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Level I Curriculum: What Changed for 2022

The CFA® Program curriculum equips candidates with relevant knowledge and skills that reflect current investment management practice.  

As part of our commitment to prioritizing the interests of our candidates and helping minimize the impact of pandemic-related disruptions, CFA Institute froze the 2020 CFA Program curriculum for 2021 exam administrations. This meant that all candidates who took exams in 2021 were tested on the 2020 CFA Program curriculum. Despite this freeze for candidates, the curriculum continued to evolve. Extensive work through practice analysis and curriculum development has resulted in revisions across all levels of the curriculum.

When you register for your CFA Program exam, you receive the curriculum aligned with the exam you will take. Exam questions will be based solely on the current curriculum year readings.

Refer to the key and tables below to see what has changed in Level I of the CFA Program curriculum over the past two years, and download our Level I infographic (pdf) and Guide to 2022 CFA Program Curriculum Changes (pdf) for more information.

  • Update: Smallest degree of change. Data, examples, and references were brought up to date. 
  • Revision: Medium degree of change. Content was adjusted and improved for clarity or accuracy. 
  • Major Revision: Largest degree of change. Content was rewritten or significantly altered to reflect new guidance or advances in the industry.
  • Added: New area of content introduced to the curriculum. 
  • Dropped: Reading no longer appears in the curriculum. Material was no longer relevant or was better captured elsewhere. 
  • No Changes: Content remains the same as in the 2020 curriculum.
Reading Change Summary of Changes
The Time Value of Money No Changes
Statistical Concepts and Market Returns Dropped
Organizing, Visualizing, and Describing Data New Replaced "Statistical Concepts and Market Returns" with focus on organizing, visualizing, and describing data
Probability Concepts Revision Added new visuals/investment-oriented examples and content on Bayes' Formula
Common Probability Distributions Major Revision Added new visuals/investment-oriented examples
Consolidated content on distributions from other readings
Enhanced Monte Carlo simulation content
Sampling and Estimation Revision Added new visuals/investment-oriented examples and new content on sampling methods
Hypothesis Testing Complete Revision Completely new reading with focus on six-step process for hypothesis testing
Introduction to Linear Regression Complete Revision Completely new reading, moved down from Level II, duplicated in Level II for 2022 only
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Topics in Demand and Supply Analysis No Changes
The Firm and Market Structures No Changes
Aggregate Output, Prices, and Economic Growth Updated New material on quantitative easing
Understanding Business Cycles Updated New material on credit cycles
Monetary and Fiscal Policy No Changes
International Trade and Capital Flows No Changes
Currency Exchange Rates No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Introduction to Financial Statement Analysis No Changes
Financial Reporting Standards No Changes
Understanding Income Statements No Changes
Understanding Balance Sheets No Changes
Understanding Cash Flow Statements No Changes
Financial Analysis Techniques No Changes
Inventories No Changes
Long-Lived Assets No Changes
Income Taxes No Changes
Non-Current (Long-Term) Liabilities Revision Revised material on leases and lease accounting to reflect new treatment and new examples
A handful of EORQs revised
Financial Reporting Quality No Changes
Applications of Financial Statement Analysis No Changes

New Topic Title and Focus, Previously titled "Corporate Finance"

Reading Change Summary of Changes
Introduction to Corporate Governance and Other ESG Considerations Major Revision Significant addition of ESG content
Uses of Capital Revision Consolidated Level I and Level II Capital Budgeting readings
Updated material on commonly used investment decision criteria and capital investment analysis from an external analyst standpoint.
Sources of Capital Major Revision New coverage on financing methods and their considerations
Dropped material on working capital management and evaluation of projects reflecting a corporate insider's perspective.
Cost of Capital-Foundational Topics Revision Dropped material on project cost of capital analysis reflecting a corporate insider's perspective
Moved country risk premiums to Level II 
Removed duplicative coverage in Level II Return Concepts
Capital Structure Major Revision Revised and moved Level II 2020 reading
New coverage on firm's use of debt in life cycle
Measures of Leverage No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Market Organization and Structure No Changes
Security Market Indexes No Changes
Market Efficiency Revision Revised Behavioral Finance/Market Anomalies section
Overview of Equity Securities No Changes
Introduction to Industry and Company Analysis Revision Streamlined and added material for Industry Classification section
Equity Valuation: Concepts and Basic Tools No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Fixed-Income Securities: Defining Elements Revision Eliminated duplication and overlap
Made notations consistent
Added some content
Fixed-Income Markets: Issuance, Trading, and Funding Revision Eliminated duplication and overlap
Made notations consistent
Added some content
Introduction to Fixed-Income Valuation Revision Eliminated duplication and overlap
Made notations consistent
Added some content
Introduction to Asset-Backed Securities Revision Eliminated duplication and overlap
Made notations consistent
Added some content
Understanding Fixed-Income Risk and Return Revision Eliminated duplication and overlap
Made notations consistent
Added some content
Fundamentals of Credit Analysis Revision Eliminated duplication and overlap
Made notations consistent
Added some content
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Derivative Markets and Instruments No Changes
Basics of Derivative Pricing and Valuation No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Introduction to Alternative Investments Major Revision Revised or updated majority of content
Added content on private debt, timber, and farmland
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Portfolio Management: An Overview No Changes
Portfolio Risk and Return: Part I No Changes
Portfolio Risk and Return: Part II No Changes
Basics of Portfolio Planning and Construction Major Revision Added ESG considerations
The Behavioral Biases of Individuals Added New reading moved from Level III
Revised with new examples
New EORQs
Introduction to Risk Management No Changes
Technical Analysis Major Revision Revised with new content and over 40 real-life examples of technical analysis
Fintech in Investment Management No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Ethics and Trust in the Investment Profession Revision Added material on professionalism moved from Level III
Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct No Changes
Guidance for Standards I–VII No Changes
Introduction to the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) Revision Heavily revised to align with new 2020 GIPS Standards
Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) Dropped Refers to new 2020 GIPS Standards
Ethics Application New All new content illustrates Code and Standards

See all readings and exam topics in the Level I Study Sessions

See what's changing in Level II

See what's changing in Level III