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As you would be aware that Level I CFA results are out. We are happy to announce that we have got a tremendous result for Level I CFA held in June 2009. 85% of our students cleared the examination in June 2009, as compared to 45% of the students passing Level I CFA worldwide. We have been flooded with inquiries regarding the right strategies to crack Level I CFA and thought that we would share our experience with you!

In our opinion the if the following steps are followed carefully, you can do well in the examination:

  1. Do well in ALL sections: CFA exam evaluation is structured in such a way, that to pass the exam, you have to clear all the sections. These sections vary from Quantitative Analysis, Economics, FSA, Ethics, Corporate Finance and financial instruments – Fixed Income, Equity, Derivatives and alternative Investments. To clear the exam, you should do well in all the subjects. So while preparing, make sure that you cover all the subjects in such a manner, that you are able to clear them. No subject should be left untouched.
  2. All the Fingers of your Hand are NOT Equal:Just like all the fingers of your both your hands are not equal, similarly the weightage of all subjects is not equal for CFA . Remember to focus on the right subjects. We would like to bring to your notice to the following two subjects:
    1. Ethics: Traditionally CFA Institute has been focusing on building strong ethical and moral values. They lay enormous stress on the fact that Ethics is the key to building good managers. This is reflected in the examination pattern as well. Make sure that you read through the Ethics material and Master it completely. You just cannot go wrong in that corner. I have seen people do very well in rest of the sections, barring Ethics and not being able to clear CFA . So make sure you do well here. The key to do well, is to read through the code and do cases. Without practice no reading can be of help!
    2. FSA (Financial statement analysis): This subject by FAR is the most important subject from CFA point of view and the finance world in general. If you do well in FSA, half the problem is solved!
    3. Ethics and FSA are like the pre-requisite to doing well in CFA . EduPristine gets the best faculty for FSA, who have been working in the industry for quite a while and give participants a perspective of the real world application.

  3. Strategically Select the Subjects: Apart from FSA and Ethics, understand your strengths. For example, if you are an engineer do well in Quantitative Analysis, if you are from Economics, then in Eco. and so on. Always note that to do well in the exam, you need to do well in atleast 4 of the subjects and they should be selected according to your background and work experience. EduPristine experts would advice you on all the subjects.
  4. Practice Questions: The key to crack any examination is by practicing on lots of question. Going through no amount of theory can help you clear the examination. You need to do questions. Period. Prisitne has a huge database of questions that are of the level of CFA examination. We encourage our students to practice on lots of questions. We conduct 2 mock tests, and think that if you have practiced on the questions, your chances of clearing the exam increase tremendously.
  5. CALCULATOR is your Friend: Please note that the calculators allowed in the exam are TI BA II Plus/ Professional or HP calculator. Finally the success is dependent upon how fast you can do the questions. When speed is a constraint, calculator is your best friend. We advice people to make sure that they master its usage. We also conduct specific training for calculator usage in our classroom.
  6. Revise EVERYTHING the last day: CFA has a vast syllabus! Since all subjects are equally important, it is important to revise all formulas on the last day. The best strategy is by making concise notes which you can use to practice. EduPristine also has a concept of VisualizeCFA, where we create mind maps for all concepts of CFA . You can use them to prepare for the exams. In the brochure is also attached a sample of VisualizeCFA.
  7. Do NOT COMPROMISE on fundamentals: It is very important to know that Level I CFA is the building block for your career in finance. It is absolutely must to get your fundamentals correct. It is best to get the knowledge from somebody who is working in the industry with good educational background. It is not possible for somebody who has not worked in the field and got his/her hands dirty to help you prepare well for a good career. At edupristine again, we get people from industry with typical educational background of IIT and IIMs to come and teach. The difference shows in our results.

In our view, these are the basic must haves for the Level I CFA. We will keep updating our tips to make sure that your chances of clearing the exam are maximized. We would take specific topics and discuss strategies for them as well.