About CFA® Program

For the most up-to-date information about the CFA Program, please refer to the official website at https://www.cfainstitute.org/programs/cfa

Gold Standard - The CFA charter equips you not only to enter the profession, but also to excel at all stages of your career

What do CFA® charterholders do in real world?

According to CFA Institute website, the top five global chaterholder roles are

  • Portfolio manager

  • Research analyst

  • Chief Level Executive

  • Consultant

  • Risk manager


Exam format

(Computer-based Testing)

Level I

  • Session 1: A total of 90 MC questions

  • Session 2: A total of 90 MC questions

Level II

  • Session 1: 11 item sets, total 44 MC questions

  • Session 2: 11 item sets, total 44 MC questions

Level III

  • Session1: 9-12 essay-style questions

  • Session 2: 11 item sets, total 44 MC questions

*each session last for 2hr 15m

CFA® Program overview

  • The CFA designation is recognized widely by employers globally

  • Aim at fluency in practical investment analysis skills

  • Consists of three levels of examinations

  • Level I exam is offered four times a year

  • Level II & III exam are offered twice a year 

How do I enter the CFA® Program?

  • A bachelor's (or equivalent) degree or be in the final year of you bachelor's degree program OR four years of professional work experience (does not have to be investment related) OR a combination of the above that totals at least four years that accrued prior to enrollment.

Becoming a CFA® Charterholder

  • Pass all three levels of exam

  • Accrued (before or after the exam) a total of 48 months of relevant work experiences

  • Submit 2-3 sponsor statements

  • Join CFA Institute as a Regular Member


Enrollment fee (for Level I new candidates only)

  • US$450

Exam registration fee

  • US$700 (early) or US$1,000 (standard)

* the fees cover the official curriculum (e-book & pdf), online practice questions and mock exams

Topic Area Weights

                                                                 Level I       Level II      Level III

Ethical & Professional Standards                  15-20%       10-15%     10-15%

Quantitative Methods                                  8-12%         5-10%          -

Economics                                                  8-12%         5-10%       5-10%

Financial Reporting & Analysis                      13-17%       10-15%         -

Corporate Finance                                       8-12%         5-10%          -

Equity Investments                                      10-12%      10-15%     10-15%

Fixed Income                                              10-12%      10-15%     15-20%

Derivatives                                                   5-8%         5-10%      5-10%

Alternative Investments                                 5-8%         5-10%      5-10%

Portfolio Management & Wealth Planning       5-8%         5-15%      35-40%

Total                                                            100%         100%       100%