Are You Eligible for CFA Level 1

Are you considering taking the CFA Level 1 exam? It’s a crucial step toward a career in finance. This introductory section aims to shed light on what the CFA Level 1 exam entails and why it’s essential to determine your eligibility before registering.

The CFA Level 1 exam serves as the gateway to the prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. It covers fundamental knowledge in investment management and financial analysis, testing your grasp of key concepts.

The CFA Institute conducts the CFA Level 1 exam four times each year: in February, May, August, and November. Before signing up for the CFA course, it’s important to see if you meet the requirements for Level 1. You have to finish the registration for CFA Level 1 before the deadline if you want to take the exam. 

Make sure you check if you’re eligible and sign up before it’s too late!

Understanding the CFA Institute and Program

The CFA Institute promotes ethical conduct through the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, applicable worldwide. It also develops industry standards such as the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS). With over 190,000 CFA charter holders across 165 countries, the CFA designation is widely recognized by 31,000 investment institutions globally.

Significance of CFA Level 1 as a foundational step in the program

CFA Level 1 is the entry point to the CFA program, offering foundational knowledge in finance, including investment tools, asset valuation, portfolio management, and ethics. Passing Level 1 demonstrates an understanding of these core principles, paving the way for more advanced levels and signaling a commitment to professional development. This achievement is highly regarded by employers and financial institutions, underscoring its importance for aspiring finance professionals.

Revised CFA Level 1 Eligibility Criteria

With the ever-evolving landscape of finance and investment, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation continues to be a benchmark of excellence for professionals in the field. As the global economy progresses, so do the standards set by the CFA Institute. In response to changing industry needs and to ensure the highest level of competence among candidates, the eligibility criteria for the CFA Level 1 exam have been revised for the year 2024.

What has changed regarding CFA Level 1 eligibility?

CFA has expanded the eligibility criteria for the CFA Level 1 exam starting November 1, 2022. Previously, candidates could only register for the CFA Program if they were in their final year of undergraduate studies or later. Now, students with 23 months remaining in their undergraduate studies are eligible to register and sit for the CFA Level 1 exam.

What does this change mean for you?

If you are already registered for the CFA Program, there are no changes for you. However, for undergraduate students interested in the CFA Program, this change allows you to start one year earlier than previously possible. Before registering, consider your circumstances and whether balancing CFA studies with university courses is feasible.

Also Read – 6 Important CFA Updates & Curriculum Changes Announced in 2023 | IMS Proschool

Academic Qualifications for CFA Level 1

To be eligible for the CFA Level 1 exam, candidates must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Completion of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognized university or college. If uncertain about program comparability, it’s recommended to consult with your university or college.
  • Undergraduate Student: Candidates must have 23 months or fewer left before their graduation month to enroll for the CFA Level 1 exam.

Also Read – Unpacking the CFA Level 1 Syllabus: A Guide

Work Experience Requirements for CFA Level 1

Candidates should have a combination of at least 4 years of higher education and/or 4000 hours of work experience. This must be completed before registering for the CFA Level 1 exam in 2024. – This is the third eligibility criterion, applicable if the first two criteria are not met. In other words, if a candidate lacks an undergraduate degree or is not currently enrolled in college, they can still pursue the CFA program provided they have accrued 4000 hours of work experience.

The periods of professional work experience and education should not overlap.

Paid internships/articleships are considered valid work experience by the CFA Institute.

Also Read – A Detailed Guide On Work Experience Requirements For CFA

Other Basic Eligibility Requirements for CFA Level 1

In addition to meeting the education and work experience criteria, there are a few more things you need to consider:

  • Valid International Passport: Make sure you have a valid international passport. You’ll need it for identification during the exam.
  • English Proficiency: You need to be good at English because the exam has reading passages and complex financial questions. You need to understand them well to do your best.
  • Complete Professional Conduct Criteria: You have to fill out a form showing that you understand and agree to follow the professional conduct rules. This is important for showing your commitment to ethical behavior in the finance industry.
  • Pay Fees: You also have to pay fees to enroll and register for the CFA Level 1 exam. This is necessary to complete your registration and be allowed to take the exam.

