ISM Institute of Stock Market Delhi

Forge a rewarding career in finance by pursuing the CFA course.

Excel in finance with our top-tier CFA Course. ISM Institute provides exceptional CFA classes to help you elevate your career in the financial sector. Don't miss out, enroll now and take the next step towards your professional goals!

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What is the CFA Course?

The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Course is offered by the CFA Institute. It's a big deal in finance because it's recognized all over the world. People who complete this course become experts in managing money and investments. This course is like reaching the highest peak in finance career.

CFA Course Subjects and Syllabus Breakdown

Topics Level I Level II Level III
Ethical and Professional Standards 15-20% 10-15% 10-15%
Quantitative Methods 8-12% 5-10% 0
Economics 8-12% 5-10% 5-10%
Financial Statement Analysis 13-17% 10-15% 0
Corporate Issuer 8-12% 5-10% 0
Equity Investments 10-12% 10-15% 10-15%
Fixed Income 10-12% 10-15% 15-20%
Derivatives 5-8% 5-10% 5-10%
Alternative Investments 5-8% 5-10% 5-10%
Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning 5-8% 10-15% 35-40%

CFA Eligibility Requirements & Duration

Bachelor’s Degree:

You must have completed a bachelor’s program from a college or university.

Work Experience:

You need to have either 4,000 hours of work experience or a mix of work experience and higher education over three years. These hours and years cannot overlap. If you're using a mix, count higher education as 1,000 hours per year.

CFA Certification Process

1. Pass all 3 levels of CFA Exam

Pass Exams: You need to pass exams for all three levels to get the CFA charter. Work Experience: Gain at least 4,000 hours of work experience over 36 months.

2. Submit Reference Letters

Professional References: Get 2-3 people who know your work to write reference letters for you.

3. Apply for the CFA Charter

Membership Application: Send your application to the CFA Institute. Approval: Once they say yes, you can put "CFA" after your name!

Exam Patterns

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam is a globally recognized qualification for finance and investment professionals. Administered by the CFA Institute, the CFA program is divided into three levels, each culminating in an examination. These exams assess candidates' knowledge and competence in a wide range of topics related to investment management, financial analysis, and ethics. The CFA designation is highly regarded in the finance industry and is often pursued by professionals seeking to advance their careers in investment management, portfolio analysis, and other related fields.

Here's an overview of the exam pattern for each level of the CFA program:

Exam LevelFormatDurationNumber of QuestionsQuestion Types
Level IMultiple Choice Questions (MCQs)6 hours240Recall, Comprehension, Application
Level IIItem Set Questions (Scenario-based)6 hours120 (20 sets)Analysis and Application of Concepts
Level IIIItem Set Questions + Constructed Response (Essay)6 hours10 sets + 10 essaysAnalysis, Synthesis, Evaluation

Level I:

The Level I exam consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) that test candidates' understanding and knowledge of fundamental concepts in finance, economics, ethics, and other related areas. Candidates have six hours to complete the exam, which typically comprises 240 questions. These questions are designed to assess candidates' ability to recall facts, comprehend concepts, and apply their knowledge to solve problems.

Level II

The Level II exam shifts to item set questions, which are scenario-based and require candidates to analyze information and apply their knowledge to real-world situations. Candidates are presented with vignettes or case studies followed by a set of questions. The exam lasts six hours and includes approximately 120 questions, divided into 20 sets of items. This level focuses on testing candidates' ability to analyze and apply concepts rather than simply recalling information.

Level III

The Level III exam combines item set questions with constructed response questions, including essays. Similar to Level II, candidates are presented with item sets that include vignettes followed by sets of questions. Additionally, candidates are required to respond to constructed response questions, which may involve writing essays or providing detailed explanations. This level aims to assess candidates' ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information, as well as demonstrate their written communication skills. Like the other levels, Level III also lasts for six hours

Value of CFA in India

Global Recognition

The CFA designation is globally recognized and respected in the finance industry. It indicates a high level of expertise in investment management and financial analysis

Career Advancement

Holding a CFA charter can open up opportunities for career advancement in various sectors of finance, including investment banking, portfolio management, equity research, and asset management

Knowledge and Skills:

The rigorous CFA program equips candidates with in-depth knowledge and practical skills in areas such as financial analysis, economics, ethics, and portfolio management, which are highly valued by employers

Competitive Advantage:

In a competitive job market, having a CFA charter can give candidates a competitive edge over others who may not have the same level of qualification

Networking Opportunities:

CFA Institute membership provides access to a global network of finance professionals, which can be valuable for networking, mentorship, and career growth

Ethical Standards

The CFA program emphasizes ethical standards and professionalism in the finance industry, which is crucial for maintaining trust and integrity in financial markets Salary Potential: CFA charterholders often command higher salaries compared to non-charterholders, reflecting the value that employers place on the designation and the expertise it represents

Salary Potential:

CFA charterholders often command higher salaries compared to non-charterholders, reflecting the value that employers place on the designation and the expertise it represents

Continuing Education: Maintaining the CFA charter requires ongoing professional development and adherence to ethical standards, ensuring that charterholders stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices throughout their careers.

