How to prepare for CFA Economics and Quantitative Methods?


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If you are reading this you are already aware of the fact that the CFA curriculum consists of ten topics based on which candidates are tested on their financial knowledge and skills. The CFA institute keeps updating its curriculum to be able to keep up with contemporary financial trends and tools.

The recently updated curriculum for CFA 2023 saw some significant changes in the curriculum structure. However, in this post, we will discuss how to prepare for the CFA level 1 economics and quantitative methods. Both these topics have around 8 to 12% weightage and are significantly essential for getting a good score.


Economics is an important topic in the CFA examination and many candidates face trouble with studying this part of the syllabus. Although economics is one of the scoring topics, but candidates do not find the topic interesting enough to study religiously like the other topics in the curriculum.

Moreover, it has an extensive syllabus where to solve 24 questions in the examination you need to study some 300 pages, as opposed to 100 pages for 30 questions of Ethics. This particular reading vs questions ratio demotivates aspirants to give their 100% in preparing for economics.

The CFA economics curriculum is divided into microeconomics, macroeconomics, and Economics in the global context. The extensive syllabus of economics prepares the aspirants for the different aspects of economics and its impact on the national and global scenario.

Preparation Tips for CFA Economics: 

The most important reason behind candidates losing interest in Economics is that it has too much study material but very few questions to attempt. However, certain tips could help you prepare better for economics and perform well in the examination.

  • Economics is all about concepts and once you understand them you can find many recurring topics that can be easily understood and solved.
  • Economics is all about systematic answers to different social behaviours. And so understanding the logic behind the concepts and questioning the various supply vs demand scenarios and help you understand better.
  • Try understanding and studying the graphs as much as you can to understand the story behind them. Although graphs won’t be a part of the exams or the questions but they are important to understand the theories of graphs.
  • Try watching video content of the economic curriculum as it will help in explaining a concept better. Getting enrolled on an online course can help in clearing the concepts and understanding the topics comprehensively.
  • The most effective way of preparing for CFA level 1 economics is to test yourself with practice papers. Solving more and more practice papers can be a great way for exposing yourself to the CFA question pattern and the different types of questions.

Quantitative Methods 

The CFA institute had brought some prominent changes in the curriculum of  CFA level 1 quantitative methods, where the previously available five (5) readings are changed into seven (7) learning modules. The readings are basically broken into smaller modules that helped in making the lessons bit-sized and easier to study and complete.

Quantitative methods teach to predict outcomes of outcomes or a range of outcomes for future events and calculate the impact of events. With the 2023 update for quantitative methods for CFA exams, the curriculum is not only divided into learning modules but also updated with new data sets, evaluation of influential observations, and also logistic regression. There are also some significant changes in the multiple regression part that aspirants need to consider.

Preparation tips for Quantitative Methods: 

  • The first and most important thing is to get the basics right. Understanding the concepts can help in improving the scores meticulously. The most common topics in quantitative methods include HCF, LCM, Divisibility tests, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Data Interpretation, Probability, Number System, and arithmetic and geometric progressions.
  • Try to work with your speed and pace. The quicker you are at solving the questions, the more you will be able to attempt, and the more you score. You should work with your problem-solving timings and try to solve a maximum number of mock tests to ace your capability.
  • Try to focus more on rare problems, as their ratio is comparatively low and so you will remember the solutions. Keeping these problems under consideration will help you score better.
  • Once you are done with the basics and identifying your strengths, it is time that you focus on the weakness. Identifying the weak points and working on them will help in scoring better as the chance of leaving out problems will be considerably low.
  • Try to memorize the formulas and make notes and shortcuts that will help you to revise better the day before the exam. Summarising all that you have learnt can be a great way to sort out the revision and final preparation.

Final Thought 

The CFA 2023 examination is around the corner, and you must have already begun the preparations. CFA is no doubt a tough exam but with proper preparation, revision, and practice, you can definitely score well. Know the curriculum well and prepare for the different topics like CFA level 1 quantitative methods comprehensively to make your mark. All the best with the exam.


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