How Long Does It Take?

  • For each exam level, plan on approximately six months of preparation
  • Successfully complete the three exams sequentially and accumulate 48 months of approved work experience
  • Successful candidates take an average of four years to complete the program

  • Completing the CFA Program
    Completing the CFA Program exams can take as little as 18 months, but on average, it takes about four years to earn a CFA charter.

    Preparing for the Exams 
    Successful candidates report spending an average of 300 hours preparing for each exam. Your preparation time will vary based on your prior education and experience.
    For each level of the curriculum, there are 18 study sessions, so a good plan is to devote 15−20 hours per week, for 18 weeks, to studying the material. Use the final four to six weeks before the exam to review what you've learned and practice with sample and mock exams. 

    When Should You Take Your Exam? 
    The Level I exam is offered twice a year, in June and December. The Level II and III exams are offered once a year, in June.

    Registration usually opens about 11 months before each exam; register early to take advantage of the fee schedule and to have enough time to study and prepare for the exam.

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