CFA – Full Form, Course details, Duration, Eligibility, Fees, Syllabus 2024, Level 1

CFA – The Chartered Financial Analyst curriculum focuses on main investing areas such as equity, fixed income, private equity, derivatives, and real estate. Students are drawn to this programme in order to improve their chances of landing a job at a prominent investment business. Read on to learn about the CFA Full Form, course information, fees, and more.

What is the full form of CFA?

CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst in its entire form. As a worldwide, non-profit professional organisation, the CFA Institute offers a nationally recognised professional certification to examine and credential the skill and integrity of financial professionals. It is considered a gold standard in the field of investment research and a worldwide famous distinction in finance, and it is one of the most sought-after employment possibilities for investment professionals.

What is CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)?

The acronym CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. The CFA designation is one of the most coveted among investment professionals all over the world. CFA Institute offers an internationally recognised professional certificate in financial management and investment management. The CFA programme is widely considered the most prestigious and well-known qualification in finance and investment management. Aspirants who complete the course obtain knowledge of the finance and investment industries, which they can apply to their existing skills. As a result, your chances of securing a high-paying position in finance and investment management improve.

India has seen an increase in CFA jobs as a result of the country’s rapid industrialisation and globalisation. Aspirants who will be certified by the CFA Institute after passing the three levels of tests listed below:

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

Exams are given at all three levels, with questions on economics, security analysis, accounting, and money management. The CFA test is held in June for all three levels. In December, the CFA Level 1 test is also held.

People interested in a career in banking, corporate finance, or financial services will benefit from the CFA programme. Furthermore, after completing the course, individual practice becomes a possibility. Aspirants do not need to attend regular classes to complete CFA because it is a self-study programme.

The CFA curriculum includes both academic theory and field practice, which can be gained through suitable work experience. The CFA programme teaches applicants how to invest and make money in the stock market, sectors, businesses, and on a personal basis.

Who should pursue a CFA program?

Choosing a course is based on what your ultimate aim is and whether or not you should truly pursue that degree/course/etc. The following are some examples of students or professionals who could be interested in the CFA programme:

Fresh Graduates: Aspirants who have recently completed their education and are seeking a career in the investment finance sector should choose the CFA programme. Completing all CFA levels demonstrates that the candidate possesses all of the world’s best expertise in the field.

Professionals in the Investment Sector: Professionals in the investment industry can enrol in CFA programmes to gain world-class information and a better grasp of the industry. Obtaining a Charter certificate is also a significant accomplishment that will enhance their resume.

Eligibility criteria to become CFA

To become a CFA, an individual must pass all three levels of the CFA Institute’s Chartered Financial Analyst Exam, which are levels I, II, and III. The CFA course consists of three levels and takes roughly 1.5 years to complete. The students will earn the Chartered Financial Analyst credential once they have completed the course. The three tests, with the exception of level I, are held once a year in June, though they may alternatively be held in December. An applicant who desires to become a Chartered Financial Analyst must possess the following qualifications:

  • Aspirants for the course must have a bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of their bachelor’s degree programme.
  • A minimum of four years of relevant work experience is required.
  • The candidate must have a total of four years of professional experience and education.

CFA Course Structure

Aspirants must first enrol in the Chartered Financial Analyst programme & schedule an exam and then complete the levels.


  • Introduction to asset types such as equity, fixed income, and alternative investments, among others.
  • Detailed knowledge of instruments like as financial reporting and analysis, mathematics, and economics, among others.
  • Ethics are held in high respect.


  • A deeper look into asset valuation, such as equity, fixed income, and derivatives.
  • Financial statement analysis and detailed study of tools.


  • A shift in perspective towards asset portfolio management
  • Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning are given more than 50% of the credit.

After completing all 3 levels take a 4-year work experience and then apply for the charter award.

CFA Entrance Exam

To obtain a Chartered Financial Analyst certification, candidates must pass all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute’s Chartered Financial Analyst Exam. Aspirants who meet the institute’s qualifying requirements can register for level 1 of the Chartered Financial Analyst test. Only aspirants who pass the CFA level 1 test are eligible for the CFA level 2 exam, and only those who pass the CFA level 2 exam are eligible for the Chartered Financial Analyst level 3 exam.

Every year in June, the level 2 and level 3 Chartered Financial Analyst exams are administered. The Chartered Financial Analyst level one exam is held twice a year, in June and December. The Chartered Financial Analyst level 1 test consists of 180 multiple-choice questions that are administered on a computer. Within 60-90 days of the exam date, the Chartered Financial Analyst exam results are made available online.

CFA Required Skill Set

The Chartered Financial Analyst exam is difficult, and the process of becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder puts one’s understanding of the subject, as well as diligence, willpower, and endurance, to the test. Because Chartered Financial Analyst is a holistic career, passing all levels of tests is insufficient to offer certification, but not a skill set. To become a professional Chartered Financial Analyst, you must have the following skills:

  • Excel Modeling Skills
  • Analytical Skills
  • Computer Skills
  • Decision Making Skills
  • Time Management Skills
  • Math Skills
  • Foundational investment skills
  • Integrity
  • Discipline
  • Attention to Detail
  • Diligence
  • Self-motivation
  • An eye to detail
  • Communication skills

Relevance of a CFA Program

Before embarking on an academic journey, students must understand why they are pursuing that particular degree/course/etc. There are numerous benefits to finishing the Chartered Financial Analyst programme, some of which are listed below:

A large Number of Job Opportunities: After completing the programme, a Chartered Financial Analyst will have a plethora of work choices. A variety of industries, such as accounting, auditing, taxation, financial services, and many others, have job roles developed specifically for CFAs, such as Chartered Accountants, Financial Advisors, and so on.

