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1. The CFA curriculum: Structure and content

How to Pass the Level I CFA 2. Curriculum topics and exam weights
Exam 3. Pass rates on the exam
4. Exam structure
Dr. Doug Van Eaton, CFA 5. Question format
SVP of CFA Education 6. How to prepare for (and pass) the exam
Level I CFA Manager
7. Efficient and effective study with Schweser

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Level I Curriculum Level I Curriculum

There are 18 Study Sessions, each consisting SS#2 Quantitative Methods: Basic Concepts
of one or more Readings. Reading 6: The Time Value of Money
Each reading has multiple Learning Outcome Reading 7: Discounted Cash Flow Applications
Statements (LOS). Reading 8: Statistical Concepts and Market
There are approximately 60 Readings and 530
LOS for the Level I CFA Exam. Reading 9: Probability Concepts

These numbers change slightly each year as

the CFA curriculum is updated.

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Level I Curriculum Level I Curriculum
Study Session #2 and Study Session #3, Each reading has one or more Learning
Quantitative Methods: Applications, make up Outcome Statements associated with it.
the Topic Area of Quantitative Methods.
Reading 7: Discounted Cash Flow
Quantitative Methods will be approximately
12% of the exam questions/points.
The candidate should be able to:
a. calculate and interpret the net present value
(NPV) and the internal rate of return (IRR) of
an investment;

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Level I Curriculum Level I Curriculum

Reading 7: Discounted Cash Flow Purpose of Reading Level LOS
Applications  Focus on relevant material for exam
The candidate should be able to:  Indicate skill you should get from the reading
b. contrast the NPV rule to the IRR rule, and  Indicate the depth of topic knowledge
identify problems associated with the IRR required—especially the Command Words
c. calculate and interpret a holding period return Each exam question is based on one or
(total return); more LOS.

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Level I Curriculum 10 Topic Areas
The curriculum, and thus the LOS and exam 1. Ethical and Professional Standards
questions, all begin with the 2. Quantitative Methods
Candidate Body of Knowledge 3. Economics
4. Financial Reporting and Analysis
Candidate Body of Knowledge is based on 5. Corporate Finance
feedback from practitioners and employers. 6. Portfolio Management
7. Securities Markets and Equity Investments
LOS are tested on a cycle. 8. Fixed Income
9. Derivatives
10. Alternative Investments
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Exam Topics and Weights Exam Topics and Weights

SS Topic # of Q’s % SS Topic # of Q’s %
1 Ethics 36 15% 12 Portfolio 17 7%
2–3 Quant. Methods 29 12% 13–14 Equity 24 10%
4–5 Economics 24 10% 15–16 Fixed Income 24 10%
6–9 Financial Reporting 48 20% 17 Derivatives 12 5%
10–11 Corp. Finance 17 7% 18 Alternative Inv. 9 4%

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Level I Pass Rates Level I Exam
In recent years, the percentage of candidates Morning session: 3 hours, covers all topics,
who passed their exams has averaged 120 questions, 1½ minutes each

43% Afternoon session: 3 hours, covers all topics,

120 questions, 1½ minutes each
Percent of Level I candidates who actually
sat for the exam All multiple choice: Three answer choices
Includes those taking the exam for second Old exams are NOT available (since 1997)
or third (or more) time!

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Level I Exam Exam Tips

Both the morning and afternoon sessions  Come early, calm, and well rested.
cover all topics using topic weights.
 Do not let your eyes wander around the room.

Questions are divided by topic area  Stop immediately when proctors say “time”.
(e.g., Quantitative Methods, Economics).
 Read the Standards of Practice Handbook
one more time the day before the exam.

 Feel free to write in exam booklets; no stray

marks on the answer sheet.
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Learning and Retention
1. Engaged learning
2. Repetition and long-term memory
How to Prepare for the 3. Studying across topics
Exam 4. The “test effect”
5. Writing and remembering
6. The importance of review

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Efficient Learning Five Steps in the Exam

1. Know the extent of the material and the
Preparation Process
format and topic weights for your exam 1. Learn about the exam for your level, its
topic weights, and question formats.
2. Learn and understand the CFA curriculum,
concepts, definitions, and techniques
Understand what it is you must accomplish
3. Practice quizzes to learn and retain material and formulate your study plan (and then stick
to it!).
4. Learn how to take the exam successfully

5. Final preparations: filling in the gaps

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Five Steps in the Exam Five Steps in the Exam
Preparation Process Preparation Process
2. Learn the exam curriculum, one LOS, 3. Learn and retain
Study Session, and Topic Area at a time.  Take quizzes from SchweserPro® question
 Read the SchweserNotesTM, complete all bank and bring in previous topics for review.
Concept Checkers, and learn from your  Complete all the end-of-reading questions
in the CFA Institute books.
 Take Self-Test Assessments from your
 Watch On-demand Video Lectures. Schweser online account.
 Attend live online class, or attend live
instruction class.
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Five Steps in the Exam Five Steps in the Exam

Preparation Process Preparation Process
4. Learn how to take the exam. 5. Final preparations (last two weeks)
 Schweser Review Workshop  Take the Schweser Live Mock Exam
(Online Mock Exam if you cannot attend
 Schweser Practice Exams (6 × 6 hours) live).
 101 Must Knows for the Level I exam  View Multimedia Tutorial for review of the
Review the answer explanations and concepts, definitions, and calculations for
any Mock Exam question.
SchweserNotes, video lectures, OnDemand
 Read the Standards of Practice Handbook
class archives, or CFA Institute curriculum
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Five Steps in the Exam Schweser Live Instruction
Preparation Process Classroom Instruction
• New York
1. Learn exam format, topic weights, study plan
• London
2. Learn the material: classes, videos, • Hong Kong
SchweserNotes • Boston
3. Practice and retain: QBank, CFA Institute • Chicago
• Toronto
• Washington, D.C.
4. Get exam-ready: Practice Exams, 101 Must • Many other locations worldwide
Knows Online Classes:
5. Late-season: Review Workshops, Schweser • Eastern Time, London Time, and Hong Kong Time
Mock Exam and Multimedia Tutorial Instruction Packages Include OnDemand Video Lectures

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Premium Instruction Package PremiumPlus™ Package

Includes: Includes everything in the Premium Instruction Package
• SchweserNotes™ Volumes 1–5 PLUS:
• Video Instruction • Schweser’s Secret Sauce®
• Weekly Classes (Classroom or Online)
• Late-Season Review Options:
• SchweserPro™ QBank
• Live or Live Online 3-Day Review (included)
• Practice Exams, Volumes 1 & 2
• 101 Must Knows • Upgrade to 5-Day Review or 7-Day WindsorWeek™
• Schweser’s QuickSheet
• Ask Your Instructor
• Candidate Resource Library
• PassProtection™

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Late-Season Review
Review Workshops (April–May, Oct–Nov):
• Live or Online
• 3-Day, 5-Day, or 7-Day Live Review choices
• Many cities worldwide

101 Must Knows

Schweser Mock Exam
with Mock Exam Tutorial
Schweser Secret Sauce®

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