CFA® Level 1 Hacks – December 2015 Edition
By popular demand, we have revamped and updated our CFA® Level 1 Hacks to help you understand the essentials of the Level 1 curriculum in order to optimize your studies and increase your exam results.
Although there are no shortcuts in preparing for the CFA ® Level 1 exam, we believe it is possible to significantly decrease your time spent on studying for the exam by studying smartly.
When we say studying smartly we mean not only what you study (the materials) but also how you study (the study methods).
The CFA ® Level 1 exam contains two main categories of questions:
1) Pure memorization questions where you must recall a definition or a formula.
2) Conceptual questions where you must understand the relationship between different factors. For example understand the impact of an increase in inflation rate on the domestic currency.
Currently the CFA ® curriculum is organized in very academic way where for each topic contains a lot of extensive materials that are often not relevant to the actual exam.
From our own experience on the CFA ® Exams, we know that it is much easier to remember and understand difficult concepts by separating each topic in to three distinct components: Formulas, Definitions and Concepts.
The purpose of such a separation is to help you to review the material more quickly than if you have to read a whole chapter with the three components evenly parsed throughout.
Hence, you can budget your time more efficiently between memorizing terms and understanding concepts. Typically, concepts take more time to acquire than formulas and definitions since you need to understand the different relationships and processes.
This guide covers the essential of each topic but does not cover the entire curriculum. The easiest topics on the exam were removed from this CFA ® Level 1 Hacks. The reason for this omission is that we wanted this guide to address the main areas of difficulty of the CFA ® Level 1 exam rather than cover everything. For example, we do not delve in the explanation of time value of money since it is generally a topic that is mastered fairly well by CFA ® level 1 candidates.
How to use the CFA ® Level 1 Hacks
This guide should be use as a review of the main concepts of the CFA ® curriculum. You can use it to get the essentials of the curriculum in just a few pages.
Alternatively, you can use it in instances where you do not have enough time (or motivation) to study the entire study session, but you prefer instead to memorize specific definitions instead. Also, this is a great companion book when solving practice or mock exams because you can find the answer to the questions very quickly.