What You Need to Do to Earn the CFA CharterO
There has been a lot written on the usefulness of the CFA qualification towards your career, but this post isn't another one of them. Instead, for the ones that are considering the charter (and quite a few candidates that may not have read all the fine print), today we explain exactly what you will need to do in order to obtain and earn the right to use the charter.
The biggest-pain-in-the-ass part of earning thecharter is obvious - passing all 3 exams, i.e. the Program. All 3 exams are a one day, whole day affair, and consist of two 3-hour sessions ( and PM).
- Level I. The first exam of the series, held in June and December every year, so you get 2 chances to take it per year. It consists of 240 questions split across the two sessions. This is generally regarded a relatively easy introduction to the course. If you've taken Economics in college, a lot of this material may look familiar. However at 1.5 minutes a question, answering speed will be a key factor.
- Level II. The second exam is held only in June each year. This is generally regarded as the hardest among the 3 exams (and reaffirmed by readers in the Weekly Poll). Although Level II only has half the number of questions compared to Level I, the item-set format allows much more in-depth questions to be set. The breadth of the topics and amount of material to cover is also a massive challenge.
- Level III. Beware the essay question format in the session - if you are not familiar with how to answer or study for the essay format, this level will be a heck of a challenge. The PM session is identical to Level II format-wise - multiple choice item sets.
For much more detail on how to approach and effectively prepare for each Commandments.level, check out the
OK, I Get the Exams Part. Now What?
Besides the exams, there are also several other requirements to earn the right to use the charter, some much more easily achieved than others.
- The Ethics pledge. A straightforward but crucial part of being a the exams' emphasis on Ethics & Professional Standards. The pledge is thus a quick but important step in the registration process. charterholder. The Institute takes its members' understanding and upholding of the Code of Ethics & Standards of Professional Conduct very seriously, as illustrated by
- Membership. You will need to obtain membership for 2 societies - the the CFA Institute directory. Institute, and a local society. You will need to renew your Institute membership if you want to maintain your right to use the designation, but the local society membership is optional to renew. However local societies can be useful for networking and your career - many candidates join even before passing all 3 exams. Find a local society near you through
- Relevant work experience. This is the other main barrier to all-you-need article to get more details on what counts as 'relevant work experience'. -dom after the exams themselves. The Institute requires 4 years of 'relevant work experience' to be sent to them for approval to be eligible for the designation, which can be a challenge depending on what your work experience has been. Read this
- Sponsors. You will also need sponsors for your As covered before, this can be 3 professional sponsors, or 2 professional sponsors if one is a current & regular member of the local society you are applying to. membership application.
Note that although many candidates do these after passing the exams, there is no reason why you can't do these first, e.g. if you wished to be an affiliate member of theInstitute, or get your work experience pre-approved.
How Long Will It Take, and How Much Will It Cost Me?
As mentioned in the infographic, the time and monetary cost of yourqualification depends a lot on several factors:
- When you register for the exams
- How much you spend on 3rd party materials
- How many attempts you need to pass all 3 exams
With all these variations, you can expect yourqualification to cost you about $2,500 to $8,500 in total. The minimum amount time needed to finish all 3 exams is just under 2 years (from registering for Level I to receiving your Level III results) but candidates average about 4 years to complete the program.
If you're considering thequalification, you should be fully clued up on all the requirements now! Has this influenced your consideration? Let us know in the comments below.