Chartered Financial Analyst Exam Prep

How to Become a CFA Charterholder

To earn the CFA Charter, Candidates must pass a series of 3 exams and have relevant work experience.

The Level I CFA exam focuses on a broad range of topics including Ethics, Quantitative Methods, Financial Statement Analysis, Economics, Security Analysis and Portfolio Management. The Level I CFA exam consists of 240 stand alone multiple choice questions.

The Level II CFA exam narrows the focus towards specific concepts within the same broad range of topics studied at Level I. The Level II CFA exam consists of Item Sets, which are a series of 6 questions directly  related to 1 or 2 pages of data.

The Level III CFA exam focuses on the portfolio management application of the material studied at Levels I and II. The Level III CFA exam consists of Item Sets and written essay questions, or what CFA Institute refers to as, constructed response questions.

Successful candidates create a study plan that combines reading of the CFA Curriculum and working through as many CFA practice questions as they can.

Doing CFA practice questions as you move through the readings is a powerful way to refresh and retain the details.


The following chart provides the approximate exam weightings for each topic at each CFA exam level:


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%

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