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What is CFA? Course, Details, Full form, Exam Pattern, Fees, Syllabus in India

20 January,2024  |  By Brainwonders

What is CFA

Who is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)?

CFA full form is Chartered Financial Analyst which is a professional degree given by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute to evaluate and certify the competence of financial analysts. The CFA course consists of 3 stages namely CFA level 1, CFA level 2 and CFA level 3. This CFA course can be generally completed in 1.5 years to 4 years. Students who have completed their graduation from an appropriate field are eligible to apply for the CFA course.

About Chartered Financial Analyst Course

In order to become a successful Chartered Financial Accountant, you need to clear all three levels of CFA, which are framed by the CFA Institute (formerly known as the AIMR (Association for Investment Management and Research):

  • CFA Level 1 2024
  • CFA Level 2 2024
  • CFA Level 3 2024

Candidates or CFA aspirants must pass all three levels of exams covering economics, ethics, money management, accounting and security analysis. Passing the CFA exams requires strong discipline, dedication, determination, consistency and extensive study. After completing all the CFA levels, the individuals become CFA charter holders. 

Chartered Financial Analyst Highlights

CFA Full form Chartered Financial Analyst
Duration of the course 1.5 year to  4 years
Exam Frequency (2024)
  • Level 1 - four times
  • Level 2 - three times
  • Level 3 - two times
Conducting Body CFA Institute
Eligibility Criteria Graduation in relevant discipline or 4 years of work experience
Admission Process CFA Entrance test- Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3
Mode of examination Online
Average Tuition Fees INR 2,00 000
Average Salary Package Up to INR 4,00,000

This professional designation, awarded by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, measures and certifies your competence and integrity in the field of finance.

The CFA course consists of three levels that can be completed from 1.5 up to four years: Level 1 (2022), Level 2 (2022), and Level 3 (2022). If you've recently received your graduate degree in a relevant area, you are eligible to apply for all three levels of the course.

With a focus on covering major aspects of the industry, including equity, fixed income, private equity, derivatives and real estate, the skills and knowledge gained through this certification not only provide you with a wealth of opportunities but also open the door to some of the leading investment firms.

But what exactly does CFA stand for? How does the course work? What will you learn? And how much does it cost? We answer all these questions and more!

What is a CFA course?

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course is a three-level course designed by the Chartered Financial Institute to enhance knowledge and practice in global financial management and investment management.

Each level of the CFA course serves its own purpose and provides increasingly more comprehensive knowledge. With the CFA course, you'll be able to sharpen your financial training and analysis techniques, as well as stay abreast with global industry standards. Whether taking on the challenge for personal enrichment or career advancement, being part of the CFA network is a great way to gain access to a host of resources and insights. 

Who should pursue a CFA course?

Deciding on a course of study is based upon one's ultimate professional goals, and the question of whether or not taking up an academic course  like the CFA is the right choice for them. There are several categories of students and professionals who could benefit from pursuing a CFA Charter certification. 

Fresh graduates who have recently earned their degree may wish to consider undertaking the CFA curriculum as a way to gain valuable knowledge in the investment finance sector. Completing all levels of the CFA will allow candidates to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter, making them more competitive job candidates. 

Professionals already working in the investment industry can likewise pursue CFA certification as a way to gain a better understanding of their field and stand out among their peers. Holding this prestigious designation shows employers that an individual has achieved a high level of expertise in investment finance, making them a highly desirable candidate.

What are the different Careers Options after BCA?

After completing the esteemed Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course, numerous well-paid career opportunities open up. The finance industry highly values CFA designation holders, making them in-demand professionals. You can explore roles as portfolio managers, investment analysts, financial planners, risk managers, and company financial analysts. Exciting positions also include stock research analysts, hedge fund managers, private wealth managers, investment bankers, and asset managers. CFA charter holders can pursue careers as financial consultants, fixed-income analysts, quantitative analysts, compliance officers, and fund managers. The comprehensive knowledge gained from the CFA course equips individuals to thrive in diverse financial roles.

List of the career option for BCA

Careers Average Salary
Investment Banker ₹15,000-50,000
Invested Fund Manager ₹40,000-80,000
Venture Capitalist ₹22,000-50,0000
Personal Financial Advisor ₹20,000-37,000
Financial Controller ₹17,000-41,000
Equity Research Analyst ₹25,000-50,000

Why Study CFA Course?

Pursuing a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification can benefit ambitious students who wish to progress in the financial sector. With the industry growing rapidly, job opportunities for CFA experts are abundant. 

1) High Salary: Professionals can earn a good salary—annual payment between INR 4 lakhs to INR 15 lakhs for those based in India and more for those looking internationally. 

