Certified Financial Technician CFT Exam | A Complete Guide

Updated on March 27, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Here we are again demystifying one of the most famous certifications. This time is understanding the ins and outs of becoming a Certified Financial Technician. Before diving into this subject, let’s answer the most important question.

Why is CFTe one for Technical Analyst Professionals?

Certified Financial Technician or CFTe is a globally recognized course that tests not only your technical skills but also checks your understanding of ethics and the market.

  • This course is designed for self-studying minds, and hence the candidate does not need to attend a school for the same. However, the candidates will get access or guidance locally through private tuition or classes.
  • The course and the material supplied for each examination are reviewed regularly to ensure that the candidate knows the latest market trends and updates.
  • After completing two levels of examination of this course, you become a certified financial technician to become an IFTA member society. You get this designation after you join the IFTA member society.
  • This examination rewards those looking to pursue a finance and financial markets career.

All of this gives you not one but many reasons to want to and pursue CFTe. However, along with strong reasons to pursue this course, you also need to add a good amount of time and hard work. Therefore, we have brought you some notes to help you decide on the course and guide you through.

These notes cover the following;

CFT Exam

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The CFT Program

CFTe is an examination conducted by the IFTA, a globally recognized body, focusing on international professional qualification in technical analysis. Technical knowledge also focuses on the candidate’s ethical values and market understanding. The old-fashioned pen and pencil examination help the candidates focus on the theory and the facts of the market.

  • Role – IFTA society member, Financial Technician, Financial Analyst, Banker, Financial Advisor, Professional, etc.
  • Exams – CFTe has two levels of examination to clear, namely CFTe I and CFTe II. They can also be named Level I and Level II. These examinations are pen and paper exams. And are available in various languages such as English, Italian, French, Spanish, German, and Arabic.
  • CFTe Exam Dates – The examination is held twice a year, once in April and then in October.
  • Experience – To register for this course, the candidate needs to have a bachelor’s degree and three years of relevant experience.

CFT Program Completion Criteria

  • To become a member of the IFTA society, you need to first register for the CFTe course.
  • Registration criteria include having a bachelor’s degree; however, some candidates complete their MBA degrees before registering for CFTe and becoming members of the IFTA society. And not to forget, the candidate also requires three years of relevant experience for registration.
  • However, to become a member and get a CFTe designation, the candidate must clear a two-level examination. This pen and paper examination will not only test your technical skills. It will also test your ethical understanding, along with your market knowledge.
  • Level I is a multiple-choice paper, whereas Level II consists of essay-based analysis and answers.

Why Pursue CFT? 

  • As per the surveys, people are hired at an approximate rate of 13% in the finance industry, especially in investment and FX brokerage firms. Comparatively, the rate of hiring in other sectors has declined considerably. This is a major reason for pursuing CFTe.
  • Even in the hard economic conditions, this industry is still growing and performing and thus hiring.
  • If given appropriate time and genuineness, you can complete this course in one year as the average pass percentage is 70%, passing in the first.
  • Becoming a CFTe can easily fetch you an initial monthly salary of £1800. Mind you, this is just the start.
  • This course gives you technical knowledge and judges your ethical skills and market knowledge.
  • This course gives your skills global recognition. If you have a problem with giving your examination in a certain language, you have language options to choose from. This course can be answered in more than six languages.
  • A combination of multiple-choice questions and essay writing about your understanding of the market makes you one of the finest financial technicians across the globe.
  • CFTe rewards people who are working in the financial sector and looking for consistent financial growth. You need to consider investment and the stock market in the financial sector.

CFT Exam Format

CFT Exam Subjects


CFTe Level I Exam Details

  • This examination is a clear 120 multiple choice paper out of which the candidate needs to score at least 74 correct answers, which is about 60-70% marks. These 120 questions are selected out of 600 test questions.
  • Level I concentrates on the above topics, considered the foundation of finance and the investment sector.
  • The test can appear in six different languages: English, French, German, Italian, Arabic, and Spanish.
  • The test is a paper and pencil examination and not an online test.
  • Preparing for this examination needs focused attention of three months.

