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 – before enrolling in the CFA Program and after passing the CFA exam.

When I decided to enter the CFA 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 all so easy for earning my CFA charter, though. When becoming a 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.

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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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Because passing your CFA exam is all about your attitude, not aptitude.
You CAN do it if you know HOW to do it!