You are currently viewing About CFA Exam

About CFA Exam

CFA Examination Format

To pass the CFA, candidates take three sequential exams:

  • Level I
  • Level II
  • Level III

Candidates for the charter must pass each sequential test before advancing to the next level. The three levels cover different aspects of the CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK). A candidate who makes excellent progress can finish all 3 levels and be awarded the charter in 3 years.

Also Read this Article….

What is CFA Program
How to become CFA
CFA Exam Level- I
CFA Exam Level- II
CFA Exam Level- III
  • Level I exams: Multiple ChoiceLevel I multiple choice questions are crafted with each of the incorrect responses (distracters) carefully constructed to represent common mistakes in either calculation or logic. A Level I examination consists of 240 questions to be completed in a 6 hour time frame.
  • Level II exams: Item SetThe Level II CFA exam consists of 20 item sets -10 on the morning session of the examination and 10 on the afternoon session. Item sets are sometimes called “mini-cases”. Each item set on the CFA examination consists of a vignette (or case statement) and 6 multiple choice items (questions).
  • Level III exams: Item Set and EssayThe Level III examination uses the essay format in the morning session and the item set format, with 10 item sets, in the afternoon session. The Level III essay examination is given in the morning session and has a maximum score of 180 points. The essay examination typically has 10-15 questions, and questions may have multiple parts. The points for each question and each question part are given in the examination.

Registration usually opens about 11 months before each examination; register early to take advantage of the fee schedule and to have enough time to study and prepare for the examination. Ethical and professional standards are emphasized in all three levels.


  • It is necessary to have a bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree, or,
  • You must be in the final year of your bachelor’s degree programme at the time of registration, or,
  • Normally it takes 4 years to complete the requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in the U.S. as compared to 3 years for a similar degree in India. However the CFA Institute has stated that if the Indian Degree leads to similar job opportunities then it will be considered equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s degree, even if it does not encompass 4 years of study. Students (with 3 years’ Graduate Degrees) may get written email confirmation on their eligibility from the CFA Institute.
  • You must have a combination of work and college experience that totals to at least four years.
    (Note: Summer, part-time, and internship positions do not qualify.)
  • If you initially enroll / register as a final year undergraduate student with a degree in progress, you may not register for the Level II examination until you have earned your degree, or obtained work experience that meets the program’s entrance requirements.
  • You must understand the professional conduct requirements (you will be asked to sign the Professional Conduct Statement and Candidate Responsibility Statement)
  • Be prepared to take the exams in English
  • Effective from the 1st of January 2011: You must have a valid international travel passport (required for enrollment and examination registration).

Exam Format:

EXAM The CFA exams include three types of question formats-

  • The Level I exam is composed of multiple-choice questions only.
  • The Level II exam is composed of item set questions only.
  • The Level III exam morning session is composed of essay questions and the afternoon session is composed of item set questions.
Level ILevel IILevel III
Time6 hours6 hours6 hours
No. of Questions240 questions120 question60 questions + essays
Question TypesMultiple ChoiceItem SetItem Set & Essay
FocusKnowledge and ComprehensionAnalysis and ApplicationSynthesis and Evaluation

Topics Covered:

  • Asset valuation
  • Portfolio management
  • Equity, debt, derivatives, and alternative investments
  • Economics
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Corporate finance and the fundamentals of financial management
  • Ethical and professional standards
  • Quantitative methods for investment analysis
Topic Area Weights for the CFA Exam
Topic AreaLevel ILevel IILevel III
Ethical and Professional151010
Standards (total)125-100
Financial Reporting and Analysis2015-250
Corporate Finance815-150
Investment Tools (total)5030-600
Equity Investments1020-305-15
Fixed Income125-1510-20
Alternative Investments35-155-15
Asset Classes (total)3035-7535-45
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning (total)55-1545-55

Exam Frequency:

The CFA programme is divided into three “levels“, each of which concludes with an examination.

  • The Institute offers the Level I exam twice a year: in June and December.
  • The exams for Levels II and III are offered once annually in June.

Approximate minimum Duration for the course is 3 year.

December 2011 Exam Schedule (Level I only)

Mid-JanuaryDecember 2011 exam registration opens
Upon registrationSample exams become available at time of registration
16 March 2011First deadline to enroll and register for the December 2011 exam
24 August 2011Second deadline to enroll and register for the December 2011 exam
1 September 2011Exam scholarship application deadline
1 September 2011Mock exams become available
14 September 2011Final deadline to enroll and register for the December 2011 exam
20 September 2011Final deadline for disability and religious alternate date accommodations requests to be received by CFA Institute
Early November 2011Exam admission tickets available online
11 November 2011Test center change request deadline (login required)
3-4 December 2011Exam days
December 2011-January 2012Exams graded
January 2012Exam results available

For further details please visit the website:

Exam Timings:

Instructions begin prior to the start of the examination. Testing personnel will keep the official time and will tell you when to start and stop work on each separately timed session. At specific intervals, you will be informed of the time remaining. The instructions regarding the starting and end of time should be strictly followed.

  • A standard exam day follows this format (exact times may vary):
  • 8:30 a.m. Candidates must be seated
  • Once doors close, candidates will not be allowed to enter the testing room until a predetermined time period has elapsed.
  • 12:00 p.m. End of the morning session
  • 1:00 p.m. The check-in process for afternoon session begins
  • 1:45 p.m. Approximate time that doors to testing rooms will close to begin announcements.
  • 2:00 p.m. Afternoon session begins
  • 5:00 p.m. End of afternoon session

At the conclusion of each session, candidates must remain seated until all exam materials are collected and reconciled.

