CFA Course

7 minute read
CFA Course

Do you want to pursue a career in Finance and its allied specialisations? Are you good with numbers and calculations and have a varied set of management and problem-solving skills? Rather than opting for the same old conventional fields, there is a varied range of specialised career domains in Finance that you can choose from. One such prospect is a CFA course which is increasingly becoming popular amongst those wanting to earn professional degrees in Finance. Amongst the toughest exams in the world, CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst which is an internationally recognised credential and is one of the most sought-after professions amongst the graduates of Finance and Investment. Through this blog, we aim to explore the key features of the CFA course along with highlighting the different exams you need to qualify for and the job opportunities you can avail.

Course Full Form Chartered Financial Analyst
Application Window Available all year
Exam Mode Online
Course Level Under Graduate
Stream Finance & Commerce
Exam Language English
Fees 50,000 – 1,50,000
Salary after CFA 4,00,000 – 25,00,000
Duration 1.5 to 4 years
Examination Levels 3

What is the CFA Course?

Offered by the CFA Institute, this course focuses on several facets of Finance and Management along with integrating the essential knowledge of the discipline of Investment. It works towards honing your analytical abilities and provides you with an understanding of how you can navigate ethical problems in the investment industry. Studying the CFA course, you will also gain valuable insights into the workings of the finance and investment sector and it will equip you with the right skills required in handling real-life problems and complex situations in this dynamic domain. This program is immensely beneficial for those aspiring for a career in banking or financial services.

CFA 2022 Important Dates

CFA 2022 exam dates have been announced & here are all the dates level-wise.

CFA Level 1

Session Exam Window
February February 15 – February 21
May May 17 to 23
July July 18 to 24, 2021
November Not given yet

CFA Level 2

Session Exam Window
February Feb 22 – Feb 26
May N/A
August August 30 – September 3, 2021
November N/A

CFA Level 3

Session Exam Window
February N/A
May May 24 – May 26
August September 30 – September 6
November N/A

Eligibility Criteria

In order to pursue the CFA course, there are some prerequisites specified by the CFA institute that you need to fulfil. These eligibility requirements are elaborated on below.

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree in a Finance related field as the institutes strives for candidates with the foundational knowledge of the Banking, Finance and Investment industry which is further polished through the CFA course.
  • You must have a proven work experience of at least four years in a Finance-related career profile.
  • Reference Letters: As over 150,000 people from more than 165 countries are registered charter holders, the competition for the CFA course is rigid. Hence to establish your credibility, you would need to submit reference letters from more than two reputed and established professionals working in your field.

Related Read: How to Pursue CA After Graduation

CFA Exam Details

The CFA course is bifurcated into three levels of exams which you need to clear in order to attain the professional credential. Every level of CFA tests the candidates on different aspects encompassing the disciplines of Finance and Investment. To help you understand the process of this course, we have detailed the three levels of CFA below:

Level I

The first level of the examination would test the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of financial investment and its various tools and techniques. Here is a table enlisting the key features for Level I of the CFA course:  

Structure of the Exam  240 Questions
Length of the Exam  Two Sessions: 
1. Morning Session- 120 questions in 3 hours
2. Afternoon Session- 120 questions in 3 hours
Format of the Questions  Multiple Choice 
Declaration of Result  Within 60 days of the examination 
Level Advancement  Once the candidate has fulfilled
the enrollment requirements for the next level  
Rate of Level completion   43%

Level II

This level of the CFA course examines a candidate’s knowledge about the applications of case studies in Finance and Investment as well as the essential aspects pertaining to facilitating asset valuation. Check out the exam pattern for this level described in the following table:

Structure of the Exam  120 (supported by 20-30 vignettes) 
Length of the Exam  Two Sessions:
1. Morning Session- 60 questions
supported by 10-15 vignettes in 3 hours
2. Afternoon Session- 60 questions supported
by 10-15 vignettes in 3 hours
Format of the Questions  Multiple Choice
Declaration of Result  Within 60 days of the examination 
Level Advancement  Passing of Level 1 of the examination 
Rate of Level Completion   45% 

Level III

As the levels go up, the CFA course demand candidates to demonstrate the synthesis and evaluation in terms of portfolio management. Let’s take a look at what the final level of this exam entails which is detailed in the table below:

Structure of the Exam  A varied number of questions constructed
around 20-30 specific case studies
Length of the Exam  Two Sessions:
1. Morning Session- 8-15 case study-based and
response-based questions in 3 hours
2. Afternoon Session: 10-15 case study-based and
response-based questions in 3 hours
Format of the Questions  Vignette-based Multiple Choice Questions and
Constructed Response Questions 
Declaration of Result  Within 90 days of the examination 
Level Advancement  Passing of Level 2 of the examination 
Rate of Level Completion   56% 

CFA Course Syllabus

There are three levels of the CFA. Each level has mostly the same topics & carries different weightage. Here are the names of all courses & their weightage at different levels.

