2022 CFA Curriculum Changes: Our Super Summary

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Note: This article is for the new 2022 curriculum. For previous year’s info, check out our article on 2020-2021 CFA curriculum changes.

The new 2022 CFA curriculum is now out for all 3 levels, given that the L1 Feb22 exam is now open for registration.

We have carefully gone through all the 2022 learning outcome statements (LOS) for each level, and compared them to 2020/2021’s, so you don’t have to!

So here’s a quick summary of the latest 2022 CFA curriculum changes and topic weights for all Levels that you need to know.

Some fun facts on the recent 2022’s CFA curriculum updates for all levels:

  • Corporate finance is renamed as Corporate Issuers (?!),
  • Ethics has been moved to last study session (finally).

Read on to find out more!


Why Are Curriculum Changes and Topic Weights Important?

2022 cfa curriculum changes

Topic weights are key to CFA study plans, as it guides candidates on the importance of each topic for the exams. Needless to say, higher weighted topics deserve more study time, focus and practice.

Knowing the curriculum changes in advance are useful in certain circumstances, for example:

  • Candidates who have yet to register for the 2022 exam, yet want to get a head start on reading existing 2020/2021 materials (remember that CFA Institute kept the 2021 curriculum the same as 2020’s due to COVID-19). They need to make sure that what they are studying now will be part of the updated curriculum;
  • Candidates who are interested in getting second hand, previous year versions of third party study materials for the next exam; or
  • Candidates who (unfortunately) failed a current year exam, and are planning to retake in 6-12 months time. Existing third party study materials may be re-used if the curriculum changes are minor between these 2 years.

Here are the quick summaries of the topic weights and curriculum changes that you need to know for your exam. 

For each level, there is also a free 1 pager summary PDF you can download at the end of each section.


CFA Level 1 Topic Weights

2022 CFA Curriculum Changes: Our Super Summary 1

There is no change to 2022’s CFA level 1 topic weights compared to 2021’s.

Note that in 2021, CFA Institute changed CFA Level 1’s topic weights to be a range rather than an absolute % as per previous years.

Looking back to 2018-2019, there were big changes whereby Financial Reporting & Analysis and Quantitative Methods’ weightings were reduced significantly, to provide a more balanced topic range.

These changes may have been done to discourage candidates from completely ignoring topics such as Derivatives and Alternative Investments for Level 1 preparations.

CFA Level 1 Topic Weights (vs. Previous Year)

Topics / Weight20182019202020212022
Ethics15%15%15%15-20%15-20%
Quant Methods12%10%10%8-12%8-12%
Economics10%10%10%8-12%8-12%
FRA20%15%15%13-17%13-17%
Corp Fin7%10%10%8-12%8-12%
Equity10%11%11%10-12%10-12%
Fixed Income10%11%11%10-12%10-12%
Derivatives5%6%6%5-8%5-8%
Alt. Investments4%6%6%5-8%5-8%
Portfolio Mgmt.7%6%6%5-8%5-8%

CFA Level 1 Curriculum Changes

2022 CFA Curriculum Changes: Our Super Summary 2

In short, there has been lots of small updates throughout the Level 1 curriculum, but nothing major overall. 

There are 60 readings in 2022’s Level 1 Curriculum (vs. 57 in 2020/2021):

  • 5 readings from 2020/2021 were removed
    • Reading 5 – Global Investment Performance Standards
    • Reading 7 – Statistical Concepts & Market Returns
    • Reading 32 – Capital Budgeting
    • Reading 33 – Cost of Capital
    • Reading 35 – Working Capital Management
  • 8 new readings were added (mostly in Quant Methods and Corporate Issuers):
    • Reading 2 – Organizing, Visualizing, and Describing Data
    • Reading 7 – Introduction to Linear Regression
    • Reading 28 – Uses of Capital
    • Reading 29 – Sources of Capital
    • Reading 30 – Cost of Capital – Foundational Topics
    • Reading 31 – Capital Structure
    • Reading 52 – The Behavioral Biases of Individuals
    • Reading 60 – Ethics Application
  • 15 readings were updated: mostly minor changes, except Alternative Investments.

Overall, the 2022’s CFA Level 1 curriculum changes are nothing major, with 3-4 topics updated to better prepare candidates for a smoother transition to Level 2.

Quant Methods, Corporate Issuers (previously Corporate Finance), Alternative Investments and to a small extent Ethics have notable changes from 2020/2021’s curriculum. Other topics remain largely the same as last year’s.

More details of the changes are shown in the table below, as well as a 1 pager summary PDF you can download.​

2022 cfa level 1 curriculum changes

CFA Level 2 Topic Weights

2022 CFA Curriculum Changes: Our Super Summary 3

Just like CFA Level 1, there are no changes to 2022’s CFA level 2 topic weights compared to 2021’s.

This is as expected given historical trends of reducing the variability in topic weight across the 10 topics, with a maximum range difference of 5% per topic. 

