Complete Beginner’s Guide to CFA CIPM Exam

Complete Beginner’s Guide to CFA CIPM Exam. It’s raining courses everywhere and investment professionals are busy trying their best to attain certifications to improve their resume. In this busy hobnobbing it is very crucial for professionals to ensure that they choose the correct course to improve their career prospects; after all certificate programs are a great time as well as money investment schemes to prosper in the future. In the research sector of these programs, we give you the nuts and bolts of each and every exam to make sure that you nail the course correctly. Take a look at our in depth information on the what, how, when, why of the certificate programs to get a grip and clear understanding of the course. In this article we have tried to help you with the CFA institute designed program CFA CIPM® (Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement). The following is the structure of the article:

  1. Why CIPM is one for Investment Professionals?
  2. About CIPM Program
  3. CIPM Program Completion Criteria
  4. Recommended Study Hours
  5. Why Pursue CIPM?
  6. Top Hiring Companies
  7. CIPM Exam Format
  8. Key Highlights
  9. CIPM Exam Weights
  10. CIPM Examination Fees
  11. CIPM Results & Passing Rates
  12. CIPM Strategy
  13. CIPM Scholarship Program
  14. Exam Deferral policy

Let’s begin with the basics of basic question.

Why CIPM is one for Investment Professionals?

  • Employers respect professionals who can drive the business through their knowledge and skills and ethical and professional commitment. The CIPM® certificate develops both the technical ability and professional capacity ensuring a great deal of prestige and profit for the employer.
  • The CFA CIPM® curriculum is designed to give the professionals an edge over their competitors through their knowledge and understanding of the practice-based investment performance and risk evaluation skills.
  • The course is designed and continuously updated by the industry professionals and practitioners to ensure that it covers the relevant business topics and trends that are being demanded by the employers in the job market
  • The CFA CIPM® designation lends credibility to your resume and speaks volumes of your professionalism and commitment to your clients’ best interests and the firm’s success.

About the CFA CIPM Program 

The CFA CIPM® program is globally recognized for its performance evaluation and presentation expertise of investment professionals. The CIPM® certificate is an incredible way to gain a perspective and strong footing in the financial markets of the world. It guides the professionals through a set code of ethics and instills in them the value of pursuing excellence in the field with an unmatched passion. CIPM® certificate module is designed to provide extensive in-depth knowledge and practical skills of Project Management tools and techniques. The course allows the professional to be more competent, productive and result oriented in all the aspects of executing and handling their knowledge of both hard and soft skills. They are trained to appreciate the finer nuances of Time and Cost while meeting Quality in order to plan out control risks effectively while addressing people issues like communication, team working, and motivation and information management.

  • Roles: Performance Analyst with an Investment firm, Analyst at Accounting firm, Analyst at Investment Consulting firm,
  • Exam: There are two difficult exams to be cleared the CFA CIPM Principles Exam and the CIPM® Expert Exam. The CIPM® Principles exam tests the candidate’s knowledge of the core concepts that lay the foundations of performance measurement, attribution, and appraisal while the Expert exam evaluates the candidate on the areas of performance evaluation and presentation, including application of the appropriate tools and inputs in more complicated situations.
  • Exam Dates: The exams are held twice in a year. One exam window is in the spring that is the month of April, and the other is in the fall-September, so it is possible to complete the program in one year.
  • The Deal: Don’t consider the exam to be a piece of cake because it isn’t. The CFA CIPM tests some crucial topics like attribution analysis of portfolios containing futures, multi-currency attribution analysis, and complex hedge fund risk ratios.
  • Eligibility: There is no specific exam requirement for the CFA CPIM course. The only prerequisite that a candidate needs to meet is that he or she must agree to abide by the CIPM® Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. This is done by signing a Candidate Professional Conduct Statement as part of each exam registration. This is done to ensure that the high standards of the CIPM® exam are protected and the integrity of the designation is maintained.

