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Months locked away in isolation and solitude doing little more than studying sounds a lot like what it takes properly prepare for the unholy gauntlet that is the CFA exam. Surely, then, the pandemic lockdowns were the perfect environment in which to chase charterholder status?

Of those who took their first exam in the most recent round in July, the pass rate was 22 percent — the lowest on record since the nonprofit CFA Institute began administering the tests in 1963.

But that’s supposed to be the easy one! What exactly were you people doing for the last year and a half?

Roughly 140,000 people… sat for one of the three qualifying exams required for a C.F.A. this year. Only 35 percent passed…. In 2019… an average of 44.2 percent passed.

Only 35% Pass Wall St.’s Toughest Test. How Much Does That Matter? [NYT]


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Let’s Talk About: CFA Results

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Which CFA Prep Course Is the Best?

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CFA 2012: Good Luck To All

As those of you who took the week off to study are well-aware, Saturday is CFA exam day, for all levels. And while we have complete confidence in all of your abilities, some people have expressed feeling a bit jittery about the test. For the vast majority, those fears, while normal, are unwarranted. You just need to talk it out and should consider this space a safe place to do so. For a smaller group of people, though, your fears are totally founded because, statistically speaking, you will fail. Having said that... Back in January, after Matt found out he'd passed Level 1 (with a perfect score), a conversation occurred at Dealbreaker HQ that went something like this: Me: So are you going to sign up for Level 2? Matt: Eh, I don't think so...I mean, I don't really feel like spending the next 5 months of my life studying, y'know? And then what am I going to do? Wait around another year to take Level 3? Me: Uh....YES, I thought that's exactly what I thought you were going to do. Don't you want to be a CFA charterholder? Don't you want to go to CFA Camp? Matt: Meh. Fast forward to last Thursday, when we're sitting around l'office shooting the shit and someone casually mentions, "I wish I were taking the CFA next week." Unfortunately, said someone is not because he choose not to sign up, strangely forgetting how much he loves standardized tests. That being said, if anyone is scheduled to take Level 2 but a) is suffering performance anxiety and b) wants the opportunity to read another recap of how things panned out for an editor of this site, Matt is happy to go in your place and pass it for you. With two nights of studying he gives himself a 50 percent chance (I think it's closer to 75), you'd get those 8 hours back, and it'd make him really, really happy. If he doesn't get to take Level 2 he's considering the idea of the Connecticut Bar in July. Let him have this.