The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program is a professional credential offered internationally by the American-based CFA Institute (formerly the Association for Investment Management and Research, or AIMR) to investment and financial professionals.
The exam is a six-hour exam, broken into a morning and afternoon session, each being three hours long. The exam consists of 240 multiple-choice questions: 120 questions in the morning session and 120 questions in the afternoon session.
This exam (in addition to other requirements) must be passed for an individual to become a CFA charter holder. The CFA program is a globally recognized standard for measuring the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Level 1 focuses on tools and concepts that apply to investment valuation and management.
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is regarded by most to be the key certification for investment professionals, especially in the areas of research and portfolio management. It is, however, one of many designations used today.
The CFA Program includes a series of three exams; Levels I, II, and III. The exams: Are offered annually — at test centers around the world — on the first Saturday in June. The Level I exam is also offered in December.
The exam content, learning focus, and question format increase in complexity with each level.
An example showing the increase in complexity is the ethical and professional standards curriculum content. This content is similar for each exam level; however, candidates are asked different types of questions:
|27 July 2016||Registration for the June 2017 exam opens after 9 a.m. ET|
|Upon registration||Topic tests available|
|21 September 2016||21 September 2016|
|January 2017||Mock exams available|
|3 February 2017||Awareness Scholarship application deadline|
|15 February 2017||Standard registration fee deadline|
|15 March 2017||Final (late) registration fee deadline|
|20 March 2017||Final deadline for disability and religious alternate date requests to be received|
|18 April 2017||Test center change request deadline|
|May 2017||Exam admission tickets available|
|3 June 2017||Exam day|
|June–July 2017||Exams graded|
|July 2017||Level I and II exam results available|
|August 2017||Level III exam results available|
To enroll in the CFA Program and register for your first Level I exam, you must have:
Undergraduate education: A bachelor's (or equivalent) degree or be in the final year of your bachelor's degree program (when you register for the Level II exam, you will be required to update your education information), or
Work experience: Four years of professional work experience (does not have to be investment related), or A combination of professional work experience and education that totals at least four years (part-time positions do not qualify, and the four-year total must be accrued prior to enrollment).
A one-time program enrollment fee is required when you register for your first Level I CFA Program exam. You must also pay the exam registration fee (see below for deadlines).
|Program enrollment fee (Approx)||US$ 450‡|
All registration deadlines end at 11:59 pm ET.June 2017 Exam (Levels I, II, and III)
|Early registration fee||UDeadline passed||Deadline passed|
|Standard registration fee(Approx)||US$ 930‡||(ends 15 February)|
|Late registration fee (Approx)||US$ 1,380‡||US$ 1,380‡|