FAQs

Frequently asked questions about CFA

CFA - General

1. How valuable is the CFA qualification?

The CFA Program is a globally recognized, graduate-level curriculum that provides a strong foundation of the real- world investment analysis, portfolio management skills and practical knowledge needed to succeed in today's investment industry.

2. Who employs CFA charterholders?

  • Asset Management Companies
  • Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • Private Banks
  • Commercial Banks
  • Brokerage Firms
  • Investment Banks
  • Big 4 consultancy firms
  • Financial Advisory Firms

3. Why should I pursue this qualification?

  • Global Recognition- The CFA Program is the most widely known and respected investment credential in the world.
  • Credibility
  • Career Advantage- Employers recognize the CFA charter as the definitive standard by which to measure the competence, integrity, and dedication of investment professionals.

4. What are the eligibility criteria for the CFA Program?

Yes, a student needs to meet any of the below eligibility requirements to sit for the exams:

  • Have a bachelor's (or equivalent) degree - or be in the final year of your bachelor's degree program at the time of registration 
  • Or have four years of professional work experience (does not have to be investment related)
  • Or have a combination of professional work and college experience that totals at least four years. Part-time positions do not qualify, and the four-year total must be accrued prior to enrollment.

5. Can I be exempted from writing any of the CFA papers?

No, there are no exemptions regardless of the qualifications or the work experience they possess. Students must write all three levels.

6. What are the steps in earning the CFA charter?

The steps to be followed are:

  1. Sequentially pass all three CFA exams
  2. Four years of qualifying work experience in activities that consist to a majority extent of evaluating or applying financial, economic, and/or statistical data as part of the investment decision-making process involving securities or similar investments.
  3. Join the CFA Institute as a regular member
  4. Join the CFA Local Society chapter as a member

7. When are the exams held for each level?

  • CFA Level I - June and December of the year
  • CFA Level II - Every June
  • CFA Level III - Every June

Exams are held on the first Saturday of June & December

8. What is the focus of each level?

  • Level I - Introduction to financial Tools and Investment analysis
  • Level II - Focus is on valuation. In depth treatment of each topic in Level I
  • Level III - Portfolio Management is the most important topic in this level. Level III brings together the concepts & tools studied in CFA Level I & II and applies them in a practical context

9. What are the Topics covered in each of the levels?

CFA Level I & CFA Level II covers following 10 topic areas:

  • Ethics
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Economics
  • Financial Reporting & Analysis
  • Corporate Finance
  • Equities
  • Fixed Income
  • Alternative Investments
  • Derivatives
  • Portfolio Management

CFA Level III covers following topic areas:

  • Equities
  • Fixed Income
  • Alternative Investments
  • Derivatives
  • Portfolio Management

10. What is the topic area weightage for each of the levels?

CFA Topic Area

Level I

Level II

Level III

Ethical and Professional Standards

15

10

10

     Quantitative Methods

12

5-10

0

      Economics

10

5-10

0

      Financial Reporting and Analysis

20

15-25

0

      Corporate Finance

8

5-15

0

Investment Tools

50

30-60

0

      Equity Investments

10

20-30

5-15

      Fixed Income Investments

12

5-15

10-20

      Derivatives

5

5-15

5-15

      Alternative Investments

3

5-15

5-15

Asset Valuation

30

35-75

35-45

Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning

5

5-15

45-55

Total

100

100

100

11. What is the exam duration and format for each CFA exam?

Exam Duration

6 Hours

  • Morning: 3 Hours
  • Afternoon: 3 Hours

6 Hours

  • Morning: 3 Hours
  • Afternoon: 3 Hours

6 Hours

  • Morning: 3 Hours
  • Afternoon: 3 Hours

Number of Questions

240 Multiple Choice Questions

20 Item Sets Each Item Set has 6 questions. Total of 120 questions

10- 15 Essay type questions in the morning followed by item sets in the afternoon

Number of Exams in a year

June & December

June

June

Exam Locations

Testing Centers in Dubai & Abu Dhabi

Testing Centers in Dubai & Abu Dhabi

Testing Centers in Dubai & Abu Dhabi

Registration

www.cfainstitute.org

www.cfainstitute.org

www.cfainstitute.org

12. What are the CFA examination fees?

There are usually three deadlines for registration for each level. The total fees varies, out of which this is divided into:

  • Program Enrolment (CFA Level I only)
  • Exam Registration
  • Curriculum E-Book or Printed version

13. When should I start studying?

CFA Institute recommends a minimum of 300 preparations hours for each level.

