CFA Exam 2021: Application Form, Exam Date, Eligibility, Pattern, Admit Card, Result

Exam Date : June 5, 2021

Much like the CA (Chartered Accountant), CMA (Chartered Management Accountant) certifications, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a sought-after professional finance certification offered to finance and investment professionals by the American CFA Institute. About 2.5 lakh people attempt this exam from around the world every year. It is a challenging exam that requires ample practice, preparation, and strategy to clear.


What is CFA?

The CFA which is short for Certified Financial Analyst is a professional qualification in the field of finance and investment. The CFA certification is a globally recognized financial certification that is awarded by the American CFA Institute. The CFA charter is one of the most valued professional qualifications in the field of finance which is acknowledged worldwide as a standard. In order to become a Certified Financial Analyst, the candidate has to pass 3 levels of the exam. These 3 levels of the CFA exam test the candidates for their proficiency and integrity as analysts in the finance field. CFA exams will examine the ability of the candidates in areas of accounting, investment, economics, money management, and ethics, etc. To be considered a CFA charter holder one has to pass all the levels of the exam and acquire the necessary work experience of 4 years. Below given are some of the key elements of the CFA Exam.

  • About CFA: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program is a professional credential offered internationally by the American-based CFA Institute to investment and financial professionals.
  • Area of Concern: The program covers a broad range of topics relating to investment management, financial analysis, quantitative analysis, equities, fixed income, and derivatives, and provides a generalist knowledge of the many other areas of finance.
  • Conducting Body: CFA examination will be conducted by the CFA Institute, United States of America.
  • Level of Exam: CFA is an International Level exam. In India, it is conducted in Four cities New Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
  • CFA Pattern: CFA is conducted Twice a year in Three Levels- Level-I, Level-II, Level-III. Students who undergo CFA Exams have to study various financial subjects which cover a large variety of topics like stocks, bonds, derivative, financial management, investments, economics, and much more. The CFA Exam is one of the toughest exams and it requires a lot of practice and preparation of all the subjects related to finance. Upon successful completion of all the three levels of the CFA Exam, the candidate becomes a member of the CFA Institute and is announced to be a CFA Charterholder. Candidates who want to pursue CFA should read below for more information in the CFA Exam.

CFA 2021 Highlights

Given below are the highlights of the CFA exam. Continue reading further to get a complete picture of the CFA Exam.

Exam Name Chartered Financial Analyst
Acronym CFA
Conducting Body CFA Institue
Level National
Frequency Twice a Year
Mode Online
Duration 90 mins
Language English
Purpose To grant ‘CFA charter’ to investment and financial professionals
Course Offered CFA Programme
Official Website

CFA 2021 Exam Dates

The CFA 2021 Exam takes place online and twice a year. The different levels of the CFA 2021 Exam will be held on separate dates. The dates for each of the CFA 2021 exams are given below.

CFA 2021 Exam includes Three Series of Exam: Level-I, Level-II, Level-III. 

  • Registration: The registration process for all three levels will start on the same day. 
  • Admit Card: The Admit Cards can be downloaded from the official website on the dates mentioned for the respective levels.
  • Examination Dates: The examination dates for the three levels will be different to counter the availability of exam centres and to accommodate the number of candidates the apply for the examinations.

CFA 2021 Schedule and Dates

 The candidates must check the important dates and make sure not to miss out on any of the significant events. The following tables give important dates for the upcoming sessions.

Level-I: June Session - Important Dates

Event Date
Registration Opens February 17, 2021 
Early Registration Fee Deadline March 17, 2021 
Level 1 Exam June 5, 2021 


CFA 2021 Important changes

The CFA 2021 dates have been postponed and some important changes have been made.

