How to Become CFA in India


How to Become CFA in India


What is Chartered Financial Analyst?

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is a professional finance designation awarded by CFA Institute, USA to those who have passed 3-level rigorous exams and met certain work experience requirements. The CFA charter holders are recognized as experts in investment management and financial analysis. The CFA program is globally respected and is considered the gold standard in investment management in the financial industry.

Why is CFA a good Career?

CFA is a good career choice because of its high earning potential, global recognition, versatile career opportunities, opportunities for advancement, emphasis on professionalism, continual learning, and networking opportunities.

Steps to become a CFA in India

Becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a multi-step process that requires dedication and commitment. Here are the key steps to take to become a CFA in India:

  1. Meet the eligibility criteria: To be eligible to take the Level I CFA exam, you must have a bachelor's degree or equivalent, or you must be within last 23 months of your undergraduate degree on the date of exam. If neither of this applies, you must have at least 4,000 hours of work experience and/or higher education.
    CFA Institute requires every CFA Program candidate to have a valid international travel passport.  
  2. Register for the CFA Program: Once you have met the eligibility criteria, you can register for the CFA Program online through the CFA Institute website. You will need to pay a one-time enrolment fee and exam registration fee. Please note that possessing an international passport is a pre-requisite for registering for the CFA program

  3. Prepare for the CFA exams: The CFA Program consists of three levels of exams, and you must pass each level to progress to the next one. The level I exams are held four times a year, in Feb, May, Aug and Nov; level II exams, three times a year, in May, Aug, Nov, and level III exams are conducted two times – Feb, Aug. It is recommended to begin preparing at least six months prior to the exam.

  4. Take the CFA exams: The CFA exams are computer-based, containing multiple-choice questions (including essay-type questions at level III). The exams cover a wide range of topics, including ethics, equity, fixed income, and portfolio management.

  5. Meet the work experience requirement: In addition to passing all three levels of the CFA exams, you will need to complete a minimum of 4,000 hours of professional work experience in the investment decision-making process, before, during or after taking CFA exams to obtain the CFA charter.  

  6. Apply for membership: After meeting the work experience requirement, you can apply for membership to the CFA Institute. Once your membership is approved, you will receive your CFA charter and be able to use the CFA designation.

  7. Maintain your membership: As a CFA charter holder, you are required to complete continuing education requirements and adhere to the CFA Institute's Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

How to Prepare for CFA Exams?

Preparing for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams can be a challenging and time-consuming task, but with the right approach, it is manageable. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the CFA exams:

  1. Understand the exam format: The CFA exams are divided into three levels, and each level has a different format. Make sure you understand the format and structure of the exams so that you can plan your study time accordingly.
  2. Create a study schedule: Set aside time each day or week to study and stick to it. Create a schedule that works for you and include time for reviewing your notes, taking practice exams, and reviewing any areas where you need improvement.
  3. Refer study materials provided by the CFA Institute: The CFA Institute provides a wide range of study materials for each level of the exams, including practice questions and mock exams. These materials are an excellent resource to use in addition to your coaching institute’s material if you decide to join one.
  4. Join a study group/discussion platform: Joining a study group or Forum can be a great way to stay motivated and to learn from other people who are also preparing for the exams. These can also provide a valuable source of support and encouragement during the preparation process.
  5. Practice, practice, practice: The more practice you get, the better prepared you will be for the exams. Take practice exams and review the questions you got wrong to identify areas where you need to improve.
  6. Stay organized: Keep track of your study schedule and progress, and make sure you have all the materials you need to study. Organizing your materials and notes will help keep you on track and make it easier to review information when you need to.
  7. Take Care of Yourself: Stay healthy, eat well, and get enough sleep. Being physically and mentally fit will help you stay focused and better absorb the material.

By following these tips and preparing well, you can increase your chances of passing the CFA exams and achieving your goal of becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst.

What are the subjects in CFA course?

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program is divided into three levels. Topics across all levels remain same, only weightage varies. These topics are designed to provide a thorough understanding of investment management and financial analysis.


Weightage by Level (%)




Ethical and Professional Standards

15 – 20

10 – 15

10 – 15

Quantitative Methods

8 – 12

5 – 10


8 – 12

5 – 10

5 – 10

Financial Statement Analysis

13 – 17

10 – 15

Corporate Issuers

8 – 12

5 – 10

Equity Investments

10 – 12

10 – 15

10 – 15

Fixed Income

10 – 12

10 – 15

15 – 20


5 – 8

5 – 10

5 – 10

Alternative Investments

5 – 8

5 – 10

5 – 10

Portfolio Management & Wealth Planning

5 – 8

10 – 15

35 – 40


What are the Career Opportunities for CFA in India?

Becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in India can open a wide range of career opportunities in the field of finance and investment. Some of the most popular career options for CFA candidates and CFA charter holders in India include:

  1. Investment Banking: Investment bankers help companies raise capital by issuing securities. They also work on mergers and acquisitions and provide financial advice to clients.
  2. Portfolio Management: Portfolio managers help clients manage their investments. They also identify potential investments for clients.
  3. Research: Research analysts conduct research on different sectors, companies, and economies. They provide recommendations on stocks and bonds to clients.
  4. Consulting: CFA program equips you with knowledge and skills in various domains of finance. As consultants, you can then provide financial advice to clients on a wide range of issues such as financial planning, risk management, and compliance.
  5. Risk Management: Risk managers help organizations manage different types of risks such as credit risk, market risk, and operational risk.
  6. Corporate Finance: Help companies with financial planning and analysis, budgeting, and forecasting.
  7. Teaching: CFA charter holders can also work as a teacher or professor in the field of finance and investment.
  8. Government: CFA charter holders can also work in government organizations such as SEBI, RBI, etc.
  9. Financial Planning: Work as financial planners and provide advice on financial planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.
  10. Asset Management: Work in asset management companies and manage assets on behalf of clients.

Benefits of becoming a CFA in India

Becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in India has many benefits for individuals looking to pursue a career in finance and investment management. Some of the key benefits of obtaining the CFA designation include:

  1. High earning potential: CFA charter holders tend to earn higher salaries than non-CFA professionals. This is due to the high level of expertise and knowledge that CFA charter holders possess in the field of investment management and financial analysis.
  2. Recognized globally: The CFA designation is recognized and respected around the world, which makes it an asset when seeking employment or business opportunities internationally. This opens a wide range of job opportunities for CFA candidate and charter holders.
  3. Versatile career opportunities: CFA charter holders work in a variety of roles such as investment banking, portfolio management, research, and consulting. This allows them to choose a career path that best suits their interests and skills.
  4. Opportunities for advancement: CFA charter holders can advance their careers and take on leadership roles within their organizations. This can lead to higher salaries, greater job responsibilities, and more opportunities for professional development.
  5. Professionalism: The CFA program emphasizes the importance of ethical and professional standards, which can be beneficial for individuals working in the financial services industry. This helps to ensure that CFA charter holders have the necessary skills and knowledge to make informed decisions and act in the best interests of their clients.
  6. Continual learning: CFA charter holders are required to complete continuing education requirements, which helps them to stay up to date with the latest developments in the field. This ensures that they are well-equipped to handle new challenges and opportunities in the ever-changing financial landscape.
  7. Networking opportunities: CFA charter holders have access to a global network of other professionals, which can be beneficial for career advancement and business development. This allows them to connect with other professionals in the field, share ideas, and collaborate on projects.
  8. Improved Job Security: Being a CFA charter gives an advantage over other non-CFA professionals in terms of job security, as employers tend to prefer the highly skilled and well-trained CFA charter holders over others.

In summary, the CFA designation is an asset for anyone looking to build a successful career in the financial services industry in India. With its strong emphasis on ethics, professionalism, and continuous learning, the CFA program provides individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in this challenging and ever-changing field.


In conclusion, becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in India is a valuable and rewarding career choice. It offers high earning potential, global recognition, versatile career opportunities, opportunities for advancement, emphasis on professionalism and ethical standards, continual learning, and networking opportunities.

The process of becoming a CFA involves meeting the eligibility criteria, passing the CFA exams, and fulfilling the required work experience. Preparing for the CFA exams requires dedication, discipline, and an effective study plan.
The benefits of becoming a CFA in India are numerous and can have a positive impact on one's career and professional development. It is a challenging but worthwhile endeavour that can open doors to a successful and fulfilling career in the financial industry. Explore our CFA Course offerings here.


When are CFA exams held? 

Level I – Feb, May, Aug, Nov; Level II – May, Aug, Nov; Level III – Feb, Aug

How to pass CFA exams?

To pass the CFA exams, candidates must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the curriculum and be able to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. Know More.

How hard are CFA exams?

The CFA exams are challenging, with a 10-yr pass rate of around 41% for Level 1, 45% for Level 2, and 52% for Level 3. Candidates can increase their chances of success by studying for over 300 hours, referring best & tested prep materials with a lot of practice.

How long to pass all 3 CFA exams?

Three-level CFA exams can be completed over a duration of approximately 2 years. On average, it takes candidates 4+ years to obtain the CFA charter as that requires meeting a work experience requirement.

Where to find CFA mock exams?

Candidates can find mock exams online at official CFA Institute Learning Ecosystem or alternate study materials providers.

How to become CFA in India after Class 12th?

To become a CFA in India, one must meet the eligibility criteria, register for the exams, and pass all three levels of the exams.

Is CFA recognised in India?

The CFA charter is globally recognized and holds significant value in India, where it is a valuable credential for finance and investment professionals.

Can CFA get job in India?

Holding a CFA charter can certainly increase employment opportunities in India, particularly in the fields of investment management, equity research, and portfolio management.

Where are CFA exams held in India?

The CFA exams are held at designated centres across major cities in India - Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Noida, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Surat, Vizag (total 23 cities)


Author 1FIN by IndigoLearn
1FIN by IndigoLearn

CIN: U74999TG2017PTC116012 | GSTIN: 36AAECI4332C1Z0 | PAN: AAECI4332C

2024 All Rights Reserved