CFTe Level II Exam Details

  • This level also has some questions to be attained; however, these questions are essay-based analysis and answers. The passing percentage or pass rate required here is also approximately 60-70%
  • This topic concentrates on many topics; however, the candidate needs to display extreme knowledge and expertise in applying various techniques and methods of technical analysis.
  • This examination can appear in 6 different English, French, German, Italian, Arabic, and Spanish; even Chinese will be available soon.
  • The test is a paper and pencil examination of the essay types, not an online test.
  • Preparing for this examination needs to be focused on for 6 months.

CFTe Examination Fee

CFTe Fees 2020

Source: IFTA.org

*Additional Fees (CFTe II only):

$250 translation fee applies to non-English exams

$100 applies for non-IFTA proctored exam locations

The fee structure for the CFTe examination focuses on member and non-member fees; that is, the fee structure is quite different for both options. There is approximately a hike of $200 for non-member’s fee. The course also has an additional cost for non-English examinations and proctored exam locations. Hence before you book or register for your examination, you can consider all these points to save on your registration charges.

This course is not a very tough one; mostly, 70% of candidates clear it in their first attempt. Hence, focusing on the course can save you from registering for the examination and losing the registration cost.

Pass Percentage of CFT Exam

The pass percentage for both the levels isn’t specified; however, IFTA confirms that, on average, approximately 70% of students clear both the levels in their first attempt. This is a very good passing rate for a global professional course. Hence clearing this examination is not very difficult for a professional with more than 3 to 5 years of relevant experience.

CFT Exam Study Material

Once you register for the examination, after all your eligibility criteria are met, you can download the study material from the official website of IFTA. Only IFTA provided the candidates should use study material to clear the examination successfully.

IFTA websites also offer many mock test options that appear for the candidates to practice before they appear for the main examination.

Study material is accompanied by a study guide that helps you through the study pattern of this course. In case of any difficulties, there are some local tuitions available for candidates to help them understand the course and guide them through the examination.

CFT Exam Strategy

When you have an examination to appear, there is so much stress on how to study, what to study, where to start from, and how many hours to study to clear the examination. The CFTe is a professional course that needs a good amount of time and understanding. So let us help you with some strategies to clear this course on your first attempt.

  1. Set a plan of action for your needs to decide your moves and work on them accordingly. An appropriate plan of action is important before taking up any task, and then this is about your career.
  2. Let us tell you that CFTe is not as simple as it looks and sounds; this course needs dedicated studies for at least 3 to 6 hours to understand and know each unit. We recommend that you study for a minimum of 3 months before your examination for Level I. In contrast, for Level II, you need to give in a minimum of 6 months to regular studies.
  3. Because CFTe is a written examination, it needs a lot of writing practice, especially for Level II. It includes essay writing of your analysis and, of course, many diagrams and charts, etc. All this needs to be done fast as you have time limits in the examination hall. It would be best to make sure that you also have good speed to complete your examination.
  4. Candidates are recommended to use only the material provided by IFTA as this material is updated regularly, and you will be asked questions for the recommended syllabus.
  5. Because CFTe is a self-study program, you will not have tutors to guide you through the course; hence the IFTA has provided a study guide, and we strongly recommend you read the guide before you start your studies.
  6. Solving mock test papers is a sorted and perfect way of making sure that you clear your paper on the first attempt and score well.
  7. Revise your practice so that it helps you remember and keeps you away from panic and stress.
  8. When you study, your brain is in continuous use. You need to make sure that you give yourself good nutritious food and good sleep to help you study and score well.

You may also look at a detailed comparison between CMT vs. CFT– Which is better?

Reader Interactions


  1. kishore says

    hi ,
    i wish to pursue this course if you could send me the material


    muscat oman

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Hi Kishore, Unfortunately I do not have the training material on CFT exam.

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