CFA - Syllabus, Eligibility, Exams, Scope, Careers & Recruiters

Updated on Apr 21, 2023 11:51 IST
Jasmine Dang Arora

Jasmine Dang AroraDeputy Manager-Content

CFA full form is Chartered Financial Analyst. CFA is one of the most sought-after designations for investment professionals across the globe. CFA Institute offers a globally recognised professional credential in Financial Management & investment. The CFA course is regarded as the world’s most respected and recognised designation in finance and investment management. Candidates pursuing the course gain insights into the finance and investment industry to add value to their skills. This in turn leads to an increase in the probability of landing a high-paying job in the field of finance and investment management. With the boom in industrialisation and globalisation, India has been encountering a surge in the jobs for CFAs. Candidates who qualify for the exam for all three-course levels mentioned below will be awarded the charter holder designation by the CFA Institute:

  • CFA Level 1
  • CFA Level 2
  • CFA Level 3

Exams for all three levels are conducted asking questions related to Economics, Security Analysis, Accounting, and Wealth Management. The CFA exams for all three levels are held in the month of June. In addition, CFA Level 1 exam is also held in December. The CFA programme benefits people willing to build a career in the field of banking, corporate or financial services. Besides, taking up independent practice also becomes an option after completing the course. It is a self-study programme, hence, candidates need not attend regular classes to complete CFA.

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CFA Course Highlights

The CFA Institute established the CFA programme to prepare charter holders for careers in finance. Following completion of the course, the charter holder is regarded as an investing expert, which benefits them throughout their career. Candidates who take the course acquire insights into the finance and investment industries, which helps them add value to their talents.  The CFA programme is widely regarded as the most prestigious and well-known accreditation in finance and investment management. Desirous students can have a look at the table below for all the important details relating to course fees, exal levels, subjects, salary and top recruiters.

Particulars Details
Course full-form Chartered Financial Analyst

Conducting Body

CFA Institute

Fees

INR 2-6 Lakhs

Exam Level

National Level Exam

Skills Learnt Finance and Investment Management
Subjects Ethical and Professional Standards, Economics, Quantitative Methods, Investments etc.
Average Annual Salary INR 5 LPA
Job Fields Corporate Banking, Equity, Risk Management, Research etc.
Top Recruiters Deloitte, ICICI, SBI, HDFC, Bharti Airtel etc.

Also Read:

Click to Know CFA Placements

All About CFA

CFA was earlier known as Association for Investment Management and Research, CFA Institute (AIMR). Through its tests and certifications, the CFA Institute ensures that there are financial experts who have a high standard of excellence. The CFA Institute offers an Investment Foundations Program and a Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement.The CFA curriculum comprises both academic theory topics, as well as, field practice which can be obtained via relevant work experience. CFA programme helps candidates gain knowledge on investing and making money in the stock market, industries, companies, and also at an individual level. 

The CFA programme equips students to be successful and moral working professionals. The CFA curriculum contains chapters on finance and related topics including Economics, Financial Report Analysis, Private Equity, Derivatives, Alternative Investment opportunities, Portfolio Management, Wealth Planning, and so on. After passing the CFA exam for three-course levels, one is designated a CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst. The fees of the CFA course vary from INR 2 to INR 6 lakhs.

Who Should Pursue BFA?

Applicants who want to work in the financial services industry in various positions like Portfolio Managers, Risk Professionals, Financial Advisers, and so on should take the CFA certification course. The Chartered Financial Analyst programme also lets individuals to transition from traditional studies such as BCom, MCom, and so on to a professional course that provides better career opportunities. Candidates who aspire to become entrepreneurs or start their professions as financial advisors can also enrol in CFA certification courses.

Why Study CFA?

CFA is a professional course that helps students in several ways. Some of the main reasons to pursue this course are:

  • High Pay: CFA courses can provide exposure to students and enable them to get placements at a good package. CFA experts can earn between INR 4 lakhs to INR 15 lakhs annually and earn even more in the international market. 
  • Career Growth: CFA professionals can get a placement at high positions in the financial sector and also shape their careers by working in multi-national companies.
  • Job Opportunities: The investment market is expanding rapidly. Hence, there will also be an increase in the job scope.
  • Entrepreneurial Skills: CFA enables students to gain the technical knowledge required in the industry. People also take expert advice from finance professionals before commencing a business. 

