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The Best Way to Prepare for the CFA Level I Exam

The secret to passing a CFA test is to be proficient at taking the CFA exam, regardless of whether you have taken every finance course offered or are brand-new to the field. Even though everyone has heard about how tough the Level I CFA test is, very few people believe it again until they take it.

You must obtain at least the minimum passing score (MPS), which is determined following each exam by the Board of Directors of the CFA Institute. You may study more successfully and efficiently with careful preparation and assistance from a top CFA Level 1 Coaching. The following advice is provided by CFI Education which can help you increase your chances of clearing the Level I exam.

How to Prepare for the Level I CFA Exam

Following the CFA program’s syllabus and giving yourself enough time to master the subject in your learning style are the best ways to prepare for the CFA Level I Exam. The following are some of the sites that applicants indicated were most beneficial for their test preparation:

  • Program curriculum for CFA
  • Ecosystem for learning at CFA Institute (LES)
  • CFA Institute’s online practice tests
  • CFA Program approved preparation.
  • Teams of CFA curriculum students rehearse questions for the readings’ conclusion.

Stages for CFA Level I Exam Preparation

Give yourself ample time to study; this is one of the most crucial aspects of preparing for the CFA Level I test. Candidates can tailor their practice for the CFA Program to fit their unique requirements and situations. The data shown below should be considered while creating a study plan for the CFA Level I test.

  • For each grade of the CFA Exam, qualified applicants report preparing for over 300 hours on average.
  • Nearly half of the prospective candidates who completed the LIII exam took an aggregate of three examinations, while a quarter took a maximum of four exams.

Concentrate on Subject Weights and Curriculum for the CFA Level I Exam

You should be well-versed in the CFA Curriculum guide and how the level I test will weigh each topic. Every test cycle, the curriculum is changed, and the same fundamental subject topics are covered at each test level. It is important to understand the weights for the test you are attempting because they vary by grade and might alter somewhat from year to year.

Ten subjects are covered in the Level I CFA test curriculum, each weighted. The themes and weights fluctuate often. However, the following topics and weights were most recently released by CFA Institute in 2023:

  • Professional and ethical Requirements for CFA Level I: 15-20%
  • Level I CFA Quantitative approaches: 8 to 12%
  • Economics at CFA Level I: 8–12%
  • Analysis of financial statements at the CFA Level I: 13–17%
  • Corporate issuers at CFA Level I: 8–12%
  • Equity investments at CFA Level I: 10-12%
  • Fixed income CFA Level I: 10-12%
  • Derivatives at CFA Level I: 5–8%
  • Alternative investments at CFA Level I: 5-8%
  • Policy and process and wealth management at the CFA Level I: 5-8%

Although the weights are changeable (meaning they might vary), ethics, economic analysis and reporting stock funds, and fixed-income securities have the highest weights. Ensure you are truly knowledgeable about those four subjects from CFI Education. Otherwise, passing the test will be more challenging.

Each applicant will have areas where they excel and fall short when selecting how much time to devote to each topic. Give each section the time it needs, but keep in mind the weights assigned by the syllabus.

On the day of the test, two topics—Financial Reporting and Analysis and Ethical and Professional Standards—are worth more points than Arithmetic, Derivative products, and Alternative Investments. Even if the derivatives domain is fascinating, you cannot afford to spend weeks immersed in it for a mere 6% return.

Apply Concepts to Actual Circumstances

To clear the CFA test, you need to know more than just the course material. You should be able to use the information in practical contexts. Most queries do not need you to recite facts from memory. They are asking you to apply your expertise and problem-solving abilities to scenarios you would run into at work.

You should apply what you are learning in the actual world, according to many CFA charter holders. As you proceed through the educational objectives, keep asking yourself why you are studying this and how you are considering applying this in your career. It will be simpler to recall the information if you can make it as applicable to you as possible.


Learning the subject is different from the process of taking the exam. During the final 4 weeks of your study, evaluate taking the test under actual exam settings. The CFA Institute provides one mock test, and additional ones can be purchased with exam preparation from CFA Level 1 Coaching.

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