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Study plan to retake level 1?

TLDR?: Read from the 2nd paragraph after the quote.

Hey, to my surprise, I found out that I failed level 1 after being so sure that I was going to pass... I kinda wrote about it two days ago:
Never thought I was going to read this ( ... relaxing 1 month before the exam was really bad, I was so tired of studying and I just wanted it to end... I don't think I can study for that long time... I think my next strategy is start studying later but harder..

I started on february 1st, I reviewed all the schweser notes and made all the practice questions. about 90% of them were above 70%, some being 100% correct. I relaxed for like 3 weeks... and when I made my first test from the CFA webpage, I found out that I remembered almost nothing, WTF, it was incredible, I barely remembered if I studied the topics they were asking... I started reading some of the material again and found out almost 90% of that was stored in my short time memory... I was scared after being so confident... I started doing a lot of exams, and reading the hard topics again, the first week was bad and was still scared, but about 3 days before the exam I was feeling good again, getting 70%+ in some of the tests. I was so sure I was going to pass this, I really thought it was not that hard and I was getting 70%+ in 6+ topics...

65% average, band 10. In short the results were: all above 50%, 3 above 70% (alternative, equity, quant).
I have two options: retake on december or on june next year. On december has all the benefits but one: I'd have to travel to Miami because there is no dec exam in my country (I already have a VISA so there is no problem with that, it's just the 500+usd I'd have to spend extra)

I'm 80% positive on taking it on december, so I would like to make a study plan taking some thing in consideration: I'm going on vacations for 2 weeks on september through oct 6th. I want to start studying after this vacations (2 months study time).

So far I think I have several options I have been thinking:
1. Study like I did before but without the stupid break I took... reading all the Schweser notes, doing exercises and then doing some practice exams. (dunno if enough time)
2. Read Schweser notes, do the exercises from the CFA books, do practice exams. (dunno if enough time for this one too)
3. 2 months of practice exams
4. Study the end of chapter LOS summaries of strong topics, read all the notes from other topics, practice exams
5. Study form the Secret Sauce, practice exams.

If I study before my vacations I'm sure I will forget 80% of what I read before, just like when I took that 3 week break last semester... so I have from oct 7th to study.

What do you think?


  • ZeeZee Charterholder London - UKPosts: 1,547 Sr Partner
    2 months is pretty close, but then you're retaking so things should still be fresh in your mind. I'd try and start before the vacation - even with the 2-week break it's better than starting after the vacation...

    If you're serious about passing Level 1 I'd definitely do Dec. Not only would you possibly save time and catch June 2014 for Level 2, but Dec is still the same syllabus and you have less time to forget everything you've learnt from June!
  • Dr_Pain28Dr_Pain28 Dayton, OhioPosts: 103 Jr Portfolio Manager
    @Dan I would definitely do the December test for all the reasons @Zee said -same curriculum, less time to forget. Maybe, depending on what your actual vacation is, you can make flashcards to review in down time or work on various formula sheets etc.
  • @Zee @Dr_Pain28 thanks

    What do you think about the study plan? Which should I do?
  • Dr_Pain28Dr_Pain28 Dayton, OhioPosts: 103 Jr Portfolio Manager
    @Dan well seeing as you were band 10 you were already really close, so 2 months of reviewing could be rushed but would probably be enough in my opinion. As for the study plan I would go with option 4. (I wrote out my suggestion and then realized is was almost identical to one of your options)For me when i read through the schweser books, I took notes as I read eventually filling 2 100 page notebooks. So after I read the books I just referenced my own notes. IDK if you have noted you took the first time around. If i were you I would read through all my notes to get a good refresher of all the topics, and to ensure that I don't lose ground on any of the topics I did good in. (your case 70%+ alt, equity, quant) [If you didn't take notes then there are all the chapter summaries which are pretty good you could read, as well as reading through the secret sauce. Then i would focus on reviewing Financial reporting as that is a huge weight percent of the test and also ethics as that is a huge weight percent too. Then work on some practice tests to get used to the 6 hour stamina drain of the test and to ensure you remember your formulas and such. Good luck!
  • SophieSophie Posts: 1,986 Sr Partner
    @Dan - study plan #2 definitely. Given that the materials are familiar it shouldnt take you as long. I agree with @zee - 2 months of studying is a little close, given that I'd dedicate the last month for this game plan. So that means you should do your note reviews and EOC questions in August, have a nice break, come back and review somemore. Only start the practice papers in November.
  • SophieSophie Posts: 1,986 Sr Partner
    edited July 2013
    you're welcome @Dan. Don't give up OK? It's soul-crushing I know especially when you're so close - but you'll ace the ones in the next 3 exams and you'll be on par with your friend still.
  • Well when i read this post felt like my own story except the prep time i took.. i also failed in band 10 (ouch hurts bad :( ) with pretty much same grades as dan but got < 50 in two .. i actually could not study at all before so took 2 weeks off and just studied from 21st to 31st may.. giving 2 days for each book.. used only schweser pro question banks and LOS.. and i studied almost 13 hours a day summing to some 130 hours in total and some 80 % of total curriculam.. but damn missed it by just few !! Now i am also confused if to go for it in Dec or June as work pressure is alot and which strategy to go for..

    Thanks for the 5 options.. i think 4th is best option for the topics which are our stronghold, feel comfortable with and scored high.. and i would follow 2 for topics i barely managed, took me down in real exam or couldnt cover completely when i was preparing which are eco and portfolio mgmt.. Still not sure if i want to go through same painful process but hell yea.. gotta nail this demon >:)
  • And yea Dr_Pain is right.. both FSA and Ethics should be mugged up totally.. helps in clearing overall MPS i think..
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