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CFA level I and II pass rates unchanged as test-taking at record

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(Bloomberg) — The same percentage of hopefuls for the Chartered Financial Analyst designation passed the first and second levels of their three-part exam in June compared with a year earlier.

Forty-two percent of applicants passed the first level of the test, while 46 percent achieved the second level, the Charlottesville, Virginia-based CFA Institute said Tuesday in a statement on its website. Results for the third level of the exam will be released in August.

Candidates can take the Level 1 exam in both June and December, while Level 2 and Level 3 are only offered in June. A record 159,889 candidates from 174 countries registered to sit for the exam last month, an increase of 7.4 percent from a year earlier, the CFA Institute said.

Certification can lead to better jobs, higher salaries and a deeper understanding of finance. Successful charter recipients spend an average of 300 hours preparing for each exam and typically take four years to complete all three tests, according to the not-for-profit institute.

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