CFA® Exam Questions: What They Look Like

CFA practice tests

Wondering about CFA exam questions? We got you. Here are a few questions from a Level 1 CFA exam, which is, in theory at least, the easiest one. Keep in mind the full exam is six hours and consists of 240 multiple-choice questions. Check out these questions, answers, and explanations pulled directly from CFA Institute to see what CFA exam questions look like:

1. QUESTION: A portfolio of securities representing a given security market, market segment, or asset class is best described as a:

A) Benchmark

B) Security market index

C) Total return index


Rationale: A security market index represents a given security market, market segment, or asset class and is normally constructed as portfolios of marketable securities.

2. QUESTION: Colin Gifford, CFA, is finalizing a monthly newsletter to his clients, who are primarily individual investors. Many of the clients’ accounts hold the common stock of Capricorn Technologies. In the newsletter, Gifford writes, “Based on the next six months’ earnings of $1.50 per share and a 10% increase in the dividend, the price of Capricorn’s stock will be $22 per share by the end of the year.” Regarding his stock analysis, the least appropriate action Gifford should take to avoid violating any CFA Institute Standards of Professional Conduct would be to:

A) Separate fact from opinion

B) Include earnings estimates

C) Identify limitations of the analysis


Rationale: Although pro forma analysis may be standard industry practice, it is not required by the Standards of Professional Conduct. Earnings estimates are opinions and must be clearly identified as such. It is also important for investors to be able to identify limitations of analysis when making investment decisions.

3. QUESTION: Cost-push inflation is least likely to be affected by an increase in:

A) Employee wages

B) Finished goods prices

C) Commodity prices


Rationale: Cost-push inflation arises due to increases in costs associated with production: wages and raw materials prices.

4. QUESTION: Labor markets are best described as a type of:

A) Capital market

B) Goods market

C) Factor market


Rationale: Factor markets are markets for the purchase and sale of factors of production. Labor markets are a type of factor market in which households offer to sell their labor services.

5. QUESTION: A corporation issues five-year fixed-rate bonds. Its treasurer expects interest rates to decline for all maturities for at least the next year. She enters into a one-year agreement with a bank to receive quarterly fixed-rate payments and to make payments based on floating rates benchmarked on three-month LIBOR. This agreement is best described as a:

A) Futures contract

B) Forward contract

C) Swap


Rationale: A swap is a series of forward payments. Specifically, a swap is an agreement between two parties to exchange a series of future cash flows. The corporation receives fixed-interest-rate payments and makes variable-interest-rate payments. Given that the contract is for one year and the floating rate is based on three-month Libor, at least four payments will be made during the year.

6. QUESTION: An industry characterized by rising volumes, improving profitability, falling prices, and relatively low competition among companies is most likely in which of the following life-cycle stages?

A) Growth

B) Mature

C) Embryonic


Rationale: An industry in growth stage is characterized by rising volumes, improving profitability, falling prices, and relatively low competition among companies.

7. QUESTION: To evaluate the potential effect of an innovative and unique type of business transaction on financial statements, an analyst’s best approach is to:

A) Monitor the actions of standard setters and regulators

B) Gain an understanding of the transaction’s economic purpose

C) Consider the approach taken for “new” transactions that arose in the past


Rationale: By understanding the economic purpose of a transaction and applying the conceptual framework, an analyst may be able to evaluate the potential effect on financial statements, even in the absence of specific standards.

Source: CFA Institute

If you are prepping for an upcoming Level 1 CFA® exam, check out these top 5 pointers for the Level 1 CFA exam. And if you want to take your test-prep game to a whole new level, click here for our FREE trial. We’ll have you ready to ace the test on exam day.

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