How the CFA® Level 1 Mock Exam Compares to the Actual Exam

A cfa student analyzing the results of the cfa mock exams

One of the best tools for studying and gauging how prepared you are for test day is the mock exam. The CFA Institute (CFAI) makes mock exams available in the Learning Ecosystem about two months before each test date, and many third-party providers (including UWorld Finance) offer mock exams.

The inference is that the mock exams are representative of the real thing, but how similar are they? Can you trust your results on the mock exam to be like your results on test day? Several factors affect the answers to these questions, so let’s take a look.


The questions on the mock exams should cover similar material to what you will see on the actual CFA Exam. The questions from the CFAI mock exams, question banks (QBanks), and practice questions are all based on the curriculum for the exam you are taking. On the CFAI mock exams, you will see similar questions on the same topics you will encounter on test day. And the questions will also have the same level of difficulty as the actual exam.

Summary: You can safely rely on the CFAI mock exams to reflect what you will see on the actual CFA exam in terms of content.


Knowing and understanding the exam structure can make a huge difference in how you perform on test day. Luckily, the CFAI mock exams also follow the same structure as the real exam. Each mock exam is structured and weighted like the official exam, and all of the questions are presented in the same format as you will encounter on test day.

Summary: As far as structure goes, there should be no surprises on test day if you take the mock exams.


The question everyone wants to know is, “If I score well on my mock exam, does that mean I will score well on test day?” It’s hard to say since no one person will have the exact same experience as another. Some students leave their exam feeling like it was easier and that they scored better than on the mock exams, while others have the opposite experience.

That said, from our experience, most students who do well on their mock exams — let’s say scoring over 70% — tend to have similar or even better results on the actual CFA Level 1 Exam. So, if you can take the mock exams and replicate the test day environment as closely as possible, chances are that your results will be similar on test day.

Why Use UWorld With the CFAI Prep Materials?

When you register for the CFA Exam, CFAI sends you the entire curriculum for the Level you are taking. It is a lot of material, and anything in the curriculum can be tested on the exam, so it is no easy feat to work through all that information on your own.

That’s why when you partner with UWorld for your CFA Exam prep, in addition to the CFAI materials, you will receive all the tools you need to study the volume of material in the CFAI in a more efficient, effective, and organized way. You will be able to track your progress, create customizable practice tests, and use our digital flashcards with spaced repetition.

And, along with the  CFAI QBank and mock exams, you will also have access to UWorld’s expertly written QBank of 2,000 additional practice questions plus practice exams. So, partner with us to optimize your chances of success on exam day!

Get started with a FREE Trial of our CFA Level 1 Learning Platform today.

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