Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1

This is the first of three exams offered by the CFA Institute. This exam (in addition to other requirements) must be passed for an individual to become a CFA charter holder. The CFA program is a globally recognized standard for measuring the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Level 1 focuses on tools and concepts that apply to investment valuation and management.

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Exam Details

Time Limit: 6 hours
Cost: Varies
Number of Questions: 240
Passing Score: Varies Anually
Passing Rates: As of December 2012, 37%
Format: Multiple Choice
Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree or equivalent. An exemption can be made where you can write the level 1 if you a) are in the final year of your undergraduate program, b) have four years of professional experience, or c) have a combination of both, equating to at least four years.
Corequisites: Four years of qualifying work experience must be obtained.
Exam Date(s): June and December
Exam Results: Usually provided within 60 days
Offical Exam Website: CFAInstitute.org


Exam Topic Weights





Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. When must the required three years of qualifying work experience be completed in order to become a CFA chartholder?
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  • 2. Is there any difference between a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Financial Analyst?
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  • 3. I am interested in pursuing the CFA charter, but I do not have a degree in business...
    View Answer »

Professionals FAQs
  1. Where can I look for a financial planner?

    References from trusted friends or family members can help you find a financial planner; however, keep in mind that your friends' financial situations and goals may differ from yours and, therefore, their planners won't necessarily be the best fit for you.The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards certifies financial planners and maintains an online list of certified financial planners on its CFP Board of Standards website.
  2. If I am looking to get an Investment Banking job. What education do employers prefer? MBA or CFA?

    If you are looking specifically for an investment banking position, an MBA may be marginally preferable over the CFA. The caveat here is that the MBA would most probably need to be from a Top-20 B-School.The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is well worth considering if you (a) are aiming for an entry-level position in investment banking, and/or (b) cannot afford to shell out six figures for an MBA or have to settle for a lesser-known B-school.That's because in the investment banking field, most entry-level positions are at the analyst level.
  3. Can I still pass the CFA Level I if I do poorly in the ethics section?

    You may still pass the Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) Level I even if you fare poorly in the ethics section, but don't count on it. The CFA Institute has long emphasized that ethics is a particular area of focus for it. The seriousness with which the CFA Institute views ethics is evident from the fact that for exam candidates with borderline total scores, performance on the ethics section can mean the difference between passing and failing the exam.
  4. Under the USA, registration as an IAR includes all of the following EXCEPT:

    Under the USA, registration as an IAR includes all of the following EXCEPT: A. Minimum net capitalB. Passing a qualification examC. Filing a consent to service of processD. Posting a surety bond The correct answer is "A", since only an IA would need to prove minimum net capital requirements.
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