New 2024 Level 1 CFA® Exam Topic Weights Compared To Past Years

CFA EXAM: Level 1 / Topics / Weights Change

Level 1 CFA Exam Weights Change in 2024

In 2024, level 1 CFA exam weights change for almost all of the topics. Only the weightage for Ethics and Derivatives stays the same.

Currently, there are 6 kinds of level 1 CFA exam topic weight ranges: 15-20%, 11-14%, 8-12%, 7-10%, 6-9%, and 5-8%. The previous level 1 topic weights were as follows: 15-20%, 13-17%, 10-12%, 8-12%, and 5-8%. The 2024 change in topic weightage is the first one since CFA exams moved to computer-based testing back in 2021.

We compare the new 2024 and the old 2023 level 1 CFA exam weights for each topic. The charts below present how the weights changed across the topics between the years 2023 and 2024:

2023 vs 2024
Level 1 CFA Exam Topic Weights

2024 vs 2023 Minimum Topic Weights

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2024 vs 2023 Maximum Topic Weights

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Ever since the end of 2020, level 1 CFA exam topic weights have been given in ranges (minimum % to maximum %). Before that, level 1 topic weights changed periodically but they were always given as single values. Ranges were applied only to level 2 and level 3 exams. But now topic weights are given in ranges also for the level 1 exam. See here how this change impacts your exam

CFA Exam Weightage Outlined

For convenience, we present in a table how topic weights have changed for level 1 CFA exam topics. Here's the 2023 vs 2024 level 1 topic weightage outline:

TABLE: 2023 vs 2024 Level 1 CFA Exam Weightage

Quantitative Methods 8-12% 6-9%
Economics 8-12% 6-9%
Corporate Issuers 8-12% 6-9%
Financial Statement Analysis 13-17% 11-14%
Equity 10-12% 11-14%
Fixed Income 10-12% 11-14%
Derivatives 5-8% 5-8%
Alternative Investments 5-8% 7-10%
Portfolio Management 5-8% 8-12%
Ethics 15-20% 15-20%

This is how the CFA exam topics are ordered in your level 1 exam curriculum. However, we may distinguish different categories and hierarchies of CFA exam topics. For example, we may rank CFA exam topics by difficulty or by importance. See below how the new topic weightage impacts the importance of level 1 topics.

2024 Level 1 CFA Exam Topics Ordered by Weight

According to the 2024 topic weights, the new hierarchical order of level 1 CFA exam topics is as follows:

  • Ethical and Professional Standards (Ethics) = 15-20%,
  • Financial Statement Analysis (FSA) = 11-14%,
  • Fixed Income (FI) = 11-14%,
  • Equity Investments (EI) = 11-14%,
  • Portfolio Management (PM) = 8-12%,
  • Alternative Investments (AI) = 7-10%,
  • Quantitative Methods (QM) = 6-9%,
  • Corporate Issuers (CI) = 6-9%,
  • Economics (ECO) = 6-9%,
  • Derivatives (DER) = 5-8%.

This level 1 topic order differs from the topic order in the CFA exam curriculum. To help you find out your best CFA exam topic hierarchy, we've prepared a series of blog posts about level 1 CFA exam topics, where you can learn more about the 10 topics and their characteristics. Our Topic Series includes both the summary of all topics and a detailed description of the most important, the hardest, and the easiest level 1 exam topics.

3 Groups of Level 1 CFA Exam Topics

The level 1 CFA exam topics can be divided into 3 groups: the most important topics, the hardest topics, and the easiest topics.

The most important level 1 topics include:

  • Financial Statement Analysis (FSA),
  • Ethical and Professional Standards (Ethics), and
  • Quantitative Methods (QM).

Read more about the 3 most important level 1 topics

The hardest level 1 topics include:

  • Financial Statement Analysis (FSA),
  • Fixed Income Investments (FI), and
  • Derivatives (DER).

Learn why these are the 3 hardest level 1 topics

The easiest level 1 topics include:

  • Equity Investments (EI),
  • Corporate Issuers (CI), and
  • Portfolio Management (PM).

Find out when the 3 topics are the easiest

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Updated: Aug 29, 2023