CFA | CFA® Exam Details

The CFA® Program consists of a series of three examinations (Levels I, II, and III) that must be taken in succession.

The Level I CFA exam consists of basic knowledge and comprehension questions focused on investment tools, while the Level II exam requires more complex analysis and focus on valuing assets. The Level III exam combines all the concepts and analytical methods in a number of applications for effective portfolio management and wealth planning.

A minimum of 300 hours of preparation per CFA exam level is recommended, although some candidates will need more or less time, depending on their individual backgrounds and experience. There is no limit to the number of times you can take each exam, and you can take as much time as you need to complete the program.

The CFA curriculum is dynamic and changes annually to meet the nature and complexity of the global investment profession.

Level I

Level I February Computer-Based Exam Dates:
23 February – 1 March 2021

Registration and scheduling windows open:
16 June 2020

Early registration deadline:
13 August 2020

Registration closes:
7 December 2020

Scheduling deadline:
14 December 2020

Re-scheduling deadline:
25 January 2021

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Level I May Computer-Based Exam Dates:
18-24 May 2021

Registration and scheduling windows open:
20 August 2020

Early registration deadline:
3 November 2020

Registration closes:
23 February 2021

Scheduling deadline:
10 March 2021

Re-scheduling deadline:
16 April 2021

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Level I August Computer-Based Exam Dates:
24-30 August 2021

Registration opens:
20 August 2020

Scheduling opens:
3 November 2020

Early registration deadline:
2 February 2021

Registration closes:
4 May 2021

Scheduling deadline:
23 May 2021

Re-scheduling deadline:
22 July 2021

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Level I November Computer-Based Exam Dates:
16-22 November 2021

Registration opens:
20 August 2020

Scheduling opens:
2 February 2021

Early registration deadline:
4 May 2021

Registration closes:
10 August 2021

Scheduling deadline:
25 August 2021

Re-scheduling deadline:
14 October 2021

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2021 Level I

  • Format: Computer-based and multiple-choice
  • Questions:
    • 180 equally weighted questions
    • Morning session: 90 questions
    • Afternoon session: 90 questions
    • Each session is 2 hours and 15 minutes long

 

Our Level I study packages are built to replicate the exam, leaving no surprises on exam day. Begin your preparation today. 2021 Level I >

Level II

Level II May Computer-Based Exam Dates:
25-29 May 2021

Registration opens:
20 August 2020

Early registration deadline:
3 November 2020

Registration closes:
23 February 2021

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Level II August Computer-Based Exam Dates:
31 August – 4 September 2021

Registration opens:
20 August 2020

Early registration deadline:
2 February 2021

Registration closes:
4 May 2021

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Beginning in 2021, there will be two Level II exam windows in each year; the first in May and the second in August. Additionally, all CFA® exams in 2021 and beyond will be offered in a computer-based format. The December 2020 CFA exam is the last to be offered in print format.

  • Format: item set or ‘mini cases’ – each item set contains a vignette (with an average length of 1.5 pages)
  • Questions:
    • 21 item sets or “mini cases”
    • Morning Session: 10 item sets
    • Afternoon Session: 11 item sets
    • 18 item sets will have 6 multiple choice questions and 3 item sets will have 4 multiple choice questions
    • Exam is graded for 360 points, corresponding to the number of minutes on the exam

 

Our Level II study packages are built to replicate the exam, leaving no surprises on exam day. Begin your preparation today. 2021 Level II >

Level III

Level III May Computer-Based Exam Dates:
25-27 May 2021

Registration opens:
20 August 2020

Early registration deadline:
3 November 2020

Registration closes:
23 February 2021

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Level III November Computer-Based Exam Dates:
23-25 November 2021

Registration opens:
20 August 2020

Early registration deadline:
4 May 2021

Registration closes:
10 August 2021

Register for the CFA Exam >

Beginning in 2021, there will be two Level III exam windows each year; the first in May and the second in November. Additionally, all CFA® exams in 2021 and beyond will be offered in a computer-based format. The December 2020 CFA exam is the last to be offered in print format.

  • Format: Essay, item sets, and multiple choice
  • Questions:
    • Morning Session: 8-12 essay questions
    • Afternoon Session: 8 item sets with 6 multiple-choice questions in each and 3 item sets with 4 multiple-choice questions in each
    • Exam is graded for 360 points, corresponding to the number of minutes on the exam

 

Our Level III study packages are built to replicate the exam, leaving no surprises on exam day. Begin your preparation today. 2021 Level III >


How to Modify Your Preparation

Watch our How to Modify Your Preparation videos to get specific advice for each level of the CFA Program.

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