CFA® Program

What is the CFA Program?

The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) is one of the most respected and recognized investment designation in the world. The CFA® Program curriculum covers concepts and skills which you will use at all stages of your career. The Program connects academic theory with current practice and Ethical and Professional Standards to build a strong foundation of Investment Analysis, Corporate Finance, Valuations, Portfolio Management and Global Finance.

It is the globally recognized mark of distinction and benchmark for measuring the expertise, experience, and ethics of investment professionals. CFA Institute has more than 130,604 Members in 150 countries. There are 123,315 Charter holders worldwide.

Eligibility and Requirements

To enroll in the CFA® Program, a candidate must:

  • Be prepared to take the exams in English
  • Must have a valid international travel passport and

One of the following:

  • Undergraduate education: A bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree or be in the final year of your bachelor’s degree program
  • Work experience: Four years of professional work experience
  • A combination of professional work experience and education that totals at least four years

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Exam Format

CFA exam comprises three levels, a candidate has to pass all three levels sequentially in order to fulfill the requirements for gaining the Charter.

Exam for all levels occurs on first Saturday of June/December (December for level 1 only). For all levels exam occurs in a two sessions of three hours on same day (morning and afternoon session).

  • There is no negative marking for incorrect answers
  • Level 1 exam is a multiple choice exam with 120 questions from all subjects in one session. Multiple choice questions have 3 choices out of which only 1 is correct
  • Level 2 exam is caselet based exam comprising of 10 caselets from various subjects in each session. Multiple choice questions are same as CFA level 1 with three options and one correct. The number of questions is 60 per session. So each caselet have 6 questions
  • Level 3 exam is subjective in morning, where number of case studies (with sub questions) usually varies from 9 to 11. The afternoon session of the exam is similar to Level 2 exam, caselet based, multiple choice, and 60 questions

Exam Cookbook

CFA exam entails a wide array of financial disciplines in order to educate a candidate to carve his/her way in the financial world. The various topics of study and their weights are as follows:

Subject Weights

Topic Area Level I Level II Level III
Ethical and Professional Standards 15% 10-15% 10-15%
Quantitative Methods 12% 5-10% 0%
Economics 10% 5-10% 5-15%
Financial Reporting and Analysis 20% 15-20% 0%
Corporate Finance 7% 5-15% 0%
Equity Investments 10% 15-25% 5-15%
Fixed Income 10% 10-20% 10-20%
Derivatives 5% 5-15% 5-15%
Alternative Investments 4% 5-10% 5-15%
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning 7% 5-10% 40-55%
Total 100 100 100

Note: These weights are regularly updated by CFA institute and are intended to guide the curriculum and exam development processes. Actual exam weights may vary slightly from year to year. Please note that some topics are combined for testing purposes.

Fees and Deadlines

Enrollment Fee
There is a one-time program enrollment fee when you register for your first CFA Program Level I exam.

Program enrollment fee US$ 450

Exam Registration Fees and Deadlines
June 2016 Exam (Levels I, II, and III)

Early registration fee US$ 650 (ends 23 September 2015)
Standard registration fee US$ 860 (ends 17 February 2016)
Late registration fee US$ 1,280 (ends 16 March 2016)

December 2015 Exam (Level I only)

Early registration fee Deadline passed (ended 18 March 2015)
Standard registration fee US$ 825 (ends 19 August 2015)
Late registration fee US$ 1,210 (ends 16 September 2015)

Modes of Payment

The different modes of payment available for a candidate to pay fees are as follows:

  • Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diner’s Club, JCB, and Discover
  • Personal check, corporate check, or bank check (i.e., certified check, cashier’s check)
  • Money order or postal order (including Western Union)
  • Wire or ACH (contact for instructions)
  • All payments must be made in US dollars

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Market Dynamics



The number of charter holders is increasing every year in India, However, the supply is far lesser than the current and anticipated demand.



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