CFA Level 1 Study Guide (Recommended CFA Study Guide)

CFA Level 1 Study Guide for 6 Months is based on inputs from Prof.Walter. CFA Level 1 Exam has a total of 10 Topics, out of which Financial Reporting and Analysis has the highest Marks Weight. Before you go through the Study Guide, we would recommend you to read our earlier article on CFA Level 1 Syllabus and Topic Weight. In the Study Guide, you need to spend more time on Important Topics like Ethics, Quantitative Methods and FR. There are certain easy topics in CFA Level 1 like Corporate Finance and Equity Investments which requires less amount of time. We have also provided Daily Study Guide for CFA Level 1 Financial Reporting Topic.

CFA Level 1 Study Guide for 6 Months

Portfolio Management
12 days
Corporate Finance
12 days
Quantitative Methods
25 days
Financial Reporting and Analysis
45 days
Equity Investments
16 days
Fixed Income Investments
20 days
Derivative Investments
8 days
16 days
14 days

Draw Your Own Study Guide

We always recommend students to prepare a CFA Level 1 Study Guide themselves. In the above mentioned 10 topics, different students may presume different topics as difficult ones.

For example, few students might find Financial Reporting to be a difficult topic, where as few might find Quantitative Aptitude to be the most difficult of them all.

So, make suitable changes to the above Study Guide as per your mode of difficulty and also how fast learner you are.

Daily Study Guide for CFA Level 1 Financial Reporting

2 days
Financial Reporting Mechanics
4 days
Financial Reporting Standards
3 days
Understanding Income Statement
5 days
Understanding Balance Sheets
7 days
Understanding Cash Flow Statements
5 days
Financial Analysis Techniques
4 days
5 days
Long-Lived Assets
5 days
Income Taxes
5 days
Non-Current (Long term) Liabilities
1 day

Study Guide and Strategy for CFA Level 1 Economics

The amount of reading you have to do compared to its weight in the exam is colossal! You may find the material boring as well. If you have some previous education in Economics, you may find the questions easy to answer without even reading the books.

If you are really pressed for time, I suggest you choose between bullet points 5 and 6 based on your background and affinity to calculations.


Ethics – CFA Level 1 Study Guide

The Ethics weight on the exam is a LOT (15%)! The only reason it is here, is that you should focus on practice questions rather than reading the books. If you must, just take a look at the names of the standards, and the GIPS section.

we would suggest just going through the examples in the CFA book. This is one topic where I would strongly suggest CFA books over Schweser.

Derivatives: CFA Level 1 Study Guide

The trick with derivatives is, you do not need to do the derivations. Some parts can be mugged up, especially in the options segment (not ideal though).

Mistakes to Avoid : CFA Level 1 Study Guide

Don’t waste time on things that don’t matter. This is a product of two things—the percentage or relative importance of the material itself on the exam and the areas where you’re already strong OR incredibly weak.

Below we have provided the Important Topics in CFA Level 1 based on Marks Per Pages Stat.

You need to accept now that you’ll have gaps in your understanding of the material. That’s OK, a 70% is a pass, and that’s all you need.

The best way to get an understanding of what material matters is to take mock exams earlier on in the process than you think you should. It’s OK if you don’t know everything, or haven’t even seen that material yet.

Taking 1–2 mocks, and then re-taking those same exams again later, can help frame the material and prepare you to learn what matters (and gloss over what doesn’t).

Conclusion : CFA Level 1 Study Guide

Through this article, we tried to clear all questions relating to CFA Level 1 Study Guide on a whole. If you have any further questions on CFA Level 1 Study Guide, feel free to post your questions to