I passed the 2016 June CFA Level 1 exam, and I just wanted to share how I passed CFA Level 1 exam after only studying for a month (technically about 5 weeks).
I still remember how much pressure I was under to study and pass (especially when English is not my first language), so I hope it can be of help to all of you who are preparing for the Level 1 exam!
Please note, I was a uni student until last summer.
I only had 16 hours of class every week plus 3-4 hours of self-studying for uni, which allowed me to focus on studying CFA for most of the time during that one month.
Also, I did not particularly have background in Finance or Investment Management, but studied Business Management and took Corporate Finance class for fun at uni.
In addition, I did not pay for any private class such as Kaplan, Quartics, etc, and did not even buy Schweser notes since I barely paid for the exam registration. (I was only able to come to uni in London thanks to the full scholarship, and I had to earn my own living - also the reason why I had only 1 month to study CFA.)
First, especially when you are running out of time, it is better to study by learning the materials than doing question practice (except for Ethics).
I know lots of people say it is very important to do question practice, and I cannot agree more!
However, that comes only after when you know your materials quite well.
If you try to attempt questions or mock when you hardly know any concept, it is a bit of waste of time (maybe it might work for small subjects such as Corporate Finance and Derivatives).
I am not saying I did not do any question practice throughout the learning curve.
Whenever I finished a subject, I attempted the topic questions I downloaded from CFA learning material website.
However, I never jumped onto the topic questions or relevant mock questions when my understanding of a subject is less than 60-70%.
If you know your materials fairly well, you have to come back to the textbook/notes only on the things you got wrong (Learn -> Questions -> Work on the ones you got wrong).
But if you do not have a good understanding, you end up having to come back to textbook/notes for most of the questions, which takes more time (Little learning -> Questions -> Back to learning -> Questions again