is the CFA the hardest exam on Earth?

What’s the verdict? Is this officially the hardest exam there is ? in terms of academics. I’m thinking yes.

Probably isn’t… I think people exaggerate a bit. But on the other hand, I should applaud those people that exaggerate because it increases the ‘market value’ of the designation and therefore increases the probability of a charter holder to getting a better (paid) job. Seeing as I could be a charter holder in the near future, this pleases me.

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The material is hard, but ~65% is a pass on all three levels. If you scored that percentage in college courses, you’d fail out.

I’m going on a limb and saying the actuarial exams are probably harder. I don’t know much about them, but I think they recommend 300 hours for each of the levels, and there are like 10 exams in total. Plus, it’s all statistics.

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no, it might be the hardest in finance (even then, some more quantitative-focused exams can beat CFA) but I believe surgeons/neurosurgeons would probably have it worse.

Definitely no, CFA just requires your persistence but the material is not hard.

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i don’t think its hard per se. it just requires you to put in the time.

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My vote is no. I can think of many things much harder that haven’t already been said here. Plus, like ^ said, I don’t think CFA is “hard”, just requires discipline and putting in the time.

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lol you need to talk to more people from different industries…wow

This is equivalent to asking, I live on the 7th floor apartment in Montana (as far as I can tell my building is quite tall). Is my building the tallest in the world? Get out more, read more books, educate yourself, talk to more people from diverse backgrounds etc and you will know that asking the question in the first place is pretty ridiculous.

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that’s not true… at least at my school a lot of exams (not all) were graded on a curve… I remember one econ test in particular where a 55% was an (A) and you needed 20% score for a C…

The CFA exam could be made more difficult if they wanted too… take out all the “easy” questions and fill the exam with the most nuanced multistep calculations possible … easily make a 70% score “impossible”

the hard part is really the “process”… level 2 and 3 once a year really kill the program completion rates because people have to essentially start over every year… contrast that tto some medical exams or the BAR and you can do it every few weeks

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As a guy who spent significant time in both China and Japan, where many of the local qualification exams constantly have only around 10% of passing rate while the candidate pool is hard studying/working Asian folks, when I first saw CFA’s passing raté I just couldn’t believe it given its global reputation. I don’t want to say CFA exam is easy but personally it’s not tough as long as you spend enough time. I think if a candidate is from a country where the local academic atmosphere is not competitive and had no finance/accounting background when started, (s)he may find CFA challenging. Interestingly, I found a similar exam held by UK’s securities authority is far more challenging:)

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wow 20% for a C…How are you suppose to test on what you know is correct and that you understand clearly if the the exam is asking question the students have no idea in??

As one of the poster have already said, the pass rates for the cfa exams hover around 40%. That is, if you come in 40th place out of 100 people, then you pass. In no other sports, sat percentile, gmat percentile, mcat percentile, gre percentile, dcat percentile, dat percentile, bar exam percentile do you get a PASS for doing only slightly better than the middle of the pack.

My goodness: people ask really stupid questions sometimes.

No, the CFA exams are not remotely the hardest exams in the world. Or elsewhere.

probably not, but who really cares

That’s kinda harsh dude…

S2000 has a point…

There could always be easier or harder exams. Let’s say these 3 exams are definitely not a piece of cake…

You really need to have a plan, dedicate considerable time and the right mindset, whereas at uni you could probably afford to start studying late and cram like hell. I would argue such an approach doesn’t work with CFA. If you do that you will be slaughtered before you know it. Unless you are a genius, of course.

CFA requires you not only to be good academically, but also disciplined, focused and persistent. Not everyone can do this, so not everyone passes. Say what you want, but the program is far from easy.

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Even if one has a point, one could be a little more respectful to another… No need to be so harsh… But that’s just my opinion…

ill take claritas (or renamed as Investment Foundations) if i pass L3 next week…and then ill come back and report whether it’s the hardest exam in the world or not :slight_smile:

Well. I took some exams which are quite less time consuming regarding studying process but have stupid and rigid criteria to pass. Each of 7-8 parts/disciplines (like parts on CFA) one should pass with at least 70 % threshold and 2 key sessions with at least 80 %. Thus, overall pass rate on 1st try is 5-10 %. The good thing, 6 months later you have chances to repeat examination only with those parts you failed if your overall pass rate were about 60 % and you didn’t fail with lower than 65 % from key disciplines. The thresholds are static for each candidate what means that you will fail even if you pass all but one discipline.