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All about CFA® Level 1 exam Pattern and Format

rajanatmiyarajanatmiya mumbaiPosts: 3 New Hire
edited March 20 in CFA Level I
Chartered financial analyst® designation is a professional credential that is offer by the CFA institute to the financial and investment professionals. The designation of the Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA® Charter is the most recognized and respected credential in the field of investment banking. It is a globally recognized credential.

There are three levels in CFA® Program that students will have to go through. Based on the historical data, pass rate for the CFA® examination is about forty percent. There is a wide range of topics related to investment management, stocks, derivatives, financial analysis which give you great understanding of everything you need in order to become a better Financial Analyst/Investment banker.

CFA® Level I Exam :

This is the first examination that students will have to go through. In level one, students will have to focus on the concepts and tools that are applied to investment management and valuation.

The CFA® Level 1 exam is conducted in two sessions, each 3 hours long. It consists of 240 multiple-choice questions in two sessions of 120 questions each. The questions are designed based on the topic weightages given in the CFA® Level 1 Exam Syllabus, with very slight deviation.

Format of the CFA Level 1 Exam

The CFA Level 1 Exam consists of 240 multiple-choice questions and is divided into two sessions, with 120 questions asked in the three-hour morning session and 120 in the three-hour afternoon session. Three unique choices will be offered as answers, and test takers must choose the most appropriate answer to the question. Words such as except, true , false, all of the above or none of the above are not used in these multiple choice questions. Because all answers are weighted equally, candidates are not penalized for guessing.

Examination Fees and Deadlines

The CFA Institute sets examination and curriculum fees and deadlines which may change annually. Usually, three options are available for paying for the curriculum: purchasing the eBook only, purchasing the print format only, or purchasing both. Curriculum and examination pricing details may be found at the CFA Institute website. Deadlines for purchasing the curriculum usually fall nine months, four months and three months prior to the next examination date (December or June).

Where to Take the CFA Level 1 Exam

The CFA Level 1 Exam is usually administered on the first Saturday in December and June. Locations around the world are CFA Level 1 Exam testing centers. A listing of all current testing centers may be found on the CFA Institute’s directory.

The Bottom Line


Overall, the CFA Level I exam is well-balanced, with a wide spectrum of topics. Some topics may require proportionally more time to study than others; however, what's important is to plan your studies and stay with the plan. Best of luck on the exam!

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