Written By Team CFI

There can be no universal answer for How to Study For CFA Level I. Having said that, if you want to prepare for CFA Level 1 on the first attempt, you need three things: a study planner, a preparation calendar, and your dedication. Do you not have a study plan? Okay, go through the blog and you’ll know how to create one for yourself by the end of it.

CFA Level 1 Study Plan in detail to qualify on the first attempt

Candidates often enquire about How to prepare For the CFA Level 1 exam and what the keys to the success of this test are. Although it is a subjective question and everyone has their strategy to follow while preparing for the exam, we recommend that they invest their time efficiently.

If you follow a standard study plan, stick to a preparation calendar, and carefully read the Subjects of CFA Level 1. You can swiftly bag an attractive score in the CFA Level 1 exam. That is why here we have stated a complete study planner after estimating 323 hours of reading and practicing.

  • Read strategically and distribute time wisely.

Generally, CFA Level 1 Online Coaching institutes advise aspirants to craft a study planner strategically. Since the test curriculum includes ten topics, 57 readings, and 19 study sessions, allocate the study time, as per the subject’s weight. Try to complete the reading within four months or 120 days and leave the penultimate month for the revision.

This study plan will also be effective for working candidates. For instance, you can invest 2 hours studying six days a week and 8 hours on weekends. Thus, you can spend (6×2)+8 = 20 hours a week reading effectively. Plus, if you follow the schedule strictly, you can complete the syllabus within 18 weeks or four months (20×18 = 360 hours).

  • Prioritize the 3 Ps

Cracking the CFA Level 1 exam is no joke, and you need to follow the 3 P’s in your study plan- patience, perseverance, and practice. Do not only read and memorize theories, practice them. The end-of-chapter questions can help you revise the study and track your progress. Also, answer CFA Sample Questions Level 1 to improve the weak areas.

A preparation calendar for CFA Subjects Level 1

CFA Syllabus Level 1 covers several subjects, and most students find it tough to cover all of them. That is why following a calendar is the best way to allocate the study time for multiple topics. Below we have shared a table estimating 140+ days and 360 hours as a benchmark. You can customize it as per your circumstances.

Subjects  Weight Tentative hours Tentative Days
Financial Reporting and Analysis 13–17% 54 20
Ethics and Professional Standards 15-20% 63 24
Quantitative Methods 8–12% 36 14
Corporate Finance 8–12% 36 14
Economics 8–12% 36 14
Equity Investments 10–12% 40 15
Fixed Income 10–12% 40 15
Derivatives 5–8% 23 9
Alternative Investments 5–8% 23 9
Portfolio Management 5–8% 23 9
Total  100% 360 140

While the calendar only provides a general distribution of time in the CFA Study Plan, you can adjust it as per your situation. You can also focus more on a difficult topic area if you don’t feel confident in a subject.

For example, many aspirants may spend more time on Financial Reporting and Analysis and Quantitative Methods and lesser time on Ethics and Professional Standard based on the above schedule provided.

But, if you want to pass the exam on the first attempt, try to invest at least 360+ hours or 140 days in studying plus practicing. Only your diligence can help you achieve success on the CFA Level 1 Exam.

Final thoughts

According to the veteran faculties of several CFA institutes, only dedicated and serious candidates are likely to pass CFA Level 1 exam. So, if you want to be one of them, our study plan and preparation calendar can help you in that scenario and help you get the most out of your first attempt at CFA Level 1 exam itself. Happy learning! 