How many CFA holders have failed a level?

I was wondering, how common is it that those with the charter have at least once failed a level?

Do you have experience or know of individuals? If you had to guess, what percent of CFA charter holders have failed at least once?

Very curious, thanks!

Official statistic: Avg time for people to earn the charter is 4 years.

I don’t know. Probably like 50%.

I failed L1 and L3 each one time. That’s my experience. Most of the charterholders I know failed at least once. I think CFAI states it takes the AVG charterholder 4 attempts to clear all 3 levels. All I know is this is the first time in 6 yrs I haven’t had to worry about tackling one of the exams after the New Year…and damn does it feel good!



Cheers brotha! Congrats. I’m geniunely happy for ya! Really interesting to hear though… from what I hear, Level 2 is unanimously the hardest level, and yet that is the only level you passed at first try?!

This is pretty much what I expected. I’m at the top of my school as far Finance majors go, but I just know, given the amount of material, I am bound to fail at least one of the levels. Especially once I start working immediately after the level 1 exam in June, I’ll have even less time to prepare for the harder levels. No matter how long it takes though, I’m determined to get it!

Celebrate the new year HARD man, you deserve it. One of my old best friends is from Singapore - it’s easy to have a great time there :wink:

I don’t know the specific statistic, but “lots of charterholders” probably covers it pretty well.

At the end of the day, it’s like a drivers’ license. People care most whether you have it or not; not whether you pased perfectly on the first time. Of course are those who say “yeah, baby, I went 3/3 and that means I can guarantee superior investment returns.”

It is true that people who go 3/3 are probably pretty talented, but there are lots of legitimate reasons that other talented people may have to redo a level. Charterholders probably give people more slack for having to repeat a level than non-charterholders, because they know that one can know a lot and still - for whatever reason - have to repeat a level. Those who haven’t gone through the process are more likely to think (wrongly) that 3/3 communicates highly meaningful information, vs 3/4.

When they say the average is 4 years, I wonder if they mean four attempts. Four attempts would actually be three years assuming the clock starts with your first attempt. So “four years” would mean 5 attempts. Either way, yeah, it seems on average that people fail once or twice.

Approximately 1/2 of the charterholders I know failed at least once, myself included.

I failed L2 the first time around. Given the time and effort it took to actually pass, I deserved that fail.

I’m still working on Level 3. I’m not a Charterholder.

But I failed Level 1 once and Level 2 once. I hope to not go 3 for 3 on failures.

I don’t think it’s important whether charterholders failed any of the exams. Success is often built on top of past failures.

My guess would be that more than 30% and less than 50% of CFA Charterholders would have completed it in 3 out of 3 attempts.

As noted above, plenty can go wrong to mean the difference between going 3/3 or 3/4 so I don’t really subscribe to the 3/3 superiority thing, but of the people I know with the Charter (which is in the single digits and therefore a very small sample size), the percentage is above 50% so I wouldn’t consider the feat as “rare” or “exceptional” either.

What I’m really curious about–who can go 3/3 in 18 months?

I failed Level 2 with Score band 10. 300 hours says that if you are in Score Band 10 on Level 2, you are within 5 questions of passing. If that’s true, and I pass Level 3 this year, I will have been within 15 points out of 1080 of going 3/3 in 18 months.

Plenty of people on this site have went 3/3 in 18 months, including me. And I claim superior investment performance :slight_smile:

All CFA’s (noun) can claim superior investment performance. You get to claim more superiorer investment performance.

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Thanks everyone! I know, that due to my schedule/life, there is a strong liklihood I will fail one of the levels… I wont be so much bummed about the failure as I would be about the fact that I have to carry on the madness for another year.

That’s a good attitude to have. Hope you don’t need to repeat anything, though.

There was a discussion on the same subject a while ago. I think the consensus was that about 20-30% of all Charterholders passed all exams on the first try, i.e. 70-80% have failed at least one level.

Hi, can you share more about your experience and what you changed to pass? Hope you did well on level 3.

But usually you’re superiorer investment performance is due to your insider knowledge of the companys your covering.

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