CIPM Program Completion Criteria

There are almost next to negligible requisites to become eligible for the CIPM® exam but the association maintains its quality control of the professionals by mandating requirements at the time of attaining the designation of CFA CIPM.

  • Attain the regular membership of the CIPM® Association.
  • A candidate needs to meet is that he or she must agree to abide by the CIPM® Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. This is done by signing a Candidate Professional Conduct Statement as part of each exam registration. This is done to ensure that the high standards of the CIPM® exam are protected and the integrity of the designation is maintained.
  • The candidate is required to successfully clear the CIPM® Principles and CIPM® Expert Exam.
  • A candidate is required to have a minimum of two years of professional experience in one or more positions in performance related positions, such as:
    • calculating, analyzing, evaluating or presenting investment results.
    • providing consulting, technological, legal/regulatory or accounting services directly in support of such activities.
    • verifying compliance with the GIPS standards.
    • supervising, directly or indirectly, persons who practice such activities set forth above.
    • teaching any of the above activities.
  • A candidate needs to have a minimum of four years of professional experience in the investment industry that consists of:
    • evaluating or applying financial, economic and/or statistical data as part of the investment decision-making process.
    • marketing investment management services.
    • monitoring an investment firm’s compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standards.
    • evaluating or recommending investment managers.
    • teaching any of the above activities .

CFA charterholders, regular members of the CFA Institute or a member of the Associate of the Society of Investment Professionals (ASIP), are barred from the experience requirements

Recommended Study Hours

  • Principles level exam- an average of 116 hours is required to be prepped for the exam
  • Expert level exam− an average of 122 hours needs to be put in to successfully clear this exam

What do you earn? A globally respected certificate that allows you to attain the designation of a CIPM®.

Why pursue CIPM?

CFA CIPM is an extremely focused course with a rigorous study material that concentrates on broad topics like performance measurement, attribution and appraisal. It is a specialized area with the domain of portfolio management at is core, allowing you to gain skills that show your mastery in the field of finance through the acquisition of some invaluable set of skills in the certificate program. These skills come in handy and are valued by employers as well as clients increasing the confidence in your ability to bring new investment strategies to the table with certified good results. The program is an invaluable learning experience if your job requires utilization of these kinds of skills.

Top Hiring Companies

Big names of the corporate world of investment banks, investment management and research firms, GIPS verification firms, plan sponsors, and performance measurement software development companies are the top companies that hire a CIPM® designation holder.

CIPM Exam Format

CIPM® Principles Exam CIPM® Expert Exam
A total of 100 multiple choice questions needs to be attempted. The multiple choice questions have three options to choose from. A total of 80 questions are asked. The questions have a set of 20 scenarios; each one followed by four multiple choice questions. Each multiple choice question has three answers to choose from.
A candidate is given three hours to complete the examination. A candidate is given three hours to complete the examination.

The topics covered in the Principles as well as the Expert exam are same with different weightage and detailed analysis.

Key Highlights 

  • Learning the formulas is a must as the exam tests the applications of these formulas in both the exams.
  • Formulas are not provided at the exam center.
  • The exams are entirely computer based.

CIPM Exam Weights



CIPM Examination Fees

The registration fee of the curriculum entails a curriculum ebook and a mock exam. The amount of registration varies on the account that the candidate is registering as a first time applicant for which exam, the Principles or Expert.

  • First time registering fee for the Principles exam or the Expert exam is US$975*
  • A candidate returning to register for the Principles or the Expert exam again results in a fee of US$500*

CIPM Results & Passing Rates

The results of the CIPM® exams (both the parts) are emailed to the candidates within 60 days of the closing of the exam window. Results are also made available online around the same time. Candidates are not allowed to register for the next CIPM® exam ( Principles or Expert) until the release of the results.

The CIPM® exams need to be cleared with a minimum passing score (MPS) to be considered as a passing candidate. The CIPM® Association decides the MPS for each exam. Exam results only let the candidates know whether he has “passed” or “failed” the exam. Marks are not reported to the candidates. The score for the individual topic areas in each exam are not reflected in the results. The scores of the candidates undergo statistical analysis by the CIPM® Association after the completion of each exam window.

