CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst is considered to be one of the toughest exams in the field of finance. This competitive exam comes in three levels and each level comprises ten papers. All of the subjects leant in this examination are based on advanced financial concepts like income, derivatives, portfolio management, wealth management, corporate finance and financial ethics as per the current times. Passing the CFA exam is not an easy feat, it requires you to study diligently and patiently. However, once you’ve cleared the examination, we assure you, there’s no looking back. Since this course equips you with advanced investment concepts, you’ll be working for some of the most prestigious investment fields like Investment Banking, Portfolio Management, Hedge Fund Management, etc. 

The CFA course is a three-year course that students can pursue after their graduation in any stream. However, it is recommended to have a bachelor’s degree in commerce to make your journey a rather seamless one. The CFA exam can be hard or easy for you depending on your interest level. But before you start, here are some things you need to know.

Passing rate of the CFA levels 

Appearing for the CFA exams is not for the faint hearted, and passing them also requires the same mix of courage and perseverance. Only the best of the lot get to become the charter holders, and are then welcomed into the investment field with high salary packages.

If you are intrigued in knowing about the difficulty level of each exam, here’s a glimpse into the latest passing rate of all exams.

Date Level  Passing rate
February 2022 Level 1 36%
February 2022 Level 2 44%
November 2021 Level 3 43% 

Decoding the Hardest CFA level

As per our discussions with our inhouse team and other students, the CFA levels 2 and 3 are cited to be way harder than the CFA level 1. While it’s difficult to tell which is the most difficult CFA level out of the levels 2 and 3, we believe that may vary from year to year.

The Chartered Financial Analyst level 1 and 2 exam papers are constructed in a multiple-choice format. If you are impulsive in answering these questions, there’s a possibility of making a mistake in choosing your answers correctly. The CFA level 3 on the other hand brings ‘essay’ type questions.

Things that make the CFA exam more difficult

Here are certain things you should avoid while appearing for the Chartered Financial Analyst exams.

  • Taking long breaks in between your exams
  • Not creating a study plan of a minimum of 300 hours 
  • Solely relying on heavy knowledge-based CFA study materials
  • Not enrolling in a coaching institute that makes the dry study material interesting for you
  • Focusing only on the easy subjects and not on difficult subjects like fixed income, derivatives and portfolio management

Topics you need to prepare for and their weightage

There are certain concepts in CFA examinations require more focus and training than the others. Want to on which of these concepts you should focus more on compared to others? Here’s a list of total topics covered and their weightage.

In spite of the difficulty level, there are many students in Asia who’ve enrolled for the CFA examinations. That’s because the demand for this profession is on the rise. However, if you really want to make the most of your learning journey, the best way to do that would be by enrolling in a coaching class that makes learning interesting with gamified notes, case studies and industry-relevant practical training. Wondering which coaching class for the CFA course can give you all of these? The answer is and will always be Zell Education.

The Chartered Financial Analyst is a globally recognised qualification in the field of finance and investment. If you have recently completed your graduation or are appearing for your final semester, you may be eligible to become a CFA. Interested? We highly recommend checking out our Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course.

What is the best way to ace CFA exams?

Enrol in a professional coaching class, learning through a mix of different study techniques and practising through mock examinations are some of the best ways to ace your CFA examinations.

How many attempts can I give for CFA in a year?

Level 1 has 4 attempts - February, May, August and November. Level 2 has 2 attempts - February and August. The level has 3 attempts - May and November.

How much time does it take to study for CFA?

The average candidate for Level I of the CFA exam should spend a minimum of 300 hours over the course of six months preparing for the exam.

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