2) Career Growth: CFA-qualified individuals have access to positions of high responsibility in multinational companies and the opportunity to develop their careers. 

3) Job Opportunities: As the world is inclining towards the investment market with more and more people getting into an investment, there are a lot of job opportunities in this sector.

4) Entrepreneurial Skills: People getting into this course will have the necessary knowledge and skills to start their startup by learning the finance fundamentals taught in this course.

CFA Full Form Admission Process

Admission to the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification course does not require an entrance examination. 

  1. To register, applicants must first create an account on the CFA Institute website. 
  2. Merit-based admission is granted based on job experience and graduation grades. 
  3. Candidates can choose from among multiple test cycles based on their preferences for each exam level. 
  4. Applicants can apply for scholarships at any time during the registration process, and those who pass one level of the exam may move on to the next.

Eligibility Criteria For CFA

Eligibility criteria for CFA Level 1

In order to register for the CFA Level 1 Exam, candidates must meet the eligibility requirements. These include 

  1. Completing an undergraduate degree or having a combination of university education with employment that totals four years, 
  2. Having four years of work experience in a finance-related career.
  3. Submitting two reference letters from established professionals in the Finance and Investment industry
  4. Possessing a valid international passport. 
  5. Furthermore, candidates should note that all exams will be conducted in English; thus, they should prepare appropriately.
Eligibility criteria for CFA Level 2

Before registering for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 2 examination, it is important that candidates become familiar with the eligibility criteria. To be eligible to sit for the CFA Level 2 exam, applicants must:

  1. Hold a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited university or institute;
  2. Possess a valid international travel passport;
  3. Submit the applicable “Professional Conduct Statement Form”; and
  4. Have a combination of at least 4,000 hours of professional work experience and/or higher education achieved through programs that do not overlap in time. 
  5. It is also recommended that potential test-takers become familiar with the entire process and timeline prior to sitting for the exam.
Eligibility criteria for CFA Level 3

Candidates seeking to register for the Chartered Financial Analyst Level 3 Exam in 2024 must meet certain eligibility requirements. 

  1. This includes having passed the CFA Level 1 and 2 exams, 
  2. Holding a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college
  3. Having a combination of higher education totaling at least four years and/or work experience totalling 4,000 hours,
  4. Possessing a valid international passport, 
  5. And demonstrating proficiency in English.

CFA Exam 2024 Application Process

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute offers online registration for the CFA Level 1 exam on its official website, To register for the CFA Level 1 exam, follow these steps:

Application Details To Register For CFA Level 1

  • Step 1: Access the CFA Institute website and navigate to the “Programs” tab to select “Register” from the drop-down menu.
  • Step 2: Create a CFA account by inputting your email address.
  • Step 3: Log in to your CFA account using the supplied email address and password.
  • Step 4: Select the CFA Level 1 course registration page and fill out the application form. 
  • Step 5: Pay the associated CFA Level 1 registration fee as directed. 
  • Step 6 : Once payment is complete, you will receive a confirmation receipt. Please make a copy of this receipt and keep it for future reference.

Application Details To Register For CFA Level 2 

Candidates can register for their CFA Level 2 Exam 2024 on the official website of the CFA Institute,, in an online mode. To apply, they must fill out the application form before the given deadline. 

  1. To do this, they should visit the login page on the website and enter their registered email address and password from the previous level. 
  2. They should then fill out the registration form with all required details, including passport information such as date of birth and passport number. 
  3. Additionally, they will be asked to choose their employer location or profession, as well as their current employment status. 
  4. After that, nine questions about their professional history must be answered. 
  5. Once all information is submitted, candidates should review their registration form to make sure it is accurate, making any necessary changes before proceeding. 
  6. Finally, CFA Level 2 fees must be paid before registration is complete.

The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute has opened registration for the CFA Level 3 exam for February and August 2024 session. Candidates can complete the registration process by submitting their application form through the official website, All applications must be received before the set deadline. To successfully register for this exam, follow the steps outlined below: 

  1. Access the CFA Institute's website and log in with your credentials 
  2. Select the Level 3 option from the menu 
  3. Input all necessary data into the online form 
  4. Choose either your employer’s location or one of the occupation/education options provided 
  5. Submit payment to complete your application

Preparation Tips For CFA Exam Level 

1. CFA Level 1

Candidates preparing for the CFA Level 1 Exam must devote approximately 300+ hours of intensive study in order to cover all 10 topics in the curriculum. It is essential that candidates allocate their time wisely and have a rigorous study plan in place to pass with flying colours. To aid in this process, we recommend the following steps: 

  1. Firstly, familiarise yourself with relevant calculators so as to avoid last-minute confusion or panic when sitting for the exam. 
  2. Secondly, ensure that you attempt to answer all questions - there is no negative marking for wrong answers, after all! 
  3. Finally, pay close attention to the questions posed, especially if they make reference to the U.S. GAAP; these are always clearly stated.
2. CFA 2