However, students with no prior experience in Finance or Accounting will need to put in much more time and hence start studies earlier.

14. When will the CFA exam results be released?

CFA Level I exam results are released approximately six weeks after the exams are conducted.

CFA Level II & III exam results are released approximately eight weeks after the exams are conducted.

15. Which calculators are approved for the CFA exam?

Only two calculator models are authorized for use during CFA exams:

  • Texas Instruments BA II Plus (including BA II Plus Professional)
  • Hewlett Packard 12C (including the HP 12C Platinum, 12C 25th anniversary edition, and 12C 30th anniversary edition)

All CFA students are required to bring their own calculators on the exam - calculators will not be available in the testing center.

CFA - Study Materials

1. Do I get any Study Materials from the CFA Institute upon registration?

Yes, the CFA Institute provides six books for the curriculum for each level which are divided into 18 Study sessions with assigned readings and Learning Outcome Statements (LOS).

These books are given to students by default and are crucial from the examination point of view.

2. What study materials are used in class?

Genesis Institute refers the CFA Curriculum. These books are used to explain concepts and solve problems in all CFA Classes.

3. Does Genesis offer supplementary study materials?

Genesis Institute is an official distributor of Kaplan Schweser which is the world’s largest publisher of CFA prep course materials since 1993.

Essential Prep Package (EPP): One of the most popular packages used by students in class is the EPP. The EPP also comes along with the Schweser Pro, which is an online question bank of 4000+ multiple choice questions across the topic areas in different modes of difficulty. This question bank allows students to test themselves in the form of quizzes where the students have the liberty of choosing the topics areas where they would like to be tested upon across a range of difficulty. Some of the benefits include:

  • 5 Study Guides
  • 2 volumes of Practice exam workbooks (Consisting of 3 full length paper each)
  • Online access to Q Bank

Schweser Premium Instruction Package (PIP) includes:

  • Schweser Study Planner
  • Schweser Notes™
  • Schweser's Quick Sheet™
  • Schweser Pro™ Q Bank (Online + Download)*
  • Practice Exams, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
  • Instructor Link

Instructor Link

  • Schweser Library
  • Exam-tips Blog
  • Instructor-led Office Hours
  • Searchable FAQs
  • Instructor Email Access

Schweser Premium Plus Package (PPP) includes:

  • Schweser Study Planner
  • Schweser Notes™
  • Schweser's Quick Sheet™
  • Schweser Pro™ Q Bank (Online + Download)*
  • Practice Exams, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
  • Instructor Link
  • Schweser Library
  • Exam-tips Blog
  • Instructor-led Office Hours
  • Searchable FAQs
  • Instructor Email Access

Final Review Pack:

  • 3-Day Exam Workshop Online archived online, including 20+ hours of instruction
  • Online Mock Exam for a simulated exam experience
  • Multimedia Review, including a complete analysis of every Mock Exam question
  • Schweser's Secret Sauce® - a compact book outlining what you need to know on exam day

Testimonials

  • CFA is a massive and a tough mountain to climb…Some of the kookiest and most lively instructors are found in this amazing family called Genesis.

    Fraz Siddiqi
  • CFA was toughest challenge I took in my life... Tips & encouragement from faculty were indeed required to maintain the energy for this long and time consuming preparation.

    Shyju Kumaran
  • Since I have joined the CFA program... I got promoted more than once... CFA program is never an easy one... Genesis Faculty gets alot of the credit for my success.

    Dr. Yaseen Taha Alkamas
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