how many times did it take you to pass cfa exam level 1?

just trying to gauge the test a little bit here. some articles say it’ll take people an average of 4 times, but I don’t trust everything I read on the internet. so I wanted to ask real people.

I was out on the first try

Real people… On the internet…!! Haha.

On topic: I think you’ll get a level of natural skew asking the question here. It would be reasonable to assume that people posting on this forum are probably more engaged on average, and therefore would likely have a higher chance of success on these exams. That being said, four attempts for Level 1 alone sounds like a huge overestimation to me - are you sure that these articles weren’t referencing four attempts across all three exams (i.e. Levels 1, 2 and 3) collectively? This would be more realistic in my view.

Just my opinion but I think if you’ve genuinely put in the work and failed Level 1 even twice it would probably be best to think about whether the program is for you, particularly given the difficulty at Level 2 is significantly higher than Level 1.

FWIW I got through Levels 1 and 2 on my first attempts (with a couple of years between exams).

that means that the average charterholder failed an exam once, not that you need 4 tries to pass each level.

And yes, this is a wrong forum to ask about failing an exam. AFers go 3 for 3 and can guarantee superior returns in all market conditions.

I went 3/3. But i know many people that failed L1, then cleared L2 first try despite it being insanely harder. I almost failed level 1 because i didn’t take it seriously and that’s probably the case with maaaaany other people before they get their sh*t together when studying for L2. It’s all an effort thing tbh

what are the reasons people fail? they had exhausting work and lack of energy to study after a busy day? or they started studying a bit late? or is just CFA exam extremely difficult so even with good preparations they couldn’t make it?

please tell me about your case :slight_smile:

One attempt for me. My biggest challenge was time. I had a newborn in the house and I was running my business. So, I was tired all of the time until one week before the exam. Then I reduced my coffee intake (weaned off 2 weeks before), and started going to bed earlier.

I think people use the wrong strategy for level one. A lot of people say it’s just memorization and then they complain about the volume of information. I studied for deeper understanding. That way, I didn’t have to memorize as many equations or definitions. I used logic based on my understanding of the topics to answer the questions. That might be why I’m not such a fan Schweser. For me, I needed more detailed explanation. I got that from Meldrum and from the curriculum. I think I would have done better If I figured out my issue earlier.

I think a lot of people try to follow the crowd and study the average way in the average number of hours. They don’t put a lot of consideration into their own learning style and background. I think that is the main reason people fail. They ask questions like: How many hours should I study? Should I buy Schweser? Should I start in January? Do you think I can learn this? These are all questions that can only be answered correctly by the individual asking the questions. All anyone else can do is give you averages and tell you what they did to pass. While you do get some good suggestions and information from your peers, you have to dig deeper. You have to “know yourself” and be honest with yourself in order to pass.

i failed L1 once. I took it without studying much as my last semester of college ended up being super hectic. I retook L1 a year later.

gwoods, thank you for a very detailed explanation. I also need to understand everything, that is why It goes a bit slower for me. So I already started studying for June 2020.

On first attempt.

First, but I studied more than 200 hours . (Actually I would say around 300 probably)

I also had a newborn. That was the reason I took Level 1 in December. His due date was too close to the June exam.

For the OP, it’s 4 attempts total for people who pass all 3 levels. Another way of saying it is “For those who pass Levels 1, 2, and 3, on average they took 4 total exams, and thus failed one exam at one level.”

I did a lot of analysis of pass rates, etc. While failure is the primary reason why people don’t get their CFA, about 20% of people who PASS Level 1 don’t even take Level 2. About 12% of people who pass Level 2 don’t take Level 3.

I sm 3 for 3.

Level 1 was by far the easiest.