knowledge of maths and finance for attempting CFA

Dear all,

I just want to know that how important it is to have some mathmatics background for completing CFA, I am not goods at maths and also does not have finance educational background.

However I have been working for around ten years in banking industry.

I am thinking to take some maths and finance courses before starting CFA,

you valuable suggestion are required.



To answer your question–high school algebra is more than enough to complete the exam.

Finance courses are nice to have, but not necessary. CFA will teach you from the ground up on finance and accounting. However, you need to know basic economics. CFAI assumes that you already understand basic micro- and macro-economics.

Piece of advice–work on your English. This might be a serious problem going forward, especially at Level 3.

It’s grade 10 algebra.

Guyz thanks for ur suggestions

Yes I believes that Greenmans is true in his reply. But that for I disagree to one point. It require some statistical knowledge to clear the quant maths sections on the exams. If you give the exam without some understanding of these maths, you will likely come problem on exam.

Please advice if you need any more tips before writing the exam so you can be help to clear the same.

Thanks, Borat!


Accounting knowledge can be very benefical for real world work, too: digesting financial statements, forecasting balance sheets, etc. Corporate income and cash flows can be major components as well.

I’d say go ahead, don’t bother with pre-courses. I didn’t have any finance, quant, economics, accounting knowledge when I started level 1. Schweser does an excellent job explaining difficult concepts in easy language. Then you have so many online resources to fall back on. It is doable!

Thanks DOW for your support.

I am thinking to do some certification courses in algebra, FRA, Corporate Finance and Financial Management before attempting CFA , because i cant afford to fail in any of CFA levelS bcuz of huge amount of fees involved in each level.

Furthermore i think that doing some relevant courses beforehand will make things bit easy as i would be able to do more practice as I would alreadhy have idea about subjects.

I have observed that many people pass level one but stuck in level two as they lack in depth previous knowledge.

And i m not a very brilliant student :slight_smile:


^Generally speaking, some people will be at a relative advantage or disadvantage for Level 1. That is, a person who has a double major in finance and accounting will find Level 1 to be pretty easy, while an English major will have to do a lot of studying.

Once you get past Level 1, though, you’ll find that the playing field is much more level. That is, the finance major’s advantage drastically shrinks at Level 2, and he probably has almost no advantage at Level 3.

Don’t take any “pre-courses”. Just take Schweser. It teaches you everything you need to know for the CFA exam.

I don’t mean to sound rude or dismissive here… but how can a ton of certification courses not be more expensive than CFA? It’s like $800 per level. Perhaps such courses are extremely cheap where you’re at?

waste of time. go right into CFA

^Agreed, I was out of school for 5 years and had 0 hours of finance, 3 hrs of accounting. Spend the time you would spend in those classes studying CFA, and then study some more.

I’ll also add, if you read the calculator’s manual and the CFA text, they both are well explained sources that don’t require much if any outside knowledge, for me at least.


Algebra II, and you’re set.

Pre-calc would be helpful but not necessary

Calculus will be overkill.

If you’re starting early (let’s say Level I in June 2014), you could jump straight to the material and figure out the areas you’re weak in. Then take some online classes ( in your weak area.

virtual university in my country offers these courses at reasonabel prices

The level of math in the CFA exams is a joke.

Waste of money. If you study hard for CFA using schweser, you will pass. The problem is some people just dont study enough.