Program details of CFA

The CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) program requires rigorous and hard work for clearing the exams. It mainly involves study of financial instruments, portfolio management and equity research. Before taking a plunge in this program, go through the following syllabus –


  • The subjects are:
    o Ethical and Professional Standards
    o Quantitative Methods (only LI and LII)
    o Economics
    o Financial Reporting and Analysis (only LI and LII)
    o Corporate Finance (only LI and LII)
    o Equity Investments
    o Fixed Income
    o Derivatives
    o Alternative Investments
    o Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning
  • Level I: Focuses on basic concepts in finance. Highest weight on Ethical and Professional Standards and Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • Level II: More complex type of analysis, focusing on the valuation of different types of assets. Highest weightage on Financial Reporting and Analysis and Equity Investments
  • Level III: Highest weightage on Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning

Exam format:

  • Level I: All multiple choice questions where you have to choose one out of three
  • Level II: All questions are again multiple choice but they now appear in item sets (usually 6 questions for one item set) instead of singly.
  • Level III: Item sets and Essay questions. Essay questions should not really be answered by ‘essays’, rather they should be 4-5 sentence subjective answers like the type we answered while we were in school

Exam difficulty level: Generally, the CFA exam is seen as a tough exam and the passing percentage is usually around 40%

  • Of the 3 levels, level I is usually seen as the easiest and level II the toughest
  • Candidates not making the mark can retake the test in the next season

Registration body

  •  CFA Institute

Fees (do confirm with  CFA Institute website for the latest fee):

  • One-time enrollment fee: ~$450 (only at the time of Level 1)
  • Level I, II and III registration: $600- $1200 per level (depending on if you register early or late)

Exam dates:

  • Level I: Generally conducted twice a year on the 1st Sunday in June and December
  • Level II & III: Generally conducted once a year on the 1st Sunday in June

Exam Duration: All levels are 6 hours long, split into 2 three-hour sessions each

  • Morning session: 9:00am – 12:00pm (Candidates are required to be in the classroom by 8:30am)
  • Afternoon session: 2:00pm – 5:00pm (Candidates are required to be in the classroom by 1:30pm)

Materials to bring to exam:

  • Admission ticket
  • HB pencils (or #2 pencils) and pens
  • Eraser
  • Calculator – only 2 types are allowed:
    o Texas Instruments BA II Plus (including BA II Plus Professional)
    o Hewlett Packard 12C (including the HP 12C Platinum, 12C Platinum 25th anniversary edition, 12C 30th anniversary edition, and HP 12C Prestige)
  • Valid Passport (required item, so do get one if you don’t have one yet)
    o Do make sure the name you have on your passport matches exactly with the name on your CFA admission ticket
  • No type of paper or parchment is allowed inside (even as mundane as the paper lining the base of your pencil box or eraser cover)
  • Smart phones or smart watches are not allowed
  • Food and drinks are not allowed

CFA Institute does not endorse, promote, or warrant the accuracy or quality of the products or services offered by IMS Proschool.   CFA® Program are trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

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