The CFA Level 1 and 2 results are in

In June, 

some 170,000 
aspiring finance buffs took the notoriously tough Chartered Financial Analyst exam.

The results are now in for the first two levels of the three-part exam.

  • Level I: 43% passed
  • Level II: 46% passed

The Level I and II candidates received their results via email on Tuesday morning. Level III results will be released on August 9.

This year’s Level I pass rate is up slightly from last year, when 42% of candidates passed. The Level II pass rate is unchanged from last June.

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 degree. (The CFA costs $2,300, including registration fees and test fees.)

More people registered to take the exam in June than ever before. The 172,682 total was up from 159,889 in June 2015.

Level I tends to have the lowest pass rate of the three exams because that’s when the amateurs are weeded out from the serious players. Only about one out of five people who start the CFA program make it through all three levels and successfully complete the other requirements to become charter holders.

Successful candidates often put in up to 300 hours of study per exam for each of the three exams.

Here are the historical pass rates dating back to 1963 from the CFA Institute:

1963-2015B Exam Pass Rates

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