CFA Exam Details – CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst is one of the highest distinctions you can earn in the investment management profession. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute (USA) awards this charter to experienced financial and investment professionals, and it boosts your finance credentials.

CFA Exam Details – the CFA program consists of three exams –

  1. CFA Level 1
  2. CFA Level 2
  3. CFA Level 3

The exams are conducted in June at test centers across the world. CFA Level 1 exam is also conducted in December.

CFA Exam Details and Syllabus

The examinations cover –

CFA Level 1 Tools

  • Tools and concepts that apply to investment valuation and portfolio management
  • Basic concepts regarding asset classes, securities, and markets
  • CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standard of Professional Conduct

CFA Level 2 – Asset Valuation

  • Application of tools and concepts of investment valuation
  • Industry and company analysis
  • Analysis of investment vehicles and instruments
  • CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct

CFA Level 3 – Portfolio Management

  • Management of Institutional and individual portfolios
  • Management of specific asset class portfolio
  • CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct


CFA Exam Format

CFA Level 1 CFA Level 2 CFA Level 3
Exam Structure 240 MCQs 20–30 vignettes supporting 120 MCQs 20–30 vignettes supporting a variable number of constructed response and MCQs
Exam Length Morning session: 3 hours; 120 questions Morning session: 3 hours; 10–15 vignettes supporting 60 questions Morning session: 3 hours; 8–15 vignettes supporting constructed response questions
Afternoon session: 3 hours; 120 questions Afternoon session: 3 hours; 10–15 vignettes supporting 60 questions Afternoon session: 3 hours; 10–15 vignettes supporting 60 multiple choice questions
Question Format MCQs Vignette-supported MCQs Vignette-supported constructed response questions and vignette-supported MCQs
Exam Results Availability Within 60 days of taking the exam Within 60 days of taking the exam Within 90 days of taking the exam
Level Advancement Meet CFA Program enrollment requirements Pass Level I CFA exam Pass Level II CFA exam
Pass Rate 43% 45% 56%

CFA Exam Fees

As of January 2020, you would need to pay a one-time enrollment fee of $450 the first time you register for the CFA Level I exam.


CFA Exam Eligibility

You should meet any of the following criteria –

Bachelor’s Degree – You should have completed your Bachelor’s degree or equivalent


Final-Year Student – You may register for the CFA Level 1 Exam, but you would need to complete my degree program before being registered for CFA Level 2


Professional Experience –

  • You may have a combination of four years of full-time work experience and/or higher education
  • You must have a valid passport
  • Exams will be taken only in English, so you must be fluent in the language
  • Ensure you meet the professional conduct admission criteria


How to Become CFA Certified?

You would need to follow the following process to become a CFA –

  • Take up the CFA Program
  • Clear the CFA Level 1 exam, conducted in June or December (over 170 cities in June and over 70 cities in December, globally)
  • Clear the CFA Level 2 exam, held only in June
  • Clear the CFA Level 3 exam, held only in June
  • Get CFA Institute membership

FAQs Related to CFA Exam 

Why should I go for CFA Certification?

  • A CFA charter can add great value to your resume
  • Since the examination is pretty tough, you will have a strong grounding in finance by then and you will gain expertise to deal with finance issues at organizational levels
  • CFA charter is among the most recognized professional qualifications in finance globally, allowing you to work in the country of your interest
  • CFA charter holders earn 54% higher median salary than non-CFA charter holders, so expect a higher pay package in the longer run

Which skills are necessary to become a CFA professional?

Crucial skills you would need to become a CFA professional are –

  • Complete knowledge of accounting and financial procedures
  • Understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Working knowledge of accounting software, like FreeAgent, Zoho Books, QuickBooks Online, Xero, among others
  • Advanced MS Excel knowledge and excel modeling skills
  • Good data analysis skills

Who can become a CFA professional?

Any finance professional can get CFA certified, such as –

  • Commerce graduates
  • Freshers
  • Quantitative analysts
  • Business analysts
  • MBA students looking to make a career in finance
  • Budget analysts
  • Insurance sales agents
  • Accountants
  • Loan officers
  • Personal financial advisors
  • Finance analysts
  • Staff/Corporate accountants
  • Assistant project managers
  • Assistant finance managers

All the Best!


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