Level I CFA® Program Exam Prep

2021, 2022 CFA Exams

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Most Level I CFA exam candidates would be satisfied with the status quo. You're not most candidates.

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Top Choice Award Nominee for CFA Program Exam Prep Provider with Most Customer Satisfaction Votes

Featured Prep Options

Pass your Level I CFA exam Ė quick, no sweat.

Starting at CAD 69

  • Level I CFA Exam


  • Focus Course

    Focus Course is our adaptable self-paced modular study system ideal for spot learning or as a main study source. Choose from Packages (Plus or Total) or Single Topics (Topic Modules) and optimize your prep on-demand from start to finish or anywhere in between.
  • Starting at CAD 69
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  • Level I CFA Exam


  • Power Review
    Power Course is our practice and assessment on-demand workshop ideal for rocket-speed score gains at your own pace in the month leading up to the exam. Suggested minimum budgeted study time is 25 - 30 hours.
  • CAD 399
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  • Level I CFA Exam


  • Study Notes Set

    Study Notes Set is a concise and practical "How To" digital guide that makes harnessing a clear comprehension of the curriculum and exam strategies, a snap.
  • CAD 249
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Study Packages


Cover all your Level I CFA exam bases. As captivating as in-person prep but on demand.

    Most Comprehensive

  • Focus Course: Plus
  • 123 hours

  • Includes everything in:

    10 Topic Modules
    + Power Review
    + Ask the Prof.
    + Success Guarantee

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    Most Flexible

  • Focus Course: Total
  • 89 hours

  • Includes everything in:

    10 Topic Modules

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Single-Topic Modules

Hone specific topics for your Level I CFA exam, on demand.

    Most Targeted

  • Focus Course: Topic Modules
  • 9 hours
  • Get exactly the ones you want.
    Choose between 10 Topic Modules,
    on average 9 hours each.
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Final Practice

Get a crunch-time content and skills tune-up for your Level I CFA exam, on demand.

  • Power Review Course
  • 25 hours

  • Instantly boost your score with a blast of mini-mock-exam question practice and assessment in the final stretch.

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Summary Notes

Our ace-in-the-hole study manual breaks down every topic tested on the Level I CFA exam.

  • Study Notes Set
  • 50 hours
  • Conquer the concepts, skills and strategies needed to pass with this printable quick-reference CFA curriculum pocket guide.
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1 on 1 Tutoring

Customized on-demand prep for your Level I CFA exam. Enjoy a class size of one.

  • Private Tutoring
  • 2 hours

  • Schedule personalized tutoring with Prof. Brian Gordon, CFA, CFP, CIM, MBA, FCSI. 2-hour minimum.

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Level I CFA Exam

Prof. Brian Gordon

CFA Instructor Prof. Brian Gordon, CFA, CFP, CIM, MBA, FCSI, teaching at Ryerson University

The Level I CFA exam (basic knowledge exam), is a "time-pressure exercise of learning a little about a lot of topics".

Exam Success provides winning study solutions that cut the fat, teach you how to tackle the overwhelming volume and breadth of material and give you the keys to answer the questions (standalone Multiple Choice) the "CFA" way.

Level I CFA Exam Dates

In 2021 CFA Institute transitioned the CFA exams to computer-based testing (CBT), offered in proctored test centers worldwide. For the Level I exam, there is a choice between 4 test windows per year: February, May, August and November.

Level I CFA Exam Format

The Level I CFA exam is divided into two 135-minute (2-hour and 15 minute) sessions, with a 30-minute optional break in between. Both sessions have 90 free-standing multiple choice items consisting of a question, a statement, and/or table as well as 3 answer choices (A, B, or C). Only 1 of the 3 given answer choices per question is correct. There is no penalty for choosing the incorrect answer.

Level I CFA Exam Top FAQ

You must register and enrol for the Level I exam directly with CFA Institute at: https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/cfa/register.

There are are 5 requirements for registration:

  • 1. You must be either a university of college Bachelor degree graduate or equivalent or in your final year of the program or have a combined work experience and/or higher education of 4,000 hours that was acquired sequentially over a minimum of 3 years.

  • 2. You must have a valid international passport.

  • 3. You must be prepared to take exams in English.

  • 4. You must meet the professional conduct admission criteria.

  • 5. Living in a CFA Program participating country.

The amount it will cost you to sit for the Level I exam depends on how early you register with CFA Institute. You will be required to pay CFA Institute a one-time enrollment fee of US 450. And, each time you register to sit a CFA exam, you must pay CFA Institue an exam fee.

CFA Institute offers two tiers of pricing: one for early registration (US 700) and the other for standard registration (USD 1000).

As of 2021, CFA Institute the Level I exam is being offered 4 times per year. The 4 exam windows are: February, May, August, and November.

Since 2010, the historical CFA pass rates for: Level 1 ranges from 36%-49%. The 10 year historical pass rate is 45%.

The February 2021 CFA Level I exam pass rate was 44%. The passing score is set by CFA Institute and is not released to the public, although research suggests it ranges in the area of 60 - 70%.

According to UK NARIC (the national agency, managed on behalf of the UK Government responsible for providing information, advice and opinion on vocational, academic and professional skills and qualifications from all over the world), the CFA exams have been benchmarked individually by Level under UK Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF):

CFA Level I's difficulty is comparable to a Diploma of higher education (Level 5 qualification under RQF).

In other words, the Level I CFA curriculum is fairly straightforward if you already have an academic background in finance — the content covers the same undergradate introductory material (accounting, finance stats...). If you don't have a prior educational background in finance and the curriculum topics, your preparation will be tougher. By in large, the biggest Level I CFA exam difficulty most all candidates have is with the memorization of the many definitions and formulas and lack of time management skills, discipline (there are over 3,000 pages in Level I CFA curriculum).

The topics and topic weights on the Level I exam are subject to change on a year-to-year basis, at the discretion of CFA Institute. Here are the Level I CFA exam weights by topic for the 2021 and 2022 exams:

Exam Success
Topic Modules

CFA Institute 2021, 2022
Core Curriculum Exam Topics

CFA Exam

Quantitative Methods
Economics: Micro & Macro
Financial Reporting & Analysis
Corporate Finance (Corporate Issuers)
Equity Investments
Fixed Income
Alternative Investments
Portfolio Management
Ethical and Professional Standards

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*2019 Top Choice Award Nominee in multiple categories. The Top Choice Award is an honour presented to businesses that receive the most customer satisfaction votes. Exam Success follows CFA Institute Prep Provider Guidelines. Required Disclaimer: CFA Institute does not endorse, promote or warrant the accuracy or quality of the products or services offered by Exam Success. CFA Institute, CFAģ and Chartered Financial Analyst are trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

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