  • The CFA 2021 CBT of Level 1 will be conducted in four windows (February, May, August, and November).
  • The first CFA 2021 CBT exam will be offered in February 2021.
  • CBT will have more exam centres.
  • Registration for June 2021 Level 1 exam will open in February 2021.
  • The number of questions for the CFA exam is also reduced to 180.
  • The testing time has also reduced.
Ahmedabad Kolkata Bhopal
Bangalore Chennai Hyderabad
Jaipur Lucknow Mumbai
New Delhi  Pune --

The CFA 2021 will not be conducted in the following places outside India -

Buenos Aires Melbourne Calgary
Vancouver Toronto Edmonton
Santiago Dublin Mexico City
Charlotte Johannesburg Lima
Chicago Los Angeles Madison
New York City Pheonix Sacramento
San Francisco San Diego San Jose
Seattle Washington, DC Boston
Manila Singapore --

CFA 2021 Exam Pattern

The CFA 2021 Exam pattern is given below. Candidates must know and be familiar with the CFA 2021 exam pattern to prepare for the exam better. Knowing the CFA 2021 exam pattern is an advantage to all CFA aspirants.

  • The examination is conducted for 6 hours per day and 3 hours per session.
  • CFA exam is conducted in two sessions per day, Morning session is of 3 hours from 9 am to 12 pm similarly, the Afternoon session is also 3 hours from 2 pm to 5 pm.
Level of Exam No.of Multiple Choice Questions(MCQ's) Duration of Examination Morning Session Afternoon Session
Level-I 240 3 hours 120 Questions are to be answered 120 Questions are to be answered
Level-II 120 3 hours 10 set of 6 Questions in each set 10 set of 6 Questions in each set
Level-III 120 3 hours 60 Questions 60 Questions

CFA 2021 Eligibility Criteria

The CFA 2021 Eligibility criteria are significant for a CFA 2021 aspirant. The candidate must read the eligibility criteria carefully and must meet all the requirements of the criteria to apply and appear for the CFA 2021 Exam. The details of the CFA 2021 eligibility criteria is given below.

The CFA Eligibility Criteria is different for each level of the CFA Exam. The CFA Eligibility Criteria for all the 3 levels is given below,

  • Level-I Eligibility Criteria:
    • The candidate shall pursue in Final Year of any Bachelor Degree Program.
    • The candidate shall also be a Bachelor Degree holder.
    • The candidate shall have Work Experience of 4 years or a combination of work and college that totals four years.
  • Level-II Eligibility Criteria:
    • The candidate should have a Bachelor's Degree.
    • A candidate shall have Work Experience of 4 years or a combination of work and college that totals four years.
  • Level-III Eligibility Criteria:
    • Candidate should have a Bachelor's Degree.
    • Candidates should clear Level-I and Level-II exams.

Candidates should note that even though it is stated in the CFA Eligibility Criteria that work experience of 4 years is mandatory, it is only needed to get the CFA Charterholder. You will not be considered a CFA Charterholder unless you have 4 years of work experience. Candidates are allowed to appear for all the 3 levels of the CFA Exam without having any work experience. There are pretty much no restrictions to appear for the CFA Level-I Exam but for the CFA Level-II Exam, it is required for candidates to have an undergraduate/bachelor's degree and to have passed the CFA Level-I.

CFA 2021 Application Process

The CFA is a globally recognized financial certification which has 3 levels of exams. The exams are conducted thrice a year in the months, January/February, May/June, and September/October. The application process of the CFA Exam is entirely online so to register for any of the CFA Exam Levels, candidates will have to go to the official website. Candidates will have to enter their details and pay the required fee for the exam. The exam fee varies for each CFA level exam. Only the candidates who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for the CFA examination. Hence, applicants should check the eligibility criteria beforehand. The following are the important point to consider while applying for the CFA Exam.

Steps to follow while applying for the CFA Exam:

  • Create a login account with your email ID.
  • Candidate needs to enter their name, email ID, password, and enter a security question.
  • After creating an account, the Candidate can log in and fill-up the form providing all the required information.
  • Then, the candidate will need to pay the exam fees. Payment can be done online using Credit Card, Debit Card, Net banking, etc.

CFA 2021 Application Form

The CFA 2021 Application form is released online on the official website and candidates must complete the application process before the last date. The CFA 2021 aspirants must read the eligibility criteria and meet all the eligibility requirements before filling the CFA 2021 Application form. The Application process for CFA 2021 will require candidates to complete various stages of the process like the registration, form filling, uploading documents, and payment of the fees. It is an online process that needs the candidate to enter all the valid information and details. The payment of the application fees is an important part of the CFA 2021 Application process.

  • Registration fee: Registration fee
  • Fee Payment Process
    • Fee payment can be made online with the help of a Credit card: American Express, Diner’s Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, UnionPay, or Visa
    • Offline payment can be made through wire transfer, ACH, check money order, or postal order.
    • Receipt of payment of the fees will be emailed to the candidates.
  • Enrollment and Registration fee

    Before early fee Deadline

    Before Standard fee Dead Line

    Before Late Fee Dead Line

    CFA Program Enrollment Fee

    INR 32065

    INR 32065

    INR 32065

    CFA Exam Registration Fee

    INR 46316

    INR 67692

    INR 98331

CFA 2021 Exam Centre

  • CFA is an International wide examination, CFA 2019 exam in India will be conducted in Banglore, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Dehli.
  • Institute will assign a test centre to candidates taking into account their requested exam location based on availability.
  • CFA Institute will make an effort to place candidates in the test centre location as requested however, space considerations may require placing some candidates at alternate sites.
  • If the Candidate needs a visa to travel to a distant test centre, its candidates' responsibility to make arrangements well in advance.
  • Final test centre confirmation will be displayed on candidates exam Admission card, available several weeks before the exam.

Note: The CFA 2021 aspirants must know that if there is a need to change the test centre they can do so by logging into their accounts and by selecting Test Change Area. A new screen will appear on which the candidate must select 'Change My Test Centre'. The candidates can choose the test centres according to their convenience.

CFA 2021 Admit Card

The CFA 2021 Admit card is an important document that contains much important information about the candidate and the exam. The CFA 2021 Admit card will be released on the official website which all candidates must download. Candidates shall be allowed to the exam hall if he/she has a valid, unexpired, international travel passport (review the Identification Policy) and a valid exam admission ticket.

  • Access Admit Card: Before viewing the admission card, candidates will be prompted to read and agree to the conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures for the CFA exam.
  • Print Admit Card: Candidate shall take print of Admit Card on clean, unused paper. Candidate must not write on the front or back of your exam admission ticket at any time.
  • Review Your Ticket: Make sure printed admit card displays all the information correctly,
    • CFA Institute ID number.
    • Last four characters of passport number.
    • Name as it appears in your CFA Institute account.
    • Passport expiration date.
    • The name, date, and location of the test centre where is it assigned to take the exam
  • Confirm or Update Name or Passport Information: The information on the admit card reflects CFA records. If the information does not exactly match what appears on a valid, unexpired, international travel passport, the candidate will not be permitted to sit for the exam and will forfeit the registration fee.
  • Login to confirm or update the information: To update information in an account,
    • Submit the Identification Information.
    • Login and make the changes.
    • Submit or Update the changes.
  • Remember: Reprint the admit card after updating the information.

CFA 2021 Syllabus

The CFA 2021 Exam is divided into 3 parts as level-I, level-II, and level-III. Candidates have to pass all the 3 CFA exams to become a CFA charter holder. The CFA 2021 Syllabus for all three levels is different. The CFA Level-I Syllabus consists of introductory financial and investment concepts and it will contain topics that will be covered using the investment tools. The CFA Level-II Syllabus will be covering the valuation of different assets and implementation of the investment tools. The CFA Level-III Syllabus is mainly composed of topics with wealth and portfolio management as well as producing analytical methods to learn their application.

The following 3 tables give the detailed CFA 2021 Syllabus along with the weightage for each topic.

CFA 2021 Level-I Syllabus

The CFA 2021 Level-1 Syllabus is as follows;

Subjects Weightage
Ethical and Professional Standards 15%
Quantitative Methods 10%
Economics 10%
Financial Reporting and Analysis 15%
Corporate Finance 10%
Equity Investments 11%
Fixed Income 11%
Derivatives 6%
Alternative Investments 6%
Portfolio Managemen 6%

CFA 2021 Level-II Syllabus

The CFA 2021 Level-2 Syllabus is as follows;

Subjects Weightage
Ethical and Professional Standards 10%-15%
Quantitative Methods 5%-10%
Economics 5%-10%
Financial Reporting and Analysis 10%-15%
Corporate Finance 5%-10%
Equity Investments 10%-15%
Fixed Income 10%-15%
Derivatives 5%-10%
Alternative Investments 5%-10%
Portfolio Managemen 5%-15%

CFA 2021 Level-III Syllabus

The CFA 2021 Level-3 Syllabus is as follows;

Subjects Weightage
Ethical and Professional Standards 10%-15%
Economics 5%-10%
Equity Investments 10%-15%
Fixed Income 15%-20%
Derivatives 5%-10%
Alternative Investments 5%-10%
Portfolio Management 35%-40%

CFA 2021 Results

  • Each candidate who appears for a CFA Program exam is provided with a "pass" or "did not pass" exam result as well as detailed information on their performance.
  • After each exam, the CFA Institute Board of Governors sets the minimum passing score (MPS) for each level.
  • The results will be available for download on the official website for about a year.
  • After candidates receive their exam results, they may register for the next exam.
  • After that, the candidate will have to request an official letter. This letter will be confirming their "pass" or "did not pass" status, but their topic area performance summary will no longer be available.
  • Detailed exam scores and responses to exam questions, however, are not shared with the candidates as CFA Institute officially owns them.
  • Level, I and Level II candidates, will be able to see their result within 60 days of the exam and for Level III candidates within 90 days.
  • The CFA results are available within 60 days after the date of the examination. Candidates can check results on the CFA Official website after the exam concludes.

Steps to check the CFA 2021 Result

  • Go to the official website of the CFA Institute.
  • Find and click on the option saying "CFA Result".
  • After clicking on the CFA Result link, candidates will have to enter their ID and password to login to the account.
  • Once the applicant is logged in, the result of the exam will be displayed on the screen.
  • Candidates view the result online and download the result and take prints of it if necessary.

CFA 2021 Selection process

The CFA 2021 Selection process comprises of various stages. The first step towards getting qualifies is to go through the CFA 2021 Application process. The second stage is to collect the CFA 2021 Admit card. The candidates must appear for the exam with the admit card along with other valid documents. Without the admit card the candidates will not be able to give the CFA 2021 exam. 

The CFA 2021 Exam consists of three levels which are of 6 hours each. The candidates for each of the levels for the CFA 2021 exam must be prepared thoroughly. Each of these levels will determine whether the aspirant will proceed to the next level. Level III of the CFA 2021 is the last stage. After the CFA 2021 exams, the results will be declared and all candidates who meet the cut off will be shortlisted. 

How to prepare for CFA 2021 Exam?

CFA is a highly valued international certification in the field of finance which is offered by CFA Institue, USA. There are three levels of the CFA Exam which candidates have to pass in order to become CFA Charterholder. To acquire CFA certification, rigorous preparation is needed. Candidates will have to carefully study the CFA 2021 Syllabus and Exam pattern for each CFA level before starting the preparation. They must take mock tests daily or weekly and practice previous year question papers. This will help them keep a check on their progress, time management, accuracy, and getting more familiar with the exam. This will also give the candidates confidence.

Along with this, it is vital to understand how the marking distribution is for topics on each level by checking the weightage of these topics. Every question in the CFA exam should be answered as there is no negative marking. It is recommended that candidates commit at least 300 hours for the preparation of each level. There is a lot of material available like practice books, study guides, and online video courses which can be used for preparation for CFA 2021 Exams.

