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Constructing a study plan


I am planning to sit for the CFA level 1 exam in June'14. I am looking for reviews on study material / methods. My primary concern is:

-Should I make Kaplan my primary source for preparation, and use CFA material as a supplement? Or should I go for CFA material and use third parties for q-banks and mocks?

A little background about myself - I recently graduated with a BS in Finance - GPA: 3.8 - CFA IRC participant

Thank you!

Best Answers


  • Thank you guys for your reply.

    I suppose that seems like my plan. To use CFAi as a supplement.

    Really my skepticism stems from my GMAT experience. I absolutely hated Kaplan. They employ 90% percentile instructors and the quality of the review material was subpar. Can anybody shed any light on the quality of the CFA Kaplan material...Basically my question is, what is the most efficient investment I can make, such that I pass level-I on try-I and im in good shape to prepare for level-II ?

    > @servelv said:
    > I started with CFAi books for this June (just wanted to experience it by myself!), but I will switch to third party providers.
    > I only did Economics with the curriculum. It is really clear, detailed, but really wordy as well. Since I have a pretty good academical background in this field, I was able to directly highlight the concepts and move on really fast (1 reading per day in average).
    > However, since I will be clearly less comfortable with FRA & Quant (and most of the rest actually), I will use mainly third party providers in order to go directly into the concept, and use the curriculum only if I'm struggling and need a more detailed explanation..

    > @CFAcharterwannabe said:
    > zatar: well everyone has a different opinion on this. A lot of people such as myself are using third party material like schweser as the primary source and then the CFAI books as a supplement. If i have any problems in an area while studying from kaplan, i refer to the CFAi material cos its really detailed and explains things a lot. But its supposed to be really time consuming which is why people choose to use kaplan. It depends on your methodology of studying and what you are comfortable with but for level 1 people usually do this. so good luck making ur choice and good luck for everything :)
  • @zatar: honestly from the studies I have done so far Kaplan has been how shall I say it... The phrase I am lookin for is user friendly for level 1 at least. But that doesn't mean I am not going to use cfai material. I hope to go thru both materials so that I don't miss out on anything. And practise questions from any and every source. Practise practise and tons of practise should be the motto. I get ur question cos when I was studyin for ACCA before it was a dilemma to choose between Kaplan or BPP from subject to subject. But here I think from what I have seen and a lot of people recommend you should go for Kaplan but keep the CFA I books by your side during studies.
  • Hi @zatar - it depends on your time, cost and study style really. If you don't want to spend any extra, stick to CFAI then and supplement your study with 3rd party practice papers. If you are short on time, 3rd party materials are more focused and straight-to-the-point. If you prefer lengthy detailed explanation, go for CFAI (but watch your study plan timing).
  • @sophie - Thank you for your reply. You are right, I am in a decision paralysis mode. Given that preparation for this exam is a sizable investment, I just wanted to make sure I am safe if I used 3rd party prep, almost exclusively, before I started prep.

    Thank you all for your replies. Certainly helpful!
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