CFA Latest Updates: Significant Enhancements to the CFA Program

CFA Latest Updates: Significant Enhancements to the CFA Program

The CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, announced significant changes to the CFA program. This comes as part of the institute’s continued efforts to enhance the program to meet the needs of its candidates and supply the industry with competent and ethical professionals. These enhancements are especially significant for candidates who are keen to get an edge in the market for employment. 

According to Margaret Franklin, CFA president and CEO, these latest changes constitute the most significant changes ever made to the CFA program since its inception in 1963. The changes will meet the candidates’ needs by helping them understand how to put investment concepts into practice from their first day on the job. There are six major changes instituted for CFA 2024 and 2025.

1. Digital Practical Skills Modules

One of the most notable CFA latest Updates is the introduction of self-contained digital practical skills modules to the CFA Program. These are meant to teach the candidates on-the-job practical applications. Initially, the practical skills module will include:

For level I –  Financial Modelling 

          -Python programming fundamentals 

For level II – Analyst skills 

                     -Python programming fundamentals

                       Python, Data Science, and Artificial Intelligence

Starting in 2024, at least one practical skills module must be completed for level I and level II but will not be graded as part of the exam. 

Practical skills modules are being developed for CFA level III to be introduced in the 2025 exam series.

2. Specialized Pathways

CFA’s latest updates will also introduce specialized pathways at level III beginning in 2025. There will be three job-role focussed pathways and candidates will be able to choose any one of the three. They include:

  1. Portfolio Management (traditional version)
  2. Private Wealth;
  3. Private Markets;

All three pathways are equally rigorous, they will have a common core of study and all are in pursuit of the CFA charter.

Portfolio Management Pathway

The portfolio management pathway will have the new additional topic areas:

  • Equity Portfolio Management 
  • Fixed Income Portfolio Management 
  • Trading and Execution 
  • Case Studies 
  • Ethics in Portfolio Management

Private Wealth Management Pathway

Private Wealth Management Pathway will have the following additional topic areas:

  • Private Wealth Industry 
  • Client Management 
  • Wealth Structuring
  • Investment Planning 
  • Ethics in Wealth Management 

Private Markets Pathway

This pathway will have the following additional topic areas 

  • Structures and Investment Processes 
  • Private Equity 
  • Private Debt 
  • Private Real Estate and Infrastructure 
  • Ethics in Private Markets 

3. Volume of Study Materials to be Reduced at Each Level

Candidates often spend 300 hours or more preparing for each level of the CFA exam. To ensure that the content is efficient, accessible, and relevant while maintaining rigor and value, best practice in instructional design is being incorporated. Some introductory content that most candidates will have learned in their undergraduate programs is available for registered candidates but will not be tested.

The CFA curriculum received major content updates and weight changes beginning in 2023.

Level I

The CFA level I curriculum received major updates in 2023 but subject area weights did not change from 2022. The curriculum now includes 73 learning modules instead of 60 readings in 2022. Learning modules are just the readings, divided into smaller, “easier-to-consume” sections. There are 543 learning outcomes compared to 532 in 2022. Below is a brief breakdown of the level one curriculum changes by topic.


  •  Features a new learning module, “Introduction to Geopolitics” which has four LOS.

Corporate Issuers

  • Two new learning modules have been included, “Corporate Structures and Ownership” and “Business Models and Risks” each with three LOS. 
  • Some materials have been removed from the learning module “Introduction to Corporate Governance and Other ESG Considerations”.
  • “Uses of Capital” has been renamed to “Capital Investments” and one new LOS has been added.
  • “Sources of Capital” has been renamed to “Working Capital and Liquidity” and one new LOS added. 


  • The topic has been completely rewritten. It now features ten learning modules each with two or three LOS.

Alternative Investments

  • Used to have one reading but now has three learning modules.

Prerequisite Knowledge Adjustment

The CFA’s latest updates also include prerequisite knowledge adjustment. Candidates registering for the 2024 CFA level I will be expected to have a basic understanding of the following common topics:

  • Economics 
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Financial Statements 

If you do not have a basic understanding of these concepts or you would like to review them, three new volumes have been introduced into the curriculum beginning in 2024. They are:

  • Economics (Volume 2)
  • Quantitative Methods(Volume 1)
  • Financial Statements Analysis (Volume 3)

Level II

CFA level II received major updates in 2023. New readings have been added, some readings have been removed or rearranged and in place of readings, there are smaller easier-to-consume learning modules. 

New readings 

  • Cost of Capital: Advanced Topics 
  • Corporate Restructuring 

Substantially rewritten readings

  • Multiple Regression 
  • Financial Statements Modelling 
  • Real Estate Investments

Readings that contain material changes for 2023

  • Currency Exchange Rates: Understanding Equilibrium Value
  • Economic Growth 

Readings that were deleted for 2023

  • Introduction to Linear Regression
  • Capital Structure
  • Mergers and Acquisitions 
  • Capital Budgeting 
  • Return Concepts 

Level III

There were no changes in content for the level III 2023 CFA Curriculum. The only major change is in the exam format. Both sections of the exam now consist of randomly placed essay questions and item sets. This means that each section of the exam will have 11 questions which will either comprise six essay questions and five item sets or six item sets and five essay questions.

4. An Improved Digital Badging Strategy

This will come in handy for candidates on their CFA journey. It is a formal acknowledgment that candidates have completed CFA level I and II and will aid in their search for internship and full-time positions. It will speak to the candidate’s seriousness and commitment to a career as an investment professional. Improved digital badging will significantly improve the value of CFA level I and level II for candidates.

5. Additional Practice Materials

Currently, candidates are allowed two mock exams from the CFA institute eight weeks before their exam window. It was determined that there is significant demand for more practice questions and mock exams from the CFA institute. As a result, when registration opens for February 2024 exams, candidates will get an opportunity to purchase the CFA Program Practice Pack which will include 1000 new practice questions and an additional six new level I mock exams. 

6. Expanded Eligibility for Level I Candidates

Undergraduate students with two years (23 months) left in their undergraduate studies can now register for the CFA level I exam. This change boosts the career prospects of candidates and will help them secure internships and entry-level jobs.

Shorter Early Registration Periods

Also, coming with the CFA’s latest updates is the announcement by the CFA institute that the early registration period will be much shorter for the 2024 exam. The exact dates have not been provided yet but the February 2024 early registration will run for two months only between May and June. February 2023 early registration ran for three months between May and August.


When preparing for your CFA exams, it is absolutely important that you keep your prep material up to date. If you must use previous years’ material, be keen to avoid outdated trends and topics and concentrate on what will be tested in the exam.

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