Over the years there have been many steps in the finance professional supply chain that have resulted in a sort of "grade inflation" in finance. The CFA is not one of them.
A lower percentage of candidates passed the first test of the Chartered Financial Analyst exam, a three-step process aimed at gaining a hiring edge as job losses accelerate in the financial-services industry.
Thirty-five percent passed the initial test, down from 39 percent last year, the CFA Institute said in a statement today. Almost 50,000 people took the exam in December, a 25 percent increase from a year earlier, the Charlottesville, Virginia- based institute said.
For reference, the pass-and-remain rate for the SEAL program Physical Screening Test used to be 34%, before that got candied up and pushed to 40% in the last few years. (Is nothing sacred?) The drill instructors at the CFA Institute will have none of that, thank you very much.
"Since it's a self-study program, it's hard to say why pass rates increase or decrease," institute spokeswoman Kathy Valentine said in an e-mail.
Candidates take the exam betting the certification can become a path to better jobs, higher salaries and a deeper understanding of finance. The not-for-profit CFA Institute recommends candidates spend at least 250 hours studying for each phase of the test. It costs about $2,500 to complete all three levels, which are given in June and December.
Did you fail? What was your major malfunction? Which segment of the creed did you blow? Ethics? Tenacity? Rigor? Analytics?