Will the CFA exam be harder with the program changes in 2024?



The CFA Program has undergone major modifications in recent years, with significant changes announced by the CFA Institute in March 2023. These changes include a switch to computer-based testing, changes to the exam timetable, and considerable changes to the curriculum. One critical concern arises in the midst of these changes: Will the CFA Exam be harder with program changes in 2024? This blog explores the specific changes to the Level 1, 2, and 3 exam, evaluating the potential impact on candidates and providing insights into the CFA’s evolving nature.

An Overview of All Changes to the CFA Program

Changes that will affect current and future CFA candidates beginning in 2024:

  • Eligibility for level 1 candidates has been expanded.
  • Level 1 curriculum has been simplified, and more practice materials have been included.
  • Level 3 applicants will be offered specific pathways in 2025.
  • Digital badges are being introduced to increase identification.

2024 Changes for Level 1 CFA Candidates

Enhanced Eligibility Second-year undergraduate students can now take the Level 1 CFA exam.
Practical Skills Module (PSM) A mandatory experiential learning module will be implemented starting February 2024.
Simplified Level 1 Curriculum The Level 1 curriculum has been simplified to emphasize practical relevance, and pre-read materials are now optional.

2024 Changes for Level 2 CFA Candidates

Practical Skills Module (PSM) Introduction of a mandatory advanced experiential learning module from May 2024.
Curriculum Updates The Level 2 curriculum remains mostly unchanged for the year 2024.

2025 Changes for Level 3 CFA Candidates

Specialized Pathways Starting February 2025, Level 3 candidates can choose between the traditional Portfolio Management pathway, and the newly introduced Private Wealth and Private Markets pathways. Each pathway shares a common core curriculum (around 70%), reinforced by specialized content tailored to the chosen focus.
Practical Skills Module (PSM) Continuing the trend, Level 3 candidates will also be required to complete a Practical Skills Module (PSM) starting in 2025. This ensures a comprehensive skill set as candidates enter the professional world.
Impact on Current Candidates Current Level III candidates will not be affected by these changes, but future candidates can anticipate a more specialized and tailored exam experience.

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Will the CFA exam be harder?

It is expected that the upcoming programme revisions in 2024 will make the CFA exam even more challenging. To maintain the exam’s relevance and high standards, the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFAI) is always reviewing and updating its curriculum to reflect the ever-changing financial industry.
The coming changes in 2024 will highlight challenges like environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges, fintech, and artificial intelligence. These fields are developing quickly, necessitating a greater understanding of complex ideas and methods. Additionally, the CFAI has indicated that the new curriculum will place more of a focus on critical thinking and analysis. This move is likely to require candidates to show a better understanding of the material they are learning and apply it in a more advanced and detailed manner.

Although it is difficult to predict exactly how these changes will affect the difficulty of the exam, candidates should expect to face greater challenges with the new curriculum, requiring even more preparation than in past years.

How to Get Prepared for Changes in the CFA Curriculum 2024

The most crucial way to prepare for curriculum changes is to keep your CFA prep materials up to date. If you decide to use previous years’ materials, ensure to avoid outdated topics and trends, focusing on what will be present on the exam. Another valuable option is to join Fintelligents. It is a top pick for CFA classes in Mumbai with excellent lectures and personal support from Ganesh Nayak Sir.

Some of the Preparation Strategies

Making a strategy plan is necessary before starting the CFA exam. These are some essential success strategies:

  • Identify Your Strengths and Weakness

Evaluate your motivation, perseverance, time management, and diligence. Determine your areas of strength and need.

  • Build Hard and Soft Skills Simultaneously

Study the topics covered (hard skills) and understand the guidelines, necessities, and format of the examination (soft skills).Use reliable sources to get knowledge.

  •  Limit your distraction

 Create a comfortable space for studying that reduces distractions so that you   can concentrate and get more productivity.

  • A well-defined study plan

Plan, Study, Examine, and Assess.Take a thorough approach for an effective study process: schedule meetings, engage in focused learning, assess results regularly, and evaluate progress.

  • Make Use of an Organized CFA Exam Study Guide

Make use of resources such as the CFA Exam Study Planner and an organized study schedule. Adapt study hours and topics to individual competence levels.

  • Regularly Study and Integrate Resting

Regular study sessions are essential. Set aside time for concentration, and make sure that breaks involve total disconnection from any ideas relating to the exam.

  • Evaluate Progress Weekly

Assess the study plan’s commitment on a regular basis. Acknowledge accomplishments, make fair modifications, and avoid continuous delay.

Incorporating these techniques, you will improve your understanding and develop the abilities required for successfully completing the CFA exam 2024.

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In conclusion, there are possibilities as well as obstacles associated with the CFA program’s changes in 2024. Although a more difficult exam is likely ahead, this indicates a critical connection with the changing finance industry.

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