CFA Level 1 Statistics

Does anyone know (or know where to find) the answers to any of these questions? 1.) What percent of CFA level one Registered Candidates actually sit for the exam? I personally know two people that signed up and studied but didn’t think it was worth wasting a Saturday to show up 2.) What percent of the morning test takers actually come back for the second half? The room was noticeably more empty and the proctor told me that 23 people were missing from my section of the gym alone. 3.) What percent of level one candidates who sit for the exam are taking it for a second time? 4.) What is the average age of a CFA level one candidate?

I think around 25% no show rate. I think another 10% leave after the first section. No idea 25?

There’s a thread going on the Level 3 board about their average age, which is coming in around 31… so 25 is probably a good guess, although there’s a lot of college programs that are pushing their seniors to give it a shot at 21/22 these days

The only reason that the average age of cfa candidate is so high is that CFAI makes it impossible to be otherwise. Just look at actuarial exams. People good enough to get a job out of university already have at least 5 exams done before graduating, each one harder than any of the CFA exams. Almost all actuarial students have at least 3 exams completed before they graduate, and since they only have 3 end up never becoming actuaries. If CFAI didn’t force people to be in 3rd year uni before they can write level 1, and offered the exams more than once a year things would be much different. There would definitely be flocks of kids finishing all three exams before they graduate undergrad. Really there is nothing in the level one exam that a motivated highschool senior couldn’t pass, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear stories of people do did level 1 as highschool junior level 2 as highschool senior and level 3 as university freshman in order to get some really nice internships early in their career. (Note this is in Canada, maybe things are different in america. On a side note Canada has 2.5x more CFA members per capita than USA which I think is interesting). CFAI has lots of secrets and does not post any meaningful statistics. One could build a model to answer your questions but it would only be as good as the underlying assumptions, which there would have to be a lot of. What I would really like to know is the pass rate as a function of the time spent studying. I really feel that the only reason the pass rate is so low is that people don’t put in the recommended 250h. There are not really any hard concepts on the exam and in that way i dont feel its ‘hard’. What it is is time consuming. Even though there are no hard concepts, the sheer number of concepts one needs to learn is staggering. Thus I feel that if anyone just put the time in to study they could pass with ease. If the pass rate for people who studied over 250h was less than 80% I would be truly surprised. It would be very interesting to me to see if this is actually true.

Agree with rdelbel. Difference between actuarial and cfa is the depth and breath of the materials actually. Me being from an actuarial background, find that cfa materials aren’t hard, just that the amount of material is huge, and it seems that there is no particular focus there. for actuarial, it mainly focuses on a particular topic, such as stats/prob, fin market, derivatives, insurance, etc. Still have no idea why the passing rate is that low.