India sees third highest number of candidates globally for Chartered Financial Analyst Level I exam


CFA Institute, the global association of investment management professionals, announced that of the 59,627 candidates who appeared for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level I exams globally, 5,737 were from India, the third largest number of exam takers after China (14,181) and the United States (12,187).


Within India, Mumbai (2,848) has registered most number of candidate’s appearance for CFA Level I exams, followed by New Delhi (1,366), Bengaluru (917) and Kolkata (606). Regionally, Asia Pacific continues to be the largest source of candidates, with 30,569 exam takers.


Globally, of the 59,627 candidates who appeared for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level I exam in December 2016, 43% have passed. These successful candidates now progress to Level II of the CFA Program, charting a course to build an investment profession dedicated to professional excellence. The December 2016 exam saw continued growth with an increase of 14 percent from the previous year in the number of Level I candidates tested for the CFA Program, a globally recognised, graduate level curriculum that links theory and practice with real-world investment analysis, and emphasizes the highest ethical standards.


“The growth of the Indian economy and government focus on making India a credible investment destination has fueled the demand for high calibre investment professionals in India. Our growing membership and candidate numbers reflects this trend. This year, we have witnessed an increase of nearly 15% in the number of exam takers for CFA Level I exams”, said Vidhu Shekhar, CFA, Country Head, India, CFA Institute.


To earn the CFA charter, candidates must pass all three levels of exam (successful candidates often report dedicating in excess of 300 hours of study per level); meet the work experience requirements of four years in the investment industry; sign a commitment to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct; apply to a CFA Institute society; and become a member of CFA Institute.


The December 2016 Level I exam was administered in 104 test centres in 72 cities across 40 countries worldwide. Examples of countries and territories with the largest number of candidates that took the Level I CFA exam last December are Mainland China (14,181), the United States (12,187), India (5,737), Canada (4,210), United Kingdom (3,790), Hong Kong (2,210), Singapore (1,577), South Africa (1,327), and United Arab Emirates (1,207).



The CFA Program curriculum develops knowledge and competencies that investment professionals deem necessary in today’s ever changing marketplace. It covers ethical and professional standards, securities analysis and valuation, international financial statement analysis, quantitative methods, economics, corporate finance, portfolio management, wealth management and portfolio analysis. Level I exams are offered in both June and December and Levels II and III are offered only in June. It takes most candidates more than three years to complete the CFA Program, and requires dedication and determination.