In order to successfully complete the CFA Level 2 exam, candidates must invest time and effort. Here are some tips for success: 

  1. Prioritise difficult topics as these will be weighted more heavily during the assessment. Focus on maximising accuracy in order to increase your scores.
  2. Developing reading speed is essential when tackling case studies. Read quickly but critically to identify relevant points.
  3. Familiarise yourself with the weightage of marks allotted to each topic. This will help you focus your efforts on the most important areas. 
  4. Practising mock papers is an excellent way to build both speed and accuracy before taking the actual exam.
3. CFA 3

Candidates who have successfully cleared the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 and Level 2 exams must focus their attention and energy on preparing for the CFA Level 3 exam in 2024. To ensure success, there are several simple steps candidates can take to ensure they are adequately prepared for the exam day. 

  1. Mock tests are an important component of preparation, as they provide students with the opportunity to practise their skills before taking the actual exam. 
  2. Additionally, it is important to answer all questions regardless if unsure of the answer, as there is no negative marking. 
  3. As calculator use is allowed during the exam, candidates should become comfortable using their calculators prior to the exam. 
  4. Finally, consulting the CFA exam calendar to meet pre-exam deadlines and to become familiar with key dates is essential for success. 

By following these steps, candidates can be sure that their experience on the day of their exam will run smoothly.

Exam Pattern For CFA Exam 2024

1. CFA Exam 2024 Level 1
Particulars Details
Frequency of the exam Four times - February, May, August, and November
Exam level Post graduate
Question format Multiple choice questions
No. of questions asked
  • Total 180 MCQs
  • Session 1 - 90 MCQs
  • Session 2 - 90 MCQs
Time duration of CFA Level 1 exam Total 4.5 hours
Sessions Split into two sessions - each of 2 hours, 15 minutes
Medium of exam English
Marking scheme No negative markings
2.  CFA Exam 2024 Level 2 Pattern
Particulars Details
Frequency of the exam Thrice - February, August and November
Exam level Postgraduate
Question format Vignette-supported multiple choice questions
No. of questions asked 88
Time duration of CFA Level 2 exam 4 hours and 24 minutes (will be divided in two sessions)
Sessions 2 hours and 12 minutes (each)
Medium of exam English
Marking scheme Each question is worth 3 points
3. CFA Exam 2024 Level 3 pattern
Particulars Details
Frequency of the exam Twice - May and August
Exam level Postgraduate
Question format
  • Vignette-supported
  • Easy questions
  • Multiple choice questions
Time duration of CFA Level 3 exam 4 hours and 24 minutes
Sessions (2) 2 hours and 12 minutes (each)
Medium of exam English
Marking scheme Each question is worth 3 points
Marking scheme Each question is worth 3 points

CFA Exam Level 2024 Admit Card

1. CFA Exam Level 1 Admit Card

The CFA Institute has released the Admission Ticket for the CFA Level 1 exam to successfully registered candidates on their official website, Candidates should have received notification of the ticket's release via their registered email address or mobile number. To obtain their respective tickets, candidates must first register on the website and then log in to download them. Upon viewing their tickets, all candidates are required to read and agree to the conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures of the exam before being granted access to the exam centre. The Admission Ticket for the CFA Level 1 Exam is a mandatory document for all participating candidates.

2. CFA Exam Level 2 Admit Card

The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute will release the CFA Level 2 Admission Ticket on its official website 60 days prior to the CFA Level 2 exam date. Candidates can follow these steps in order to access their admission ticket: 

  1. Log on to the official website of the Chartered Financial Analyst® Institute. 
  2. Click on the 'Login' button found on the homepage. 
  3. Enter the login credentials, such as Email ID and Password. 
  4. The CFA Level 2 admission ticket will appear on the screen. 
  5. It is mandatory for candidates to download and take a printout of the admission ticket for future reference.

3. CFA Exam Level 3 Admit Card

Candidates must visit the CFA Institute's website to access their Level 3 Exam Admit Card.

  1. To do so, click on the 'Login' button and enter the email address and password associated with their account. 
  2. Upon successful authentication, the Admit Card will appear on the screen. 
  3. It is strongly recommended that applicants download the document and take a printed copy for future reference.

