Frequently Asked Questions

CFA® Program Overview

I want to make my career in Finance. What course should I choose?

You should consider pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst® Program for the same. It is conducted by the CFA Institute, USA. The CFA® Program provides a strong foundation of advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills that will give you a career advantage.


Why one should choose to take up the CFA® Program?

The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) credential is the professional standard of choice for more than 31,000 investment firms worldwide. When hiring, leading firms demand investment professionals with real-world analytical skills, technical competence, and the highest professional standards, often requiring the CFA® credential for consideration. And so it is recommended that one should choose to become a CFA Program candidate to break into this industry.


What is the total duration of the CFA® Program?

The CFA® Program includes a series of three exams; Levels I, II, and III. Exams for CFA® Level I are offered twice a year, in the month of June and December, whereas for Level II and Level III of the CFA® Program, exams are offered annually. It takes a minimum of two years to complete all three levels.


What is the effort estimate required to complete the CFA® Program?

Candidates report dedicating in excess of 300 hours of study per level to prepare for each exam. However, the above is just a guiding tool. It depends on many other factors such as the stream of graduation, grasping capability, professional exposure, the amount of time one can schedule for studies every day etc.


What are the important dates one should keep in mind?

The proper calendar of events is published at the CFA Institute website. (

What is the fees structure for the CFA® Program?

The fee structure is divided into 2 parts:
a. Program Enrollment Fee: A one-time program enrollment fee is required when you register for your first Level I CFA® Program exam. (US$ 450)

b. Exam registration fee: Please find the details below-
Please Note: The sooner you register, the better it is (in terms of saving costs).

December 2019 Exam (Level I only)

Early registration fee USD 650 (ends 27 March 2019)
Standard registration fee USD 950 (ends 14 August 2019)
Late registration fee USD 1,380 (ends 11 September 2019)

 Registration for the June 2019 exam is closed. Registration for the June 2020 exam will open in August 2019

How should one register for the CFA® Program?

The registration is done online on the CFA Institute website (


Is the passport compulsory to register for the CFA® Program?

Yes. It is one of the most important MUST HAVEs for registration. Without a valid passport, you will not be able to register for the exam. No other proof of identity is accepted.


Is the CFA® Program better for my career or FRM?

If you’re interested in the management of financial risk, then FRM is the course for you. On the other hand, CFA® Program provides exhaustive coverage of a broad range of financial analysis & investment topics and leads to a range of career prospects (and a high salary). Empirically it has been seen that professional prefer to first complete CFA® Program followed by FRM®.


How is CFA® Program related to accounting programs like CPA or ACCA?

Certified Public Accountant (CPA), CFA® Program and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), each of these three have a core career focus into the Accounting domain. The core area where these coveted professional certifications/programs are recognised is Taxation, Accounting, Auditing, etc. These do have a portion of their curriculum dedicated to finance, very little albeit.

The CFA® Program has its core focus on portfolio management and capital markets as a discipline. It is very broad and is a global gold standard for investment management and capital markets. The CFA Program is a professional certification program.​ Although the CFA® designation is not a legal requirement to perform work as a financial analyst (the cornerstone  CFA charterholder job), it is a great way to get a foot in the door for one of the most difficult jobs to crack.


Is it important to apply for CFA® charter after clearing Level III?

Yes, it is important to apply for CFA® charter after clearing Level III to help maximise the CFA® Credentials. It is to be noted that it is not mandatory to do so.

Besides the exams, there are 4 other requirements to earn the right to use the CFA® Charter: The Ethics pledge, Membership, Relevant work experience, Sponsors. Hence, the CFA® designation communicates the practical knowledge in addition to clearing three levels duly endorsed by fellow CFA® charterholders

Course of Study

What is the examination pattern for each level of CFA® Program?
The CFA® Exam is conducted in two sessions: Morning Session and Evening Session, both on the same day. Please Note: No negative marking.

Level I – The questions are straightforward. Multiple choice, 240 Questions in total – 120 Questions in each session.

Level II – There are 20 item sets / caselets – 10 in each session. Each caselet has six MCQ

Level III – Morning session is an Essay Type Format where candidates must solve the case studies and write appropriate answers descriptively. It is the only paper where handwriting matters, so to speak. The Afternoon session is similar to the format of the Level II CFA® Program where there are mini case studies with multiple choice question answers.


What is the weight of different subjects at each level of the CFA® Program?

