180,000 young Wall Streeters took the gruelling CFA exam this year — nearly 100,000 of them failed

Digital Trends
  • Results of the 2018 Chartered Financial Analyst exam were released to candidates on Tuesday.
  • The CFA Institute confirmed the results for Levels I, II, and III of the exam.
  • For the Level III exam, 56% of candidates passed, up from 54% from last year.
  • In total, 179,241 people took a level of the exam in June, and nearly 100,000 failed.
  • The CFA is considered one of the most gruelling exams in finance.

Finance professionals who took the final level of the Chartered Financial Analyst exam in June found out on Tuesday how they did in the gruelling test of financial know-how.

The exam, which asks candidates questions on everything from financial modelling to the ethics of business, is considered one of the most gruelling tests in the world – less than 50% of people pass each year.

The test is split into three levels, and people who took Levels I and II found out their results two weeks ago. Those who took Level III could see theirs at 9 a.m. ET.

Here’s how candidates did at each level:

  • Level I pass rate: 43%
  • Level II pass rate: 45%
  • Level III pass rate: 56%

Out of a total of 179,241 people who took a level of the exam this year, 83,339 passed. That’s an overall pass rate of 46.5% and means 95,902 people did not pass.

Roughly 80,000 people took Level I, 64,000 took Level II, and 36,000 took Level III.

Generally speaking, pass rates increase on each ascending level, as Level I tends to flush out underprepared candidates. The Level I pass rate was unchanged from last year, while the Level II rate fell from 47% and the Level III rate increased from 54%.

Only about one in five people who start the CFA program make it through all three levels and complete the other requirements to become a charter holder.

Becoming a CFA charter holder is a huge leg up for anyone hoping to build a career in investment management. It’s also a much cheaper credential than an MBA – a CFA costs about $US2,500 in total, while an MBA can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.