is formatted as either a standalone question or grouped with other questions in sets. There are three answer choices per question.


Resources for preparation for the CFA Level 1 Exam:


It’s crucial to understand

  • The time required for CFA Level 1 preparation 
  • Your study resources
  • Weightage of concepts

To provide clarity, below is a table outlining recommended resources and the weight each subject carries. 

Preparing for the CFA, CFA Study Plan

This will help you allocate your study time effectively and without haste.


1. CFA Institute’s Official Curriculum

The institute has a comprehensive coverage of all topics, that includes-

  • End of chapter questions 
  • Practice problems
  • Institute’s Official Practice Questions and Mock Exams

These resources are directly from the CFA Institute, ensuring alignment with the exam format, and essential for understanding the types of questions you will encounter in the exam.


2. Schweser Notes by Kaplan

These notes come freshly from the experienced Dr.Carl Schweser and his notes offer a concise summary of key concepts. His work is highly regarded for its clear explanations and practical focus

Alongside, they also: 

  • Have organized study sessions for efficient learning
  • Practice questions and mock exams

You can get your hands on these on Amazon, and Flipkart, as a complete set (6 books + 2 mock exams) for around 3k rupees or less.

These are some tried-and-tested notes and resources known for their reliability, but it’s important to conduct your own research before committing to any of them.

These resources provide a direction, but it’s up to you to take the journey. 

Your personal motivation, your “WHY,” is crucial.

Many people falter early on due to a lack of a clear “WHY.”

Take the time to connect with your motivations. Let your WHY drive you to consistently put your best foot forward and persevere through challenges.

You’ve got this, buddy! Stay motivated and keep pushing forward.



Preparing for the CFA Level 1 exam requires dedication and a strategic approach. 

Follow the 3 P’s in your study plan: 

  • Patience
  • Perseverance
  • Practice

Don’t just read and memorize theories; actively practice them. 

Use end-of-chapter questions to revise and track your progress. Additionally, tackle CFA Sample Questions Level 1 to strengthen weaker areas.

Veteran CFA instructors emphasize that only dedicated candidates are likely to pass the Level 1 exam. 

If you aspire to be among them, our study plan and preparation calendar can guide you effectively and maximize your chances of success in your first attempt at the CFA Level 1 exam. 

To take your CFA exam preparations to the next level, you can begin by taking our demo classes.

If you are happy with the free sessions, you can then go ahead and enroll in our CFA program for the 2024 batch

For more details and any inquiries, you can write to us at [email protected]

Happy learning!


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