The Level I CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exam is the first of three levels in the CFA program, which is a globally recognized certification for finance and investment professionals. The Level I exam serves as an introduction to a broad range of fundamental concepts and tools used in finance and investment management. Here’s an overview of the Level I CFA exam structure:
- The Level I CFA exam is a multiple-choice, computer-based test.
- It consists of two sessions, with a morning and afternoon session.
- Each session contains 90 questions, for a total of 180 questions in the Level I exam.
- The questions are divided into two categories: “Item Set” questions and “Stand-Alone” questions.
2. Content Areas:
- The Level I exam covers a wide range of topics, including:
- Ethical and Professional Standards
- Quantitative Methods
- Financial Reporting and Analysis
- Corporate Finance
- Equity Investments
- Fixed Income
- Alternative Investments
- Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning
3. Exam Duration:
- The Level I CFA exam is a one-day examination.
- Each of the two sessions is three hours long, making the total exam duration six hours.
- There is a break between the morning and afternoon sessions.
4. Exam Date:
- The Level I CFA exam is offered twice a year, typically in June and December.
5. Pass/Fail Outcome:
- Candidates are informed whether they pass or fail the exam but do not receive specific scores.
- The CFA Institute sets a minimum passing score for each exam, which is determined through a statistical process.
- Candidates need to register for the exam through the CFA Institute’s website.
- There are registration deadlines, and candidates are encouraged to register well in advance.
7. Study Time:
- The recommended study time for the Level I CFA exam is around 300 hours.
8. CFA Institute’s Ethical and Professional Standards:
- The CFA Institute places a strong emphasis on ethical conduct. A portion of the Level I exam is dedicated to the CFA Institute’s Ethical and Professional Standards, which candidates are required to follow as charterholders.
9. Study Materials:
- The CFA Institute provides a curriculum for each level of the exam, and candidates are encouraged to use these materials in their preparation.
Passing the Level I CFA exam is the first step toward obtaining the CFA charter. Candidates who successfully pass Level I are eligible to proceed to Level II of the program. The CFA designation is highly regarded in the finance industry and demonstrates a strong foundation in investment management and financial analysis.