(Bloomberg) -- The pass rate for the Chartered Financial Analyst Level I exam administered in May was the lowest since testing began in 1963.

Twenty-five percent of applicants passed the latest test, down from 44% for those who sat for the February examination, according to the CFA Institute’s website. The 10-year average pass rate is 42%.

An official at the CFA Institute didn’t immediately provide a comment.

Passing all three CFA exams can lead to higher salaries and better job opportunities. Candidates on average study 300 hours for each level and take four years to complete the series.

Historically, the institute offered all three levels of the test on paper in June, and another chance to take the first part in December. After transitioning to computer-based testing, the institute now offers the exams more times throughout the year. The first computer-based exam was administered in February.

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