I took the CFA Level 1 on 7th Decemeber 2008 at Singapore. Thanks to the "great Indian tamasha" associated with our ever-irrational educational laws as well as the never-ending legal timelines, the exam could not be conducted in India. So, we had thousands of Indian hopefuls travel to Thailand, Singapore, Nepal and Hong Kong to name a few centres.
On my flight to Singapore itself, we had over 90% CFA candidates. With the Schweser notes open and the official CFA course books, the waiting lobby of the Mumbai airport resembled a chaotic exam centre. Not just that, we had some dedicated students forgo their hours of sleep and revise those last few formulae under the seat lights on the flight. Thanks to Air India, there wasnt much of in-flight entertainment to tempt me otherwise; yet, I preferred to take rest rather than slog out the last few hours of my life.
Reaching Singapore one day before the exam was a sensible idea, since it took some time to settle in. Finding the hotel and checking out the exam centre was top priority for the day. Singapore Expo, which was the exam centre was close to the Airport and was easy to find. Singapore is an amazing country to be connected so well by rail transport. Built on the underground Tube at London, the Mass Rail Transport(MRT) is one the best experiences I have had at Singapore. Coming back to the hotel, read up on some Economics and Financial Statement Analysis and Ethics.
The exam was extremely well organized. With over 4200 students at the centre, it never seemed that there was any chaos. The halls openend 1 hr in advance and everything proceeded smoothly. Now coming to the exam:
Morning paper: The morning paper was fairly straight-forward to begin with. Not much of complicated questions. All sections are equally weighted... though FSA and ethics form the core of the paper. Economics comes next.
Afternoon paper: This one was tricky. Questions needed some thinking. Especially FSA. But it could also be a case of lethargy creeping in after 3 hrs of the morning exam, as well as the lunch effect.
More or less, not a very complicated exam. Not much of heavy duty quant calculations. But fundamentals are rigorously tested. So are concepts of ethics. So, make sure your basics are fine, and the exam should go fine.
Results expected on 28th Jan 2009. Till then, fingers crossed :)