In this page, we want to reflect on our experiences and interact with all current and prospective candidates. Lets share tips, updates, and discuss everything CFA!


First things first, I think its extremely crucial that one understands the weights attributed to various sections of the exam. Remember, you don’t need a 100% score  in every section! What you need is to get the most points possible against other candidates. The only catch is that you have to pass the “Ethical & Professional Standards” section.

Below is the grade distribution:

Alternative Investments 8
Corporate Finance 20
Derivatives 12
Economics 24
Equity Investments 24
Ethical & Professional Standards 36
Financial Reporting & Analysis 48
Fixed Income Investments 28
Portfolio Management 12
Quantitative Methods 28

Looking at the grades above, PRIORITIZE PRIORITIZE PRIORITIZE! Spend most of your time on the heaviest weighted sections and the least amount of time on the lowest weighted sections. For, example spend most of your time on Financial Reporting & Analysis and the least on Alternative Investments and Derivatives (which may cause you great confusion). This doesn’t mean that you skip any sections! It only means that you should be efficient in your time allocation.

As I have already advocated, I recommend using SCHWESER notes. Make sure you memorize and understand the cheatsheet by heart. Also, use the Q-Bank function of Schweser. It is just amazing! Whenever you read something, do some Q-Bank questions on it and most importantly on the previous reading too. For example, you finish reading book/section 1 and take some Q-Bank questions on it. When you read book/section 2, you do the questions on book/section 2 alone and including book/section 1. This way the current information ADDS to the previous instead of REPLACING it.

44 Responses to “CFA”

  1. Oikonomia says:

    I recommend that you spend some time to make a plan that suits your schedule and abilities (nothing too optimistic) and most importantly stick to your plan!

    The CFA institute recommends that you spend at least 250 hours in preparation for the exam and believe me they’re right I’ve learned it the hard way :)


  2. MohQ8 says:

    Im currently registered for the CFA level 1 exam, but many people told me that im already too late, and should start preparing 6 month prior to the exam


  3. keynesian09 says:

    The most important thing to do when you are preparing for the CFA exam is not to listen to others tell u its too late or not. Who are they to judge your capabilities?1 That’s what I hate in Kuwait. Everybody is an expert in everything, yet, never are successful themselves. Do you have a business background? If yes, it is definately doable. If not, it is still very possible. It depends on your commitment. Also, I really RECOMMEND using Schweser notes and not the CFA books. Good luck!


  4. ABR says:

    I’m sitting for the CFA level II this June and I’m having second thoughts of studying from the Schweser notes cause I think they’re missing on many stuff from the curriculum


  5. Oikonomia says:


    Remember that preparing for the CFA is all about time management and the CFA institute recommends studying from the curriculum books, so if you have enough time (more than 6 months) study from them otherwise stick to Schweser. Keep in mind that you need 70% to pass so don’t focus on trying to lean every little detail as opposed to covering the whole material with a solid understanding.

    What I recommend doing is to study from Shcweser and later on when you have enough time skim through the curriculum books and see what doesn’t look familiar and try to cover as much as possible.

    Good Luck!


  6. farah says:

    FYI the CFA institute now has a kuwait member society, the president can be contacted here


  7. keynesian09 says:

    Thanks for the insight Farah. I followed the link and it turns out the President is the Markaz’s one and only Raghu Mandagolathur. I really enjoy reading this guy’s research pieces and wish the best for the Kuwaiti CFA charter.


  8. tolstoy says:

    If you fail ethics you fail the exam! Don’t leave it till the last minute.

    FSA has the largest weighting, make sure you’ve studied the material inside out.

    Do as many questions as you can. The schweser exam questions (books 1-4) are much harder than the ACTUAL exam questions.
    Do as many sample exams as possible, they are loosely based on past exam papers.

    Bring spare batteries and a spare calculator, don’t risk it.”


  9. keynesian09 says:


    Thanks and good luck!


  10. Oikonomia says:



  11. keynesian09 says:

    One of my friends told me that CFA level I is a mile wide and an inch deep. Level II is a mile wide and a MILE deep. Good luck with that!!!!!!!


  12. Oikonomia says:

    as for level 2, the only tip is that you’ll never gonna know all the material so pray to god that the areas you know will come in the exam!


  13. keynesian09 says:

    I wish everyone did well!
    The issue now is CFA Exam results!
    According to, Exam results are reported as “pass” or “fail” within 90 days (60 days for Level I) of the exam date.
    Why all this time!


  14. keynesian09 says:

    I thought this may be interesting: CFA Program Calendar 2009 June Exam June-July 2009 Exams graded Late July 2009 Exam results available online for Level I candidates Late August 2009 Exam results available online for Level II and III candidates 2009 December Exam 21 August 2009 Second deadline for new CFA Program enrollments and exam registrations to be received by CFA Institute 1 September 2009 Final deadline for scholarship verification forms to be received by CFA Institute 15 September 2009 Final deadline for new CFA Program enrollments and exam registrations to be received by CFA Institute 22 September 2009 All test center change requests must be received by CFA Institute 22 September 2009 Final deadline for disability accommodation requests and requests for religious alternative dates to be received by CFA Institute October 2009 Exam admission tickets available online 5 December 2009 Exam date 6 December 2009 Exam date in Eastern Asia and Oceania December 2009-January 2010 Exams graded January 2010 Exam results available online


  15. csindia1001 says:

    hi everyone,

    i appeared for level 1 exam this year.
    how did every one fare?please share comments…
    how is the grading expected to be relative to the past exams?


