I Passed the CFA® Exam: What's Next?

By: Kaplan Schweser
January 31, 2022
I passed the CFA Exam what is next?

As you know, each CFA level exam is difficult and requires many hours of preparation. So, congratulations on passing your exam! Being a part of the percentage of CFA candidates that pass should make you proud. We recommend taking a moment to celebrate and share the good news with your family and friends.

When you are ready, think about what contributed to your latest achievement. Share that advice with other candidates and help them in their pursuit of becoming a CFA charterholder.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Takeaways from Recent CFA Exam Pass Rates

Recent CFA pass rates have continued to demonstrate the importance of preparing. There are many contributing factors, however, being aware of what's next and knowing exactly how to prepare for your exam is the most important factor to focus on. It’s important to reflect on your most recent exam preparation experience and assess what worked and what needs to be improved.

If you have been utilizing Kaplan Schweser’s JumpStart Materials to get ahead on the curriculum, then you are in great shape. You can sign up for the next exam and take advantage of the momentum you’ve already built.

If you have not yet begun studying for your next exam, it is important to reflect on your most recent exam preparation experience and assess what worked and what needs to be improved. Reflect on these insights, your personal/professional goals, and the various exam window options offered by CFA Institute to determine when you will take your next exam. Once you have selected an exam window, it is imperative to create a structured CFA study plan and commit to sticking to it.

I Passed the CFA Level I Exam

If you recently passed Level I of the CFA Exam, we suggest starting your CFA Level II prep early and beginning to familiarize yourself with strategies to help you pass your next exam

As you begin to research what to expect when taking the Level II Exam, pay close attention to:

  • Weight variances for each curriculum topic 
  • New question formats
  • Testing time differences
  • Advanced techniques needed to answer questions

Top 10 Differences between CFA Level I and Level II »

What jobs can I get after passing CFA Level I?

If you’ve only passed Level I, you may have a slight advantage when looking for an internship in the financial industry. However, we highly recommend you continue to pursue the CFA charterholder qualification by preparing for the CFA Level II Exam.

Jobs after CFA Level I »

When To Register for Level II of the CFA Exam

It’s recommended that you spend 6-9 months preparing for the CFA Level II exam, so first, find out when the next CFA Level II Exam window is. Then, begin creating a structured CFA study plan around that date.  Don’t rush yourself, and be sure to give yourself enough time to prepare.

Sign up for our question of the day and get a CFA question sent directly to your inbox every day to help you prepare for the next sitting.

I Passed the CFA Level II Exam

If you recently passed Level II of the CFA Exam, we suggest starting your CFA Level III Exam prep early and beginning to familiarize yourself with strategies to help you pass your next exam

As you begin to research what to expect when taking the Level III Exam, pay close attention to:

  • Constructed response questions
  • Writing skills needed
  • Curriculum topic differences
  • Weight variances for each curriculum topic

CFA Level III Exam FAQs »

What job opportunities are there after passing CFA Level II?

If you’ve only passed Level II of the CFA Exam, you may get a slight advantage if you are looking for an entry-level position in the financial industry that requires no previous experience. However, you may still struggle to find a job, so we recommend continuing to maximize your job opportunities by preparing for the CFA Level III Exam.

When To Register for Level III of the CFA Exam

You should plan on committing 6-9 months to prepare for the CFA Level III Exam.   Find out when the next CFA Level III Exam window is and then begin creating a structured CFA study plan building toward that date.  You are so close to the finish line, but don’t rush yourself on this last exam.

I Passed the CFA Level III Exam

You did it, you’ve put in the hard work and passed all three CFA exams! And now, you're wondering how to officially become a CFA charterholder so you can start putting the CFA designation after your name. You’ll first need to look into applying to become a CFA charterholder with the CFA Institute.  

What Jobs Do I Qualify For After Passing Level III of the CFA Exam?

After passing the Level III CFA Exam, you will not qualify for jobs until you have officially registered with CFA Institute as a CFA charterholder. Becoming a CFA charterholder is a prestigious designation that will help you stand out in a crowd of applications for positions such as:

If you decide to pursue a job in one of these fields and have trouble, consider getting more relevant work experience and pursuing an additional financial designation such as the Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM (CAIA).

The CAIA Stackable Credential Program allows CFA charterholders to bypass the first level of the CAIA Exam which can quickly reduce the time it takes to earn this qualification which can increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Applying to Become a CFA Charterholder

In order to officially become a CFA charterholder after passing the Level III Exam, you’ll need to have already completed at least 4,000 hours of relevant work experience in a minimum of three years, apply to become a regular member of the CFA Institute, and join a local CFA Society.

Your CFA Regular Membership application should include the following:

  • 2-3 professional references
  • Payment of $275 USD
  • A brief description explaining how you meet the relevant work experience requirement

Updating your CFA status

Once you are a CFA member who has earned the CFA qualification, you can begin using CFA marks on your resume and social media as long as you continue to be an active member of the CFA Institute.  

How To Show CFA Designation on Resume and Social Media »

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