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All you need to know about Level III CFA

To obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst certification, a candidate needs to clear all the three Levels of CFA Program – Level I CFA, Level II CFA and Level III CFA. The CFA course provides extensive knowledge on topics like quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, tax analysis, equity investments, portfolio management, and performance measurements. This is achieved throughout the course in the three levels with a deeper and thorough study of subjects at each progressive level. This means that the difficulty level for each subject increases as you progress to the next level. This makes Level III CFA the more difficult level in the series when compared to the Level I CFA and Level II CFA. All three levels test your expertise in the subject. According to the CFA Institute, a student takes:

  • Over 4 years on an average to complete the CFA course
  • Needs over 300 hours of study for each CFA level
  • Minimum 6 months of preparation for each CFA level

If you have cleared the Level I and Level II CFA, you are eligible to appear for the Level III CFA®. It takes a minimum of two years for any candidate to complete all the levels of CFA, provided they clear all the CFA levels in the first attempt and consecutively. One needs a minimum of 6 months to prepare for the Level III CFA®. A candidate can appear for the Level III CFA exams in the month of May and November. The exams are in a Multiple Choice Questions format, and the candidate has to answer all the questions based on 20–30 vignettes. The vignettes support a variable number of constructed responses and multiple-choice questions. The exam is held in two sessions, the morning session, and the Afternoon session. The morning session is 2 hours 15 minutes long and includes 8–15 vignettes supporting constructed response or essay-based questions. The afternoon session is 3 hours long and contains 60 questions from 10–15 vignettes. All the questions, in both the sessions, are equally weighted and are based on all the ten topics. There are no penalties or negative marking for wrong answers in the exams. The Level III CFA® Pass rate for June 2019 was 56%, and the average Level III CFA® Pass rate for the past 10 years is 53%.

Level III CFA® Course

Level III CFA® Syllabus

The Level III CFA® Syllabus consists of the following 7 key areas of study or subjects, unlike Level I and Level II where there were 10 subjects:

  1. Ethical and Professional Standards
  2. Economics
  3. Equity Investments
  4. Fixed Income
  5. Derivative Investments
  6. Alternative Investments
  7. Portfolio Management and Wealth Management

Level III CFA® Subjects

Level III CFA® Subjects weightage

Each of the Level III CFA® subjects has a different weightage in the exams as given below:

Level III CFA® Topics

Exam Weight

Ethical and Professional Standards10–15%
Equity Investments10–15%
Fixed Income15-20%
Derivative Investments5–10%
Alternative Investments 5–10%
Portfolio Management and Wealth Management35-40%
Total 100%


Level III CFA® Fees

Level III CFA® Fees

The candidate does not need to pay the one-time enrollment fee of USD 450, which was paid earlier while registering for Level I CFA. The registration fees and registration dates are given below:

Level III CFA® RegistrationLevel III CFA® FeeJune 2020 DeadlineDecember 2020 Deadline
Early RegistrationUSD 700Not ApplicableNot Applicable
Standard RegistrationUSD 1000Not ApplicableNot Applicable
Late RegistrationUSD 1450Not ApplicableNot Applicable
Level II CFA® Exam DateNo exams will be conducted in June 2020Exams are not conducted in December


For latest Exam Fee and Exam Dates, Please visit CFA Institute

Similar to Level II CFA, Level III CFA® Exam dates are scheduled in the month of June only. But owing to the current pandemic, there will be no exams held in June 2020. The exam will be directly conducted in May 2021 and November 2021 The Level III CFA® Results are declared within 90 days from the exam dates. To achieve the CFA Charter, it is compulsory to have at least 4000 hours of experience, Completed in a minimum of 36 months. Qualified hours must be directly related to the investment decision-making process or producing a work product that informs or adds value to that process. Candidates can earn the experience before, during, or after participating in the CFA® Program.

A candidate can avail of the Level III CFA® Study material as a digital version or the print version. The Print version includes a set of six volumes and can be availed by paying an additional fee of USD 150, which is non-refundable, plus the applicable shipping and customs fees. The digital version charges are covered in the Level III CFA® exam registration fee.

For latest updates on Level III CFA® registration and exam dates.

Edupristine provides experiential and practical CFA course training that helps you clear your CFA exams in the first attempt. For more details on Level III CFA Program Training.

EduPristine Students Cleared CFA Exams in the First Attempt: