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Preparing for Level I 2020 Exam

By Arif Irfanullah, CFA

As the world slowly reopens under Covid-19, it is time once again to start your preparation for Level I CFA Exam. If you have decided to take the exam in December 2020, make a schedule for the five months remaining until the exam. Your strategy should be to make use of both the curriculum and IFT products and services in a way that is both efficient and productive. The deferral has given all LI candidates time to recharge and prepare. As a result, competition has increased.  Then, how do we meet this new challenge and pass the December 2020 CFA Exam?

  • The most essential thing is to remain disciplined, organized, and continue to study. Avoid taking a break/time off from studying as it will hamper your momentum of preparation.
  • First, take stock of how much you have already prepared. If you have not covered all of the readings at least once, make that your primary goal. Once you have accomplished that – or if you are at this stage already – then your focus should be on doing as much practice as you can.
  • Set schedules for study, preferably early in the morning and do practice questions in the evening and read the answer explanation after every question. This will help you assess your understanding and retention of the topic. The amount of time spent on each topic should depend on your familiarity with the topic and the topic weight.
  • It is advised that you complete the 1st round of preparation by the end of September and then spend the rest of time in revision and practice.
  • You can follow the following sequence during the preparation:

  • At the time of revision, you may follow the following sequence:


There is a great deal of material to cover while preparing for CFA Level I exam. It is critically important to make the most of your study time to ensure you’re confident on exam day. Undoubtedly, each topic must be read from the CFA curriculum but along with using the CFA curriculum, it is very important to have the right learning material to complement your studies.

IFT offers a comprehensive online, self-study course for mastering the Level I content. The course comprises of over 100 hours of video lectures including detailed video lectures, High-Yield lectures, solved question bank videos and example videos.

  • The detailed videos are based on the curriculum, covering all sections and learning outcomes of each reading. The lecture slides are also available in PDF format for your ease.
  • IFT study notes summarize and explain all the important concepts which help students in reinforcing their learning and understanding. Notes are helpful for the candidates who plan to read from CFA Institute’s books and need something to supplement their studies by helping them in second/third review of the material, particularly close to the exam.
  • IFT Question Bank provides questions for every learning outcome from each reading; which helps in assessing your level of preparedness.
  • For candidates who have already done their preparation and are in the revision phase, IFT provides a variety of materials for revision, including the following:
  • IFT High-Yield course, which includes high yield video lectures, notes, and Q-bank. The course is based on Pareto’s 80-20 rule – which says, 80% of the exam questions are likely to be based on 20% of the curriculum. As a result, this course focuses on the 20% material which is most testable.
  • IFT Key Facts & Formulas Sheet presents the most important facts and formulas from each reading in a compressed, easy to read format.
  • IFT mock exams, full length mocks, help the students in simulating the exam experience.
  • The ‘Q&A with IFT’ (included in the Premium Package only), students can use this service to submit their query regarding any concept and get an individualized response from an IFT instructor. Our team of CFA charterholders is ready to answer all of your queries, whether these are related to IFT products or books from the CFA Institute.

To learn more about the IFT’s products and services  click here

Good luck!

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