Is CFA® Exam Pass Rate Fixed Around 43% For Good?

CFA exam / Results / Pass Rates



CFA Exam Pass Rates, All Levels


  1. Level 1 CFA exam pass rates
  2. Level 2 CFA exam pass rates
  3. Level 3 CFA exam pass rates

Level 1 CFA Exam
Pass Rates (2015 – 2022)

Level 1 CFA Exam Pass Rate
May 2022 Exam 38%
Feb 2022 Exam 36%
Nov 2021 Exam 27%
Aug 2021 Exam 26%
July 2021 Exam 22%
May 2021 Exam 25%
February 2021 Exam 44%
December 2020 Exam 49%
June 2020 Exam postponed
December 2019 Exam 42%
June 2019 Exam 41%
December 2018 Exam 45%
June 2018 Exam 43%
December 2017 Exam 43%
June 2017 Exam 43%
December 2016 Exam 43%
June 2016 Exam 43%
December 2015 Exam 43%
June 2015 Exam 42%

The MAY 2022 level 1 CFA exam pass rate was 38%, which is good news compared to the low 2021 level 1 CFA exam pass rates. However, it’s still lower than the average pass rate of 43% true of the past level 1 CFA exams.

The 10-year average pass rate for the level 1 CFA exam, i.e., from 2013 to 2022, is currently down to 41%. For long, it was fixed around 43% but with the really low 2021 pass rates, it now goes down.

It is an open question whether the trend of pass rates stabilizing around 43% holds true in the future. The Dec 2020 level 1 pass rate of 49% turned out to be a bit higher. But the Feb 2021 level 1 CFA exam pass rate was again down to 44%. Then, the May, July, August, and November level 1 pass rates were much lower...

It's not that the level 1 CFA exam pass rate has always been around 43% and it fell down only recently. In the past, there were years when the level 1 pass rate was more around 30% than 40%, which makes the most recent May 22 level 1 pass rate of 38% a good & hopeful score!



You can also read about CFA exam results, pass rates and the MPS in our blog post on how the CFA exam's graded.

IMPORTANT!

The "real" pass rate for all registered level 1 candidates has always been significantly lower than the average 43%. We explain why in our post on the level 1 CFA exam.


CFA Exam Pass Rates
in 2022

Feb 2022 CFA exam pass rate:

  • Level 1: 36%
  • Level 2: 44%

May 2022 CFA exam pass rate:

  • Level 1: 38%
  • Level 3: 49%

Next 2022 CFA exams will take place in August (level 1, 2 & 3) and November (level 1 & 2).


CFA Exam Pass Rates
in 2021

The Feb level 1 exam was the first CFA exam to be held in 2021 and it was delivered on computers.

Feb 2021 CFA exam pass rate:

  • Level 1: 44%

Next computer-based CFA exams for candidates of all levels took place in May, August, and November.

May 2021 CFA exam pass rate:

  • Level 1: 25%
  • Level 2: 40%
  • Level 3: 42%

July was the month when only level 1 CFA exam took place.

July 2021 CFA exam pass rate:

  • Level 1: 22%

August 2021 CFA exam pass rate:

  • Level 1: 26%
  • Level 2: 29%
  • Level 3: 39%

November 2021 CFA exam pass rate:


CFA Exam Pass Rates
in 2020

In 2020, CFA exams (all levels) were held only in December due to the spreading coronavirus pandemic. June 2020 exams were postponed.

Dec 2020 CFA exam pass rates:

  • Level 1: 49%
  • Level 2: 55%
  • Level 3: 56%

The reason why the 2020 CFA exam pass rates were so high is that many Dec candidates had their exams postponed from June and while they prepared to take their exam – they reviewed their study material again and again. Regular review is one of the pillars of our study approach and we always encourage you to revise as often as possible to minimize your forgetting and improve your learning curve.


Level 2 & Level 3
CFA Exam Pass Rates (2015 – 2022)

Whether you're still a level 1 candidate or are about to move to the next levels of your CFA exam, you might be interested in the pass rates for level 2 and level 3 exams. That's what they looked like for the last several years:

Level 2 CFA Exam Pass Rate
Feb 2022 Exam 44%
Nov 2021 Exam 46%
Aug 2021 Exam 29%
May 2021 Exam 40%
December 2020 Exam 55%
June 2020 Exam postponed
June 2019 Exam 44%
June 2018 Exam 45%
June 2017 Exam 47%
June 2016 Exam 46%
June 2015 Exam 46%
Level 3 CFA Exam Pass Rate
May 2022 Exam 49%
Nov 2021 Exam 43%
Aug 2021 Exam 39%
May 2021 Exam 42%
December 2020 Exam 56%
June 2020 Exam postponed
June 2019 Exam 56%
June 2018 Exam 56%
June 2017 Exam 54%
June 2016 Exam 54%
June 2015 Exam 53%

While the level 2 CFA exam pass rate was usually just a bit higher than the pass rates given for the level 1 exam, the level 3 pass rate was higher by a lot and always exceeded 50% over the last several years. For the 2021 level 3 CFA exams – the pass rate was lower and it was around 40% but now the May 2022 level 3 CFA exam result is up to 49%.

Unexpectedly, for the Dec 2020 level 2 CFA exam (postponed from June 2020), the pass rate also exceeded 50%. It was 55% high! However, the May 2021 level 2 CFA exam pass rate was just 40% and the Aug 2021 level 2 pass rate was as low as 29%. The Nov 2021 & Feb 2022 level 2 CFA exam pass rate is back to normal with the value of 46% & 44%, respectively.


Historical CFA Exam Pass Rates

To find out how the CFA exam pass rates looked like since 1963 until now – best visit CFA Institute's website:


Learn about historical pass rates for all CFA exam levels .

Learn about historical pass rates for all CFA exam levels .


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


It All Starts With Your CFA Exam Study Plan

CREATE YOUR STUDY PLAN NOW

& personalize it to suit your needs!




Updated: Aug 1, 2022



Read Also:



Posted in: