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CFA Institute Exam

Overview of the CFA Institute Exam

The CFA exam is organized by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute every year at centers around the globe. There are three levels of exam to be completed sequentially, but one at a time. Level I can be taken twice a year while levels II and III are only offered once a year.

CFA Prep Overview

Preparation is the most important aspect of taking any exam. Every candidate for an exam knows that adequate preparation is key to success in that exam. Thus, the importance of adequate preparation before any exam cannot be overemphasized, the CFA exam not being left out.

The CFA Institute understands this great need for preparation and thus established the Approved Prep Provider Program. This program was created in order for prep providers to be able to provide better products, services and programs. There are guidelines and standards set by the CFA Institute. The various prep providers taking part in the program are obliged to follow these high standards and set rules in their communications and promotions to candidates.

Proper study of the CFA Program curriculum, studying and understanding the learning outcome statements (LOS), and taking the mock exam and topic tests, are not necessarily enough to adequately prepare a candidate to take the exams. Some candidates also gain a lot from the use of exam prep courses and/or notes of review.

CFA Institute (CNW Group/CFA Institute)

Prep Providers

There are online prep providers and in-person prep providers. Some approved in-person prep providers, by country, include:

Central Africa

Quartic Training

Kaplan Schweser

Greater China

FTMS Training Systems (HK) Limited

Chainshine Financial Training

Middle East

Excellence Training Centre

Capital Knowledge

North Africa

Morgan International

North America

Exam Success

BullishBear Finance

South America

FK Partners

South Asia

ICICIdirect Centre for Financial Learning


Southeast Asia

Fitch Learning

AFTC Training Consultancy and Investment Ltd.

Southern Africa

Financial Training Solutions

Edge Business School

Western Europe

CfBS Center for Business Studies

BPP Professional Education

You could also look at AnalystPrep. AnalystPrep is a CFA prep website that offers low-cost alternatives to in-person providers. To know more:

Becoming an Approved Prep Provider


The reasons for the creation of the approved prep provider program include:

  • Improvement of the ways and methods of communication to candidates as well as potential candidates, educating them about the value and rigorous standards of the CFA exams.
  • To enable prep providers, have the latest information concerning trends of candidates and various changes, with regards to operation, in the structure of the programs.
  • To make sure that, the high standards of communication concerning the supporting role of products, offered by prep providers to prepare a candidate for an exam, is uniformly compliant.

Participation in the Approved Prep Provider Program is open and voluntary. Prep providers have to create their own content and must agree to all terms and conditions of the program. Providers must also directly be in control of the content as well as related messages regarding their product.


Purchase of candidate mailing list, analysis reports of pass rate of candidates, sample questions and Learning Outcome Statements (LOS), are all available and accessible only by prep providers participating in the Approved Prep Provider Program of the CFA Institute.

Important Notes on the CFA Prep for Candidates

It is of great importance for a candidate to find out as much information as he/she can, before making commitments to any prep provider. Here are some important pointers as made available by CFA institute:

  • Since 1995, there hasnt been any release of real level I multiple-choice question by CFA Institute. Also, the CFA Institute doesnt release actual item set questions of Level II and III.
  • The CFA Institute does not partner with any preparatory provider and does not endorse, promote, or warrant the accuracy of the products or services offered by preparatory providers.
  • Candidates are to ensure that the CFA Institute Approved Prep Provider logo is visibly present on supplemental preparatory products, for the identification of participating providers. Candidates and potential candidates should also keep in mind that the best source of information on the CFA Program is always the CFA Institute.