CFA Eligibility Criteria

The CFA Institute's certification is recognised in over 160 countries throughout the world. A Chartered Financial Analyst can expect to earn between INR 3,50,000 and INR 35,00,000 per year after completing the course. Graduates of CFA programmes are frequently hired in higher-level roles in the financial industry. Aspirants willing to pursue CFA must meet specific eligibility conditions beforehand. Space below mentions the CFA eligibility criteria.

  • Being a postgraduate certification, candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent (irrespective of the discipline) before enrolling in a CFA course
  • Candidates in the final year of the bachelor’s programme at the time of the CFA registration are also eligible for the course
  • Candidates must have a relevant work experience of not less than four years at the time of registration.

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CFA Entrance Exam 2023

Aspirants willing to get a CFA certification must qualify all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst Exam conducted by the CFA Institute. Candidates fulfilling the eligibility conditions laid down by the institute can register for level 1 of the CFA exam. In contrast, only the candidates qualifying CFA level 1 are eligible for the CFA level 2 exam; only the candidates qualifying level 2 exam are eligible for the CFA level 3 exam.

  • CFA level 1 exam is conducted quarterly
  • CFA level 2 exam is conducted thrice in each calendar year
  • CFA level 3 exam is conducted twice in each calendar year

CFA level 1 exam has as many as 180 multiple choice questions conducted in a computer-based mode. The CFA exam result is made available online within 60-90 days of the test date.

CFA Exam Level Registration Details Exam Details
Level 1

Last date of Registration (Level 1 Feb exam)

8-Nov -2022

Last date of Registration (Level 1 May exam)

31-Jan-2023

Last date of Registration (Level 1 Aug exam)

9-May-2023

Level 1 Feb Exam Dates 14-20 Feb 2023

Level 1 May Exam Dates 16-22 May 2023

Level 1 Aug Exam Dates 22-28 Aug 2023

Level 2

Last date to register for Level 2 (May Exam)

31-Jan-2023

Last date to register for Level 2 (Aug Exam)

9-May-2023

Last date to register for Level 2 (Nov Exam) -----

Level 2 May Exam Dates 23-27 May 2023

Level 2 Aug Exam Dates 29 Aug-2 Sep 2023

Level 2 Nov Exam Dates 18-22 Nov 2023

Level 3

Last date to register for Level 3 (Feb Exam)

8-Nov-2022

Last date to register for Level 3 (Aug Exam)

9-May-2023

Level 3 Feb Exam Dates 21-23 Feb 2023

Level 3 Aug Exam Dates 27 Aug 2023-5 Sep 2023

Also Read:

Click to know details about CFA exam dates 

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CFA Syllabus

To get an idea of what one will have to study if they were to take up a course in CFA, we have listed down the course curriculum. The candidate needs to clear three levels of the examination conducted by the CFA Institute: Level I, Level II, and Level III. The CFA syllabus for all three sections is identical. The difference lies in the weightage given to each topic at a particular exam level. The CFA curriculum includes academic theory taught at three levels, field practise earned via employment experience, and equipping applicants with a professional and ethical foundation. Candidates understand advanced investing characteristics as well as the ethics of portfolio management. The CFA programme teaches finalists how to make financial decisions in stocks, industries, businesses, and on an individual level.

The space below mentions the CFA syllabus along with the topic weightage in the exam.

CFA Subjects

Weight Given in CFA Level 1

Weight Given in CFA Level 2

Weight Given in CFA Level 3

Ethical and Professional Standards

15-20

10-15

10-15

Quantitative Methods

8-12

5-10

N/A

Economics

8-12

5-10

5-10

Financial Statement Analysis

13-17

10-15

N/A

Corporate Issuers

8-12

5-10

N/A

Equity Investments

10-12

10-15

10-15

Fixed Income

10-12

10-15

15-20

Derivatives

5-8

5-10

5-10

Alternative Investments

5-8

5-10

5-10

Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning

5-8

10-15

35-40

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Top CFA Colleges

CFA course is extremely challenging because applicants must pass the Level I, Level II, and Level III tests to get the CFA credential. Due to the increasing popularity and importance of the programme, a number of colleges are offering this course. Students can shortlist a few of them according to their suitability. A candidate for the CFA programme must have four years of relevant professional experience and a thorough understanding of the modern investment business. Students must take the required entry tests for the course. The course has no upper age limit for enrollment.

