Level 1 CFA® Exam: Structure, Topic Weights, Passing Score, Calculator

CFA exam: review / EXAM STRUCTURE

Dec 2020 Exam Structure

exam = morning session + break + evening session

morning session = 3h = 120 questions

break = 2 hours = 0 questions (try to get some rest and do NOT think about the morning session)

evening session = 3h = 120 questions

exam = 8 hours, including 6 hours of working time

average time per question = 1.5 minute

Average Level 1 Exam Topic Weights

Level 1 CFA Exam Topic Weights, Dec 2020

Predicted number of questions for each exam session:

ETH = 20

FRA = 18

EI = 13

FI = 13

QM = 12

ECO = 12

CF = 10

TOTAL = 120 questions

PM = 9

DI = 7

AI = 6

1.5 minute per question

New Level 1 Topic Weights in Dec 2020. READ MORE

CFA Exam Passing Score

The passing score is set for every exam individually and it is never made public. It is said that about 70% suffices to pass the exam.

It is the total score that counts: in an extreme scenario, you may even gain no points whatsoever for one of the topics and you may still pass the exam. Note, however, that as far as Ethics is concerned, the topic is of great importance because of the ethics adjustment. Are you interested in what former CFA Program candidates have to say about Ethics and the last days before the exam? Read: Ethics Mastery? Naah..

Approved Calculators

Only two calculator models can be used during CFA exam:

Texas Instruments BA II Plus (including BA II Plus Professional),

Hewlett Packard 12C (including the HP 12C Platinum, 12C Platinum 25th anniversary edition, 12C 30th anniversary edition, and HP 12C Prestige)

Most of candidates use Texas Instruments calculators. We covered CFA exam approved calculators in more detail in TI vs HP post.

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