The CFA Institute has revamped the CFA exam, introducing new study materials and eligibility requirements. The changes aim to make the exam more approachable and practical, with a focus on skills like Python and financial modeling.

The CFA Institute, the organization administering the chartered financial analyst (CFA) exam, has announced significant changes to the test. 

The Level I and Level II tests will feature new material focusing on practical skills starting in the coming year. The new study materials will cut down on the previously required over 300 hours of study needed to prepare for the exam.

The changes were based on feedback from CFA charter holders and others who felt that the curriculum was too difficult and did not align directly with the jobs they were seeking.

The new tests will offer candidates paths that focus on their interests and allow them to choose between Python, a programming language, or financial modelling. Level III will focus on portfolio management, private wealth, and private markets. 

Instead of waiting until the third level, candidates who pass the first and second levels are given a badge that indicates they are on the road to becoming a charter holder.

The CFA designation can lead to higher salaries and better job opportunities, and the changes aim to make the exam more approachable and applicable to the future, as per Bloomsberg. 

The institute has also increased eligibility, enabling students who are still two years from receiving their college degrees to sit for the tests. 

In addition, new add-on study materials will be introduced, including a practice pack with 1,000 practice problems and six additional mock exams.

The CFA Institute's managing director for credentialing, Chris Wiese, said that the changes were instrumental in drafting the new test and that the institute is addressing what learners want now. 

The CFA designation is considered the pinnacle of achievement for financial analysts. Passing Level I says something about a candidate's basic competency and skills, making them more attractive to prospective employers. 

The changes to the CFA exam represent the largest reworking of the test since its introduction in 1963.

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