Updated Advice: Level I December Candidates

By Arif Irfanullah, CFA


Posted on 14-09-17 at 10:19 pm



Dear Level I December 2017 Candidates,

With two and a half months left for the exam, some of you might be panicking.  If you started your prep on time (let’s call you candidate ‘A’) you might have the feeling, that are you are forgetting material that you’ve studied. If you are the sort who likes to leave exam prep for as late as possible (let’s call you candidate ‘B’), I’d say you’ve hit the ‘as-late-as-possible’ point.  If you don’t start slogging now, the probability of passing is very low.

I have some advice for both types of candidates.

Advice for Candidate ‘A’ (you started your prep a while ago)

You are like candidate A if you are diligent about your studies and started you prep on time; however, you are forgetting material that you studied before, and this is making you anxious about whether you will be ready for the exam in December. Here is my advice:

1) Take a few minutes to evaluate where you are and define a schedule (or refine the one you already have).

a) You should finish at least one review of the entire course by early November (earlier is better).
b) Give yourself at least 4 weeks for revision and practice.

2) Do not spend too much time trying to study every detail. Understand the main points, practice questions and move on.

a) If you get hung up on details and start falling behind schedule then you are digging yourself into a hole which is not easy to come out of.
b) In terms of practice you must do the MCQ-based examples and practice problems in the curriculum.
c) If you can stay on schedule then also do the IFT Q-Bank.
d) Once you are done with a topic do the IFT Quiz for that topic.

3) Spend a few minutes each day reviewing the main points from at least one reading you’ve covered before.   You can watch the IFT summary videos which focus on the most important points from each reading.  These will help with your review and revision and solve your “Oh my God, I’m forgetting everything” problem.

4) During the final month of review you can do the following:

a) Review your notes and watch the IFT summary videos
b) Go over the curriculum questions – especially the ones you got wrong
c) Do the IFT Question Bank
d) Do the topic-wise assessments available on the CFA Institute website
e) If you feel a particular reading requires more revision, watch the regular videos at 1.5x or 2x speed
f) Do at least three full length mock exams
g) If a mock exam is being offered in your area, sit for it.

 

Advice for Candidate ‘B’ (you just started preparing for the December exam!)

You are like candidate ‘B’ if you are the sort who likes to leave exam prep for as late as possible.  You are starting your studies now and are worried about how you will finish on time. To you, here is my advice:

1) Take a few minutes to evaluate where you are and define a schedule

a)You should finish at least one review of the entire course by mid-November. (Earlier is better, but that might not be possible if you are starting late).
b) Give yourself at least 3 weeks for revision and practice.

2) Listen to the IFT videos and/or read the notes depending on what works better for you. Do not spend too much time trying to study every detail. Focus on the main points.

3) For each reading do the MCQ-based examples and practice problems in the curriculum. This is a must! I’m not asking you do more because psychologically (and practically) it is important that you complete the course at least once by early/mid-November.

4) Once you are done with the course you are in review mode.

a) Revise quickly and efficiently by reviewing your notes and/or listening to the IFT summary videos
b) Go over the curriculum questions – especially the ones you got wrong
c) Do the IFT Question Bank
d) Do the IFT quizzes
e) If you feel a particular reading requires more revision, watch the regular videos at 1.5x or 2x speed
f) Do the topic-wise assessments available on the CFA Institute website
g) Do at least three full length mock exams

Study hard and remember the key to success: Practice, Practice, Practice!

Best wishes,

Arif Irfanullah, CFA