Certified Financial Technician CFT Exam | A Complete Guide

Here we are again demystifying one of the famous certifications. This time is understanding the ins and outs of how to become 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 does not test only your technical skills. It also checks your understanding of ethics and the market.

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

These notes cover the following;

  1. The CFT Program
  2. CFT Program Completion Criteria
  3. Why Pursue CFT?
  4. CFT Exam Format
  5. CFTe Level I Exam Details
  6. CFTe Level II Exam Details
  7. CFTe Examination Fee
  8. Pass Percentage of CFT Exam
  9. CFT Exam Study Material
  10. CFT Exam Strategy
CFT Exam

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The CFT Program

CFTe is an examination conducted by the IFTA, a globally recognized body, and they focus on international professional qualification in technical analysis. With a focus on technical knowledge, it also focuses on the ethical values and market understanding of the candidate. The old fashioned pen and pencil examination help the candidates focus on the theory and the fact 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 as 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 3 years of relevant experience.

CFT Program Completion Criteria

  • To become a member of the IFTA society, you need to 1st register for the CFTe course.
  • Registration criteria include having a bachelor’s degree; however, some candidates complete their MBA degrees before the register for CFTe and become a member of the IFTA society. And not to forget, the candidate also required 3 years of relevant experience for registration.
  • However, to become a member and get a designation of CFTe, the candidate has to 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 being hired at an approximate rate of 13% in the finance industry, especially in the 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 condition, this industry is still growing and performing and thus hiring.
  • Is given appropriate time and genuineness, you can complete this course in one year for the average pass percentage of this course is 70%, passing in the 1st
  • Becoming a CFTe can easily fetch you a start monthly salary of £1800, mind you this is just the start.
  • This course gives you not just technical knowledge; however, it also judges your ethical skills along with your market knowledge.
  • This course gives you and your skills a global recognition. And even if you have a problem with giving your examination in a certain language, you also have language options to choose from. This course can be answered in more than 6 languages.
  • A combination of multiple-choice questions and an essay writing about your understanding of the market makes you one of the finest financial technicians across the globe.
  • CFTe is a reward for people working in the financial sector and is looking for consistent growth financially. In the financial sector, you need to consider the investment and the stock market.

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 are about 60-70% marks. These 120 questions are selected out of 600 test questions.
  • Level I concentrate on the above topics that are considered the base or the foundation of finance and the investment sector.
  • The test can appear in 6 different languages that are English, French, German, Italian, Arabic, and Spanish.
  • The test is a paper and a pencil examination and not an online test.
  • Preparing for this examination needs focused attention of 3 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.
  • Even this examination can appear in 6 different English, French, German, Italian, Arabic, and Spanish; even Chinese is going to be available soon.
  • The test is a paper and a pencil examination of the essay types and not an online test.
  • Preparing for this examination needs to be focused on the attention of 6 months.

CFTe Examination Fee

CFTe Fees 2020

Source: IFTA.org

*Additional Fees (CFTe II only):

$250 US translation fee applies to non-English exams
$100 US applies for non-IFTA proctored exam locations

The fee structure for CFTe examination focuses on member and non-member fees; that is, the fee structure is quite different for both the options. There is approximately a hike of $200 for non-member’s fee. The course also has an additional cost for non-English examination and also 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 1st attempt. Hence focus on the course can save you from registering for the examination, and losing on the registration cost.

Pass Percentage of CFT Exam

The pass percentage for both the levels is not specified; however, IFTA confirms that, on average, approximately 70% of students clear both the levels in their 1st attempt. This is a very good passing rate or passing percentage for a global professional course. Hence clearing this examination is not very difficult for a professional who has 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 study material should be used by the candidates to successfully clear the examination.

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

Study material is accompanied by a study guide that guides 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, and what to study, where to start from, and how many hours to study to clear the examination. And ya, CFTe is a professional course that needs a good amount of time and understanding. Let us help you with some strategies to clear this course, mostly in your 1st attempt.

  1. Setting a plan of action for you need to start with deciding your moves and working 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 at least 3 to 6 hours to be given to understand and know each unit. We recommend that for Level I, you must study for a minimum of 3 months before your examination, whereas for Level II, you need to give in a minimum of 6 months for regular studies.
  3. Because CFTe is a written examination, it needs a lot of writing practice, especially for level II as 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. You need 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 and study guide, and we strongly recommend you read the guide before you start your studies.
  6. Solving some mock test papers is a sorted and a perfect way of making sure that you clear your paper on the 1st 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 brains are in continuous use. You need to make sure that you give yourself good nutritious food and also good sleep to rest well as this will help you study well and also 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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