CFA Says 43% of Test-Takers Passed First Level Last Month

(Bloomberg) -- Forty-three percent of test-takers passed the first level of the Chartered Financial Analyst exam last month.

That matched the success rate for the past four Level 1 exams, the Charlottesville, Virginia-based CFA Institute said Tuesday in a statement. Candidates can take the first part of the exam in both June and December, while the two final levels are only available in June.

A record 68,086 candidates sat for last month’s exam, according to the statement. That included 30,155 in mainland China, India, Hong Kong and Singapore -- a 27 percent increase from a year earlier. In the U.S., where the exam started in 1963, 12,126 people took the exam.

Finance workers pursue the CFA designation for the promise of better jobs, higher salaries and a deeper understanding of their industry. Charter recipients spend an average of more than 300 hours preparing for each exam and typically take more than three years to complete all of the tests, according to the CFA Institute.

Brazil Hijacking

The institute said it added testing centers in Anchorage, Alaska; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Hangzhou, China; and Rio de Janeiro for the December exam. For June’s exam, it plans to add four more in Barcelona; Dalian, China; Hyderabad, India; and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

A truck carrying completed exams from the Rio de Janeiro test center was hijacked in December and the cargo stolen, the local chapter of the CFA said last month. The robbery affected 140 candidates who paid about $1,000 for the test.

The exams weren’t recovered, so those candidates re-took it on Jan. 13, said Grace Dusseau, a spokeswoman for the institute. Those results were included in Tuesday’s release, she said.

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