CFA Institute Says 43% of Test-Takers Pass Level 1 Exam

Updated on
  • Mainland China fuels 14% increase in total test-takers
  • Pass rate unchanged from when test administered 6 months ago

Forty-three percent of Chartered Financial Analyst candidates passed the first level of the three-part exam administered in December, unchanged from six months earlier, while applicants from China surged.

A record 59,627 financial professionals sat for the exam, a 14 percent increase from a year earlier, the Charlottesville, Virginia-based CFA Institute said Tuesday in a statement. The test was administered in 104 test centers in 72 cities globally, the CFA said.

More people sat for the exam in mainland China than in the U.S., a first for the December period. About 14,100 people took the test in China, a 50 percent jump from the year before, compared with 12,187 in the U.S., a 4.4 percent increase.

Candidates can take all three levels in June, while only the first level is offered in December. Financiers seek the CFA designation in hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of the markets, as well as landing better jobs and higher salaries. Successful charter recipients typically spend an average of 300 hours preparing for each exam and take four years to complete all three tests, according to the CFA Institute.

(Updates with China in third paragraph.)
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