Registration

Can I reschedule my exam after signing up?

Yes, but you will need to pay the exam fee again. Unfortunately there are no refunds.

Is there a time limit?

No. If you were a candidate many years ago then you may continue your progress through the exams, only paying the exam registration fees.

How quickly can I get through the CFA® Program?

The Level I exam is conducted twice a year, in June and December, while Levels II and III are just once a year in June. Hence the quickest route is: Level I in December, Level II six months later, Level III one year later. Only a very small minority of candidates will achieve this speed!

Do I need to register with CFA Institute before signing up with Quartic?

Generally no, unless you’re uncertain regarding your eligibility. If in doubt, please speak to us.

Are there any exemptions?

No. Given the breadth of Level I, no other degree course or qualification covers all the topics in the required level of depth.

What are the costs and deadlines?

There are two fees to CFA Institute: a one-off enrolment fee, and an examination registration fee for each exam. Prices are shown here. These are separate to Quartic fees, though we can provide payment services to our corporate clients.

What are the entry requirements for the CFA Program?

You need either a bachelor’s degree or four years of professional work experience, or a combination of professional work and education that totals four years. The work experience can be in any professional field, not necessarily finance.

Studying

How often does the curriculum change?

The curriculum is published every calendar year. Hence for Level I, June and December in the same year will have the same curriculum, but from one calendar year to the next all three levels will have a new curriculum. Changes from year to year are typically 5 to 15% of the curriculum.

What support will Quartic offer me?

We can provide you with videos, live classes, workbooks, question banks, progress tests, mocks and live support by our tutors before, during or after class. Away from the training suite you can contact us by e-mail, phone, Skype, via social media, or even by coming to visit us!

How do I study?

This is a big question, and the answer varies from person to person. We recommend a combination of (1) videos or live classes, (2) curriculum and summary notes, and (3) extensive question practice. You will find far more guidance in the “Welcome” video on the Quartic.Online portal.

How much study time do I really need to put in?

The guideline is around 300 hours for each level but every candidate is different: you may need far more, or less, than this depending on your personal circumstances. At Quartic we try to guide each candidate individually to optimise their learning path.

What subjects are covered?

There are ten topics in CFA Levels I and II: Ethics, Quantitative Techniques, Economics, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Corporate Finance, Equity, Fixed Income, Derivatives, Alternative Investments and Portfolio Management. New topics are introduced at Level III, and some topics drop out – namely Quantitative Techniques, Financial Reporting and Analysis, and Corporate Finance.

How quickly after registering do I receive study materials?

Once you have registered with CFA Institute you should receive e-book instructions very quickly. The print version usually takes a week or two. When you register with Quartic you should receive online access immediately, and printed books (if applicable) within a few days.

The Exam

I have learning difficulties – can I get an exam extension?

CFA Institute will consider all physical or mental impairments that restrict candidates’ ability to sit the exam. You will need to submit extensive supporting documentation and each request will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

What can I take to the exam?

Very little. You need your passport, exam ticket, calculator, pencils and (Level III only) pens. You can also take pencil sharpener and eraser, earplugs and a watch (but not a smartwatch). You may carry your wallet, medicine and keys in your pocket or put them under your chair. The rules are extremely strict: see here for details on exam policies.

Are all calculators allowed in the exam?

No. Only two calculators are approved for the exam: the Texas Instruments BA II Plus and the Hewlett Packard 12C. We recommend the Texas Instruments model. See here for details and a free tutorial.

Why is the exam not computer-based?

The CFA exams are all paper based. This is to ensure the highest level of integrity, with printing and distribution beforehand, and collation and transportation back to Charlottesville afterwards.

Where do I go to sit the exam?

You can sit the June exam in more than 170 cities around the world (more than 70 for the December exam). See here for information on test centres. In London the location is the ExCeL Centre in Docklands.

Is the exam all multiple choice?

Levels I and II are all multiple choice. Level I contains 240 questions (split across two three-hour papers), giving you 90 seconds per question. Level II consists of item set vignettes, 18-minute case studies that include six multiple choice questions, i.e. averaging three minutes per question. The Level III morning paper is a “constructed response” essay paper, with item sets making up the afternoon paper.

After Exam

Do I need to join CFA Institute?

Not until you wish to apply for your charter. Most candidates join CFA Institute when they are preparing for, or have passed, Level III. Candidate membership of a local society, such as CFA UK, is highly recommended as they provide many career and studying benefits.

Does the work experience need to be gained while I’m doing the exams?

Not at all. This is completely flexible, with candidates gaining the work experience either prior to, during, or after studying for the exams.