84% of our students enrolling for CFA course recommend you join us for your CFA Prepration

Overview of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct

The CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct guide behavior in the investment industry. They demand integrity, competence, and respect for clients and colleagues, prioritizing client interests and independent judgment. Adhering to these standards fosters trust and integrity in global capital markets.

Application Process for CFA Level 1

As the CFA eligibility rules become more flexible, we expect more people to sign up for the CFA exams. If you’re planning to study for these exams on your own, you’ll need to handle the registration process by yourself. While it might seem a bit tricky, it’s important to get it right to avoid problems later on. Some students prefer to study for their CFA exams first and then register. But if you’re getting help from a CFA coaching institute like IMS Proschool, we’ll help you with the entire registration process, making things easier for you to manage.

For those doing it on their own, here’s a simple guide to help you through the registration process.

Registering for CFA Level 1 Examinations

As discussed earlier, some CFA candidates choose to study for the exam before registering. However, this means missing out on study materials provided by the CFA Institute, which are crucial for preparation despite being a bit dry.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the registration process.

Step 1: Confirm Your Eligibility

Those aspiring to become Chartered Financial Analysts should ensure they meet the updated CFA exam eligibility criteria. (see the section on eligibility criteria in this blog.)

Step 2: Set Up Your Account with the CFA Institute

Before you can register for the CFA exams, you must create an account with the CFA Institute. If you’re eligible for any scholarships offered by the CFA Institute, it’s important to register and create an account beforehand, as you’ll need to submit a scholarship application as part of the process.

Step 3: Explore Available Scholarships

If you’ve chosen to pursue the CFA as your professional path and find that the fees are hindering your learning journey, you may wonder if there are any CFA scholarships available. The answer is yes. There are several scholarships offered for the CFA program. Here’s a list of all available scholarships.

  • Access Scholarship
  • Women’s Scholarship
  • Student Scholarship
  • Professor Scholarship
  • Regulator Scholarship

For detailed information on each scholarship, visit CFA Institute Scholarships

Step 4: Pay Exam Fees

After successfully registering for your Chartered Financial Analyst examinations, the subsequent step involves payment for your CFA course and CFA examination. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of the CFA Level 1 course fees.

CFA Level 1 Course Fees

The Chartered Financial Analyst program comprises three levels, each consisting of 10 papers. Advancement to the next level is contingent upon completion of the preceding one. The course fees for each level vary. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the CFA Level 1 fees.

Exam Date Registration Period Registration Status Registration Fee
August 2024 Early Registration Closed USD 940
(14 Nov 2023 – 23 Jan 2024)
Standard Registration Open USD 1,250
(24 Jan 2024 – 14 May 2024)
November 2024 Early Registration Open USD 940
(8 Feb 2024 – 16 Apr 2024)
Standard Registration Not Available Yet USD 1,250
(17 Apr 2024 – 7 Aug 2024)
One-Time Enrollment Fee:

Upon registering for the CFA Program and Level I exam, candidates must submit a one-time enrollment fee of USD 350. This fee is exclusive to the initial registration and won’t be applied to subsequent exams. 

Rescheduling Fee:

If you need to reschedule your exam appointment within your designated exam window, a rescheduling fee of USD 250 will be incurred.

Payment Methods:

Various payment modes are accepted by the CFA Institute. For candidates applying in India, the EMI plan by Eduvanz can be found here.

*All fees must be paid in US dollars.

Step 5: Schedule Examination

Once you’ve completed your registration for the CFA exam and paid the necessary fees, it’s time to schedule your CFA exam appointment within your selected exam window.