Based on 2022’s topic weighting, it is even possible for the 10 topics to be tested evenly at 10% weighting each for CFA Level 2. ​

These changes may have been done to discourage candidates from purely just focusing on the (previously) big 5 topics of Level 2 (FRA, Corporate Finance, Equity Investments, Fixed Income and Derivatives).

CFA Level 2 Topic Weights (Changes vs. Previous Year)

Topics / Weight20182019202020212022
Ethics10-15%10-15%10-15%10-15%10-15%
Quant Methods5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%
Economics5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%
FRA15-20%10-15%10-15%10-15%10-15%
Corp Fin5-15%5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%
Equity15-25%10-15%10-15%10-15%10-15%
Fixed Income10-20%10-15%10-15%10-15%10-15%
Derivatives5-15%5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%
Alt. Investments5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%
Portfolio Mgmt.5-10%5-15%5-15%10-15%10-15%

CFA Level 2 Curriculum Changes

2022 CFA Curriculum Changes: Our Super Summary 4

In short, Level 2’s curriculum experienced a relatively small update this year.

There are 47 readings in 2022’s Level 2 Curriculum (vs. 48 in 2020/2021):

  • 3 readings from 2020/2021 were removed
    • Reading 9 – Excerpt from Probabilistic Approaches
    • Reading 22 – Corporate Governance & Other ESG Considerations in Investment Analysis
    • Reading 40 – Publicly Traded Real Estate Securities
  • 2 new readings were added:
    • Reading 17 – Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Considerations in Investment Analysis
    • Reading 41 – Backtesting and Simulation
  • 13 readings were updated, mostly minor changes, except R33 Pricing & Valuation of Forward Commitments (Derivatives) and R35 Real Estate Investments – the latter due to merging of 2 readings into one.

Overall, 2022 CFA Level 2’s curriculum experienced a lot of small, minor updates, with only Derivatives and Alternative Investments experiencing notable changes in one chapter each.

More details of the changes are shown in the table below, as well as a 1 pager summary PDF you can download.​

2022 cfa level 2 curriculum changes

CFA Level 3 Topic Weights

2022 CFA Curriculum Changes: Our Super Summary 5

Just like CFA Level 1 and 2, there are no changes to 2022’s CFA level 3 topic weights compared to 2021’s.

This is as expected given historical trends of reducing the variability in topic weight across the 10 topics, with a maximum range difference of 5% per topic. 

CFA Level 3 Topic Weights (Changes vs. Previous Year)

Topics / Weight20182019202020212022
Ethics10-15%10-15%10-15%10-15%
Quant Methods
Economics5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%
FRA
Corp Fin
Equity5-15%10-15%10-15%10-15%10-15%
Fixed Income10-20%15-20%15-20%15-20%15-20%
Derivatives5-15%5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%
Alt. Investments5-15%5-10%5-10%5-10%5-10%
Portfolio Mgmt.40-55%35-40%35-40%35-40%35-40%

CFA Level 3 Curriculum Changes

2022 CFA Curriculum Changes: Our Super Summary 6

In short, there is a much smaller revamp on the Level 3 curriculum this year (compared to last year).

There are 35 readings in 2022’s Level 3 Curriculum (vs. 38 in 2020/2021):

  • 5 readings from 2020/2021 were removed:
    • Reading 4: Professionalism in Investment Management
    • ​Reading 7: The Behavioral Finance Perspective
    • Reading 29: Taxes and Private Wealth Management in a Global Context
    • Reading 30: Estate Planning in a Global Context
    • Reading 31: Concentrated Single-Asset Positions
  • 2 new readings were added:
    • Reading 22: Topics in Private Wealth Management
    • Reading 30: Case Study in Risk Management: Institutional
  • 7 readings were updated, mostly major content revisions in Fixed Income and further simplification of GIPS (Ethics).

Overall, 2022 CFA Level 3 curriculum has notable content changes in Fixed Income, Portfolio Management and Ethics (GIPS reading only).

Other topics remain largely the same as last year’s.

​More details of the changes are shown in the table below, as well as a 1 pager summary PDF you can download.

2022 cfa level 3 curriculum changes

It seems that 2020/2021’s CFA books are largely still quite transferable to 2022 (excluding a few chapters with major revisions) – I hope you’ve found the above useful in your next CFA exam study preparations!

Meanwhile, here are a few related articles of interest for your CFA exam preparations:

blog1
blog2
blog3
blog4

40 thoughts on “2022 CFA Curriculum Changes: Our Super Summary”

  1. Perhaps an obvious question, but if we are planning to do the November exam (either L2 or 3), if our Kaplan Schweser and CFAI books say 2021 on the front of them, is that the correct syllabus for the Nov 2021 exam? Or will it have changed already? I bought my books earlier this year planning ahead to Nov

    Reply
  2. Hello! I am looking to register for the CFA in August for the February 2022 session, will I still get the 2020 materials if I do so or do I have yo register next year? Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  3. I have the 2019 Schweser Notes material for CFA L1. Would it be very difficult to pass Feb 2022 L1 with this? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • My advice is to always use updated materials if you can. I personally don’t think it’s worth using extra time and effort keeping track of changes as you study. But everybody’s circumstances are different, and that’s why we have this curriculum changes guide.

