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PASS RATE: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Exam




How many Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholders are there?

According to the CFA Institute, the official number is 132,000 CFA charterholders worldwide. It’s a relatively small group of people, considering billions of people around the world and millions of employed professionals in the finance industry.

This exclusive group of CFA charterholders only includes those who successfully met the CFA pre-requisites, including:

(1) passing all 3 levels (Level I, II, and III) of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam;

(2) meeting the required four years of qualified work experience; and

(3) becoming a member of the CFA Institute.


* Check out other posts about the CFA Exam!


Interesting fact: the CFA exam was first administered in 1963, and since then only 2.64 million people worldwide have taken it. Did you know that the average CFA Exam pass rate in the last 55 years is just 46%?

Here’s another startling fact: from 1963 to 2017, only 226,000 finance professionals were able to complete and pass the third and final CFA Exam Level III. To reiterate: that’s just 226,000 Level III passers in the last 55 years! Wow!

Want to know more interesting tidbits about the CFA Exam and its pass rates? Continue reading below.

CFA Exam Pass Rate, from 1963 to 2017

CFA ExamLEVEL ILEVEL IILEVEL IIITOTAL
Pass650,321327,716226,7341,204,771
Fail889,378377,493168,0451,434,916
Total Takers1,539,699705,209394,7792,639,687
Pass Rate42.2%46.5%57.4%45.6%

In the last 55 years, from 1963 to 2017, the historical average CFA Exam pass rate was 45.6%.

Also as mentioned earlier, a total of 2,639,687 or 2.64 million finance professionals worldwide have taken the exam, with only 650,321 passing Level I; 327,716 passing Level II; and 226,734 passing Level III.

No doubt, the CFA Exam is a tough examination based on the pass rate alone!

Here’s the passing rate for each level of the CFA Exam from year 2010 onwards.

CFA Exam Level I Passing Rate

CFA Exam Level 1PassFailTotalPass Rate
December 2017 29,583 38,503 68,086 43.4%
June 2017 27,158 36,125 63,283 42.9%
December 2016 25,807 33,820 59,627 43.3%
June 2016 25,093 33,584 58,677 42.8%
December 2015 22,274 30,041 52,315 42.6%
June 2015 21,303 29,831 51,134 41.7%
December 2014 20,589 26,586 47,175 43.6%
June 2014 19,592 27,413 47,005 41.7%
December 2013 19,469 26,224 45,693 42.6%
June 2013 18,078 29,424 47,502 38.1%
December 2012 18,106 30,875 48,981 37.0%
June 2012 18,968 30,477 49,445 38.4%
December 2011 18,736 30,644 49,380 37.9%
June 2011 18,881 29,187 48,068 39.3%
December 2010 17,009 29,776 46,785 36.4%
June 2010 19,656 27,207 46,863 41.9%

CFA Exam Level II Passing Rate

CFA Exam Level 2PassFailTotalPass Rate
2017 26,919 30,020 56,939 47.3%
2016 23,321 26,909 50,230 46.4%
2015 21,509 25,332 46,841 45.9%
2014 20,644 24,152 44,796 46.1%
2013 19,311 25,563 44,874 43.0%
2012 19,194 26,053 45,247 42.4%
2011 19,009 25,166 44,175 43.0%
2010 16,995 26,411 43,406 39.2%

CFA Exam Level III Passing Rate

CFA Exam Level 3PassFailTotalPass Rate
2017 17,173 14,458 31,631 54.3%
2016 15,606 13,278 28,884 54.0%
2015 14,664 12,804 27,468 53.4%
2014 14,535 12,347 26,882 54.1%
2013 12,607 13,159 25,766 48.9%
2012 12,870 11,884 24,754 52.0%
2011 11,567 11,217 22,784 50.8%
2010 9,881 11,581 21,462 46.0%

So if you’re interested to take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam soon, study well so you can pass this obviously arduous exam. Good luck!

Read other awesome posts about the CFA Exam!

Information Source: CFA Institute (www.cfainstitute.org)







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