CFA FAQs | LSU Department of Finance


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Agree to follow the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.
  • Pass the CFA Program exams for Levels I, II, and III.
  • Have four years of qualified work experience in investment decision making.
  • Become a regular member of the CFA Institute and apply for membership in a CFA member society.
Topics Percentage of Exam

Financial Reporting & Analysis


Ethical & Professional Standards


Quantitative Methods




Equity Investments


Fixed Income


Corporate Finance


Portfolio Management




Alternative Investments


  • Two hundred forty multiple choice questions (A, B, C) split into two three-hour sessions (9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.).
  • Historically, need approximately 70% correct to pass.​
  • Average 300 hours spent studying (one-three hours per night).
  • Level I offered in June and December.
  • Approximately 42% pass rate for Level I.
  • Ten - twenty percent pass all three levels of the CFA exam on their first try.
  • It takes an average of four years to earn the CFA charter.​
  • Seven percent of CFA charterholders are C-level executives.​
  • Twenty-two percent are portfolio managers.
  • Fifteen percent are research analysts.
  • “…the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential [is] the most respected and recognized investment management designation in the world.”
  • Some firms hand out bonuses for passing certain tests. If you pass the Level I exam, your firm could potentially give you more money.
  • Instant credibility with clients, companies, and potential employers.
  • We offer a prep course! FIN 7200.4 - CFA Capstone.
    • Taught by two CFA charterholders, Troy Searles and Maurice Coleman​.
  • LSU has CFA University Affiliation.
    • Awareness Scholarships → Register for the exam and get access to study materials for $350 (e-books) or $500 (paper books).
      • This will save you $960 on the Level I exam.
      • There are a limited number of these per semester.
  • CFP: Individual financial planning → wealth management, tax planning, insurance, retirement, estate planning.
  • CFA: Large-scale investing → investment decision-making at the corporate level.​
  • One of the following:
    • Bachelor’s degree or be in final year of bachelor’s degree program.
    • Four years of professional work experience (does not have to be investment-related).
    • Combination of full-time professional work experience and education that totals at least four years (prior to enrollment).
  • ​Email with “CFA” in the subject line. Someone will want to schedule a meeting with you to discuss the program, determine your current trajectory, and adjust if necessary.
  • Visit to see their promotional materials.​
CFA is a registered trademark owned by CFA Institute.