In June 1986, Adrienne Doobin earned her Chartered Financial Analyst designation, or CFA charter. This globally-recognized credential is quite significant for those who are in the investment- management and financial analysis field. However, earning it requires a hefty investment of time and effort.
The CFA program is divided into three levels, with each level ending in a six-hour-long exam. The Level I examination is a 240-question, multiple-choice test. The Level II examination is a bit more practical and contains 20 “mini-cases” that emulate various investment problems that practitioners encounter. The Level III test starts off with essay questions during the first half of the day and then changes to 10-item sets in the later portions.
The first two exam levels are machine-graded, but the final exam papers are hand-graded by volunteer CFA charterholders. Tens of thousands of candidates take the test every year, but such a rigorous exam filters out a good portion of them.