Series 63 CFA Exemption: What You Need to Know

The Series 63 exam, part of the Uniform Securities State Law Examination (commonly known as the "Series 63"), is a crucial step for professionals looking to enter the securities industry. However, there are certain circumstances in which individuals may be eligible for an exemption from taking the exam. One such exemption is available to those who’ve successfully completed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program. The CFA program, renowned for it’s rigorous curriculum and comprehensive examination process, covers a wide range of topics in investment management and financial analysis. As a result, individuals who’ve obtained the CFA charter are often considered to possess a high level of expertise and knowledge in the field. This recognition has led regulatory bodies to grant an exemption from the Series 63 exam to CFA charterholders, acknowledging their ability to navigate the intricacies of securities laws and regulations. This exemption not only saves time and effort for CFA charterholders but also serves as a testament to the depth of understanding they’ve acquired throughout their CFA journey.

Is There Any Exemption in CFA?

The CFA designation is highly respected in the investment management industry, and many individuals aspire to achieve this prestigious credential. However, for those who’ve already covered the required material in the CFA Program exams, there may be opportunities for exemption and waiver.

One such opportunity is for those who’ve completed the CFA Program exams, as they may be eligible to bypass the Level I CIPM exam. The CFA Program covers a broad range of topics in investment management, including ethics, economics, quantitative methods, and financial statement analysis, among others. Therefore, those who’ve successfully completed these exams have already demonstrated their knowledge and competency in these areas.

To determine eligibility for exemption, candidates should carefully review the CIPM Level I Exemption guidelines. These guidelines outline the specific criteria and requirements that must be met for exemption consideration.

Obtaining an exemption or waiver can provide a significant advantage for individuals seeking to enhance their professional credentials. It not only saves time but also reduces costs associated with preparing for and taking the exam. Additionally, it allows candidates to focus their efforts on more advanced topics and skills that are covered in higher levels of the CIPM Program.

It’s worth noting that exemption and waiver opportunities may vary depending on individual circumstances and requirements. Therefore, it’s important for candidates to thoroughly review the specific guidelines and contact the relevant authorities or organizations for further clarification if needed.

How to Apply for an Exemption or Waiver in the CFA Program Exams?

Applying for an exemption or waiver in the CFA Program exams allows candidates to seek relief from certain exam requirements. To apply, candidates can follow these steps:

1. Understand the criteria: Review the CFA Institute’s policies to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for an exemption or waiver. These criteria may vary based on factors like prior education, work experience, or relevant certifications.

2. Gather supporting documents: Prepare the necessary documentation to support your exemption or waiver request. This may include transcripts, certification letters, or other evidence of meeting the specified criteria.

3. Contact CFA Institute: Reach out to the CFA Institute’s customer service or support team to inquire about the application process. They can guide you through the necessary steps and provide any additional instructions or forms.

4. Submit application and documents: Complete the required application forms and submit them along with the supporting documents to the appropriate CFA Institute department. Ensure that all information is accurate and up to date.

5. Wait for a response: After submitting your application, be patient and await a response from the CFA Institute. The review process may take some time, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

6. Follow up if necessary: If you haven’t received a response within the expected timeframe, consider reaching out to the CFA Institute to inquire about the status of your application. They can provide updates or clarify any concerns you may have.

Remember, exemptions and waivers are granted at the discretion of the CFA Institute. It’s important to thoroughly review the policies and eligibility criteria before applying and provide all required documentation to support your request.

The CFA, or Chartered Financial Analyst, is widely regarded as one of the most challenging and prestigious designations in the finance industry. However, when comparing the CFA to another license commonly held by stockbrokers, the Series 7, it’s generally considered that the Series 7 is easier in comparison.

Is Series 7 Harder Than CFA?

The Series 7 exam primarily focuses on the regulations and procedures surrounding the buying and selling of securities, as well as the basics of investment products and their characteristics. It does require a thorough understanding of the industry, but it isn’t as comprehensive and in-depth as the CFA curriculum. In comparison, the CFA exams cover a wide range of topics, including ethics, economics, financial reporting and analysis, equity investments, fixed income, derivatives, and alternative investments.

The difficulty of the Series 7 exam lies more in the volume of information that needs to be memorized and understood, rather than the complexity of the concepts. It’s important to note that the difficulty of any exam is subjective and can vary depending on an individuals prior knowledge, experience, and study habits.

A Breakdown of the Different Topics and Areas Covered in the CFA Curriculum

  • Ethical and Professional Standards
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Economics
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • Corporate Finance
  • Equity Investments
  • Fixed Income
  • Derivatives
  • Alternative Investments
  • Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning


In conclusion, the Series 63 and CFA exemptions are important considerations for individuals pursuing a career in the financial industry. While the Series 63 exam is required in most states to qualify as a securities agent, obtaining a CFA charter can provide additional credibility and expertise in investment analysis and portfolio management. The exemptions offered for these exams allow experienced professionals to skip the testing process, saving time and costs associated with preparation and administration. However, it’s essential to carefully review the specific requirements and guidelines to determine eligibility for exemption, taking into account both the professional benefits and potential limitations. Ultimately, the decision to pursue an exemption should be based on an individual's unique circumstances and career goals.

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