About the Exam

The CFA curriculum is grounded in the practice of the investment profession. The exam is administered by CFA Institute, an international, nonprofit member organization of more than 82,000 investment practitioners and educators in 124 countries. The CFA Program includes a series of three exams; Levels I, II, and III. The exams must be passed sequentially and are available in English only. Level I is offered in June and December. Levels II and III are offered only in June.


The Four Major Topic Areas covered on a CFA Exam are:

  1. Ethical and Professional Standards
  2. Tools and Inputs for Investment Valuation and Management
  3. Asset Valuation
  4. Portfolio Management and Performance Presentation

Each Level of the Program is organized primarily around a functional area:

  • Level I – Tools and Inputs; Intro to Asset Valuation and Portfolio Management Techniques;
  • Level II – Asset Valuation; Applications of Tools and Inputs (including economics, financial statement analysis, and quantitative methods) in Asset Valuation;
  • Level III – Portfolio Management; Strategies for Applying Tools, Inputs, and Asset Valuation Models in Managing Equity, Fixed Income, and Derivative Investments for Individuals and Institutions
  • Ethical and Professional Standards are covered at all three levels.

Curious to find out how much you already know? Take the CFA Candidate Self-Assessment Test. To learn more about CFA Institute and the exam, review the topics covered on the exam and visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.