Training Fees

The training fees for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program typically cover the cost of study materials, access to online resources, and instructional support. These fees may vary depending on the provider and the level of study. Candidates should consider the value of the comprehensive curriculum and professional development opportunities offered through the program when assessing the investment in training fees.

Career Opportunities / Job Profiles

  • Investment Banking: CFAs can work in investment banks, where they analyze market trends, assist in mergers and acquisitions, and help companies raise capital through issuing stocks or bonds
  • Portfolio Management: CFAs often pursue careers as portfolio managers, managing investment portfolios for individuals, institutions, or mutual funds, aiming to maximize returns within defined risk parameters
  • Equity Research: CFAs can work as equity researchers, analyzing stocks, industries, and markets to provide investment recommendations to clients or institutional investors
  • Asset Management: In asset management firms, CFAs may manage various types of assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, or alternative investments, to meet clients’ investment objectives
  • Financial Analysis: CFAs can work as financial analysts, evaluating companies’ financial statements, performance, and valuation to assess investment opportunities or make strategic decisions
  • Risk Management: CFAs may work in risk management roles, identifying and mitigating financial risks within organizations, such as credit risk, market risk, or operational risk
  • Consulting: CFAs can pursue careers in financial consulting, advising clients on investment strategies, financial planning, or risk management practices
  • Corporate Finance: CFAs may work in corporate finance departments, where they analyze investment opportunities, manage capital budgets, or assess the financial impact of strategic decisions
  • Wealth Management: CFAs can work as wealth managers, providing personalized investment advice and financial planning services to high-net-worth individuals or families
  • Regulatory Compliance: CFAs may work in regulatory compliance roles, ensuring that financial institutions adhere to regulatory requirements and ethical standards in their operations.

Exam Cycle: May 22-26, Aug 27-31, and Nov 20-24,

  • June and December Exam Windows: The CFA Institute offers exams for all three levels in June and, for certain levels, also in December. This provides candidates with flexibility in scheduling their exams based on their preparation timeline and preferences.
  • June Exam Window: The June exam window is the primary offering for all three levels of the CFA program. Candidates can register for the June exams well in advance and have ample time to prepare.
  • December Exam Window (Level I Only): The December exam window is available for Level I candidates, providing an additional opportunity to take the exam earlier in the year. However, Level II and Level III exams are not offered in December.
  • Registration Deadlines: CFA exam registration deadlines typically occur several months before the exam date. Candidates are encouraged to register early to secure their spot and take advantage of early registration discounts.
  • Exam Duration: Each level of the CFA exam is held on a single day, with a duration of approximately six hours. This includes a morning session and an afternoon session separated by a break.
  • Results Release: After taking the exam, candidates usually receive their results within a few weeks, allowing them to gauge their performance and plan for the next steps in their CFA journey.
  • Retake Opportunities: If a candidate does not pass the exam on their first attempt, they have the option to retake the exam in subsequent cycles. However, candidates must wait until the next exam cycle to retake the exam for the same level.
  • Continuous Preparation: The CFA program emphasizes continuous learning and preparation, with candidates typically spending several months studying for each level of the exam to ensure success.
  • Planning and Strategy: Understanding the exam cycles is crucial for candidates to plan their study schedules effectively, register for exams in a timely manner, and strategize their approach to each level of the CFA program.


Familiarize yourself with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, which is a globally recognized certification for finance and investment professionals.

Placement Partners

Our placement partners are essential collaborators who assist in connecting our students or job seekers with relevant employment opportunities, internships, or training programs. Through these partnerships, we ensure that individuals receive valuable support in navigating the job market and securing positions aligned with their skills and career aspirations.


Candidates with a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from any discipline can enroll in the CFA program. Additionally, they must meet specific work experience requirements to obtain the CFA charter.

The CFA program typically takes around 2.5 to 4 years to complete, depending on the individual's study pace and exam scheduling. There are three levels of exams, and candidates usually take one exam per year.

Completing the CFA course opens up various career opportunities in finance, including roles in investment banking, portfolio management, equity research, asset management, and corporate finance, among others.

The exam fees vary depending on the exam level and the registration deadline. Typically, the fees range from several hundred to a few thousand dollars per exam level. Early registration discounts are often available.

The CFA Institute provides official study materials, including textbooks, practice questions, and mock exams, which are highly recommended. Additionally, candidates often use third-party study guides and online resources.

While classroom training is not mandatory, many candidates find it helpful to supplement self-study with classroom or online courses offered by CFA prep providers. These courses provide structured instruction and access to expert tutors.

The pass rates for CFA exams vary from year to year and across exam levels. On average, the pass rates are typically around 40-50%, with Level I having a slightly higher pass rate compared to Levels II and III.

While both the CFA course and an MBA in finance cover similar topics, they have different focuses. The CFA program is more specialized and focuses on investment management and financial analysis, whereas an MBA offers a broader business education with a concentration in finance.

Yes, the CFA designation is highly valued by employers in India and around the world. It is recognized as a mark of excellence in the finance industry and can significantly enhance career prospects for professionals in various finance-related roles.