With the rising completion in the Accounting and Financial Sector in terms of career today, a lot of professionals and aspiring professionals in the field and other similar sectors now look into bolstering their knowledge. One of the best ways of beating competitions in the present world is acquiring more knowledge with relevant certifications in the field. With this in mind, a lot of people are beginning to enroll for CFA as the certification is seen as one of the most rated in the sector today.
The CFA Exam, or Chartered Financial Analyst Exam, is offered by the CFA Institute of United States of America. It is open to financial analysts and includes a set of three exams. This post takes a more detailed look at the first level of this certification and how much is required to sit for the exam.
What is the cost of CFA Level 1 in South Africa?
CFA is rated among the most challenging certifications in the Financial sector today. While emphasis have been placed on the importance of the certification for professionals and aspiring professionals in the financial sector today, much more highlighting has been placed on how much the certification actually costs.
The examination comes in three levels, with each level bearing its own costs. This post focuses on the first level – CFA Level 1 – and how much is required to register and sit for the examination. To make it clearer, we will do a detailed breakdown of the costs. The breakdown are as below.
Cost of registration
The cost of enrolment is the first fee you are required to pay when registering for CFA. The fee is paid only once and has to be paid before you are allowed to even complete your registration and sit for the first level of the examination. The fee, like all other fees you’d be expected to pay, is charged in dollars. As it stands, the enrolment fee is $450 when you apply for Level I exam. You should not that you do not need to pay for the enrolment fee again when registering for Levels 2 and 3.
Cost of the examination fees
The CFA registration fee/examination fee is the same for all levels. However, it should be noted that the price varies depending on when you initially commit to the examination. Generally, candidates that had applied about 9 months before the actual exam date are given a discounted rate. They are allowed to pay $650 while candidates that apply after the early-bird grace have passed will pay the standard rate of $950, which is about $300 more than the amount the early birds pay. Lastly, the charge for late registration is usually the most expensive. Late registration attracts $1, 380, an amount significantly higher than the standard rate.
Please see below the summarized cost of the CFA Level 1 examination and their approximate equivalent in ZAR, with exchange rate at 1 dollar for 360 ZAR.
- CFA early registration fee: $650 – R$11,232
- Regular application: $950 – R$16,416
- Late registration: $1,380 – R$23,847
In total, the cost of enrolling and registering for the CFA Level 1 is about R$18,000.
Requirements For Enrolling for CFA Level 1
Unlike most other professional exams in the financial sector, not all candidates are qualified to register for the CFA level 1 examination. Here are the core requirements that qualify candidates to register for the CFA level 1 examination.
- The candidate is required to have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from a reputable institution or at least be in his or her final year of their bachelor’s degree program at the period of registration. This means that unlike ICAN, candidates are expected to be in their final year at least during the period of registration as there are likely chances they would have completed their degree before the period of examination.
- Interested candidates who do not totally meet the criterion as stated above can be considered if they have a minimum of four years of professional work experience. Please note that the work experience does not necessarily have to be investment related.
- Also, candidates who have a combination of professional work experience and college experience that totals to a minimum of four years can also be considered. This stated, enrollers should note that part time positions and jobs do not qualify as four years’ experience. The four years’ experience as stated must be accrued prior to the enrolment.
- Lastly, candidates interested in taking the examination are expected to have a valid international travel passport. This document will be required for both the exam registration process and admission into the examination hall.
Candidates who have taken the exam get a score report that is envisioned to be unspecific: there is no overall score for the examination, only a Pass/Fail status will be highlighted. However, the top 10 percent of candidates who failed the test are informed how well they did. For each topic segments (including, ethics, corporate finance, derivative securities, etc.), each candidate is given a wide range within which their performance falls: whether below 50 percent, between 50 percent and 70 percent, and above 70 percent. The passing grade for the exams had been set to 70 percent of the top fraction of all candidates. It should be noted that the grading method is not openly published and the Board of Governors sets the minimum passing score after each exam.