What is Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)?

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Before starting the course on Chartered Financial Analyst, let’s understand what is Chartered Financial Analyst? The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) program is a globally-recognised professional certification program offered by the US-based CFA Institute (formerly the Association for Investment Management and Research, or AIMR). It consists of series of three exams namely Level I, II and III. These exams are conducted twice in a year at various centers across the world.

what is Chartered Financial Analyst

What is Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter?

A candidate who successfully passes all three level of examination is awarded CFA Charter. The CFA Charter is particularly useful for investment and financial professionals

CFA Level I

The CFA level I exam consists of 240 multiple choice questions. The exam is conducted in two sessions of 3 hours each. Each session has 120 multiple choice questions covering all the topics.

CFA Level II

The CFA level II exam consists of 120 multiple choice questions


The CFA Level III exam consists of item set and constructed response (essay) and item set questions:

  • Morning session: Constructed response (essay) questions (usually between 8 and 12 questions, each with several subparts) with a maximum of 180 points. (The point value for each question is provided in the exam book.)
  • Afternoon session: 11 item set questions (8 vignettes with 6 items each and 3 vignettes with 4 items each, for a total of 11 vignettes)

CFA Curriculum

The topics that are covered in CFA along with their weightage are:

Topic Weightage
  Level I Level II Level III
Ethical and Professional 15% 10%-15% 10%-15%
Quantitative Methods 10% 5%-10% NIL
Economics 10% 5%-10% 5%-10%
Financial Reporting and Analysis 15% 10%-15% NIL
Corporate Finance 10% 5%-10% NIL
Equity Investments 11% 10%-15% 10%-15%
Fixed Income 11% 10%-15% 15%-20%
Derivatives 6% 5%-10% 5%-10%
Alternative Investments 6% 5%-10% 5%-10%
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning 6% 5%-15% 35%-40%

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