"One thing is just to memorize a formula, the other thing is to understand the concept behind it. Attending the CFA courses at CfBS helped me to understand the concepts. In the end there was almost no formula I had to memorize."

Ursula La Roche, CFA, FINMA, Berne

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have the necessary qualifications for the CFA exam (entrance requirements)?

You need a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) or a minimum of four years of acceptable work experience (e.g. portfolio manager, analyst, economist, securities trader, and people working in the investment valuation process) or a combination of work and college experience that totals at least four years.

What are the requirements to be awarded the CFA charter?

The requirements are: 1) pass all three levels of the CFA exam, 2) have four years of acceptable professional work experience, 3) and be a member of CFA Institute. The work experience may be accrued while you are in the CFA program, after you have passed all three levels, or from previous positions. At least 50% (or 2 years) must be spent in activities that qualify as professional work experience. The work experience guidelines can be found at www.cfainstitute.org

Am I enrolled for the CFA exam after I have registered for the CfBS prep course?

No, in order to take the CFA exam, you need to enroll directly with CFA Institute in Charlottesville/USA. The enrollment form can be filled in online at www.cfainstitute.org. Please make sure that your completed form is received by CFA Institute before their registration deadline expires. The longer you wait the higher the registration fee is.

What is the format of the CFA exam?

The CFA program has three disctinct levels, each culminating in an exam. The examinations must be taken in order and each passed before moving on to the next level.

Level I exam: 6-hour multiple-choice test consisting of 240 questions. Exam results are usually distributed within 60 days of the examination date. The level I exams can be taken in June and December.

Level II exam: 6-hour test consisting of item set questions. An item set consists of a case with extensive information followed by 6 multiple-choice questions. Exam results are usually distributed within 90 days of the examination date. The level II exam can only be taken in June.

Level III exam: 6-hour test consisting of constructed response questions (essays) and item set questions which follow the same format as level II. Exam results are usually distributed within 90 days of the examination[nbsp]date. The level III exam can only be taken in June.

The CFA exams are paper and pencil exams. The exam centers for Switzerland are in Zurich and Geneva.

What is the pass rate on the CFA exams?

The results for the June 2016 exams show that 43% (2015: 42%) passed level I, 46% (2015: 43%) level II, and 54% (2015: 53%) level III. - The pass rates demonstrate that success in the CFA program requires a rigorous study effort (on average 300 hours of study per level).

How can the four-month prep course help me to pass the exam?

The prep course will teach you the most complex and frequently asked concepts and gives you a framework to structure your exam preparation. The course is designed so that you can gradually build up the knowledge and strategy to pass the exam successfully. In addition to attending class you will need to put in rigorous self study depending on your academic and professional background. We suggest that you take two weeks off before the exam to concentrate fully on your final preparation.

Is it necessary to buy the primary literature of CFA Institute?

No. Starting with the 2008 exams the primary readings are included in the registration fee for the CFA exam. We strongly recommend that our students work with the Curriculum Readings to familiarise themselves with the material CFA Institute uses to prepare the exam. Please bear in mind that CFA Institute compiles exam questions based on the Curriculum Readings.

Which calculator is permitted for the exam?

For the exams CFA Institute only allows the use of the following two calculators: Hewlett Packard 12C and Texas Instruments BAII Plus. In the CfBS exam preparation courses the two approved calculators will be explained and used. The calculaters can be purchased from www.taschenrechner.ch or in specialised shops.

For more information regarding the CFA program, please visit www.cfainstitute.org and/or contact us by e-mail to info@cf-studies.ch or by phone to (0041) 044 240 04 50.                      

Live Open Evening Session

8 June 2017

For CFA Program on Thursday, 8 June 2017 from 18.30 to 20.15 hrs. in Zurich
To attend this open evening session free of charge, please register by e-mail to info@cf-studies.ch.

Please click here to view the trial class as flash podcast or as YouTube podcast that takes place as part of the open evening session.