Great Scope: Given the multitude of career options and growth prospects accessible to Chartered Financial Analysts, one irrefutable fact about Chartered Financial Analysts is that it has a lot of potentials.

Bigger Pay Cheque: Another major advantage that Chartered Financial Analysts have is that they are paid well. After completing the Chartered Financial Analyst course, the typical annual pay will be in the range of INR 4 lakhs to 40 lakhs.

CFA Program Curriculum

Here is the Chartered Financial Analyst program curriculum

Topic AreaLevel 1Level 2Level 3
Ethical and Professional Standards15%10-15%10-15%
Quantitative methods10% 05-10%0
Economics10% 05-10% 05-10%
Financial Reporting and Analysis15%10-15%0
Corporate finance10% 05-10% 0
Equity Investments11%10-15%10-15%
Fixed Income11%10-15%15-20%
Derivatives06% 05-10% 05-10%
Alternatives Investments06% 05-10% 05-10%
Portfolio Management06% 05-15%35-40%

CFA Exam Pattern

Here is the exam pattern of the Chartered Financial Analyst exam which aspirants should know.

ExamLevel 1Level 2Level 3
Morning Session120 Questions60 Questions in 10 case studiesEssay type
Afternoon Session120 Questions 60 Questions in 10 case studies 60 Questions in 10 case studies
Duration03 hrs for each session 03 hrs for each session 3 hrs for each session
Question TypeMCQMCQs based on caseletEssay + MCQ
Exam MonthThe first week of June & DecemberThe first week of JuneFirst week of June

CFA Career Opportunities / Work Profiles

A Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder has access to a wide range of job opportunities. A Chartered Financial Analyst has the opportunity to work in a variety of fields, including.

  • Corporate banking
  • Quantitative analytics
  • Asset Management
  • Investment banking M&A
  • Derivatives
  • Wealth management
  • Private Equity
  • Equities
  • Research
  • Trading
  • Risk management
  • Capital Markets

Looking at the job opportunities, generally, Chartered Financial Analyst charter holders choose to work as Research Analysts, Portfolio Managers, Investment Banking Analysts, and Chief-level Executive, among other job roles

CFA Job Profiles and Salary

The following are some of the job profiles available to a Chartered Financial Analyst. Find out what the beginning salary for these job descriptions is.

Job RolesApprox Annual Income
Portfolio ManagerRs. 8,00,000/-
Associate in investment banking Rs. 8,00,000/-
Equity Research Associate Rs. 7,00,000/-
Financial Analyst Rs. 6,00,000/-
Credit Analyst Rs. 6,00,000/-
Research Analyst Rs. 5,00,000/-
Equity Analyst Rs. 5,00,000/-

Top Recruiters hiring CFA

Here is the list of some top recruiters hiring Chartered Financial Analysts.

  • Pricewaterhouse Coopers
  • Bank of America
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • HSBC
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Credit Suisse
  • Wells Fargo
  • CitiGroup
  • RBC
  • The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  • Ernst & Young
  • UBS
  • Crisil
  • Wells Fargo

Famous CFA institutes or colleges in India

Here is the list of some Chartered Financial Analyst institutes in India.

  • CFA Institutes (Chartered Finance Analyst Institute), Mumbai
  • IIBMs (Indian Institute of Business Management and Studies), Mumbai
  • Narayan Institute, Gujarat
  • MIFM (Mansukh Institute of Financial Markets), New Delhi
  • CIIMS Raipur (Central India Institute of Management Studies), Chhattisgarh

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Got a question?

Frequently Asked Questions

CFA charter holder salaries in the United States range from $64,234 to $255,000 per year, according to Payscale. Why is there such a wide range of prices? Because the charter can be used in a variety of positions with varying levels of responsibility. Bonuses and years of experience also play a role.

Only if you wish to get more knowledge and expertise in financial or investment sectors as an analyst could CFA be a suitable option for you. On the other hand, if you want to improve your math skills, accounting, auditing, and taxation, you should try becoming a CA.

The CFA course is organised into three levels, with each level requiring a minimum of four years of practical training experience following graduation. With an average passing percentage of 0.5 per cent, CA is considered the most difficult course in the world. When compared to CA, the passing percentage of CFA is higher.

You are eligible to take the exam if you have a bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree or are in your last year of a bachelor’s degree at the time of registration, or if you have four years of qualified, professional work experience or a mix of work and college experience totaling four years.

In India, CA is a statutory certificate, whereas the CFA® Program is an international qualification that is recognised by any investment firm in the globe. After completing your 12th grade, you can begin studying for the CA, whereas the CFA® Program is only available after graduation.

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