CFA designation / FAQ / How Hard Is the CFA Certification to Get?

CFA designation / FAQ / Chapter 2


CHAPTER 2: How Hard Is the CFA Certification to Get?

Is it hard to get the CFA certification? Well, everyone speaks for themselves. What I know is that it is not easy for sure.

For one thing, there are lots of requirements to be met. Both before enrolling to the CFA Program and after passing all the levels of the CFA exam.

When I decided to enter the program, I’ve already had my university degree. So, this part was smooth and nice for me. I could become a CFA candidate right away.

How Hard Is the CFA Certification to Get?

Not so easy though for earning my CFA charter, I’m afraid. When becoming the CFA candidate, I had a bit of work experience in my résumé, some of it finance-related. The jobs I did, however, involved little of investment decision making and to be able to become a CFA charterholder you need at least 48 months of qualified work experience in investment decision making.

But I still had my time to achieve what I needed as I progressed on my CFA path.

It took me almost 4 years to pass all the 3 levels of the CFA exam. I was no better than an average candidate I guess. What I managed to do, however, was to pass my CFA level 1 exam at the first attempt. It impressed my employer who promoted me to a position more responsible and better paid. I was moved to the investment decision and risk management department. Thanks to it, when I finally succeeded in my CFA level 3 exam, all I had to do was wait just a couple of months until I was eligible for gaining my CFA charter.

Of course, the real struggle on my way to becoming a CFA charterholder was the CFA exam itself. Composed of 3 levels, each with its own area of focus. Devoured my time, physical and intellectual strength, some relationships and money. Still, from where I am now, it wasn’t that bad...

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