Some of the top private colleges offering CFA courses are:

Name of College Fees (in INR)
Narayana Business School, Ahmedabad -----
IMS ProSchool, Pune 20K-40K
ICICIdirect Centre for Financial Learning (ICFL), Mumbai -----
Miles Education, Delhi 35K
ICICIdirect Centre for Financial Learning (ICFL), Bangalore -----
ICICIdirect Centre for Financial Learning (ICFL), Kolkata -----
ICICIdirect Centre for Financial Learning (ICFL), Hyderabad -----

Indian School of Business Management and Administration, Nagpur

21K
Financial Planning Academy, Mumbai 4 Lakhs
IMS Proschool, Kochi 20K

Also Read:

Check CFA Exam Pattern

CFA Career Scope: Job Profiles & Top Recruiters

Demand for CFA graduates is growing rapidly in both domestic and foreign markets. The Chartered Financial Analyst syllabus is extensive and prepares applicants for the required profession through internship, training, projects, and so on.Being a CFA takes a lot of dedication because this is a constantly changing sector. A CFA is responsible for a variety of tasks, including the maintenance and management of accounts, appraisals, and taxation. CFAs are expected to work effortlessly and with full dedication. A CFA charter holder gets the opportunity of fetching a plethora of career options. A Chartered Financial Analyst has the benefit of working in various fields like:

CFA Job Field

Corporate banking

Quantitative analytics

Asset Management

Investment banking M&A

Derivatives

Wealth management

Private equity

Equities

Research

Trading

Risk management

Capital Markets

CFA Job Profiles and Salary

CFA jobs in India are accessible for people who have completed the three successive levels. Students can work in a variety of areas, including banking, auditing, auditing companies, and auditing firms. Looking at the job opportunities, generally, CFA charter holders choose to work as Research Analysts, Portfolio Managers, Investment Banking Analysts, and Chief-level Executive, among other job roles The CFA Course is in high demand since acquiring the certificate is difficult, and as a result, alumni of this course tend to outperform their colleagues.  Some of the job profiles offered to a Chartered Financial Analyst are as follows. In addition, find the starting salary offered to these job profiles.

Job Profiles

Average Salary (in INR)

Portfolio Manager

10 LPA

Associate in investment banking

10 LPA

Equity Research Associate

7.42 LPA

Financial Analyst

6.42 LPA

Credit Analyst

6.29 LPA

Research Analyst

5.15 LPA

Equity Analyst

5 LPA

Also Read: All you should know about CFA Placement

CFA Top Recruiters

There are numerous career opportunities for CFA students both in India and overseas. CFA is a specialisation that is in high demand worldwide, not just in India. It can give pupils with a diverse range of reading opportunities as well as lucrative jobs. The below table includes the name of companies that look out for CFA experts:

Recruiters Hiring Chartered Financial Analyst

Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Bank of America

JP Morgan Chase

HSBC

Morgan Stanley

Credit Suisse

Wells Fargo

CitiGroup

RBC

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Ernst & Young

UBS

Crisil

Wells Fargo

Read More:

FAQs Related to CFA

Q: What is the exam structure of Level I?

A: The CFA Level I exam comprises a total of 180 multiple-choice questions to be answered in two sessions of 135 minutes each. There are 90 MCQ questions for each session. The first session includes topics such as professional standards, financial reporting, and quantitative methods, while the second session includes questions about corporate finance, fixed income, derivatives, alternative investments, and portfolio management. This exam is given twice a year, once in June and once in December.

Q: What is the exam pattern of CFA Level II?

A: Level 2 of the CFA exam comprises 88 item set-based MCQs. Candidates need to answer all the questions within two 135-minute windows. Students can take a break, if they want. The duration of the CFA level 2 exam is for a period of 4.5 Hours. The Level II test takes place once a year in June month. It evaluates candidates on a variety of themes, including financial, accounting-related, and mathematical ideas. 

Q: What is the structure of CFA level III?

A: CFA level 3 exam has MCQ questions along with constructed response questions. The exam comprises 20-30 vignettes supporting a variable number of constructed-response and multiple-choice questions. The total duration of the CFA Level 3 exam is 4.5 hours with each session divided into a period of 2 hours and 15 minutes. The final Level 3 exam comprises essay and multiple-choice questions that are graded carefully by some of the greatest specialists in the field. The CFA course is designed to help students pass their exams.

Q: What is the duration of the CFA exam?

A: Exam duration for all three levels of CFA exams varies from each other. Level 1 exam is shall have two sessions of 2 hours 15 minutes each. Both level 2 and level 3 exams shall be conducted for a duration of 4.5 hours divided into two sessions each. The CFA Institute has already provided information on the CFA level 1 exam pattern on its official website. Along with it, the website also contains information about preparation tips.

