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2023 CFA pass rate: Exhausted 25-year-olds share their pain

Just because banks are making a CFA charter optional doesn’t mean that mean the kids doing it aren’t disappointed by this year's 39% pass rate for the Level I exams.

“I went through the darkest times of my life while studying for this attempt,” one said in the CFA subreddit. “I have pretty much told myself that I have failed, but I can’t be too hard on myself.” That redditor got fired (and received no bonus) just after Christmas.

“Please god free me from this bondage,” one redditor awaiting results said. They probably “won't continue if bad result received.” Another simply said that: “I'm shitting myself.”

Although some banks (such as Berenberg) have made being a CFA charter holder optional, many banks have not – and young analysts are often expected to achieve the qualification. Given that young bankers frequently work 90+ hour weeks and that CFA Institute, which provides the exams, itself said that 300 hours is necessary to pass just the Level I exams, that can mean a lot of stress. Especially when there are ongoing job cuts in the industry – and those job cuts aren’t afraid of targeting juniors.

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Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

Photo by 傅甬 华 on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher & Zeno Toulon Insider Comment
  • Mi
    28 June 2023

    Forget 300 hrs. The way to pass these exams is to treat it as a series of university exams, as if you are studying for masters. So start a year or even two years prior. Then register for the exam when ready. Many people register 6 months prior to exam then have no lives for these 6 months. The chances of passing this way is slim.

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