CFA® Level I Exam

The CFA Level 1 exam tests your knowledge of 10 general topics of investment analysis and ethics, which establishes a strong foundation of knowledge in finance for taking and passing the Level 2 and 3 exams. There are two sessions to the CFA Level 1 exam.

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Setting Expectations

Set aside the time

According to the CFA Institute, the 10-year average pass rate for the CFA Level I exam is 42%. In total, candidates report investing more than 300 hours into their studies for each level of the CFA exam.

  • Important Dates

    Registration Opens: May 16, 2023
    Registration Closes: Nov 8, 2024
    Exam Dates: Feb 19 - 25, 2024
    Results are provided 6-8 weeks after exam

  • Exam Format

    180 multiple choice questions
    Evenly divided into 2 sessions
    Approx. 135 minutes per session
    Computer-based testing

  • Enrollment Information

    Requirements for the Level I exam

    Enroll at the CFA Institute website

  • Question Format

    Each question will have up to 3 answer choices to select from

Level I 2023 Curriculum

Topics, Weights, and Content Offerings

Quantitative Methods

8% - 12%

An exploration of quantitative concepts and financial analysis. Concepts include the time value of money, data organization, visualization, and description, probability theory in investments, and testing for hypotheses. Conclude with an introduction to linear regression.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 34,300+ Words in manuals
  • 400+ Minutes of video
  • 105+ Assignments questions
  • 370+ Quiz and Exam questions

Economics

8% - 12%

An introduction to supply-and-demand analysis for customers and firms. Concepts include market structures, macroeconomics, the business cycle, and monetary and fiscal policies. We introduce global economics and conclude with currency exchange rates.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 34,800+ Words in manuals
  • 460+ Minutes of video
  • 105+ Assignments questions
  • 365+ Quiz and Exam questions

Financial Reporting and Analysis

13% - 17%

An introduction to primary financial statements. We explore a general framework for financial statement analysis, three major financial statements, financial reporting for specific assets and liabilities, and financial reporting quality.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 28,800+ Words in manuals
  • 430+ Minutes of video
  • 95+ Assignments questions
  • 515+ Quiz and Exam questions

Corporate Issuers

8% - 12%

An introduction to corporate governance and stakeholder management, exploring uses and sources of capital. We cover some foundational topics in estimating cost of capital and conclude with how companies use leverage.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 33,300+ Words in manuals
  • 265+ Minutes of video
  • 85+ Assignments questions
  • 185+ Quiz and Exam questions

Equity

10% - 12%

An overview of financial markets. We discuss construction and use of security market indexes, market efficiency, equity securities, useful frameworks for conducting industry and individual company analysis, and three equity valuation approaches.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 20,000+ Words in manuals
  • 260+ Minutes of video
  • 70+ Assignments questions
  • 335+ Quiz and Exam questions

Fixed Income

10% - 12%

An exploration of fixed-income securities. We discuss global fixed-income markets and valuation of fixed-income securities. We introduce securitization, examine bond returns and risks, and conclude with credit risk and analysis.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 23,700+ Words in manuals
  • 355+ Minutes of video
  • 75+ Assignments questions
  • 370+ Quiz and Exam questions

Derivatives

5% - 8%

A look at basic derivatives and derivative markets. We discuss the essential functions of forwards, futures, swaps, and contingent claims (e.g., options) as well as the basics of valuing these derivatives.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 20,900+ Words in manuals
  • 185+ Minutes of video
  • 50+ Assignments questions
  • 130+ Quiz and Exam questions

Alternative Investments

5% - 8%

A discussion of hedge funds, private equity, real estate, commodities, and infrastructure investments. We discuss their distinguishing characteristics and potential benefits and risks.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 12,700+ Words in manuals
  • 90+ Minutes of video
  • 35+ Assignments questions
  • 120+ Quiz and Exam questions

Portfolio Management

5% - 8%

An introduction to the portfolio approach to investments. We discuss risk and return, modern portfolio theory, portfolio planning and construction, a risk management framework, technical analysis, and the ways financial technology is impacting investing.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 25,000+ Words in manuals
  • 285+ Minutes of video
  • 70+ Assignments questions
  • 375+ Quiz and Exam questions

Ethical and Professional Standards

15% - 20%

An introduction to ethics and its role in the investment profession. We examine the CFA Institute Code of Ethics, Standards of Professional Conduct, and the Global Investment Performance Standards.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 19,100+ Words in manuals
  • 150+ Minutes of video
  • 60+ Assignments questions
  • 300+ Quiz and Exam questions

