Level 1 CFA® Exam Topic Weights 2019 & 2020 Compared To Past Years

CFA EXAM: Level 1 / Topics / Weights 2019 & 2020



IMPORTANT: Due to COVID pandemic, CFA Institute has made the decision to postpone the June 2020 CFA Exam administration globally. Read more here


June 2019 CFA exam was the first exam with the new topic weights. On the graph below you can see how the weights changed for each level 1 topic:


Changes in Level 1 CFA Exam Topic Weights

Click here to see changes

Important: In 2019 & 2020, level 1 CFA exam topic weights differ from topic weights applied in previous years. Now, level 1 topics are given 15%, 11%, 10% or 6%. Previously, the values ranged from 20% to 4%. Click above to see exact changes.



2019 & 2020 Level 1 CFA Exam Topic Weights Ordered

The new hierarchical order of level 1 2019 & 2020 CFA exam topic weights is as follows:

  • Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA) = 15%,
  • Ethical and Professional Standards (Ethics) = 15%,
  • Fixed Income (FI) = 11%,
  • Equity Investments (EI) = 11%,
  • Quantitative Methods (QM) = 10%,
  • Corporate Finance (CF) = 10%,
  • Economics (ECO) = 10%,
  • Portfolio Management (PM) = 6%,
  • Derivative Investments (DI) = 6%,
  • Alternative Investments (AI) = 6%.

See what else you need to know about level 1 topics


We can divide exam topics into 3 groups: most important topics, hardest topics, and easiest topics.

The most important level 1 topics include:

  • Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA),
  • Ethical and Professional Standards (Ethics), and
  • Quantitative Methods (QM).

You should devote around 40% of your study time to these 3 topics.


Read more about the 3 most important level 1 topics


The hardest level 1 topics include:

  • Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA),
  • Fixed Income Investments (FI), and
  • Derivative Investments (DI).

Learn why these are the 3 hardest level 1 topics


The easiest level 1 topics include:

  • Equity Investments (EI),
  • Corporate Finance (CF), and
  • Portfolio Management (PM).

Find out when the 3 topics are the easiest


Note: The topic weights on your exam may slightly differ from the benchmark topic weights given by CFA Institute.

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