Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Certification Industry: Investments

Certificate Name: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Certificate Issuing Authority: CFA Institute

Certification Price: Standard Registration: $930 (ends mid February) Late Registration: $1,380 (ends mid March)

Certificate Validity: The CFA designation is not a licensing program and therefore has no expiration date.

Certification Details:

A charterholder is one of the most prestigious accomplishments for an investment professional as it validates their competence in terms of real-world portfolio management and investment analysis. In order to become a charterholder, a professional is supposed to follow a code of ethics and standards by undertaking the membership of the CFA institute.  

Who Should Apply?

The CFA program has three levels of curriculum and a candidate has to pass all the three levels to obtain the CFA charter. The investment professionals skilled in the investment decision-making process should apply for becoming a charterholder. Many times charterholders end up becoming a Portfolio Manager, but there are possibilities for jobs all the way up to the Chief Executive.

CFA Program Requirements

  1. Enrollment Criteria [Any one of the following]

  1. Bachelor’s Degree

  2. Final-Year Student 

  3. Professional Work Experience (4 years/48 months)    

  1. International Travel Passport

  2. English Proficiency 

  3. Professional Conduct Statement form

5. Residence in a Participating Country (OFAC Compliance Policy)

Exam Details:

There are three levels i.e. Level I, II, and III of tests. 

  • Level I: Basic knowledge

  • Level II: Application of the basic knowledge/standards and involves a complex analysis along with valuing assets.

  • Level III: Synthesization and application of the standards in portfolio management and compliance context.

Level I

Level II

Level III

Exam Structure

240 multiple-choice questions

20–30 vignettes supporting 120 multiple choice questions

20–30 vignettes supporting a variable number of constructed response and multiple choice questions

Exam Time

6 hours

6 hours

6 hours

Passing Percentage




Exam Language




More Details

CFA Program Quick Start Guide_Level 1

CFA Program Quick Start Guide_Level 2_v1

CFA Program Quick Start Guide_Level 3_v1

Exam Fee

CFA Program fees include a one-time Enrollment and Registration fee for each exam. This includes:

  1. An eBook containing the entire curriculum. [Print copy also available for $150(non-refundable)]

  2. An Interactive Study Planner to keep one on track along with practice tests on various topics and mock exams.

  3. A Mobile App for studying and using all of the above.

  • Various scholarships are available.

To get the “early bird discount”, one should apply 9 months before the Exam Date.

Time Taken To Prepare For The Exams

In order to be thorough with the preparation, a candidate must take the CFA review course. The CFA Institute recommends:

  • At least 300 hours of study

  • About 6 months of preparation time for each exam 

The average time taken to complete the CFA Program is four years.

For more details, log on to CFA Program.