Hold on to your calculators, because the CFA Institute just dropped some major news on March 21, 2023. They’ve shaken things up with some fresh changes to the CFA program based on feedback from their members. Let’s dive in to see what’s in store for you.

The six major changes include:

  1. Expanded Eligibility

  2. Digital Badges for Level I and Level II

  3. Practice Packs for Level I

  4. Focused Curriculum for Level I

  5. Practical Skills Modules for Levels I, II, and III

  6. Specialized Pathways for Level III

We share here a synthesis and handy timeline for those already in the program or those about to embark on their CFA journey:

  1. Expanded Eligibility (2023)

    It’s never too early to start chasing those dreams of becoming a financial whiz-kid. Because in November 2022, the CFA Institute expanded CFA program eligibility for those at university, allowing students who are 23 months from completing their undergraduate degree to begin their CFA Program journey. You heard that right – you can start your CFA adventure even before you graduate.

  2. Digital Badges for Level I and Level II (2023)

    Now, this is where things get exciting. The CFA Institute is introducing digital badges for Level I and Level II candidates in 2023. While the end goal of becoming a CFA Charterholder remains the most important milestone, clearing Level I and Level II is a significant accomplishment that carries substantial value to employers. These badges highlight your progress and skills to potential employers, making you stand out from the crowd.

  3. Optional Practice Packs for Level I (2024)

    Prepping for the CFA exams can be intense, but the CFA Institute wants to help you level up your study game with Practice Packs. Available for purchase with registration for February 2024 exams, these packs are a treasure trove of 1,000 exam-like practice questions, six additional mock exams, and access to the Level I curriculum PDF files. And the best part? You’ll also get an extra mock exam that simulates the real exam day experience. It’s like having a secret weapon to tackle those tricky exam questions like a pro. Total cost: $299.

  4. Focused Curriculum for Level I (2024)

    Let’s face it – Level I candidates are already finance pros in the making. So why waste time on redundant topics? The CFA Institute is revamping the curriculum to make it more focused and skip the basics that you’ve already mastered from previous studies or early career roles. Instead, they’ll provide reference material for fundamental topics like time-value of money, basic statistics, microeconomics, and introduction to company accounts separately.

  5. Practical Skills Modules for Levels I, II, and III (2024-2025)

    The CFA Institute will implement Practical Skills Modules (PSMs) for each level of the CFA Program to provide candidates with hands-on practical knowledge of what they’re learning. A PSM is a 10-15 hour program that includes videos, multiple-choice questions, guided practice, and case studies to develop candidates’ practical skills. To receive exam scores, candidates must complete one PSM between their registration and a cutoff date before the release of exam results. 

    All CFA Levels will eventually get PSMs. Here is the timeline and choices for Level I and Level II:

    Level I Candidates, beginning with February 2024 exams:

    Financial Modeling – How to build a top-tier three-statement financial model of a company in Excel to understand how the value of a company is determined.

    Python Programming Fundamentals – A fundamentals course to demonstrate the basics of Python and how to use Jupyter notebook for developing, presenting, and sharing data science projects related to finance

    Level II Candidates, beginning with August 2024 exams:

    Analyst Skills – Focuses on the skills equity analysts need using insights gained from hundreds of successful analysts.

    Python, Data Science & AI – Introduces candidates to machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science to understand financial statements, reporting, and analysis using Python

  6. Specialized Pathways for Level III Candidates (2025)

    Just like in those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books you read as kids, the CFA Institute is introducing specialized pathways for Level III candidates starting in February 2025. You can choose to specialize in Portfolio Management, Private Wealth Management, or Private Markets. It’s like picking your own adventure in the finance world; you get to focus on your area of interest and become a true finance guru in your chosen field.

What do you think?

So, there you have it, folks.

The CFA Institute has unleashed some game-changing updates to the CFA Program that are sure to rock your financial world.

With expanded eligibility, digital badges, practice packs, streamlined curriculum, practical skills modules, and specialized pathways, you’ll be well-equipped to conquer the finance battlefield like a true financial warrior.

Buckle up, grab your finance toolkit, and get ready to embark on this epic adventure towards becoming a CFA Charterholder.

Don’t wait, get started on your personalized experience today.

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