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CFA Institute Successfully Administers First-ever Computer-based Testing of Level I of the CFA Program®

Charlottesville, United States 13 Apr 2021

28,651 candidates around the globe completed the exam in February 2021
44% of Level I candidates passed

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, announces the results for the first administration of Level I of the CFA Program® under its new computer-based testing approach.

CFA Program Level I candidates receive their results today. Of the 28,651 Level I candidates who sat for the examinations, 44 percent passed. The February 2021 Level I exam was administered in 850 test centers in 400 cities in 91 markets worldwide. Computer-based testing in test centers proved to be more resistant to pandemic-related cancellations due to increased testing days and smaller test centers. Overall, about 700 candidates experienced an exam cancellation due to COVID restrictions. Candidates were provided with multiple options to reschedule their exam in the upcoming months. Candidates also had the option to defer to a future testing date if they felt uneasy due to the pandemic conditions.

Margaret Franklin, CFA, President and CEO at CFA Institute, commented: “The past year has been an extraordinary year of transition as we accelerated our shift to computer-based testing while the pandemic took hold, and we are very pleased to report this first administration of computer-based testing. We warmly congratulate candidates who have successfully passed the exam and extend our thanks to all the candidates who have been so patient as we worked tirelessly to ensure we delivered the examinations in as many locations as possible. Their commitment to sitting these exams in the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic is a testament to their perseverance and their commitment to the future of the investment profession.”

Candidates reported positive experiences with the new testing approach, which utilizes test centers over a multi-day window and via computer vs. the previous approach of giving the exam on paper in large-capacity locations on one day. The vast majority of candidates who completed a post-exam survey expressed positive views of their experience.

Currently, more than 170,000 professionals worldwide hold the CFA® charter. View historical pass rates. The CFA Program curriculum constantly evolves to current investment practice and ensures that candidates who complete the program are equipped with relevant and current knowledge and skills.

Further information on registration, scheduling and deadlines for each level can be found on our Exam Overview page. The exam testing windows for the remainder of 2021 are:

 Level I  Level II  Level III

• 18 – 24 May

• 18 – 26 July

• 13-30 August

• 16 – 22 November


• 25 May – 1 June

• 31 August – 4 September

• 26 - 30 November


• 25 May – 1 June

• 1-8 September

• 23-25 November


Notes to Editors

About the CFA Program Explore the CFA Program - Take the Assessment is an online portal which allows prospective candidates insight into the CFA Program and an opportunity to assess their CFA Program readiness through:

• An online self-assessment

• A CFA Program quiz

• A library exploring CFA Program topics

• Information on scholarship opportunities

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Our aim is to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. There are more than 170,000 CFA charterholders worldwide in 164 markets. CFA Institute has nine offices worldwide and there are 161 local member societies.

For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org or follow on Twitter at @CFAInstitute and on Facebook.com/CFAInstitute.