India sees 20% YoY growth in Chartered Financial Analyst® Level I exam takers

Bangalore: CFA Institute, the global association of investment management professionals, reports that 43% of the 68,086 candidates who took the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) Level I exam in December 2017 have passed. India recorded a 20% YoY growth in number of exam takers, with 6,889 candidates appearing this year as compared to 5,737 in 2016. Mumbai (3,377) recorded the highest number of candidates tested, followed by New Delhi (1,761), Bengaluru (1,048) and Kolkata (703).

These successful candidates now progress to Level II of the CFA Program®, the second of three steps toward earning the CFA® designation, one of the most respected and recognised investment management designations in the world. The December 2017 exam saw continued growth of more than 14% from 2016 in the number of Level I candidates tested. Regionally, Asia Pacific continues to be the largest source of candidates, with 38,150 exam takers. Globally, India registered the third largest number of exam takers after China (19,598) and the United States of America (12,126).

“The strong growth in CFA Program candidates in India is the result of robust growth in the Indian investment management industry. Our members and candidates work as securities analysts, portfolio managers, wealth advisors, and in other investment decision making roles. Strong financial flows into the domestic asset management industry, as well as the growth of global shared services centres has resulted in higher demand for talent. I congratulate the passing Level 1 candidates for taking the first step on their exciting journey towards becoming a world class investment professional,” said Vidhu Shekhar, CFA, Country Head, India, CFA Institute. To accommodate growing interest in the CFA Program and candidate growth in India, CFA Institute plans to add five more new test centers for the June 2018 exam cycle including Hyderabad in India.

The CFA Program is a globally-recognised graduate level curriculum that provides a strong foundation for real-world investment analysis and portfolio management skills combined with the practical knowledge needed in today’s investment industry. To earn the charter, candidates must pass all three levels of the exam, considered to be the most rigorous in the investment profession; 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; and become a member of CFA Institute. Less than one in five candidates who begin the program end up successfully earning the charter. It takes most candidates more than three years to complete the CFA Program (View historic pass rates). For more information on the CFA Program including the course of study, visit

The December Level I exam was administered in 119 test centers in 76 cities across 40 countries worldwide. In total, 56% of global CFA Program candidates were from APAC, with growth fueled by a high number of women (38% vs. 32% globally) and students (28% vs. 23% globally).