Topic Area Level I (in%) Level II (in%) Level III (in%)
Ethical and Professional Standards 15 10-15 10-15
Quantitative Methods 10 5-10 0
Economics 10 5-10 5-15
Financial Reporting and Analysis 15 10-15 0
Corporate Finance 10 5-15 0
Equity Investments 11 10-15 10-15
Fixed Income 11 10-15 15-20
Derivatives 6 5-15 5-10
Alternative Investments 6 5-10 5-10
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning 6 5-15 35-40
Total 100 100 100


Why does CFA Institute give so much emphasis on Ethics as a subject?
A. In order to understand the long-term impact of investment decisions on market integrity and sustainability. Recent events have revealed unethical behaviour not just within investment firms, but also rating agencies, corporate boards, accounting firms, financial technology products and more. The chapter emphasizes the interconnected, global nature of finance today.


Is it necessary to study from Curriculum books by CFA® Institute or Trainers PPTs/Handouts are sufficient?
A. The Curriculum is grounded in practice, meaning that panels and surveys of thousands of investment professionals have had input into the Course of Study through our practice analysis. Yes, it is recommended.


Are alternative assets also taught in depth in CFA® Program?
Yes, progressively in subsequent levels.

Examination & Results

Is CFA® Program exam conducted in my country?

CFA® Program exams are offered in over 170 cities in June (All levels) and over 70 cities in December (Only Level I), at testing facilities around the world, with India being one of them.


What should I do if I have not received my admit card?

Get in touch with the CFA Institute directly and at the earliest. The assistance is provided very diligently.


What should I do if the name on the passport does not match with the name on the admit card?

Write a mail/contact CFA Institute to communicate the discrepancy and try resolving it at the earliest. This is critical as the passport is the only identity proof that is allowed at the time of entry into the exam hall.


I have received a letter for disciplinary action against me. How should I respond?

It is advised that you respond in a very professional manner detailing the situation clearly and seek assistance if you must. You should also cooperate with the Institute for resolving the same.


By when should we expect the results to come?

Results for Level I and II candidates are available within 60 days of the exam date and within 90 days for Level III candidates. CFA Institute publishes the date of result well in advance for each attempt.


I have not received my results. Whom should I contact?

Results are emailed at the registered Ids. There is a chance of the result email landing into the SPAM / Junk folder, it being a mass mail. Please reach out to CFA Institute immediately by writing a mail to them seeking your result. However, exam results and topic area performance are usually available online for approximately one year after the exam date. After this date, candidates may request an official letter confirming their “pass” or “did not pass” exam result, but their topic area performance summary will no longer be available.

CFA® Program Prep By FSC

What is the USP of FSC’s CFA® Program prep course?

End to End CFA® Program solution with 100% Trainer Support. Be rest assured- if you are with FSC, you don’t need to look elsewhere for material, videos, practice questions or mock tests.


Is it possible to interact directly with the trainers during the course prep?

Yes absolutely. Our trainers are an energetic bunch, willing to go the extra mile to help you. Get direct access to the trainers right from day one


I could not clear the CFA® Program exam in the first attempt. How could FSC help?

In case you have been with FSC, chances are you would clear in the first go. In case you have not, you can seek an extension to the access at no extra cost.


Out of different packages offered by FSC, how do I decide which one is best for me?

There is no one size that fits all. For a new student, we insist on having a counselling session first to help FSC understand the unique requirements and then recommend an appropriate CFA® Program prep solution.


What are the key advantages for working professionals in this prep course?

‘Return on Time’ is the ratio that FSC seeks to maximise for its candidates. A working professional is hard pressed for time. FSC Prep course is extremely flexible and self-paced. Access our classes anywhere anytime on any device – Laptop, Notepads, Tabs, Smart Phones, etc on any operating system – Android, ios or Windows. The lessons are calibrated into short videos (15 to 20 minutes) making learning easy and incremental. To add the final punch, FSC conducts the Virtual Classroom series 3 months prior to exams, LIVE where candidates can ask their doubts, revise 80% of the most important topics in 20% time making it an investment with wonderful ‘return on time’.


Does FSC offer prep solutions for other courses like FRM as well?

Very soon we would be coming up with our FRM Prep solution.


How can I contact Team FSC?

We would love to hear from you. Leave your message in the INQUIRY FORM. You can also connect with our trainers on or for any query that you may have.

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