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.