Level I 2024 Curriculum

Topics, Weights, and Content Offerings

Quantitative Methods

6% - 9%

An exploration of quantitative concepts and financial analysis. The concepts covered include the time value of money, statistical analysis in finance, probability theory in investments, and hypothesis testing. The topic concludes with an introduction to linear regression and big data techniques.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 28,400+ Words in manuals
  • 305+ Minutes of video
  • 90+ Assignments questions
  • 285+ Quiz and Exam questions

Economics

6% - 9%

An introduction to firms and market structures. The topic covers concepts such as the business cycle, monetary and fiscal policies, geopolitics, international finance, and concludes with currency exchange rates.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 21,800+ Words in manuals
  • 255+ Minutes of video
  • 75+ Assignments questions
  • 205+ Quiz and Exam questions

Corporate Issuers

6% - 9%

An introduction to different organizational forms, stakeholder management, and corporate governance. This topic emphasizes the importance of understanding working capital & liquidity and capital allocation. It concludes by covering foundational topics in capital structures and business models.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 25,700+ Words in manuals
  • 185+ Minutes of video
  • 45+ Assignments questions
  • 135+ Quiz and Exam questions

Financial Statement Analysis

11% - 14%

An introduction to primary financial statements. We explore a general framework for financial statement analysis, three major financial statements, financial reporting for specific assets and liabilities, and financial reporting quality.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 33,500+ Words in manuals
  • 305+ Minutes of video
  • 90+ Assignments questions
  • 360+ Quiz and Exam questions

Equities

11% - 14%

An overview of financial markets. We discuss construction and use of security market indexes, market efficiency, equity securities, useful frameworks for conducting industry and individual company analysis, and three equity valuation approaches.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 27,700+ Words in manuals
  • 290+ Minutes of video
  • 80+ Assignments questions
  • 350+ Quiz and Exam questions

Fixed Income

11% - 14%

An exploration of fixed-income securities. We discuss global fixed-income markets and valuation of fixed-income securities. We examine bond returns and risks, introduce credit risk and analysis, and conclude with securitization.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 34,100+ Words in manuals
  • 285+ Minutes of video
  • 55+ Assignments questions
  • 385+ Quiz and Exam questions

Derivatives

5% - 8%

A look at basic derivatives and derivative markets. We discuss the essential functions of forwards, futures, swaps, and contingent claims (e.g., options) as well as the basics of valuing these derivatives.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 20,900+ Words in manuals
  • 185+ Minutes of video
  • 45+ Assignments questions
  • 155+ Quiz and Exam questions

Alternative Investments

7% - 10%

An overview of the features and performance appraisal for alternative investments. We discuss private capital, real estate and infrastructure, natural resources, hedge funds, and digital assets.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 24,500+ Words in manuals
  • 150+ Minutes of video
  • 50+ Assignments questions
  • 155+ Quiz and Exam questions

Portfolio Management

8% - 12%

An introduction to the portfolio approach to investments. We discuss risk and return, modern portfolio theory, portfolio planning and construction, a risk management framework, technical analysis, and the ways financial technology is impacting investing.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 18,200+ Words in manuals
  • 205+ Minutes of video
  • 65+ Assignments questions
  • 265+ Quiz and Exam questions

Ethical and Professional Standards

15% - 20%

An introduction to ethics and its role in the investment profession. We examine the CFA Institute Code of Ethics, Standards of Professional Conduct, and the Global Investment Performance Standards.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 19,100+ Words in manuals
  • 150+ Minutes of video
  • 30+ Assignments questions
  • 300+ Quiz and Exam questions

Learn From CFA Experts

Study Tips From Our Instructors

Marc Coward
Marc Coward CFA, MBA, MPhil Lead Content Manager

Write It Down

If you're stuggling to memorize formulas, write them down when you're answering practice questions. Then you can plug in the values that you've been given and solve for the answer. It's easier to remember a formula when you've seen it in action.

Mike Carmody
Mike Carmody CFA, FSA, MAAA Lead Instructor

Focus On What You Know

Don't get stressed when you see questions that leave you dumbfounded. That's to be expected when there is so much material on an exam. Instead, just focus on answering the questions correctly that you are familiar with.

Tong Teh
Tong Teh CFA, FSA President

Manage Your Time

Don't be afraid to skip questions. You can always mark a question and come back to it later. Give yourself enough time to ace easy questions that may be at the end of your exam. Remember, easy questions are worth just as much as hard questions.

Get Started on Level I Today

Salt Solutions has everything you need to conquer the CFA Level 1 exam, including Level 1 video lessons, manuals, questions, analytics, mock exams, and more. Prepare to pass the CFA Level 1 exam, so you can take on Level 2 and Level 3 with confidence.

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