Exam Centres For CFA Exam 2024

State City State City
Gujarat Ahmedabad West Bengal Kolkata
Rajasthan Jaipur Madhya Pradesh Bhopal


West Bengal Kolkata Uttar Pradesh  Lucknow
Kerala Kochi Maharashtra Mumbai City
Tamil Nadu Chennai Pune
Telangana Hyderabad Assam Guwahati
Odisha Bhubaneshwar Chandigarh Chandigarh
Delhi New Delhi    

Documents Required At The Time of Examination

To sit for the CFA examinations, all candidates must provide the following documentation:  Level I - a valid international passport and admission ticket. Level II - a valid international passport and admission ticket. Level III - a valid international passport and admission ticket. Failure to provide any of the above documents may result in disqualification from the exams.

Relevance of a CFA Course

Prior to beginning an academic journey, it is essential for students to ascertain their motive for undertaking a specific degree or course. Completion of the CFA course can yield numerous advantages and these are some of the major ones:

A Large Number of Job Opportunities: After satisfactorily completing the course, Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs) can avail themselves of many employment opportunities in sectors such as Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, Financial Services and other areas where expertise in financial analysis is sought after.

CFA Courses Fees

Type of Registration

Fees for the CFA Exam in India (INR)
Early Registration Rs. 69, 660
Standard Registration Rs. 92,880

How do I apply for the CFA course?

  1. Candidates wishing to apply for the CFA exam must go to the CFA website and select the exam level they wish to take. 
  2. They must then make an appointment and choose from the available dates, hours, and test locations. 
  3. Students should also fill in foreign passport information such as name, date of birth, passport number, and address. 
  4. Following this, they must review and read the policies and terms and conditions associated with their exam. 
  5. Candidates can then select study materials to aid their preparation. Payment options, such as credit card, debit card, check or money order, must be selected for the CFA registration fee. 
  6. After all, information has been submitted; candidates should save and print a copy of the CFA exam application form.

What kind of jobs and salary can I expect after completing my CFA exam?

  1. Completing the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification course opens up many professional opportunities for individuals in the finance industry. With the necessary qualifications and experience, CFA holders can become Business Consultants, Investment Managers, Private Bankers, CFOs, and many other related positions. A competitive employee can expect to earn salaries ranging from INR 8,00,000 to INR 20,00,000 depending on their prior experience, skill set, and job position.

What strategies can I use to prepare for the CFA exam effectively?

To effectively prepare for the CFA exams, creating a comprehensive study strategy is essential. 

  1. Allocate at least 13 hours each week for an adequate period prior to the exam start date to cover all necessary test subjects and use diverse memory strategies. 
  2. Furthermore, maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious meals and getting 8 hours of sleep every day, especially before the exam. 
  3. Additionally, take advantage of the available mock examinations to improve test-taking confidence and relieve exam stress. 
  4. On the day before the exam, go to the exam centre to familiarise yourself with its layout to reduce any last-minute uncertainty. 
  5. Finally, arrive at the exam centre an hour early on the day of the exam to avoid any traffic, and get a good night's sleep beforehand to ensure that you are well-rested. 

Following these steps will help you to approach the CFA exams confidently.

If you are unsure whether CFA is the ideal course for your child, then our Brainwonders counselling team can help you evaluate the options and identify the best fit. Our experts have researched and analysed different fields of study so that you and your child understand the most impactful and rewarding choice. With our assistance, you can make an informed decision tailored to your child's goals and talents.

FAQs about CFA full form

Q.1: What are the exam dates for CFA 2024?

Ans: CFA Institute has released the complete CFA 2024 exam dates on its official website.

Q.2: Where can I find the study materials for CFA exams?

Ans: The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute provides comprehensive study materials for its examinations on its official website. Level-wise study material is available in PDF format, allowing students to easily download the material they need and begin their preparation. 

Q.3: Where do I download my CFA admit card?

Ans: The CFA Institute has released the admit card for the upcoming examination. Candidates can access and download the document by visiting the institute's official website at Obtaining the admit card several days before the exam is advised to ensure a seamless experience during the test day.

Q.4: What kind of questions are asked in CFA exams?

Ans: The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams consist of multiple-choice (MCQs), descriptive, and essay questions. 

Q.5: Is CFA more difficult than CA?

Ans: While both tests are notoriously demanding, it is widely accepted that the CA test is more challenging due to its homegrown nature compared to the CFA. Students across India have well noted this difficulty level, and it perhaps serves as a testament to the high standards and rigorous demands of Indian examinations.

Q.6: How do I know if I can take the CFA exam?

Ans: Individuals with a bachelor's degree or four years of professional working experience are eligible to apply for this course. Those in their final year of study towards a bachelor's degree can also take this exam.

Q.7: What was the pass rate for CFA level 1 and level 2 exams of 2022 for last year?

Ans: Last year, Level 1 examinations had a pass rate of 36%, while the pass rate for Level 2 examinations was 44%.

Are you aware which subjects and courses will bring you closer to your dream career?

Worry not, because the Brainwonders test and guidance will not only help you know it, but also follow it!



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