The CFA Program is a globally recognized, graduate level curriculum that provides a strong foundation of real-world investment analysis and portfolio management skills along with the practical knowledge you need in today’s investment industry. Each year, tens of thousands of candidates enroll in the CFA Program and sit for the exams in test centers all over the world. Completing the CFA Program confirms a mastery of the rigorous CFA curriculum, signifies passing all 3 exam levels, and is one of the requirements for earning the CFA charter.
How It Benefits Your Career
While most graduate school programs cover a broad range of topics, the CFA Program focuses specifically on investment knowledge, and the self-study format allows you to continue working full time as you progress towards earning the charter.
A Global Community
One of the most important components of this global community of CFA charterholders is the network of local member societies that work with both candidates and members in specific locations around the world.
Have four years of qualified investment work experience,
Become a regular member of CFA Institute,
Pledge to adhere to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct,
Apply for membership to a local CFA member society, and
Complete the CFA Program.
Level I exam format
The Level I exams include 240 total multiple choice questions, 120 on the morning session of the exam and 120 on the afternoon session. Each multiple choice question is free-standing (not dependent on other questions) and has three possible answers: A, B, and C. All questions are equally weighted and there is no penalty for guessing.
Level II exam format
The Level II CFA exam consists of 20 item sets — 10 in the morning session of the exam and 10 in the afternoon session.
Item sets are sometimes called “mini-cases.” Each item set on the CFA exam consists of a vignette (or case statement) and six multiple choice items (questions).
On the Level II exam, you will have a total of 120 items (20 vignettes with 6 items each) compared to 240 multiple choice items on the Level I exam.
The Level II exam is graded for 360 points, corresponding to the number of minutes on the exam. The 120 Level II items are equally weighted, 3 points each, with no penalty for guessing.
Level III exam format
The Level III exam uses the essay format in the morning, and the item set format, with 10 item sets, in the afternoon.
The Level III exams are graded for 360 points, corresponding to the number of minutes on the exam. At Level III, the morning essay exam is 180 points and the afternoon item set exam is 180 points.
The Level III essay exam is given in the morning session and has a maximum score of 180 points. The essay exam typically has 10–15 questions, and questions may have multiple parts. The point value for each question is provided in the exam.