The CFA Exam Requirements

The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exam is a three-level exam (Level I, II and III) and is offered by CFAI (CFA Institute).

Brief Overview of the CFA Exam

The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exam is a three-level exam (Level I, II and III) and is offered by CFAI (CFA Institute). A CFA candidate must pass ALL three levels of the CFA exam, in sequential order, to obtain the CFA designation. 

In terms of time commitment, the CFA Institute recommends spending around 300 hours of study to pass each exam successfully. The CFA Institute gives up to four years to pass all three levels of the exam. There are a couple of requirements to sit for the CFA exam, which we’ll explore in this article! 

About the CFA Certification

The CFA certification is considered the highest distinction and the most valuable credential in the financial industry. It also provides financial professionals with the foundational knowledge needed to excel in your future and current careers. 

CFA Exam Requirements

If you’re interested in sitting for the CFA exam, you must meet one of the following criterion:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of obtaining a bachelor’s degree;
  • Possess four years of relevant work experience;
  • Have a combination of four years of education and work experience.

If you meet one of the above requirements, you can enrol in the CFA Program. The enrolment fee is $450* to register for the Level 1 exam. All CFA candidates who plan to sit for the CFA exam must take the exam in English. You must also have an international travel passport available to take to the testing centres on exam day. This means the passport must be valid and not viable to expire anytime soon.

* Beginning with the 2023 exam cycle, the price of the one-time enrolment fee will decrease from $450 to $350. 

Maintaining CFA Institute Compliance

When you initially enrol in the CFA program and join the CFA Institute, you are expected to follow the CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. In addition, you must review and sign a Professional Conduct Statement form to confirm that you comply with the Code and Standards. 

But wait, your responsibilities don’t stop there – you must maintain this compliance annually after and during membership renewal. If you don’t submit the Professional Conduct Statement form when you register for the exam, the CFA Institute can prohibit you from continuing in the program. 

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