I happened to google “top 10 most difficult exams in the world”. In most rankings, CFA is in top-6 and WSJ even goes as far as saying it’s the most difficult exam in the world.
Can this be really true? I’d say anyone with a normal IQ and time to study will clear all three CFA exams. The level of math required is very low. There are few, if any, topics which would require a highly functioning brain in order to understand the concept.
No chance. There are many STEM certifications that far surpass the technical difficulty in the CFA program.
Top 20, maybe, if you combine all three levels. Level one by itself wouldn’t be in the top 100.
Keep in mind there are many tests that aren’t necessarily academic in nature that probably don’t get considered for that sort of list. For example, the testing military pilots go through before they can perform aircraft carrier landings.
The survivorship bias of those that have successfully passed all three and made it to the other side doesn’t take away from all of the elements of the exam which, in combination, are clearly daunting for most people before they go through that gauntlet.
Of course, most competitive people simply move on after success and look for the next challenge, massively discounting the difficulty of what came before.
MCAT is much harder, I’d rather study for and take all 3 CFA levels back to back in the same day than to take the MCAT. Even the undergrad courses leading up to the MCAT… CFA level 2 didn’t come close to the difficulty of finals week at the end of each semester.
Ive also seen study material for the first few actuary exams, much harder as well.
This ain’t no tall order, this is nothin to me Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week I do this in my sleep, I sold Kilos of coke, (so?) I’m guessin’ I can sell CD’s I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man Let me handle my business, damn!
I don’t think so, although the population of tests that large is admittedly small. Maybe top 6 professional certifications. Obviously you have the MCATS and the BAR, but then you have any and all STEM PhD qualifying exams.
People with the charter have spent on average 900 hours studying for the exam. I probably did around 1000 hours. Yea it’s hard. If I study anything for 1000 hours and test on it i’m going to pass. Any person with an average IQ can pass most exams if they put in that amount of time. It does not mean the program was easy.
Also here is stat on the MCAT
“Nearly 50% of all MCAT test takers sit for the MCAT a second time due to inadequate preparation the first time, and many of those people are doing just fine in their science courses. Believe it or not, most students who do well on the MCAT spend between 200 and 300 hours preparing for the exam. Control the things you can control, namely your test prepfor this exam. Trust us, you don’t want to have to take it a second time.”
200-300 hours or 1000 hours? I dont need a PHD in math to figure that out.
It’s definitely the hardest I’ve taken, and I’;ve taken several.
The difficulty of the CFA is not the complexity of the subject material. Actually, I think that the CPA exam has more technically complex material. But there’s only one test, and it is broken down into four bite-size pieces, so it’s easier to study for and pass. The material in the CFA exam is so voluminous that by the time you’re done studying, you’ve forgotten most of what you learned at the first.
(Kinda like the horse in Animal Farm that could learn ABCD, then learned EFGH, but by learning EFGH, they forgot ABCD, so they had to start over. And when they learned ABCD again they forgot EFGH. And so go the days of our lives.)