Q. What is the teaching methodology for CFA course?

A. CFA's teaching methods and approaches are comparable to those used in traditional schools. The themes are grouped around the various test-related issues. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation denotes a comprehensive field of study that focuses on the development of investment and financial management skills and knowledge. Candidates are not required to attend regular classes because CFA is a self-study programme. The core subjects are concentrated on the CFA exam papers. Traditional classroom instruction 

Q: What is the mode of CFA exams?

A: CFA exam was conducted in pen and paper mode. The examination mode has been changed in 2021. CFA exams are now conducted as computer-based test. Students get multiple-choice questions in this examination. CFA course is designed to certify professionals in the field of financial analysis. The course is globally recognised by organisations to entrust charter holders with their financial planning skills. Candidates can obtain a charter in approximately 1.5 years if they pass three levels of the CFA exam in their first attempt.

Q: When is the result for CFA declared?

A: CFA Institute releases the Level 1 and Level 2 CFA result in approximately 60 days. Whereas, Level 3 result is typically declared in 90 days. Candidates can obtain their CFA results by email.  Candidates' CFA results will show either a 'pass' or a 'did not pass'. The outcome will also include a summary of how they performed on each topic. Candidates who do not pass the exam will be provided a full performance summary.

Q: What are the main subjects in the CFA syllabus?

A: The main subjects included in CFA Syllabus are:

  • Quantitative Methods
  • Economics
  • Fixed Income
  • Derivatives
  • Investment 
  • Portfolio Management

Q: What are the qualifying criteria for Level I as per the new CFA exam pattern?

A: Candidates who have earned their bachelor's degree are eligible to apply for CFA Level -1. The students who are in their final year of college are also eligible to apply. Four years of work experience in a Finance-related professional profile or a mix of university study and employment totaling four years.

Q. What are the various job profiles after CFA?

A. The CFA professionals can work at the below-mentioned job profiles:

  • Portfolio Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Equity Research Associate
  • Credit Analyst

Q: Is CFA harder than CA?

A: CA is considered the toughest course with an average passing percentage of 0.5 per cent. The CFA exam is much easier as compared to the CA exam. However, the CFA programme needs firm commitment and strong discipline from the candidates. CA course needs 3-5 years to complete, while CFA can be completed in 2 years duration.

Popular CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1,2 & 3 Colleges in India

Following are the most popular CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1,2 & 3 Colleges in India. Learn more about these CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1,2 & 3 colleges (Courses, Reviews, Answers & more) by downloading the Brochure.
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Popular Private CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1,2 & 3 Colleges in India

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7.5 LPA
Experience learning beyond the books from top-class instructors. Applications are closing soon.
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20 K - 40 K
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Most Popular Courses

Following are the most popular CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1,2 & 3 courses, based on alumni reviews. Explore these reviews to choose the best course in CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1,2 & 3.

Popular CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1,2 & 3 Specializations in India

Following are the most popular CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1,2 & 3 Specializations . You can explore the top Colleges offering these Specializations by clicking the links below.

Popular Specializations

Comments

J

Which platform is good for CFA course?

P

PINNINTI NAVEEN

Contributor-Level 7

4 weeks ago

CFA online classes taught by real world experts can familiarize you with regulatory bodies and foundational accounting skills needed to pass CFA certification.

C

Which degree should I pursue after 12th if I want to do CA CFA and MBA in future?

50141409
Kajal Kumari

Contributor-Level 10

a month ago

If you want to pursue CA CFA and MBA in the future, you can choose to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Commerce B.Com after completing your 12th standard. B.Com will provide you with a strong foundation in accounting, finance, and business-related subjects, which will be helpful for pursuing CA and ...If you want to pursue CA CFA and MBA in the future, you can choose to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Commerce B.Com after completing your 12th standard. B.Com will provide you with a strong foundation in accounting, finance, and business-related subjects, which will be helpful for pursuing CA and CFA. After completing B.Com you can enroll in the CA (Chartered Accountancy) programme, which is a professional course offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The CA programme is divided into three levels, and upon completion, you will become a Chartered Accountant. After completing B.Com you can also start preparing for the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme, which is a globally recognised professional certification offered by the CFA Institute. The CFA programme covers topics such as investment management, financial analysis, and portfolio management. After completing your CA and CFA you can gain some work experience in the finance and accounting field before pursuing an MBA. An MBA will provide you with a broader perspective on business management, which will complement your technical knowledge gained through CA and CFA. You can choose to specialize in finance or accounting during your MBA and can pursue the degree from a reputed business school. The MBA will provide you with the skills and knowledge to excel in leadership roles in the finance and accounting field.

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