CFA 2021 Reference Books

There are three levels of CFA 2021 Exam. In order to become a CFA, the candidate must pass all three levels. The syllabus of each level is different. Although there is no negative marking for any of the levels, the syllabus is vast and registration fees are on the costlier side so it becomes crucial to pass the levels in the minimum number of attempts. In order to pass all the levels in single attempts, accuracy and time management are necessary which can be achieved by a lot of practice. Hence CFA 2021 Reference books are an important part of the preparation for the exam. When there are so many options available, selecting the right books for the CFA is essential to do well in the exams. Appearing candidates can choose any of the following books for CFA 2021 Exam preparations.

  • CFA level-1 Kaplan Schweser Study Material [5 Syllabus books + 2 Practice books] - Kaplan Schweser
  • Wiley's Level-1 CFA Program Study Guide - Wiley
  • Wiley's Level-2 CFA Program Study Guide - Wiley
  • Wiley's Level-3 CFA Program Study Guide - Wiley
  • 25th Hour Notes - Havels Learning System
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis - M. Imraan Ahsan
  • International Financial Statement Analysis - Thomas R. Robinson, Elaine Henry
  • The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities - Fabozzi
  • CFA level-1 Economics - M. Imraan Ahsan
  • Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives - John C. Hull and Sanakarshan Basu

Frequently Asked Questions

To apply for the CFA exam, a candidate must satisfy the following criteria:

  • For level-I:
    • The candidate shall pursue in Final Year of any Bachelor Degree Program.
    • The candidate shall also be a Bachelor Degree holder.
    • The candidate shall have Work Experience of 4 years or a combination of work and college that totals four years.
  • For Level-II:
    • Candidate should have a Bachelor's Degree.
    • A candidate shall have Work Experience of 4 years or a combination of work and college that totals four years.
  • For Level-III:
    • Candidate should have a Bachelor's Degree.
    • Candidates should clear Level-I and Level-II exams.

There is no limit on the number of attempts for the CFA Exam. 

The CFA Exam is an international level exam conducted by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute. As an international-level exam, a CFA certification will enable a finance professional to seek employment in several countries abroad as a financier or a financial analyst.

CFA is a Chartered Financial analyst and CA is Chartered Account. The governing bodies for both are different. CFA is governed by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and CA is governed by the ICAI i.e. Institute of Chartered Accountant in India. A person who completes CA can work in India whereas someone who wishes to make a career abroad in the finance sector can go for CFA. Candidates can enroll in CA right after the standard 12 but a candidate needs to have graduated with a bachelor's degree if they want to pursue CFA.

No. Candidate who wishes to appear for the CFA Exam must have a bachelor's degree or they should be in their final year of the degree program.

The CFA Certification can be achieved in the minimum span of two years assuming all the entry requirements are met [Undergraduate Degree, Work Experience, etc] i.e. Applicants can take the CFA I, CFA II and CFA III Exams within two years but the recommended study time of 300 hours will make the time period of the CFA completion close to 2 to 5 years.

Yes. CFA and MBA is always a good combination. In fact, most of the reputed business schools with finance programs will have tie-ups with the CFA Institute. While studying for the CFA Exam, the candidate will gain in-depth technical skills related to Finance, Investment, etc which ultimately helps the candidate to become a successful financial professional whereas the MBA will cover all aspects of the business including marketing, consulting, finance and more. Along with it, a candidate will get better at negotiation skills due to MBA. Hence even if someone has an MBA, he/she can always go for CFA if they intend to make career in Finance.

Yes, if the candidate is not satisfied with his/her score then he/she may apply for retabulation or rechecking of the exam score. The candidate can apply for the CFA Exam rechecking within the 30 days of getting his/her result. The candidate will need to pay an additional fee of USD 100. The rechecking or retabulation process as its called in CFA Exam will involve just recalculating the marks which were given already. This does not include the remarking of the answers and there are rarely ever any differences between the actual score obtained in the CFA Exam and score after the rechecking of the CFA Exam.

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