In testing rooms where there are no clocks the timekeeper will mark time remaining on a chalkboard or flipchart in the following increments:

  • Less than 2.5 hours remain
  • Less than 2 hours remain
  • Less than 1.5 hours remain
  • Less than 60 minutes remain
  • Less than 45 minutes remain
  • Less than 30 minutes remain (verbal announcement)
  • Less than 15 minutes remain (verbal announcement)

Exam Fees:

CFA programme applicants pay an initial one-time enrollment fee. In addition, they are required to pay an examination registration fee. Both, Program Enrolment and Examination fees are to be paid at the time of registration.

Reappearing candidates pay only the examination registration fee. The enrollment fee and the examination registration fee increases with each deadline.

In order to enroll in the CFA programme and to register to sit for the CFA examination, you must have a valid international travel passport. The government-issued ID number on your passport and the country of issuance must be entered during the online examination registration, and you may pay through a credit or debit card. On the day of the examination, you must present your passport, containing the same name, date of birth, government-issued ID number, and country of issuance that you used to register, at the test centre for admittance.

Course Fees (fee structure – December 2010 CFA Exam LevelI only)

All fees are in U.S. dollars.

CFA Institute offers three options for the CFA programme curriculum: eBook only, print only, or both.

EBook version

Itemby16 Marchby24 Augustby14 September
programme Enrollment
(new Level I only)
Exam Registration$630$720$970
Curriculum(eBook version)save $40save $40save $40
TotalPast deadline$1,085Register now$1,420

Print version

Itemby16 Marchby24 Augustby14 September
programme Enrollment
(new Level I only)
Exam Registration$630$720$970
Curriculum(Print version)$20 shipping$20 shipping$20 shipping
TotalPast deadline$1,145Register now$1,480

Ebook & Print version(both)

Itemby16 Marchby24 Augustby14 September
programme Enrollment
(new Level I only)
Exam Registration$630$720$970
Curriculum(Both eBook and print versions)$50 (includes shipping)$50 (includes shipping)$50 (includes shipping)
TotalPast deadline$1,175Register now$1,510

 2011 curriculum pricing details

When you register for the June or December 2011 exam, you can choose from three curriculum options (all fees are in U.S. dollars):

  • If you select the eBook version of the curriculum only, CFA Institute offers a US $40 discount: Enrollment + exam registration – $40 = total cost.
  • If you select the printed version of the curriculum only, you do not receive the $40 discount: Enrollment + exam registration + $20 (shipping*) = total cost.
  • If you select both the eBook version and the printed version of the curriculum, you pay the cost of the additional curriculum ($30) plus shipping: Enrollment + exam registration + $30 (+$20 shipping for the printed version*) = total cost.


  • Enrolment and registration fees are non-transferable and non-refundable.
  • However, full refunds are available within two business days of payment if you change your mind.
  • Candidates re-registering for the same exam level in a future calendar year will receive a $50 discount on the exam registration fee. The discount will be applied in the shopping cart during online registration.
  • June Level I candidates who re-register in the same calendar year (Level I exams are held in June and December) will not be charged again for the curriculum (i.e. $225 as in case above)
  • Kaplan and Schwester notes are available in market. Also on line study materials are available.
  • Curriculum will be received at your Indian address within 10-15 Days.
  • Total Course Fees amounts to approx $2500.

For further details please visit the website:

Exam Locations:

Admission Tickets

Ticket Availability:

  • Exam admission tickets are only available online to candidates registered for an exam.
  • December 2011 exam tickets will be available in early November.
  • CFA Institute does not distribute paper admission tickets.

Agree to CFA Institute Policies and Procedures

Before viewing your ticket, you will be prompted to read and agree to abide by the conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures for the CFA examination. The CFA Institute strongly encourages you to take the time to carefully read and understand these policies. Violation of any of the rules and regulations of the CFA programme will result in CFA Institute voiding your examination results and may lead to suspension or termination of your candidacy in the CFA Program.

Review Your Ticket

Be sure to review the information on your ticket and notify CFA Institute immediately of any errors. The name on your admission ticket must match the name as it appears on your current government-issued photo ID. Submit anIdentification Information Change Request (PDF) if necessary. If the names do not match, your exam results may be voided. Certain variations, however, are allowed. Review the identification policy of CFA Institute for more information.

Print Your Ticket

It is your responsibility to print one copy of your admission ticket on clean, unused paper and bring it with you to the test center on examination day. You will not be admitted into the testing room without an admission ticket. Please contact us to obtain your ticket by facsimile.

Check Your Test Center Address

Testing facilities may change from year to year; therefore, it is important to note the address on your admission ticket and become familiar with the test center location. You are strongly encouraged to visit your test center before the day of the examination. Candidates do not receive extra testing time if they arrive at the test center late.

Directions and special instructions are available for most test centers.

Other Information and Instructions

You must not write on the front or back of your admission ticket at any time before, during or after the examination. Your ticket must display the correct examination date and test center according to our records. Your ticket will only allow you admittance to the test center listed.

December 2011 Test Centers:

Each CFA programme level culminates into a 6 hour examination administered in two 3 hour segments. These examinations are live, proctored examinations and are offered in hundreds of locations in more than 90 countries throughout the world.

Test centers are located in, or within reasonable travel distance of, the cities mentioned. The CFA Institute will make every effort to place candidates in the test center selected; however, space considerations may require placement at an alternate site. Final test center confirmation will be on the examination admission ticket. The examination will be given on the 3rd of December, Saturday, except at those test centers noted by an asterisk (*), where it will be given on the 4th of December, Sunday. Examinations are held in all the metropolitan cities in India, and in Bangalore.

For further details please visit the

Toll free number from India 000-800-852-6784

Leave a Reply