  16. Trinidadian says:

    I found the afternoon session Ethics were easier than the morning session. I finished the afternoon session in a shorter time span than I did the morning. I felt very confident coming out of both sessions and am looking forward to a PASS when results are released. One note of caution tho, the easier the exam is deemed to be by the governors the higher the final pass make will eventually turn out to be…


  17. csindia1001 says:

    Thanks Oikonomia,
    i hope i pass…btw i found the second half easier, not more than 2 hrs worth…


  18. Oikonomia says:

    “hi csindia1001,

    as I hear from the level 1 candidates that the exam was not to difficult and was similar to mocks, But everyone had the same observation that the first session was easier than the second.

    As for the grading, they usually take the average of the highest 1% of all the grades and take 70% of that mark as the passing rate. ex if the highest 1% grade is 90% then they take 70% of that, which is 67% and make that the passing rate.”


  19. Watson(SouthAfrica) says:
    Hi guys, this is the link I got this from and check out the cfa website as well. They have this new method, just read through it.
    But I still think that the 70% rule is a good guideline, My email is, Oikonomia or anyone get in touch directly, I’m okay with that as well, Cheers


  20. Watson(SouthAfrica) says:

    Hi, team ,
    Well considering our collective common desire to perform well, We are a team.
    I too felt that the second session was by far easier second guessing myself in only 10% of the questions, The first was stronger,

    Yeah, true that the mock exams were useful, Its a heads up for December candidates, which I hope I wont be a part of,
    Didnt they stop the 1% grading system and change to Ansoff sometime back,


  21. Oikonomia says:

    Thanks for your contribution Watson, I’m not sure if they stopped the 1% grading system but could you shed some light on the Ansoff



  22. keynesian09 says:

    I guess many people are waiting for the 2009 CFA Level 1 test results. They are due sometime in Late July 2009.
    From experience, they are usuallt out mid-July.


  23. anonymous says:

    ya they are due July 28th…all the best to all of us


  24. keynesian09 says:

    I think they will be out before July 28 even.. good luck!


  25. csindia1001 says:

    do they release the results even before their own scheduled date?


  26. ermanm says:

    Thx Keynesian09.
    Again good luck to all for next steps.


  27. Norah says:

    I just passed L1 exam, and i would like to congrats everyone who did, and i want to say to everyone who didn’t don’t give up! you still have the December exam.

    tips for level one, well i studied the CFA curriculum at first and then moved to Schweser. i would recommend reading only at first and having and overall idea, then start reviewing everything, and leaving sometime at the end to review back ur weak points. solves much questions, Qbank, mock exams, practice exams as u can, and review ur mistakes, spend the last 2 weeks before the exam to solve questions only.

    Good luck


  28. csindia1001 says:

    Cleared level 1….:)


  29. keynesian09 says:

    Congratulations to everyone who passed! If u failed, you will be better-off next time!


  30. Watson says:

    Well the exams came out well. Cleared,lets focus on Level 2 OR for th guys that didnt do well,focus on December.Wit experience nw its easier.


  31. ermanm says:

    First of all, congrats to all who passed their exams. some tips for L1, that i just cleared. I used Schweser. but on the same time i was also following on the cfa curriculum, chapter by chapter if anything was missing (it was pretty same thing, much more shortnd) especially examples, notes, end-session case studies etc… taped also very seriously, around 3 weeks, this question bank thing, i did totally around 1200 questions all subjects. and in overall, i spent arnd 200 hours, and for info i have b.a in economics. good luck to everyone for next steps. for L2 i plan to start in september spend 150 hours until new year, and compltely review again from january to june with same manner schweser-cfa curriculum and a lot of questions. regards to all


  32. keynesian09 says:

    I didn’t take Level 2 this time. Oikonomia did. I had cleared Level 1 in December. I hope we can continue sharing tips here. Good luck!

    Congrats Watson!
    Congrats Ermanm! U seem very organized which is great. Unfortunately, I’m from the type that would start studying in Jan at the earliest.


  33. Watson says:

    How come everyone coming onto the forum passed. Did anyone fail???? HOW CAN THOSE THAT PASSED HELP IN A TANGIBLE PRACTICAL WAY. If someone who failed posted something, it would be easier to advise. Especially if they talked about their trouble areas. Pamwe ndiri kuhumana.


  34. Juan says:

    This is an amazing site but you cannot use the CFA logo.
    If you are studying for the CFA you should know this since is one of the points under the professional standards. Again, this is a very helpful site.


  35. keynesian09 says:

    I hope you didn’t ONLY pass ethics ;P Thanks.


  36. keynesian09 says:

    Hopefully a big stress factor is out of your life FOR GOOD now!


  37. Ojedah says:

    Indeed, additionally there is a since of accomplishment that i haven’t felt in a while :)


  38. kuwai8 says:

    Hey guys I decided im going to sit this one out so I decided that im selling my Schweser Level II 2010 books and video cd’s to those who are interested.

    Please email me @ if interested.



  39. Almaha says:

    Any tips for level 2?


    Saud Reply:

    Study from the books provided by the CFA and ditch the notes. Although it will take longer to study and it’s more stressful, you will defiantly get a better result.


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