Level I CFA® Exam
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Level I Exam Format
CFA Institute changed the format and dates of the Level I CFA exam effective in 2021. The exam moved from its traditional paper-based format to computer-based with exam windows in February, May, July, August, and November. CFA Institute added an additional window in March to accommodate seating capacity issues for candidates sitting in February. The number of questions also reduced from 240 to 180 with a morning and afternoon session. Each session has 90 questions and is 2 hours and 15 minutes long.
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Level I CFA® Exam FAQs
Some candidates also consider a Master of Science in Financial Analysis (MSFA) as a way to prepare for the CFA® exam. Certain curriculums, like the MSFA offered by the College for Financial Planning®—a Kaplan Company, are aligned to the learning outcomes of the CFA® Institute’s CFA® Program, enabling students to earn an MSFA while concurrently preparing for the CFA® exam.
The weights of the Level I exam topics are subject to change on a year-to-year basis, at the discretion of CFA Institute. For the 2021 Level I exams, the topics are weighted as follows:
- Ethical and Professional Standards: 15%
- Quantitative Methods: 10%
- Economics: 10%
- Financial Reporting and Analysis: 15%
- Corporate Finance: 10%
- Portfolio Management and Wealth Management: 6%
- Equity Investments: 11%
- Fixed Income: 11%
- Derivative Investments: 6%
- Alternative Investments: 6%
For the 2022 Level I exams, the topics are weighted as follows:
- Quantitative Methods: 8-12%
- Economics: 8-12%
- Financial Reporting and Analysis: 13-17%
- Corporate Issuers: 8-12%
- Equity Investments: 10-12%
- Fixed Income: 10-12%
- Derivatives: 5-8%
- Alternative Investments: 5-8%
- Portfolio Management: 5-8%
- Ethical and Professional Standards: 15-20%