About Level I CFA® Exam

Our guide to your Level I journey, with essential
information, tips, and stories.

Exam Overview

240 Questions

Multiple-Choice Test



6 Hours Exam

3 Hour Morning & 3 Hour Afternoon Sessions

70% or Higher

Score to Aim For

Before the exam

  • Recommended Courses

    Finance, Economics, and Statistics. Level I covers a broad range of financial concepts.

  • Level I Offerings

    Level I is offered twice per year, with an exam day each June and December.

  • Next Offering:

    June 15, 2019

    Registration Deadline:

    February 13, 2019
    (Late Registration until March 13, 2019)

  • How do I register?

    1. Register online at www.cfainstitute.org
    2. Pick an exam location.
    3. You’ll receive an admission ticket via email. Print it out–you will need it on exam day.
  • How much should I study?

    We highly recommend dedicating 3-6 months of dedicated studying to prepare for Level I. Start by learning and reviewing the material, then focus on practice exams.

  • Tricky Topics

    Accounting is challenging for the sheer amount of material covered in that topic. Others struggle with Ethics and Professional Standards, since CFA Institute has its own set of guidelines.

  • Coach Keith's Tip

    “Make sure you dedicate a good portion of time to studying Ethics. CFA Institute has its own set of ethical guidelines which you must not only memorize, but understand how to apply.”

  • Coach Mike's Tip

    “Don’t try to learn every single thing. There are too many details for that. Focus on the main concepts.”

Exam Day

  • What to Bring with You

    • Your admission ticket
    • Your passport
    • A CFA Institute-approved Calculator
      - BA II Plus
      - HP 12C
    • Pencils
    • Erasers
    • An extra layer of clothing (you never know what the temperature of the exam room will be, and this is a 6-hour exam!
  • Coach Marc's Tip

    “Read the questions carefully. Answer the question that is actually asked.”

  • Coach Keith's Story

    “The exam was long. It was intimidating because there were so many questions. But understand that you have much room for error because each question only has 3 choices.”

After the Exam

  • Getting Your Exam Results

    You’ll receive your exam results via email after all exams have been graded by CFA Institute. This process usually takes several weeks.

  • Next Steps

    Take some time to celebrate your victory! Then get ready to start the process all over again with Level II.