What work experience do I need for the CFA® charter?

Before applying for your CFA charter, you need to have a total of 4 years’ work experience in a relevant field, with at least half your time being in the investment decision-making process. See here for details.

Can I appeal if I do not pass?

Not really. For US$100 you can request a “retabulation”, but this is checking that marks have been added correctly – it is not an appeal or a re-marking, neither of which is available.

Do I need to pass every topic? What about Ethics?

No. Your overall score, across all topics, is compared to the minimum passing score (MPS), and if you are above that then you will pass. Ethics is considered of greater importance than other topics and may be the determining factor if you are on the very edge between passing and failing – study this topic hard!

How does the examiner decide who passes?

The CFA exam has a minimum passing score (MPS) that is decided after each exam. This is determined by a panel of charterholders and is never disclosed. It is not a fixed pass rate, nor is it “on the curve” – rather, it is self-regulating, so that a harder exam is likely to have a lower MPS.

When will I get the exam result?

The results take up to 60 days for Level I and II, and 90 days for Level III. You will receive an e-mail containing your results letter, along with some guidance on how well you performed in each of the topics.

Registration

Can I reschedule my exam after signing up?

Yes, provided you give Pearson VUE at least 72 hours’ notice. You must sit the exam within 12 months of the enrolment, but please note that the curriculum is updated on 1 December each year. Unfortunately there are no refunds once you have registered.

Is IMC RDR-compliant?

A combination of IMC and CFA Level I will provide you with compliance with the Retail Distribution Review, or RDR, enabling you to deal in and advise on securities and derivatives. IMC on its own does not provide RDR compliance. See here for further details.

Do I need to register with CFA UK before signing up with Quartic?

No, you can register with CFA UK and Quartic in either sequence.

Are there any exemptions?

Yes. You may be exempt from IE if you have another suitable regulatory qualification. If you have CFA Level I then you are exempt from IMC Unit 2 (IP) if you are not providing any advice to retail customers. If you have CFA Level III then you are exempt from IP and can also provide advice to retail customers (once you have passed Unit 1). You cannot gain exemption from both units – you need to sit at least one exam!

Can I pay the exam and course fees to Quartic?

Yes. Quartic has an agreement with CFA UK to allow us to register candidates for the exam. Hence a single combined payment for the exam and the course can be made to Quartic.

What are the costs?

There are two units: Unit 1, Investment Environment (IE) and Unit 2, Investment Practice (IP). Unit 1 on its own costs £240 registration fee; Unit 2 on its own is £255. A combined booking costs £495 (sorry, no discount!).

What are the entry requirements for the Investment Management Certificate?

There are no academic or work experience requirements. You can sit the IMC without a degree and many candidates take this exam in order to help with job-hunting.

Studying

How often does the curriculum change?

The curriculum changes on 1 December every year. Typically IE has more changes than IP due to the ever-changing regulatory environment. The tax rates and allowances are also updated with the curriculum on 1 December.

What support will Quartic offer me?

We try to provide our candidates with all the support they need. We can answer technical queries before, during or after live classes, if applicable. Alternatively, tutors and the support team can be contacted by e-mail, phone, Skype, via social media, or even by coming to visit us!

How do I study?

This is a big question, and the answer is different for each candidate. We recommend a combination of (1) videos or live classes, (2) curriculum and summary notes, and (3) extensive question practice. Our tutor team will make a suitable recommendation after speaking to you individually.

How much study time do I really need to put in?

The guideline study time is 80 hours for Investment Environment, 100 hours for Investment Practice. However you may need far more, or less, than this depending on your personal circumstances. At Quartic we guide each candidate individually to try to optimise their learning path.

What subjects are covered?

Unit 1 (IE) contains Financial Markets and Institutions, Ethics, Regulation and Legal Concepts, Clients, and Taxation. Unit 2 (IP) contains Quantitative Methods, Economics, Accounting, Equity, Fixed Income, Derivatives, Alternative Investments, Portfolio Management, Investment Products, and Investment Performance Measurement.

How quickly after registering do I receive study materials?

Your study materials come from Quartic. When you register with us you should receive online access immediately, and printed books, including the Official Training Manual (or OTM), within a few days.

The Exam

What can I take to the exam?

Very little. You must take suitable photo identification (generally a passport or photo driving licence). All other personal belongings must be left outside the exam room.

Can I take my calculator into the exam?

No. Once you have checked in, you will be provided with a Casio fx-83GT Plus calculator.

Is the exam all multiple choice?

No. The majority of questions in both IE and IP are individual multiple choice questions. Some questions may be structured as item sets, with more than one question using the same case study information; a few questions may be “gap-fill”, where the candidate needs to type in the answer in the required format.

