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CFA Level 1 Sample Study Schedule

Our suggested study schedule for the December 2014 CFA exam!

Financial Analyst Warrior strongly believes that adequate planning makes a huge difference in studying for the exam. Based on my personal experience of CFA exam preparation and my work with candidates, I constructed a study calendar that should help you in your preparation. The 16, 14 and 10 week versions are included here but since everyone studies differently, you can also download the editable excel spreadsheet and devise your own calendar.

As a CFA candidate, I remember always trying (and failing) to act cool and composed as result day was approaching.  If someone mentioned the imminence of the date, I would be like “Oh right I forgot about that” although in reality I would be devoured by stress and apprehension.  Results for Level 1 came out yesterday and believe: me at Financial Analyst Warrior, we know the feeling! Hopefully you passed and you will move on to the next level. If not, back to the drawing board…although I strongly suggest waiting a few weeks before getting back to studying.

If you are a Level 1 Candidate for the December 2014 exam, here is a schedule that you can follow (or edit by downloading the excel file). The ethics study session is at the end because I personally feel that since it involves mostly memorization of the rules, it is more effective to cover at the end.

It is generally recommended that you spend from 250 to 300 hours studying for the exam but I do not suggest relying too much on the hours spend studying for several reasons.

How many times have you spaced out while studying and suddenly realized you’ve been re-reading the same sentence for 20 minutes while you were thinking about stuff not remotely related to finance? The truth is we have different levels of concentration and one hour of study is not equivalent for everyone in terms of the amount of learning that could be achieved.  Speaking of which, we are currently working on an earth shattering post providing some ancient and secret techniques to improve your concentration and your effectiveness… However, independently of the concentration level, some people just read and learn faster than others. For instance, I know a guy who can memorize a book just by skimming through it once… no wait that’s just Mike Ross from Suits… but the point is: hours spent studying should not be your guide.

Don’t forget, we want to hear from you. We invite you to share with us your stories and provide feedback on our work. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below.

CFA® Level 1 Starter Kit

We also invite you to check out our latest CFA® Level 1 Starter Kit.

We created this CFA® Level 1 Starter Kit to help you better prepare for the upcoming CFA® exam.

CFA Level 1 - Starter Kit

We want to help you maximize your study efficiency and avoid the most common mistakes candidates make on the CFA ® Level 1 exam.

CFA ®Level 1 Starter Kit includes:

  • Top 100 Pitfalls (mistakes) to avoid on the CFA ® Level 1 exam (+50 pages PDF eBook)
  • Exam Strategies (9 pages PDF article)
  • Concentration Tips (9 page PDF article)
  • 3 study schedules : 16 weeks, 14 weeks and 10 weeks study plans (customizable in Excel)

By using the resources found in this Study Kit, you will be able to better focus on your studies knowing that you will have enough time to cover everything before the exam. You will also the learn the most frequent errors CFA® Level 1 Candidates make and how to avoid them on the exam day. Learn more.


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