Introduction to CFA® Level I Exam

It all starts here. The CFA Level I exam is the first exam you need to pass to become a CFA charterholder.

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 10, 2022
    Registration Closes: Nov 8, 2022
    Exam Dates: Feb 14 - 20, 2023
    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 2022 Curriculum

Topics, Weights, and Content Offerings

The Level I 2022 curriculum is broken into the following 10 topics, uniquely weighted according to their importance.

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

  • 32,500+ Words in manuals
  • 400+ Minutes of video
  • 80+ Assignments questions
  • 385+ 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

  • 28,700+ Words in manuals
  • 430+ Minutes of video
  • 65+ Assignments questions
  • 360+ 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

  • 26,900+ Words in manuals
  • 430+ Minutes of video
  • 95+ Assignments questions
  • 525+ 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

  • 18,700+ Words in manuals
  • 205+ Minutes of video
  • 45+ Assignments questions
  • 100+ 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

  • 19,100+ 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

  • 22,800+ Words in manuals
  • 355+ Minutes of video
  • 75+ Assignments questions
  • 380+ 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

  • 7,900+ Words in manuals
  • 130+ Minutes of video
  • 30+ Assignments questions
  • 90+ 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

  • 8,700+ Words in manuals
  • 75+ Minutes of video
  • 35+ Assignments questions
  • 75+ 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

  • 22,900+ Words in manuals
  • 285+ Minutes of video
  • 70+ Assignments questions
  • 385+ 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

  • 18,600+ Words in manuals
  • 150+ Minutes of video
  • 60+ Assignments questions
  • 300+ Quiz and Exam questions

Level I 2023 Curriculum

Topics, Weights, and Content Offerings

The Level I 2023 curriculum is broken into the following 10 topics, uniquely weighted according to their importance.

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

  • 33,700+ Words in manuals
  • 400+ Minutes of video
  • 80+ Assignments questions
  • 390+ 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

  • 34,100+ Words in manuals
  • 460+ Minutes of video
  • 75+ Assignments questions
  • 380+ 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

  • 28,600+ Words in manuals
  • 430+ Minutes of video
  • 95+ Assignments questions
  • 525+ 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
  • 205+ 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

  • 19,900+ 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

  • 23,600+ Words in manuals
  • 355+ Minutes of video
  • 75+ Assignments questions
  • 375+ 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

  • 20,800+ 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
  • 125+ 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

  • 23,800+ 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

  • 19,000+ Words in manuals
  • 150+ Minutes of video
  • 60+ 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 Vice President of Product

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

If you’re reading this, you’re ready to earn your CFA charter. And our team of educators is here to support you along the way. Begin your journey with a Salt Solutions account.

Level I Trial

Access to all of Quantitative Methods

Free
Start
No credit card required for trial

Level I Monthly

Monthly Payments. Cancel anytime.

$129/mo
Purchase
Recurring subscription. Cancel anytime.

Level I Full Access

One-Time Payment. Own it until you pass.

$599
Purchase
Billed Once