How long is the exam?

Unit 1 (IE) is 1 hour 40 minutes and contains 85 questions. Unit 2 (IP) is 2 hours 20 minutes and contains 105 questions.

When and where is the exam?

You can sit the exam whenever you want, within reason. The exam can be taken at a large number of Pearson VUE test centres, such as Holborn and Southwark in central London, but also overseas. You may book the exam for any working day in the year, subject to availability.

After Exam

Does the IMC help with the CFA Program?

Yes absolutely. IMC Unit 2, Investment Practice, covers many areas contained in the CFA Level I curriculum. A decent understanding of the IMC syllabus may save you around one-third of your time on CFA Level I. IMC Unit 1 (Investment Environment) focuses on the UK regulatory environment, which is not part of the CFA curriculum.

How does the examiner decide who passes?

The examiners determine a passing score that is not disclosed. If you achieve this score then you will pass. Investment Environment and Investment Practice must be passed separately, though within an exam all topics are considered in a single total.

When will I get the exam result?

You will receive provisional results in a printed handout before you leave the test centre. This will be confirmed officially and posted to you within 21 working days.

Registration

Can I reschedule my exam after signing up?

Yes, by contacting Pearson VUE at least 24 hours before the scheduled exam sitting. Remember that the exam must be taken within 180 days of registering.

Do I need to register with CFA Institute before signing up with Quartic?

No, you can register with CFA Institute and Quartic in either sequence.

What are the costs?

The fee for an individual is US$250, or just US$200 for groups of five and more. These fees are paid to CFA Institute directly, not Quartic, though we can provide payment services to our corporate clients.

What are the entry requirements for the Investment Foundations Certificate?

There are no academic or work experience requirements for Investment Foundations. However, you should note that the curriculum and exam are in English.

What has happened to the Claritas Program?

CFA Institute has renamed Claritas as the Investment Foundations Certificate so that the name more clearly reflects the content. The curriculum has become free to download and the exam fee has been massively reduced to just US$250.

Studying

How often does the curriculum change?

The curriculum changes on 1 February every year. Please note that your exam is based on the curriculum that was valid on the date of registration rather than the exam date. Hence candidates booking on the consecutive days 31 January and 1 February will have different versions of the curriculum, even if they sit the exam on the same day.

What support will Quartic offer me?

We try to provide our candidates with all the support they need. We can answer technical queries before, during or after live classes, if applicable. Alternatively, tutors and the support team can be contacted by e-mail, phone, Skype, via social media, or even by coming to visit us!

How do I study?

This can be different for each candidate. We recommend a combination of (1) videos or live classes, (2) curriculum, (3) extensive question practice and (4) mock exams. Quartic provides you with the videos, classes, question banks and mocks to support the curriculum.

How much study time do I really need to put in?

The guideline study time is 100 hours, generally two to three months. However you may need far more, or less, than this depending on your personal circumstances – we can provide individual guidance.

What subjects are covered?

There are seven modules: Industry Overview, Ethics and Regulation, Inputs and Tools, Investment Instruments, Industry Structure, Serving Client Needs, and Industry Controls. Further details can be seen here.

How quickly after registering do I receive study materials?

You can download the e-book curriculum immediately. When you register with Quartic you should receive online access immediately, and printed books (if applicable) within a few days.

The Exam

What can I take to the exam?

Very little. You must take suitable photo identification (generally a passport or photo driving licence). All other personal belongings must be left outside the exam room.

Can I take a calculator into the exam?

No. The exam is designed to have no calculations, so you will have no need for a calculator.

How long is the exam?

The exam is two hours long and contains 120 multiple choice questions.

When and where is the exam?

You can sit the exam whenever you want, within reason. The exam can be taken at a large number of Pearson VUE test centres, such as Holborn and Southwark in central London, but also overseas. You may book the exam for any working day in the year, subject to availability.

After Exam

Does Investment Foundations help with the CFA Program?

Yes absolutely. Most of the topics with the Investment Foundations Certificate (and in particular the more challenging chapters of Modules 3 and 4) are contained within the CFA Program. A good understanding of the Investment Foundations curriculum will provide you with a decent head start for CFA Level I.

How does the examiner decide who passes?

The examiners determine a passing score that is not disclosed. If you achieve this score then you will pass. All topics are considered in a single total – you don’t need to pass each topic separately.

When will I get the exam result?

You will receive provisional results on the screen as soon as you finish the exam. This will be confirmed officially by e-mail within 5 days. If you pass you will receive a certificate after 4 to 6 weeks.