Topic Area Level I Level II Level III
Ethical and Professional Standards 15 10 to 15 10 to 15
Equity Investments 10 15 to 25 5 to 15
Quantitative Methods 12 5 to 10 N/A
Fixed Income 10 10 to 20 10 to 20
Economics 10 5 to 10 5 to 15
Derivatives 5 5 to 15 5 to 15
Financial Reporting and Analysis 20 15 to 20 N/A
Alternative Investments 4 5 to 10 5 to 15
Corporate Finance 7 5 to 15 N/A
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning 7 5 to 10 40 to 55


The following are the core subjects for CFA.

  • Investment Industry: A Top-Down View
  • Ethics and Regulation
  • Investment Professionalism
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Economics of International Trade
  • Financial Statements
  • Quantitative Concepts
  • Debt Securities
  • Equity Securities
  • Derivatives
  • Alternative Investments
  • Structure of the Investment Industry
  • Investment Vehicles
  • The Functioning of Financial Markets
  • Investors and Their Needs
  • Investment Management
  • Risk Management
  • Performance Evaluation
  • Investment Industry Documentation

CFA Admission 2022

If you wish to apply for CFA & confused about the registration process. Here is the step-wise registration process.

  • Visit the official website of CFA
  • Create an account by filling up required information like personal & professional details.
  • Upload the required documents.
  • Pay the required application fee.

Important things regarding CFA registration

  • You can pay the application fee via debit/credit card or internet banking. 
  • The amount of the CFA application fee is not fixed & displayed at the time of registration.
  • The first registration fee timeline is cheaper than the last one.
  • The registration process is the same for almost every level.

CFA Exam Defferal

  • For February 2022 candidates: The defferal request form will be available on 12th January 2022 through 15th March 2022 at 5:00 P.M EST.
  • All other 2022 candidates: You must wait until the form is available for your window to submit your deferral request.

Note: The deadline for requesting a deferral for the November 2021 exam has passed.

Top Institution for CFA and Fees

There are limited institutions offering CFA in India. Here are the top 5 institutions offering CFA courses.

College Average Fees
Narayana Business School, Ahmedabad INR 1,25,000
Shri Chimanbhai Patel Institute of Professional Training, Ahmedabad INR 65,336
International College of Financial Planning, New Delhi INR 45,000
Central India Institute of Management Studies, Jabalpur INR 32,500
International College of Financial Planning INR 40,000

Top 10 CFA Institutions Abroad

Here is the list of the top institutions offering CFA abroad.

  1. University of Toronto, Canada
  2. University of Melbourne, Australia
  3. University of Arizona, USA
  4. University of New South Wales, Australia
  5. University of British Columbia, Canada
  6. Schulich School of Business, Canada
  7. Anderson University, USA
  8. Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  9. Aston University, UK
  10. Coventry University, UK

CFA in Canada 

A CFA certification is still worth it in Canada. According to one Canadian survey, CFA charter holders earned an average of $280,454 in 2014 compared to a $239,215 average in 2011. The average income jumped a little over $41K in three years which highlight the kind of growth to be expected with a CFA certification. The following are the top universities that have included CFA programs

Career Prospects 

For a professional working in the Finance sector, the CFA course can play an incremental role in enhancing their resume and polishing their skills and expertise. As it is a prestigious program, it has inculcated the coursework of plentiful finance programs offered by popular and reputed universities like New York University, University of Oxford’s Saiid Business School and INSEAD amongst other institutions. Earning your credential as a certified Chartered Financial Analyst, you can explore a varied range of career profiles including,

  • Research Analyst 
  • Corporate Financial Analyst 
  • Portfolios Manager 
  • Financial Advisor 
  • Investment Banker 
  • Relationship Manager 
  • Financial Strategist 

CFA Jobs

After CFA there are plenty of options available in India & abroad. The salary after the CFA course ranges between 8,00,000 – 35,00,000 (in INR). 

Job Profile Salary per annum (In INR)
Market Research Analyst ₹3,36,683
Risk Manager ₹12,25,481
Chief Executive Officer ₹29,55,544
Business Consultant ₹9,81,786
Investment Manager ₹13,00,000
Portfolio Manager ₹11,19,625


Can I apply for CFA in my final year?

Yes, appearing students are eligible for CFA

Is there any work experience mandatory for CFA?

Yes, there should be work experience of 4 years.

What is the salary package after CFA?

The salary after CFA can range between Rs. 8,00,000 – 25,00,000

What is the level of competition of CFA?

The level of competition depends upon the level, it can be between 40 % to 50%

What is the duration of CFA?

The duration of CFA is 1.5 to 4 years.

Are there any universities abroad for CFA?

Yes, there are various universities abroad offering CFA.

Also Read: 

If the CFA course appeals to you with the colossal exposure it offers but you are confused about how it can benefit your career or how you can effectively prepare for this examination, then reach out to our team of experts at Leverage Edu and we’ll guide you in sorting out your interests and aspirations along with connecting you with suitable mentors that can help you prepare for this exam and attain this globally recognised credential to advance in your career.

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    1. Hi Abinaya!

      You can do CFA and MBA together; one is a certificate course while the other is a postgraduate degree. However, MBA’s can be demanding so if you can divide your time well between the courses then you should pursue them together. Hope this helps!

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