How to Study for the CFA® Level I Exam With UWorld

How to Study for the CFA Exam with UWorld

CFA candidates who review the pass rates for the CFA Exam might have early feelings of defeat as they begin their journey to become CFA charterholders. Although the pass rate in December 2020 was 49%, on average, only about 42% of CFA candidates who take the Level I CFA Exam pass the exam, even after all the time and effort devoted to preparing for the exams. So how do you make sure you’re part of that 42% who pass the CFA exam? 

The key is to study in the most effective and efficient ways and to partner with the best CFA prep provider. Below are some ways our Level I CFA exam prep can help you feel confident on test day and pass Level I the first time. 

1. Active Learning

Studies show that passive learning—e.g., listening to a lecture or idly reading a textbook—is less effective than active learning. Active learning means that you’re not just trying to remember the information but also putting it to work. In short, you learn by doing. 

Designed with the active-learning model, UWorld’s CFA Level I learning platform keeps you engaged in the subject matter by requiring active participation in the study process. You’re much more likely to pass the exam if your preparation has followed the active-learning method. Instead of merely trying to memorize facts or learning the “what,” you’ve learned the “why.” And when you understand the “why,” you can apply that knowledge to any test scenario. 

2. Spaced Repetition 

Compared to passive learning, active learning has been proven to be more effective in CFA exam success. But the study method you choose is equally important. For example, you could decide to study for 12 hours straight, one day every week, or two hours a day, six days of the week. Both have the same volume of learning, but one is more effective than the other. By far, the most effective way to study is using the scientifically proven method: spaced repetition.

What is spaced repetition? It’s not as foreign a concept as you might think. You’ve seen spaced repetition in action with study methods like flashcards or when your college professors told you to go home after class and rewrite your notes. These are just variations of spaced repetition. With spaced repetition, our brain learns and recalls information better if learned in multiple sessions over spaced-out intervals. Applied to studying, it means that instead of cramming and memorizing facts, you can learn concepts more thoroughly and effectively if reviewed in repetitive increments over a more extended period. 

Our CFA prep is built around the science of spaced repetition to help you learn better, quicker, and more efficiently. The more frequently you review any given data over time, the more easily your brain can retain it. So you could work on one topic in-depth for a week, then review it once a week, and, after a while, only once a month. By the time you’re reviewing the concepts just once a month, you’ve already encountered them so many times that your brain can easily recall them. 

That leads us to our next study tip.

3. Flashcards

The best tool for incorporating spaced repetition into your studies is by using flashcards. When used with the UWorld CFA prep flashcards, difficult concepts are presented more frequently while easier information appears less often. Our digital flashcards are the perfect way to study via spaced repetition no matter where you are—at home, at work, or anywhere else. You can cover a wide range and variety of topics quickly and conveniently, reviewing newer topics more often and topics you’ve mastered less regularly. 

Not only do our digital flashcards make spaced repetition a breeze, but they are also straightforward to create and use. Just highlight whatever information you want to make into a flashcard within the UWorld CFA prep dashboard, select the flashcard option, and -presto-, you have a new flashcard from which to study.

By the time you take the CFA Level I Exam, you’ll have a robust ability to retain information from the entirety of the course, rather than just the topics you most recently studied. Throughout the entire exam prep process, in addition to our question banks (QBanks), our digital flashcards will become your most trusted study tool.  

4.  Question Banks 

Practice questions are arguably the most critical component of the exam preparation process. Active learning requires not just absorbing material but using it. Our Qbanks are built from the ground up by an expert team of CFA charterholders and content developers who were all top-scorers on their CFA exams. Our obsession with quality and singular focus on student outcomes compels us to produce only the best material, allowing us to become the global leader in online preparation for high-stakes exams.

Each QBank has undergone a meticulous review process to ensure that the content goes beyond the basic concepts, covering every concept in its associated exam content blueprint. Every single question goes through extensive vetting before it can be approved for inclusion in the QBank. Plus, we continuously gather user feedback to improve and update our QBank, so the concepts tested remain accurate and relevant year over year.

UWorld’s CFA Exam prep review was designed by some of the most accomplished CFA charterholders in the industry to provide the best preparation for the best value. Our digital platform is convenient and effective and will optimize your chances of passing the Level I CFA Exam on your first try. 

Get a free look at these tools and more with a FREE 7-day trial of the UWorld CFA Level I learning platform.