CFA Institute Says Passing Rate Climbed for Certification Exam 2008-08-19 20:15:29.380 GMT By Ian Katz Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) – A higher percentage of Wall Street job applicants passed the final test in a three-step process that may give them a hiring edge as the financial-services industry cuts jobs at the fastest pace in at least five years. Fifty-three percent passed the third stage of the Chartered Financial Analyst test, up from 50 percent last year, the CFA Institute said in a statement today. A record 92,081 people took the exam in June, including 14,569 who cleared two preliminary exams to qualify for the test that lets them obtain CFA designation, the Charlottesville, Virginia-based institute said. Financial companies have eliminated more than 100,000 investment jobs worldwide, including 76,670 in the Americas, since the global credit crunch started a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the most dismissals since the market slump from 2000 to 2003. About 33,300 finance jobs in New York City, or 7.1 percent of the 2007 peak, will be cut by June 2009, the Independent Budget Office, a non-partisan monitor of city finances, estimated in a May report. The CFA exam and certification has become a path for financial industry candidates seeking 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. The institute said 35 percent of the 44,063 people passed the first test in the process, and 46 percent of the 33,449 taking the second test passed. Of those who took the three exams in June, 42 percent passed, unchanged from last year. The CFA program started in 1963 and stems in part from Benjamin Graham, a pioneer of value investing who mentored Warren Buffett and advocated a rating system for financial analysts. For related news: Top financial services stories: FTOP Stories about securities firms: NI SCR --With reporting by Caroline Salas and Pierre Paulden in New York. Editors: Steve Geimann, Dan Reichl To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Katz in Washington at +1-202-624-1827 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Otis Bilodeau at +1-212-617-3921 or email@example.com.