Is CFA Level 1 Pass Rate Fixed Around 43% For Good?

CFA exam / Results / Level 1 Pass Rate

CFA Level 1 Pass Rate: 2014-2018

CFA Level 1 Pass Rate (2014 – 2018)

CFA Level 1 Exam Pass Rate
June 2014 Exam 42%
December 2014 Exam 44%
June 2015 Exam 42%
December 2015 Exam 43%
June 2016 Exam 43%
December 2016 Exam 43%
June 2017 Exam 43%
December 2017 Exam 43%
June 2018 Exam 43%
December 2018 Exam 45%

In recent years, the CFA level 1 pass rate is fairly fixed. For level 1 exams held in 2014 – 2018, the pass rate ranged from 42% to 45% with an average pass rate of 43%. No significant difference between June and December level 1 pass rates can be found.

However, level 1 pass rates were not always above 40% and as fixed from exam to exam as recently. For example, pass rates for CFA level 1 exams held from 2009 to 2013 ranged from 34% to 46% and the average pass rate for this period was 39%.

It is an open question whether the recent trend of pass rates stabilizing around 43% holds true in the future. We need to wait and see. The next exam results are expected to be released on 23 January 2019 (maybe the pass rate will be even higher this time? ) (update: it was indeed ).

Read more about CFA results on our blog: What is the CFA passing score? How is the CFA exam graded?

Historical CFA Pass Rates Since 1963 (Level 2 & 3 Included)

If you are a level 2 or level 3 candidate you might be interested in pass rates for these levels. The table below presents pass rates for all levels of CFA exam since 1963 until now:

The numbers just confirm that it is not easy to pass the CFA exam at the first attempt, regardless of the exam level.

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