Nearly half of CFA candidates pass Level II exam on paper

Nearly half of CFA candidates pass Level II exam on paper

The CFA Institute said 40% of candidates passed their Level II exam in May and June the first time it was done using computers.

The success rate was the lowest since 2010 and down from the 55% of applicants who passed the second level of the chartered financial analyst exam in December 2020, a 15-year high, according to the Charlottesville, Virginia-based institute. That was the last time the test was administered on paper.

Passing all three CFA exam can lead to better salary opportunities and higher job opportunities for finance-industry workers. On average, candidates study 300 hours for each level of exam and take four years to complete the series. The Level II exam consists of vignettes with 88 Multiple Choice questions and take more than three hours to complete.

The Covid pandemic upended the normal test takes timeline last year. Historically, the institute offered all three levels of the test on paper in June and another chance to take the first part in December. After transitioning to computer based testing, the institute can now offer more exams throughout the year.

This year's Level II pass rate was the third-lowest in CFA records going back to 1963. The lowest figure in 2004 was 32%. Last week, Level I candidates got their results with a record low of 25% passing.