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, professionals must ensure that they choose the correct course to improve their career prospects; after all, certificate programs are a great time and money investment schemes to prosper in the future. In the research sector of these programs, we give you the nuts and bolts of 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 is CIPM one for Investment Professionals?
  2. About the 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

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Let’s begin with the basics of basic questions.

Why is CIPM 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 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 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 a strong footing in the financial marketsFinancial MarketsThe term "financial market" refers to the marketplace where activities such as the creation and trading of various financial assets such as bonds, stocks, commodities, currencies, and derivatives take place. It provides a platform for sellers and buyers to interact and trade at a price determined by market more 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 to plan out control risks effectively while addressing people issues like communication, team working, and motivation, and information management.

CIPM Program Completion Criteria

  • Roles: Performance Analyst with an Investment firm, Analyst at an Accounting firm, Analyst at Investment Consulting firm,
  • Exam: There are two difficult exams to be cleared of the CFA CIPM Level I exam and the CIPM® Expert Exam. The CIPM® Level I exam tests the candidate’s knowledge of the core concepts that lay the foundations of performance measurement, attribution, and appraisal. In contrast, the Expert exam evaluates the candidate on performance evaluation and presentation, including the application of the appropriate tools and inputs in more complicated situations.
  • Exam Dates: The exams are held twice a year. One of the exam windows is in the month of March and the other is in 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 ratiosRisk RatiosRisk ratio or relative risk measures the risk probability in the exposed group compared to its possibility of occurrence in the non-exposed group. It is evaluated as the proportion of cumulative incidence in the exposed group to the cumulative incidence in the non-exposed more.
  • Eligibility: There is no specific exam requirement for the CFA CPIM course. The only prerequisite that a candidate needs to meet is that they 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.

There are almost next to negligible requisites to become eligible for the CIPM® exam. Still, the association maintains its quality control of the professionals by mandating requirements to attain 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® Level I exam and Level II 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.
    • We are verifying compliance with the GIPS standards.
    • I am supervising, directly or indirectly, persons who practice such activities set forth above.
    • He is 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.
    • I am monitoring an investment firm’s compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and standards.
    • We are evaluating or recommending investment managers.
    • He is 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

On average, you are required to prepare for around 155 hours to successfully clear each exam, which means a total of 310 hours for Level I and Level II exams.

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 the 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 and 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 the utilization of these kinds of skills.

Top Hiring Companies

Big names of the corporate world of investment banksInvestment BanksBoston's investment banking market is known for three things: 1) being a hub for finance careers, 2) having a high volume of transactions, and 3) being the birthplace of the mutual fund industry. Lexbridge International, Capstone Partners, and MHT Partners are examples of well-known more, 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® Level I ExamCIPM® Level II 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 Level I and the Level II exam, are the same with different weightage and detailed analyses.

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

CFA CIPM Exam Weight

Exam Level I

Exam Level IPercentage
Ethics & Professionalism15%
Performance Measurement35%
Performance Presentation15%
Performance Attribution25%
Performance Appraisal10%
Manager Selection0%

Exam Level II

Exam Level IPercentage
Ethics & Professionalism15%
Performance Measurement10%
Performance Presentation10%
Performance Attribution20%
Performance Appraisal15%
Manager Selection30%

CIPM Examination Fees

The registration fee of the curriculum entails a curriculum ebook and a mock exam. The amount of registration varies because the candidate is registering as a first-time applicant for which exam, Level I or Level II.

  • First time registering fee for the Level I exam or the Level II exam is US$975*
  • A candidate returning to register for the Level I or the Level II 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 (Level I or Level II) until the release of the results.

The CIPM® exams need to be cleared with a minimum passing score (MPS) to be considered 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 is 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 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.

CFA CIPM Exam Results
CIPM examSep 2018Mar 2019Sep 2019
Level I46%49%48%
Level II57%54%51%

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 feel 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 a day. Some concepts are difficult and do 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 programs for students who cannot pay the entire fees. The Scholarship Program designed for the CIPM® course is a 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 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), a volunteer.
  • Be an eligible, full-time undergraduate or part-time graduate student of a CFA Program Partner or University Recognition Program participant.

The scholarship program awarded to applicants allows them to register for the CIPM® exam at a discounted rate of US$300. The deadline to submit the scholarship application for March 2021 was 15 January 2021 and for September 2021 exam it is 15 July 2021.

September Exam:-

Apply for ScholarshipRegister for ExamTake the ExamExam Results Available
1 Mar – 15 July1 Apr – 31 July16 Sep – 30 SepMid-Nov

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. Still, it instead narrows it down and gives the CFA Institute the power 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 request process to CFA Institute before 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 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.


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.

This has been a guide to CFA CIPM Exam. Here we discuss what the CFA CIPM exam is, why you should pursue it, its fees, structure, passing strategies, tips, and tricks, etc. You may also have a look at the following articles –

Reader Interactions


  1. Moritz Mason says

    Thank you for sharing this article it is really very informative. keep posting such specific and helpful articles.

  2. Libby Hudson says

    Informative article. I like the way you explain each and every point in detail, thanks for that. Would you like to tell me which one is better between CIPM and Claritas?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Many thanks! Mostly CIPM deals with investment performance analysis and presentation. However, Claritas is all about broad introduction to finance. CIPM is meant for the people who are looking to be specialized in the field of finance domain, whereas Claritas suits for those people who are from non-finance background.

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