How to prepare for CFA Exams level 1 in 1 month

It needs good discipline and an extensive amount of research to pass the CFA Program exams. Except for Level I, which can also be taken in December, the three exams can be taken in June. While the exams can be taken as often as required, candidates must prepare over 300 hours for each test. Given the substantial amount of time that must be spent training, several candidates are deterred from completing the CFA Program after failing one of the stages.

It's crucial to prep for the Level I test, and it takes a considerable effort.

No shortcuts are available. Hard work is the only thing standing between you and completing the Level I CFA ® Program test. The CFA Institute recommends that you spend at least 300 hours studying for the Level I test. Schweser's Prepare Practice Perform ® approach gives you the framework you need to get the most out of the planning time you spend.


Earlier Experience

You are expected to have a bachelor's degree before enrolling in the CFA Program or be in the final year of a bachelor's degree program. The degree does not need to be in a specific field of study, but you would be in a much more vital role if your education is finance-based. The CFA Curriculum is intended to enhance the investment professional's financial education and investment experience. To sit for Level I, you don't need to have a financial degree, but you may face more significant challenges than anyone with a finance-based education.


Currículum Level I

Ten subject areas are based on the Level I curriculum. You'll also be evaluated using investment tools for easy analysis. The areas of the subject are:

  •   Legal and Technical Standards
  •  Quantitative methods
  •   Economics
  •   Financial Statements and Evaluation
  •   Corporate Finance
  • Savings in equity
  • Fixed Income
  •  Derivatives
  •  Alternative Investments
  • Management of Portfolios and Planning Wealth


How much time it takes to study

The widely held notion is that candidates should spend an average of 300 hours studying for each stage of the CFA Program test. Level I candidates reported spending an average of 303 hours preparing for the exam in a 2019 survey.


How To Learn

A three-phase learning approach is the Kaplan Way: Prepare• Practice • Perform ®. We have constructed the most detailed research packages available for Level I of the CFA exam using this approach, designed to help you make the most of the time you spend studying for the exam.

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) training for all three levels involves a significant dedication to a standardized study schedule. According to the CFA Institute, the average annual pass rate for the CFA Level I exam for the last ten years is 41% .1 percent.

This statistic indicates that the exam is likely to be passed by only committed candidates, so be prepared to make the requisite sacrifices and put in the effort needed.

Your most significant CFA investment is your time, so use it effectively. According to the CFA Institute, on average, successful candidates say that they have spent a total of about 300 hours studying for the CFA test.

For those with a weak background in the subject matter, the needed training time will be greater and less for those with a good background in the subjects covered by the CFA curriculum. Let's use this estimate of 300 hours of reading and practice hours as a benchmark as a reference for a study schedule.


Content for Reading

Ten subjects, 19 study sessions, and 57 readings are covered by the CFA Level I test. Every subject has a different weight in the exam.3 By allocating study time depending on each subject's weight, an excellent way to handle the study time is.

On average, it's better to leave readings for at least four months and leave for revision and practice in the last month. It will take about 17 weeks (four months) to complete all of the readings if you read two hours a day on weekdays and eight hours on weekends.

The perfect time to prepare for the CFA is on weekends and non-working days. In addition to end-of-chapter questions, you would not have time to practice questions throughout the week. Therefore, arrange to spend an extra two to four hours on practice questions over the weekend. Don't forget, the more you practice, the greater your chances of taking the exam successfully.


The Past 4 Weeks

CFA tests are transitioning to computer-based tests. For all stages, the last paper-based review will take place in December 2020. In February, May, August, and November, the level I exam will be offered to begin in 2021. The Level II test will be offered in May and August, while Level III will be offered in May and November.

Considering these dates, encourage yourself to review questions and practice sessions four weeks before the exam date. It would help if you practiced more intensively during this time than in previous times. The CFA Institute will give you mock exams.

To replicate exam conditions at home with the mock examination, it is recommended that you set aside at least one day. A three-hour morning session and a three-hour afternoon session with a break in between are recommended for the paper-based exam. Two 2.25-hour sessions with an optional break in between are recommended for the computer-based test.6 The mock exam will help you be physiologically well prepared for the test.

Taking a two to four-week study leave from work during the final stage of your training will also be wortStage I of the one-month study plan for CFA level 1.

Before the Level I CFA test, there is only one month to go, and you should already be conducting quizzes and mock questions. If it's not the case, then it's undoubtedly time for the intimidating job ahead to take a deep breath and buckle down.

This research strategy considers that all chapters or summaries have already been read and approved by you. In my view, only practice questions and final revision should be devoted to the last month.


Plan of Analysis

A precise one-month strategy for level 1 CFA exams is what I am suggesting here. On the CFA Institute website, we see that the CFA exams will only take place on Saturdays. The study plan will always start on Thursday, in other words, and will always end on a Friday.


Lines for Bullets

1. Four half-mock exams for a total of 480 questions are included in the schedule. I recommend answering all questions without the responses for better results. On the first Saturday, this may be challenging. It makes a big difference in learning and trying to answer the questions. You should also keep track of the time and aim to stay inside the proposed frame.

2. One day a week, relaxing does not make you nervous. Your brain has to relax just like a muscle and think about other things. This will make your feelings more transparent, and you will do better when you return to work. You've probably noticed that I left the last two days blank, too. There is nothing terrible than finding out that you have not learned a concept a few hours before the test, and this is why I suggest this section of the timetable.

3. Ethics! You don't want to fail! Start with it, finish with it during mock examinations and give it special attention. Most importantly, you should know precisely how to comply with the Professional Conduct Guidelines and what a breach will be considered.

4. "Financial Statements and Analysis" and "Quantitative Approaches" are strongly stressed. I think these two chapters give you a lot of resources to help with other subjects. In other words, you strengthen your overall comprehension of the program while learning FRA and QM.


If you are still looking for a question bank and mock examinations, by clicking on this page, look at our preparation materials. Note that in the 2015 CFA Institute study, about 61 percent of candidates reported that they used third-party training materials in addition to the allotted materials and that your chance of passing the Level I CFA exam on the first attempt is approximately one in three. I know you don't want to fail the exam and have to pay registration fees, so by using all the study material of the CFA level 1 exam strategy you consider acceptable, stack the odds in your favor.



Studying in a structured manner over at least 300 hours is the secret to studying for the CFA Level 1 test. Hopefully, you won't have any issues passing it after studying in a structured way for the exam.

There is only one month left until the exam, and it is only necessary to plan the only way for you to have enough time to study the entire curriculum. The first step in that direction is this study plan, but work remains to be done to adapt it to your needs. Don't hesitate to take your strengths and weaknesses into consideration when designing your own.



Please login to comment

Disclaimer : CFA Institute does not endorse, promote, review or warrant the accuracy of the product or services offered by CFA Test Series. This platform is independently run by a team of experts. CFA Institute, CFA®, and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute