CFA Level 1 Quantitative Methods – how to deal with them?

CFA Level 1 Quantitative Methods

Quantitative methods for  CFA Level 1 consists of the following sections: basic quantitative concepts that serve only as a background for numerous calculations you will use in other parts of CFA curriculum like time value of money and its application in DCF calculations, sample variance and return measurements and its application in portfolio management. After basic quantitative concepts you have to go through slightly more complicated sections including probability concepts, sampling and estimation and hypothesis testing. Finally, there is a chapter on technical analysis.

If you are not a quant and/or don’t like quantitative methods – math and statistics, some of above mentioned sections might be demanding for you. Don’t spend too much time on basic quantitative concepts, but be ready to dedicate significant time and effort on more complicated sections. There are no shortcuts, you have to read everything and get known with all the rules and exceptions if you want to pass this section successfully. It may be good idea to take notes and draw graphs, especially in hypothesis testing part so you can review the material by a glance just before the exam. Focus on practice problems!

If you have left quantitative methods as the last chapter in your CFA Level 1 learning process and you run out of time, you can cut the technical analysis part off. It doesn’t have a huge weight on the exam and if you dedicate the rest of the time on learning better and reviewing the rest of quantitative methods, it should be enough for passing your CFA Level 1 exam.

It is vital to identify sections that are, from your point of view, more interesting and easy and sections that are less interesting and probably more difficult. It is recommended to start the process by learning those sections that are easy for you and dedicate more (significant) time on sections that are less interesting or difficult.

Good luck!

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