The CFA Institute Standard uses the standard setting systematic process to decide upon the results of the examinees. The Standard setting is a rigorous, process used mostly in the professional credentialing programs. The CIPM® Program employs the Angoff standard-setting process. It is considered to be the most reliable evaluation method for selected response exams. The systematic process involves a panel of practitioners who come together under the leadership of professional test and measurement specialists to assess the candidates’ performance. The core teams of practitioners for the assessment of scores are experienced practitioners in the field of investment performance valuation and presentation. They are supremely skilled and familiar with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of the MPS. The MPS is determined only after all the questions have been subjected to thorough psychometric analysis and the standard setters have concluded their evaluation.
CIPM program results

CIPM Strategy

  • Learn to use the calculators correctly and be aware of the errors that it can throw
  • Learn the formulas because they are no provided
  • The online course provided by the Association is handy material and enough to prepare for the exam, however do not hesitate to take coaching if you feels so
  • Check out the Spaulding Group, IEB and VBA’s prep courses as they are extremely helpful while studying
  • Be patient while studying as you cannot master all the concepts in day. Some concepts are difficult and does require time and extensive reading effort
  • Make a schedule for the study time and adhere to it as much as possible

CIPM Scholarship Program

The CFA institute awards two types of scholarship program for students who are unable to pay the entire fees. The Scholarship Program designed for the CIPM® course is merit or role-based opportunity offered with a reduced fee and is known as the Awareness Scholarships. There are several categories of Awareness Scholarships; however we shall concentrate on the CIPM® scholarship.

The CIPM® scholarship program offers a reduced exam registration fee for qualified candidates. The eligibility criteria for the same are as follows, however what needs to keep in mind is that the applicant is only required to meet one of the following requirements:

A CIPM® scholarship applicant must;

  • Be an employee who is working full time in an educational institution that runs a degree-granting program offering at least a bachelor’s or equivalent degree and is teaching a minimum of 6 credit hours per quarter or semester
  • Be a full-time administrative employee of an educational institution that awards a bachelor’s or equivalent degree and teaching a minimum of 3 credit hours per quarter or semester
  • Be a full-time, qualified employee of an entity that supervises or regulates the operations, standards of practice, or business conduct of the investment management industry
  • Be an eligible GIPS (Global Investment Performance Standards) volunteer
  • Be an eligible, full-time undergraduate or part-time graduate student of a CFA Program Partner or University Recognition Program participant

For the year 2016, the scholarship program awarded to applicants will allow them to register for the CIPM® exam at a discounted rate of US$300 for scholarship recipients.

Exam Deferral Policy

The exam deferral policy of the CIPM® course states that a full refund will be granted if the candidate changes his mind regarding the exam within two business days of payment. The institute very clearly mentions that no assurity will be granted regarding the return of the exam amount paid for registration, due to the change in exchange rates which are not in the hands of control of the institute.

The consideration for registration refunds will only be entertained on a case-by-case basis on serious matters of life-threatening or very serious illnesses (candidate or immediate family), natural disasters, and mandatory military service. The above stated clause does not mean a guaranteed assurance of receiving a full refund by any candidate for any condition but it instead narrows it down and gives the power to the CFA Institute to determine which requests it should approve and which to deny. Candidates awarded a refund will be responsible for all the applicable new curriculum charges. Candidates are expected to initiate the refund reques process to CFA Institute prior to the scheduled exam or within 10 U.S. business days after the exam. All refunds will be issued using the same payment method that was used to register for the exam.

Candidates are allowed to request for a rescheduling of the exam to another available time and place, within the same exam window. This is permitted with a 24 hours’ notice and the intimidation of the same with the new exam appointment will be sent to the candidate via mail. If a candidate misses the appointment, rescheduling is not allowed.

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Certificate programs take you one step near to the success that you have been dreaming of all your life and CIPM® is the right step in that direction. Good luck to you in your decision and prepping up for the exam.

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