CFA Curriculum Changes 2023 Breakdown

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment of Financial Managers to grow 17% from 2021 to 2031, creating around 71,300 yearly openings. The scope for a well-defined career in finance inspires candidates to enrol in professional courses such as the CFA. 

Before signing up for a CFA course, candidates must be thorough with the CFA curriculum for the 2023 exams, which are out now. Aspirants who wish to apply need to know about CFA exam changes in 2023 for all levels. Some significant curriculum changes will be effective from 2023, including major revisions in Levels 1 and 2. These are beneficial to candidates who wish to have a career in investment.

If you are an aspiring Chartered Financial Analyst and want to know about the CFA exam changes, read on to learn more before you sign up for a CFA course. 

What Is CFA?

CFA, or Chartered Financial Analyst, is a globally-recognised qualification. The programme qualifies aspirants to get job roles as Financial Managers, Portfolio Managers, and Research Analysts.

United States-based CFA Institute offers this certification all over the globe. Getting CFA certified can help people get jobs in insurance companies, investment firms, and financial advisor firms. A high-paying career in finance awaits the people who pursue a CFA certification. The CFA course is divided into three levels. 

Read about the 6 Things You Need to Know Before Your CFA Exam to avoid any last-minute confusion.

CFA Level 1 Changes

The CFA exam changes are applicable from Level 1 itself, with changes across the CFA Level 1 curriculum. Although there is no significant change overall, here’s a look at some notable modifications:

  • Instead of Readings, students have to go through a Learning Modules (LM) structure now. These are bite-sized lessons that the aspirants can complete in one sitting. It reflects the nature of the study patterns of CFA candidates. The Learning Modules include spreadsheets and visuals with content relevant to the finance industry.


  • The topic of Portfolio Management sees minor content updates. For instance, ‘Fintech in Investment Management’ now consists of new content on blockchain and DeFi.


  • The first topics forming part of the Learning Modules structure in 2023 are Derivatives and Alternative Investments.


  • CFA Level 1 curriculum consists of 72 Learning Modules in 2023, while the 2022 exams included 60 Readings. These two cannot be compared since the structure has changed overall.


  • None of the Readings from 2022 were deleted. These have been renamed, changed, or replaced with Learning Modules.


  • The curriculum incorporates three new Learning Modules concentrating on Economics and Corporate Issuers: 
  1. LM 28 – Corporate Structures and Ownership
  2. LM 13 – Introduction to Geopolitics
  3. LM 30 – Business Models 


  • The Corporate Issuers topic has six updated Learning Modules.


  • The Derivatives section is now divided into as many as 10 Learning Modules. The topics are as given below:
  1. Pricing and valuation of futures contracts
  2. Arbitrage, replication, and the cost of carrying in pricing derivatives
  3. Derivative instruments and derivative market features
  4. Valuing a derivative using a one-period binomial model
  5. Pricing and valuation of interest rate and other swaps
  6. Pricing and valuation of forwarding contracts and for an underlying with varying maturities
  7. Derivative benefits, risks, and issuer and investor uses
  8. Forward commitment and contingent claim features and instruments
  9. Option replication using put-call parity
  10. Pricing and Valuation of options 

CFA Level 2 Changes

Level 2 of the CFA curriculum also has some small updates. A few notable CFA exam changes in 2023 are mentioned below:

  • Similar to CFA Level 1,  CFA Level 2 is also moving towards a Learning Module (LM) structure in place of Readings. Aspirants can complete these lessons in one study session. The Learning Modules contain practical content and spreadsheets about topics relevant to the finance industry.


  • The ‘Mergers and Acquisitions’ Reading under the Corporate Issuers section is replaced by ‘Corporate Restructuring’ LM. This focuses on various types of corporate restructuring and imparts practical knowledge to candidates on modelling them with spreadsheets.


  • Under Financial Statement Analysis, the ‘Industry and Company Analysis’ is replaced by ‘Financial Statement Modelling.’ This introduces spreadsheet modelling and adds more content on behavioural biases in the field of forecasting.


  • ‘Alternative Investment’ and ‘Quantitative Methods’ – these 2 Readings are now broken down into bite-sized Learning Modules.


  • ‘Cost of Capital: Advanced Topics’ is a new LM added this year. Candidates will focus on fixed income, how to estimate WACC (weighted average cost of capital) and how to determine estimated rates of return for equities.


  • The Level 2 curriculum has four fewer Readings from 2022. These are now part of Level 1. 
  1. Reading 1: Introduction to Linear Regression
  2. Reading 15: Capital Structure
  3. Reading 19: Capital Budgeting
  4. Reading 21: Return Concepts 
  • CFA exam changes are seen in six Learning Modules. Major changes occur in Real Estate Investment LM (part of Alternative Investments), Corporate Restructuring LM (part of Corporate Issuers), and Multiple Regression LM (part of Quant).

CFA Level 3 Changes

Compared to Level 1 and Level 2, CFA Level 3 shows the least changes for the 2023 exams. A few of these changes are given below:

  • For consistency, the Fixed Income Readings show revision across all levels. Level 3 shows a total revision of Credit Strategies and Yield Curve Strategies. The curriculum has updated concepts of Market Reference Rates and LIBOR.


  • As per the new 2020 GIPS standards, there have been revisions to Performance Evaluation, Private Wealth Management, and Institutional Investors.


  • The 2023 Level 3 curriculum has 35 Readings compared to 38 in 2020/2021. The curriculum shows the removal of the following five Readings: 
  1. Reading 30: Estate Planning in a Global Context
  2. ​Reading 7: The Behavioural Finance Perspective
  3. ​Reading 31: Concentrated Single-Asset Positions
  4. Reading 4: Professionalism in Investment Management
  5. Reading 29: Taxes and Private Wealth Management in a Global Context 
  • CFA exam changes 2023 show the addition of two new Readings:
  1. Reading 30: Case Study in Risk Management Institutional
  2. Reading 22: Topics in Private Wealth Management


The CFA is an excellent course for people looking forward to a lucrative career in finance. The CFA exam changes listed on this page will be helpful for all the prospective candidates of 2023.

You can take the CFA course from Zell Education and get the globally-recognised finance certification. The course has an 80% passing rate and makes candidates job ready for the investment industry.

What are the changes in CFA Level 1 2023?

The CFA Level 1 2023 curriculum transitions toward an LM (Learning Module) structure. Candidates can finish these bite-sized topics in a single study session.

What are the 2023 CFA exam dates?

The 2023 CFA exam dates are given below. Level 1 – February 14 to 20, May 16 to 22, and August 22 to 28. Level 2 – May 23 to 27 and August 29 to September 2. Level 3 – February 21 to 23 and August 29 to September 5.

Does the CFA syllabus change every year?

The curriculum for CFA gets updated annually. Aspirants can access the updated curriculum from the CFA website.

Is three months enough for CFA Level 3?

Aspirants need to devote a minimum of 6 to 9 months to studying the CFA Level 3 curriculum. But they can complete the entire curriculum in three months if they can give total devotion to it.

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