Level I CFA® Exam

More insights. Clear direction. Better results.

Over the last 30 years, we’ve mastered how candidates earn the CFA® charter and have designed a program that works. No guessing where to begin, what to study next, or how you’re progressing. CFA Level I candidates who prep with Kaplan Schweser are more likely to pass than those who prep with other providers

Level I CFA Study Packages


 


Level I Study Packages



Designed for You to Pass



 

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More Level I Study Materials

 

 

 

Proven Strategies for Each Stage of the Study Cycle

Find no surprises on exam day. Research shows it takes more than 300 hours to properly prepare for the Level I CFA® exam—partner with the provider who knows how to maximize every minute of your study time.

A Complete CFA Level I Study Plan

You don’t need to spend valuable time searching for CFA Level I study strategies. Over the last 30 years, we’ve mastered how candidates earn the charter and have designed a program that adapts to every learning style.

You’re in Control

You set your study dates. Our adaptive Activity Feed breaks down your 300 prep hours into bite-sized weekly tasks, while our Performance Tracker and Checkpoint Exams give you an in-depth analysis of where you stand. 

Don’t Disrupt Your Daily Routine

Maintain your life and still earn the CFA charter. With a wide range of print, online, and mobile study tools, and an assortment of exam-simulating prep for CFA Level I, you can seamlessly fit a study session into your daily routine.

 

A Partner You Can Trust

With an extensive global network of CFA charterholders and content experts, you’ll get the guidance you need to pass. More CFA candidates consider Kaplan Schweser to be the most respected and trusted prep provider.     

What Kaplan Schweser Customers Say

Level I CFA® Exam FAQs

The CFA exam as a whole is difficult by design. It’s an exclusive designation that truly demonstrates mastery. According to CFA Institute, Level I has the lowest pass rate of all the exams, at just 41%, and the average candidate spends 303 hours preparing.

Learn more about the Level I exam:

CFA Institute recommends 300 hours of study, and our experience is that 300 hours is the minimum that most people need to be successful. The average Level I candidate spends 303 hours preparing.

Prepare an Effective Study Plan »

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. 

How much you’ll pay to sit for the Level I exam depends on how early you register. First of all, there is a one-time CFA enrollment fee of $350. In addition, you must pay an exam fee each time you register to sit for an exam. CFA Institute has early and standard registration deadlines. The early registration fee is $900 USD, and the standard registration fee is $1,200 USD.

Topic Weights by Level

Level I

For the Level I exams, the topics are weighted as follows: 

  • Ethical and Professional Standards: 15-20%
  • Quantitative Methods: 8-12%
  • Economics: 8-12%
  • Financial Statement Analysis: 13-17%
  • Corporate Issuers: 8-12%
  • Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning: 5-8%
  • Equity Investments: 10-12%
  • Fixed Income: 10-12%
  • Derivatives: 5-8%
  • Alternative Investments: 5-8%

These topic weights were used to develop a Level I study plan you can follow to ensure complete coverage of the material. The study plan is included in all of our packages.

 

Level I Study Packages

The Minimum Passing Score (MPS) is the benchmark used to determine whether a candidate has passed or failed the exam, and it is different each year. The MPS for Level I is set about six weeks after the exam. CFA Institute does not release the MPS, although research indicates that it hovers between 60 and 70 percent.
CFA Institute administers Level I of the CFA Exam four times per year, with exam windows in February, May, August, and November.

More Likely to Pass: These are the findings of a quantitative survey conducted by Kaplan between June 30 and August 30, 2021. For this survey, a sample of 313 U.S. CFA Level I and Level II candidates was interviewed online. The survey was fielded to subscribers of 300Hours.com and AnalystForum.com.

Most Respected and Trusted Provider: These are the findings of a quantitative survey conducted by Kaplan between June 30 and August 30, 2021. For this survey, a sample of 313 U.S. CFA Level I and Level II candidates was interviewed online, of which 271 CFA candidates answered this question. The survey was fielded to subscribers of 300Hours.com and AnalystForum.com.