CFA® Curriculum and the Examination Structure
The CFA® Programme is continuously updated by practitioners to ensure that what you learn remains relevant in today's finance industry.
The main topic areas and exam weights are:
|Topic Area||Level I||Level II||Level III|
|Ethical and Professional Standards||15%||10%||10%|
|Financial Reporting and Analysis||20%||15-25%||0%|
|Total: Investment Tools||50%||30-60%||0%|
|Total: Asset Classes||30%||35-75%||35-45%|
|Source: CFA® Institute|
The CFA® examination process requires that you sit and pass three consecutive levels of exam. Level I exams are held in June and December each year with levels II and III only in June.
Each of the exams is a six hour exam though the format changes from level to level.
Level I – Both of the three hour exams will cover all of the level I curriculum areas. In total there are 240 multiple choice questions, each based around the level I Learning Outcome Statements and each offering three choices.
Level II – The level II exam is in 'item-set' form, a different style of multiple choice tests. You will be given 10 'vignettes' – mini case studies – and then have to answer six questions based on that vignette.
Level III – The morning exam at level III is a constructed response test where you have to provide written answers, for example calculating an appropriate asset allocation strategy for a given portfolio and explaining your recommendation. The afternoon paper is in the same format as level II.
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