What is CFA® Exam?

Exam based on finance conducted by CFA® institute (www.cfainstitute.org)

The Chartered Financial Analyst Program, administered by CFA® institute, USA offers a graduate level curriculum and examination program designed to expand your working knowledge and practical skills related to investment decision making. Each of the CFA® programs three levels builds on the preceding one & each concludes with a full day (six hour) examination. Candidates must pass each examination before advancing to the next higher level but are permitted to repeat an examination if they fail to pass.

Guidelines for Registering

Before you enroll in the CFA® Program and register for your Level I exam

Have A Bachelor’s (Or Equivalent) Degree

  • Or be in the final year of your bachelor’s degree program at the time of registration.
  • Or have four years of qualified, professional work experience.
  • Or have a combination of work and college experience that totals at least four years (Note: Summer, part-time, and internship positions do not qualify).
  • If you initially enroll / register as a final year undergraduate student with a degree in progress, you must update your account education information prior to Level II registration. Valid international travel passport (required for enrollment and exam registration).
  • Minimum time to pass all three Levels: 1.5 years.
  • Average time: 4 years.
  • Recommended 250 Hrs of study for each exam level.

CFA® charter holder membership requirements include but not limited to 48 months of acceptable professional work experience and passing the Level I, Level II, and Level III exams.

Exam Structure

  • The exam is structured as 3 Levels: Level I, II and III. Level I Exam is conducted twice every year in June and December. Level I and III Exams are conducted only once every year in June every year.
  • Exam format: Level I & II are completely multiple choice. Level III has one written paper and one paper which is multiple choice.
LevelType of QuestionsNumber of QuestionsDuration of the Exam
IMultiple Choice2402 Exams of 3 Hrs Each
IIMultiple Choice vignette Style1202 Exams of 3 Hrs Each
III50% essay type, 50% multiple choice602 Exams of 3 Hrs Each

Note: From 2021 onwards CFA® L 1 exam will be conducted online in two sessions having 90 questions in each session


SUBJECT WISE WEIGHTAGE (Figures in percentage)

Topic AreaLevel ILevel IILevel III
Ethical and Professional Standards1510 – 1510 – 15
Quantitative Methods105 – 100
Economics105 – 105 – 10
Financial Reporting and Analysis1510 – 150
Corporate Finance105 – 100
Equity Investments1110 – 1510 – 15
Fixed Income1110 – 1515 – 20
Derivatives65 – 105 – 10
Alternative Investments65 – 105 – 10
Portfolio Management65 – 1535 – 40
All Items100100100


ParticularsLevel ILevel IILevel III
Exam Date(s)June, DecemberJuneJune
Morning Session (9am to 12noon)120 MCQ10 Item Sets12/15 Essays
Afternoon Session (2pm to 5pm)120 MCQ10 Item Sets10 Item Sets
Exam Result(s)July, JanuaryJulyAugust
Global Past Pass Percentage40 – 44%44 – 48%50 – 54%


Program Enrollment Fees$450 
December exam (level I)FEESLast date
Early$65014 Mar
Standard$95012 Sep
June exam (level I,II,III)FEESLast date
Early$65010 Oct
Standard$95013 Feb
Late$1,38013 Mar

Top 10 Employers of CFA® Charter holders (Global Vs India)

Bank of AmericaCitigroup
CitigroupDeutsche Bank
Credit SuisseEdelweiss Capital
Deutsche BankFMR Corp.
HSBCFranklin Templeton
JP Morgan ChaseHDFC
Morgan StanleyHSBC
UBSJP Morgan
Wells FargoMorgan Stanley