- Global Financial Standard
- Three CFA Exam Levels
- Rather Low Pass Rates
- CFA Exam Cost
- CFA Exam Topics
- Typical Exam Day
- Language of Testing
- How Long to Prepare for Exam
- CFA Exam Study Planning
The CFA designation is respected worldwide and it is called the golden standard of financial certification. After completing the CFA® Program, candidates get impressive knowledge about finance and ethical grounding. The boost in salary for those who succeed is big. It's even up to 50-70%.
The CFA exam consists of 3 levels. You need to pass all 3 levels. In 2020, the level 1 exam is held in December. As of 2021, it moves from the traditional paper-based testing to computers (read more on the CFA exam and CBT ) and it will be available 4 times a year: in February, May, August, and November. Level 2 and level 3 exams are carried out only in June.
There are around 250 thousand candidates a year. The level 1 pass rate is around 43%. The pass rate grows a bit for level 2 and level 3 – to roughly 45% and over 50%, respectively.
The earlier you register for the exam, the less you pay for it. For the newcomers to the Program, there is a one-time enrollment fee of USD 450. Then, every time you want to take your CFA exam (all levels, incl. retakes), you need to pay a registration fee of USD 700 for early birds or USD 1000 for standard registration. In the registration fee, the access to CFA Program curriculum is included.
The minimum cost of the CFA exam (all 3 levels) is USD 2550. It allows for no retakes and assumes 3 early registration fees.
There are 10 exam topics: Ethics, Quantitative Methods, Economics, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Corporate Finance, Equity Investments, Fixed Income Investments, Derivative Investments, Alternative Investments, and Portfolio Management. At levels 1 and 2, you are tested on all the 10 topics. In the level 3 exam, there is no more FRA, Quantitative Methods, and Corporate Finance.
Each exam level consists of two sessions. For levels 2 and 3, each session lasts 3 hours. For level 1, as of 2021, the total testing time gets reduced from 6 hrs to 4.5 hrs (2x135 minutes).
The exam is given in English. So, to be able to take the exam and prepare for it, you need to have a good command of written English.
It is said that an average candidate needs 300 hours to prepare well for each level of the CFA exam.
We devised the way for successful CFA exam prep with study planning lying at the heart of it. To check our study options, see here . We give you an advanced CFA Exam Study Planner with videos, practice questions, printable notes (e-books), formulas app, mocks, etc. inside. Join us now:
Below you can see both ALL WEEKS and CURRENT WEEK views of our sample level 1 CFA exam study schedule:
CFA Exam Study Plan: All Weeks View That’s where you can view all the weeks of your CFA exam prep to see how much you’ve done and how much is still ahead of you.
Also, here you can customize the plan to your needs using the DRAG & DROP feature (the icon) to move the readings around.
CFA Exam Study Plan: Current Week View You will be asked to focus on your current week of studying. Each week you will find some useful practice tools & compact study materials. At the end of the week, your hard work will be evaluated (hit the SUM UP button).