2024 CFA Level 1 Exam Schedule
Level 1 Exam Date Window February 19-25, 2024 May 15-21, 2024 August 20-26, 2024 November 13-19, 2024
Registration Deadline November 8, 2023 February 6, 2024 May 14, 2024 August 7, 2024
Scheduling Deadline November 21, 2023 February 14, 2024 May 21, 2024 August 13, 2024
Rescheduling Deadline January 20, 2024 April 15, 2024 July 21, 2024 October 14, 2024

Scheduling your CFA exam is necessary and doesn’t incur any additional charges. When you schedule your exam, you get to pick the date, time, and location for your Level 1 exam.

Proschool offers unlimited classroom and doubt-solving sessions in case you fail CFA Exams

Common pitfalls to avoid during the CFA Level 1 application

  • Verify eligibility criteria thoroughly.
  • Provide accurate personal information.
  • Meet registration deadlines.
  • Ensure timely payment of fees.
  • Confirm exam appointment details.
  • Understand exam policies.
  • Start preparation early.
  • Stay informed about exam updates.
  • Seek help for any issues.
  • Maintain professionalism.

Tips for Assessing Personal Eligibility for CFA Level 1

Self-assessment checklist

  • Verify completion of bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Confirm eligibility regarding work experience.
  • Assess English proficiency for exam comprehension.
  • Budget for exam fees and study materials.
  • Allocate time for dedicated exam preparation.
  • Evaluate readiness for rigorous study.
  • Consider alignment of CFA with career goals.
  • Seek support from mentors or study groups.

Resources for additional guidance

Practice questions are aligned with curriculum topics and are provided by the CFA Institute to enhance your comprehension as you study. These resources are complimentary and accessible to all registered candidates across all levels of the CFA program. Additionally, the CFA Institute offers a practice pack for the 2024 exams at an attractive price, providing candidates with valuable preparation materials. Be sure to explore these resources to optimize your exam readiness.

Seeking Advice from CFA Charterholders

Connect with CFA Charterholders who have successfully completed the program. Seek their advice on eligibility requirements, exam preparation strategies, and navigating the CFA journey.

Consider enrolling in the CFA program by IMS Proschool, which comes with comprehensive support and guidance for your CFA exam preparation. These programs provide a structured curriculum, expert instruction, and valuable insights to enhance your chances of success.

Also Read – CFA Exam and Investment Banking. How to become an investment banker


  1. Can a 12th pass apply for CFA Level 1?

Yes, aspirants who have completed their 12th grade can apply for CFA Level 1. However, they must meet the revised eligibility criteria, which now allows students with two years remaining in their undergraduate studies to register and sit for the exam. This means that aspirants can start preparing for CFA Level 1 one year earlier than before the recent change.

  1. Can I take the CFA Level 1 exam before graduation?

The CFA Institute has broadened the eligibility criteria for the CFA Level 1 program since November 1, 2022. Students with two years remaining in their undergraduate studies can register and sit for the CFA Level 1 exam without any delay.

  1. When can I start my CFA Level 1?

You can start preparing for your CFA Level 1 exam as soon as you meet the eligibility criteria. With the expansion of eligibility in November 2022, students with two years remaining in their undergraduate studies can now register and sit for the exam. This means you can start studying and preparing for CFA Level 1 one year earlier than previously allowed.

  1. What is the minimum educational requirement for CFA Level 1?

The minimum educational requirement for CFA Level 1 is a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution.

  1. How is work experience evaluated for CFA Level 1 eligibility?

Work experience is evaluated based on a combination of higher education and/or relevant work experience totaling at least 4,000 hours over a minimum of three sequential years.

  1. Can I pursue CFA Level 1 without relevant work experience?

Yes, you can pursue CFA Level 1 without relevant work experience if you meet the educational requirements and complete the necessary hours of professional work experience or higher education.

  1. Are there specific industries or roles that are more likely to meet CFA Level 1 work experience requirements?

Various industries such as finance, accounting, investment banking, and portfolio management are more likely to provide work experience that aligns with CFA Level 1 requirements.

  1. How important is adherence to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics in the CFA Level 1 eligibility process?

Adherence to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics is crucial in the CFA Level 1 eligibility process as it reflects a candidate’s commitment to professional conduct and ethical behavior, which are fundamental principles of the CFA program.