Thirty-eight percent of applicants passed the first test, the CFA Institute said in an e-mailed statement today, down from the 39 percent who passed the June exam. Thirty-six percent of candidates passed the Level 1 exam in December 2010.
Almost 49,400 financial professionals sat for the latest test, a 6 percent increase from a year earlier, as they sought to gain a hiring edge following a decline in the number of U.S.
financial-industry jobs, according to the CFA. Applicants take the test hoping the certification can lead to better jobs, higher salaries and a deeper understanding of finance.
Candidates can take the Level 1 exam in both June and December, unlike the two latter levels, which are available once a year.