The June 2018 CFA Institute’s exams is fast approaching. If you’re preparing for them, good luck and read on.

This CFA level I exam is conducted twice a year in the months of June and December. Level I tests your knowledge on the ethical and professional standards. Average time preparation for this level is around 300 hours. Exam is scheduled to be held on 23rd June’2018, Saturday this year. This comes as a sigh of relief to the aspirants, as usually this exam used to be scheduled on the first week of June every year. This gives aspirants three more weeks to practice and prepare. Exam results are generally declared in the month of August.

This level focuses  on  basic knowledge and simple analysis. It consists of 240 multiple choice questions.

Structure:[1]

[1] CFA Institute

CFA level 1 exam structure

Let’s look at these topics in detail:

Highest level of weight age is given to the topic financial reporting and analysis i.e. 15%. Having the highest weight-age it comprises of 13 readings. Below are the reading numbers and the sub-topics included in this section:

CFA Exam weight age

Sub-topics of Ethics  on a broader level include standards of professional conduct and global investment performance standards. Ethics and professional standards basically consists of 5 readings. Reading 1 is on ‘ethics and trust in the investment profession’, reading 2 talks about ‘code of ethics and standards of professional conduct’, reading 3 consists of ‘guidance for standards I-VII’, reading 4 contains ‘ Introduction to the global Investment Performance standards (GIPS) and reading 5 also comprises of GIPS which describes the key features of GIPS standards and fundamentals of compliance.

Quantitative Analysis- Weight-age of this section is 12%. This section consists of 8 readings. Below is a table listing them:

CFA Quantitative Analysis topic

Fixed Income Analysis’s proportion is 10%. It consists 6 readings.

CFA Fixed Income Analysis's

Equity analysis and Valuation is given a weight age of 10%. It comprises of 6 readings. They are listed below.

CFA Equity analysis

Economics– This section’s  share stands at 10% and consists of 7 readings. Below are the details listed.

CFA level 1 Economics

Corporate finance has a weight-age of 7%. It comprises of 5 readings. Below are the details listed.

Corporate finance topic in CFA

Portfolio Management and Wealth has a weight-age of 7%. It comprises of 5 readings. Below are the details listed.

Portfolio Management in CFA level 1

Derivatives has a 5% weight-age. It consists of 2 readings. Below are the details.

Derivatives in CFA

Alternative Investments has a 4% weight-age and it consists of 1 reading. Below are the details listed.

Alternative Investments CFA level 1

Time Schedule:
CFA institute recommends at least 300 hours of preparation. One can divide the for each subject according to its weight-age and one’s level of expertise. This would help the aspirant in not only being consistent with his/her studies but also inspired. one can divide 300 hours over a period of 3,6 or 9 months. This division would be on the basis of individual time availability and different commitments.

Changes in the Curriculum:
There are slight changes in the curriculum compared from 2017 to 2018. Changes that have been reported  or are newly added are listed below:

  • Corporate Finance: Leverage and Working capital
  • portfolio risk and return, part II
  • Equity valuations: Concepts and basic tools
  • Fixed Income markets: Issuance, trading and funding.
  • Introductions to alternative Investments


Passing Percentage:
Let’s take a closer look at the passing percentage of this level over the past few years.

 Pass percentage of CFA level I exam is as follows:

  • June 2017: 43%
  • June 2016: 43%
  • June 2015: 42%

The above percentage should not be a detrimental factor in your preparation in any way whatsover.

Effective Preparation:
To sit for the CFA examination, one needs to have a solid blueprint. Each level requires hard work and discipline. To focus, one needs to be determined to crack this exam.

The first criteria in preparing the blueprint depends upon your current situation i.e. whether you are a student or a working professional, this would give you a sense of how much time you can devote for the studies and accordingly when to start. For instance,  If you can  devote around 40 hours a week, that would be 160 hours a month which essentially mean you need around 2 months study time to crack just the level I. if you are able to devote 30 hours, then one would need around 3 months and so on.

Once your blueprint is ready, you have to stick to it. This requires following order and strict discipline. We recommend applications such as Focus me, app bock, self-control to help you overcome the overpowering information of the social media and the mobile applications.

This leads to superior time management without any distractions and procrastinations. Also one can concentrate on practicing mock papers and questions from test banks.  This would then help you figure out how long can you sit and study with good quality attention span. Accordingly you can add breaks to your plan depending on your requirement and need. It is generally not advised to modify your plan but one can  fine-tune it according to one’s intellect and want.

In the end, keep your eyes on the goal. Start early, be consistent with your studies and stick to the blueprint prepared initially and be disciplined at all costs. Many experienced financial analysts or portfolio managers fall in this trap of procrastination and the battle of CFA is lost. It is highly recommended to keep yourself motivated to complete all three levels of the exam. Push yourself to your most potential and pass with flying colors. Clearing the CFA exam, not only proves the strength of your  technical knowledge but also the mettle of your character.

Which Course to purchase?
Wiley course is an online and a self-study course. This course is not only cost effective but also comes with many video tutorials.(approx 110+ hours).  Once the product is purchased, till the time the aspirant does not clear all the levels, it is absolutely free. It provides the exam planner and a personalized study schedule to the aspirant which helps them to stay on track with their end goal. There are about 30-45 minute bite-sized lessons designed to help one learn faster and retain more. Wiley provides over 90 pages of formula sheets and print or e-book covering every lesson.

For aspirants who are close to the finish line and near the exam, Wiley provides a customized 11th hour final review course with 40 hours final review lecture videos and mock exam seminar (14 hours level III) and also the 11th hour review study guide (print or e-book).

It also offers 1000 hours of practice questions at each level .It gives dashboards and  performance metrics and video lectures by expert instructors (Level I= 90 hours+ Level II = 100 hours, Level III = 50 hours). 14-16 weeks of live virtual online classes are now also available to the aspirant and professional online mentoring – post the CFA exam takes this course one level up.

Best part of the course is that it offers you the convenience. In today’s daily lives, one is bounded by many commitments of jobs and family; therefore an online course like this gives one the flexibility and ease. With online mentoring one can easily clear doubts and get answers to their queries and questions. Hence we highly recommend this course for its convenience, flexibility and suitability.

Wiley Online Training offers top rated study material through its 2018 CFA Review Courses that offer bite-sized lessons, 4000+ practice questions and 110 hours of streaming video lessons from top instructors. Wiley Online Training is among the global leaders in international training for CPACFAFRMCMTCMA & Data Science & Analytics. It has helped over 500,000 professionals across the globe. With Wiley Online Training, 9 out of 10 students pass their exams. Want to find out more? Call us at 0120-6291100/01 or drop us a quick message here.

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