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Level I Curriculum: What Changed for 2023

Extensive work through practice analysis and curriculum development has resulted in major revisions at Level I for 2023. These changes, coupled with the updates made for the 2022 cycle, aim to better equip candidates with the knowledge and skills that reflect current investment practice.

And by leveraging the experience the Learning Ecosystem (LES) platform can provide, changes for 2023 also keep learning technology and adult learners’ needs central, especially in the Derivatives and Alternative Investments topic areas. By revising the material to a learning module structure—designed with an “LES-first” mindset—we have aligned the content with learning best practice to meet candidates' needs. Each module is designed to be completed in an evening of study, and formative assessments are included throughout. The modules incorporate more visuals, spreadsheets, and realistic content, plus expert demonstrations followed by opportunities for candidates to practice the skills.

Refer to the key and tables below to learn what else has changed in Level I of the CFA Program curriculum for 2023.

Interested to compare these changes against updates that were made last year? Visit Level I Curriculum: What Changed for 2022.

  • 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 2022 curriculum.
Reading Change Summary of Changes
The Time Value of Money No Changes
Organizing, Visualizing, and Describing Data No Changes
Probability Concepts No Changes  
Common Probability Distributions No Changes  
Sampling and Estimation No Changes  
Hypothesis Testing No Changes  
Introduction to Linear Regression No Changes  
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 No Changes  
Understanding Business Cycles No Changes  
Monetary and Fiscal Policy No Changes
Introduction to Geopolitics Added New learning module introducing geopolitics and explaining its importance for investment management
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 No Changes  
Financial Reporting Quality No Changes
Applications of Financial Statement Analysis No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Corporate Structures and Ownership Added New learning module introducing business structures important for investment management
Introduction to Corporate Governance and Other ESG Considerations Revision Revisions to ESG terms to align with evolving practice
New EORQs
Business Models Added New learning module examining key aspects of a business and ways an analyst can evaluate business models to support financial modeling
Capital Investments (Previously Uses of Capital) Update Revised content to increase relevance for external analysts valuing a company
 Working Capital (Previously Sources of Capital) Update Revised content to increase relevance for external analysts valuing a company
Cost of Capital-Foundational Topics No Changes
Capital Structure Major Revision Revised content to reduce existing theoretical content and develop a more practical focus to support valuation exercises
Measures of Leverage No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Market Organization and Structure No Changes
Security Market Indexes No Changes
Market Efficiency No Changes  
Overview of Equity Securities No Changes
Introduction to Industry and Company Analysis No Changes  
Equity Valuation: Concepts and Basic Tools No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Fixed-Income Securities: Defining Elements No Changes  
Fixed-Income Markets: Issuance, Trading, and Funding No Changes  
Introduction to Fixed-Income Valuation No Changes  
Introduction to Asset-Backed Securities No Changes
Understanding Fixed-Income Risk and Return No Changes  
Fundamentals of Credit Analysis No Changes  
Readings Change Summary of Changes
Derivative Markets and Instruments and Basics of Derivative Pricing and Valuation  Revision Readings revised as learning modules into the following topics:
  • Derivative instrument and derivative market features
  • Forward commitment and contingent claim features and instruments
  • Derivative benefits, risks, and issuer and investor uses
  • Arbitrage, replication, and the cost of carry in pricing derivatives
  • Pricing and valuation of forward contracts and for an underlying with varying maturities
  • Pricing and valuation of futures contracts
  • Pricing and valuation of interest rate and other swaps
  • Pricing and valuation of options
  • Option replication using put-call parity
  • Valuing a derivative using a one-period binomial model
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Introduction to Alternative Investments Revision Previous reading streamlined and revised into learning modules covering the following topics, with no change to the content coverage:
  • Categories, Characteristics, and Compensation Structures of Alternative Investments
  • Performance Calculation and Appraisal of Alternative Investments
  • Private Capital, Real Estate, Infrastructure, Natural Resources, and Hedge Funds
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Portfolio Management: An Overview No Changes
Portfolio Risk and Return: Part I Update Content added to support risk management for international investments with currency risk
Portfolio Risk and Return: Part II Update New EORQs
Basics of Portfolio Planning and Construction No Changes
The Behavioral Biases of Individuals No Changes
Introduction to Risk Management Update Content added to support risk management for international investments with currency risk
Technical Analysis No Changes
Fintech in Investment Management Update Updated content to reflect recent evolution in decentralized finance (DeFi) and blockchain
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Ethics and Trust in the Investment Profession No Changes  
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) No Changes  
Ethics Application No Changes  

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