About Level III CFA® Exam

Our guide to your Level III journey, with essential information, tips, and stories.

Exam Overview

70 Questions

10 Written Answer, 60 Multiple-Choice



6 Hour Exam

3 Hour Morning & 3 Hour Afternoon Sessions

70% or Higher

Score to Aim For

Before the Exam

  • Recommended Courses

    None. Passing Levels I and II should give you all the background knowledge you need. Level III focuses on how to apply that knowledge to portfolio management situations.

  • Level III Offerings

    Level III is offered once per year in June.

  • Next Offering:

    June 15, 2019

    Registration Deadline:


  • How do I register?

    1. Register online at www.cfainstitute.org
    2. Pick an exam location.
    3. You’ll receive an admission ticket via email. Print it out–you will need it on exam day.
  • How much should I study?

    We highly recommend dedicating 6-8 months of dedicated studying to prepare for Level III. Start by learning and reviewing the material, then focus on practice exams. Our Practice and Complete plans can help you measure your progress and assess your readiness for the real exam.

  • Tricky Topics

    The most challenging part of Level III is not any one topic, but the Written Answer portion of the exam.

  • Coach Mike's Tip

    “The content is easier with this exam, with a lot of overlap with Levels I and II. Focus on the essay questions so you understand how to structure your answers.”

  • Coach Marc's Tip

    “Level III is a different beast than either Level I or Level II because it involves a written answer session. This different format is why Level III is the most difficult to pass.”

Exam Day

  • What to Bring with You

    • Your admission ticket
    • Your passport
    • A CFA Institute-approved Calculator
      - BA II Plus
      - HP 12C
    • Pencils
    • Erasers
    • An extra layer of clothing (you never know what the temperature of the exam room will be, and this is a 6-hour exam!
  • Coach Marc's Story

    “The stakes are high for Level III Candidates. If you fail Level I or even Level II, you'll probably be disappointed and walking away will hurt, but not nearly as much as if you have to walk away after failing Level III. I passed Level I and Level II on the first attempt. It took me three attempts to pass Level III, and that’s not uncommon. Yes, it was rewarding to finally reach the summit, but the sacrifices made to get there are significant.”

  • Coach Mike's Story

    “My time to prepare for this exam was severely limited. I did well because I had a lot of prior knowledge of the material, and I just had to focus on how they asked the questions.”

After the Exam

  • Getting Your Exam Results

    You’ll receive your exam results via email after all exams have been graded by CFA Institute. This process usually takes several weeks.

  • Next Steps

    Level III is the final exam you need to pass. If you have amassed at least four years of investing or financial experience, all you need to become a CFA Charterholder is to be a regular member of the CFA Institute and have references attest to your relevant experience.