How Hard are the CFA Exams?

Finance students often ask “How hard are CFA Exams?”. Passing the CFA Exams requires strong discipline and a substantial amount of study. CFA Level 1, 2 and 3, the three exams can be taken annually in June, except for the CFA Level I, which candidates can either attempt in December or June.

CFA Exams are challenging, Are you ready to take up the challenge?

We have studied the difficulty of CFA Exams and have prepared a precise analysis into the level of difficulty and tips to help you Pass CFA Exams First Time.

VIDEO: How Hard Are CFA Exams Explained

Planning to sit CFA Exams? Start with this quick and easy to understand video about CFA Program and its level of difficulty. It’ll quickly cover the basics:

PASS CFA EXAMS – CFA Level 1, 2, 3

Pass CFA Exams Level 1,2,3

Although the exams may be taken as many times as required, each exam typically on average requires a candidate to study more than 300 hours. Based on a survey conducted with the CFA Institute, on average a candidate studied 307 hours for the exams. Given the length of their time spent on studying, many candidates are deterred from continuing the CFA Program after failing in one of the CFA Levels. To receive the charter, each candidate must pass all three exams (i.e. CFA Level 1, 2 and 3) and have four years of qualified work experience in investment decision-making.

Even though the exams are difficult, very few financial analysts Pass CFA Exams but there tend to be more than 135,000 active CFA Members across the 150 countries and territories. Getting the right plan and the discipline to visit the plan are essential abilities for passing all of the three exams.

CFA Exam Topics

CFA Exams Level 1,2,3

The CFA Exam tests wide range of subjects including ethics and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, money investments, derivatives, alternative investments, collection management and wealth planning. The six-hour exam covers lots of different topics, which is why most CFA Charter Holders recommend studying for over 300 hours to pass CFA Exam. The books given by the CFA Institute provide more material than precisely what is necessary to learn for the actual exam. Many candidates elect to study from an alternative source associated with preparation materials, such as study books given by Schweser. Coaching classes, videos and online quizzes could also provide assistance in studying with the CFA Exams. Utilizing a variety of methods for studying and enjoying preparation materials can enhance a candidate’s capability to pass the test.

CFA Exam Pass Rates

Pass CFA Exams

The CFA Institute reports that pass rates for each and every level of exams are commonly between 40% and 50%. Even so, pass rates were much higher when the exams were first initiated in 1963 and the percentage has been trending downward since than. The June 2015 results report that 42% of candidates qualified Level I, 46% passed Level II and 52% managed to pass Level III. CFA Level III results typically possess the highest pass rates out of all the levels. About 20% of candidates who enroll in the exam never end up arriving for the test. On average, a candidate takes four years to obtain CFA Charter.

CFA Exam Questions

CFA Exams

The test materials are very challenging, the exam questions are especially built to trick the candidates. For this kind of reason, candidates should take many practice tests and go through practice questions to prepare with the exam and get a feel with the types of questions they can encounter. CFA Level I has 240 multiple-choice queries, Level II consists of 20 item-set queries and Level III has combining item-set questions and short works. Although CFA Level I’s multiple option questions only have three achievable answers, candidates need to browse the questions carefully to select the precise answers, which can often include “None of the above” and “All of the above” as possible answers. The time pressure in the exams also creates some anxiety for candidates.

Financial Analyst

How Hard Are CFA Exams


Overall, the CFA Exams are extremely difficult to pass, but candidates can increase their odds of passing by studying for more than 300 hours, utilizing alternative prep materials, answering as many practice questions as possible and creating a structured plan. Finishing the entire CFA Program can be extremely rewarding, and the CFA Designation is identified by companies across the finance business. CFA Charter holders can advance in their investment careers through the knowledge they gain and the support & guidance of the extensive network of CFA professionals.

If you are still confused on how to Pass CFA Exams, than we have some more useful tips to help you pass the CFA Charter Examinations.

The Author

Abdul Rahman

Idea Inventor, Internet Ninja, Food Maniac & An Avid Blogger.
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