      Reply
  4. Hi everyone,
    I am an engineer.
    Over time I developed interest in the financial world and thus thinking to pursue CFA. How tough it is for someone with 0 commerce/finance background to crack CFA? And how can I start the prep? I searched and found Kalpan notes to be the best but I also saw that there has been a change in syllabus and pattern.
    When are the new books (hardcopy version) expected to hit the market? And can anyone please share the soft copies if they are available.

    Thanks

    Reply
  5. Hi Zee,
    Thank you for the amazing content and articles!

    I would like your advice: my exam for Level 1 is in February ’22, and I have already SchweserNotes Level 1 2020, and the free level1 75hrs of video study note from IFT.

    I was planning to use these two to study.

    But after reading this article and see the changes for 2022, Do you think I should have the material for 2022 to make sure to pass the exam or I can do it with my material for 2020?

    Reply
    • It really is a personal choice. It is not impossible to pass with outdated material, but I personally think it’s not worth the cost-savings.

      My opinion on this, I suspect, is also heavily influenced by the fact that I tried in my CFA Level 2 to pass with outdated material, but failed… 😁

      Reply
      • I see, I have actually looked up for a Few providers, now i’m thinking Between these two:

        1- IFT premium package 2022
        https://ift.world/product/premium-package-2022/
        Vs
        2- Kaplan Schweser Essential Package 2022
        https://www.schweser.com/cfa/level-1/study-packages?10178-1-1_active=2&1-select=1

        This is my first time study for CFA, with consider English is not my first language,
        So please what are you recommend for me Between these two ?
        I saw you mentioned schweser as one of best Study materials, but what about the IFT?
        Please let me know what you think And if you know anyone had experience with them
        Thank you so much!

        Reply
        • I have not personally used IFT for my CFA exams, and we don’t currently work with them so I don’t have enough experience with them to confidently recommend them. I can however recommend Kaplan Schweser – I used them for my CFA exams and their self-study options really fit my studying style.

          Hope that helps!

          Reply
  6. I am taking L3 in November. havent started revising yet.
    I like to revise with the books rather than online pdf’s. I also like to have the latest material.
    Would you recommend buying the CFAis 2022 paper books for L3 and managing the curriculum difference with the online pdf or simply just buying the 2020 L3 CFAs books.
    I want to avoid re-buying the books if I don’t pass the November session.
    Any input is welcome.

    Reply
    • Are you referring to third-party materials?

      If you’re taking L3 in November, you should prepare with 2020 L3 materials – they’re the same as the 2021 exam material.

      Having a strategy assuming you’ve already failed Nov 2021 seems… self-defeating.

      Reply
      • Many thanks for your answer.

        I was referring to the CFA L3 material which I haven’t bought yet in paper format.

        Do you think I can do without reading the full CFA books and only focus on shorter third party material?
        I am not so keen on reading 6 books of 300-500 pages each. Not sure am able to do that within the next 6 months.

        Reply
  7. I was going to take the November L1 exam but will now be sitting in February.

    If the wording of a given LOS did not change in 2022, does that mean that the content covered in that LOS also stayed the same?

    Or what is a quick way to identify the content that changed from 2021 to 2022 without having to review the entire content?

    Reply
  8. Hi, just to clarify, CFAI has posted on their website that :

    Application of the Code and Standards: Level II (L2V6R47) is one of the Level II readings where there were either LOS changes or significant content changes.

    Please clarify as your summary does not mention this in the Ethics portion

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Here’s the summary of changes for Ethics:

      Moved the Ethics Code & Standards topic area to the end of each level and added an Applications reading that explicitly shows the Code & Standards in operation on topics and material covered in that level.

      So fundamentally Ethics has not changed. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  9. Hi

    My L2 exam got postponed from May’21 to Nov’21.

    Will the 2022 curriculum changes be applicable for my attempt as well? I guess not but just wanted to confirm.

    Thanks
    Aakash

    Reply
    • Assuming you mean that you bought 2021 materials but planning to take the 2022 exam. I would say it’s always better to use the latest materials that reflect the exam you’re going to take.

      Any particular reason you got 2021 materials to begin with?

      Reply
    • I would say it’s always better to use the latest materials that reflect the exam you’re going to take. Why did you get 2021 Schweser books if you’re taking the 2022 exam?

      Reply
      • Hi Zee, thanks for the summary.

        How would you suggest I start preparing for the Feb 2022 L2 exam since my prep provider (Bberg) hasn’t updated the changes on its platform yet ?

        Thanks again

        Reply
        • Have you written to Bloomberg to ask when their 2022 changes will be made to the platform? Are you registered with Bloomberg as a 2022 candidate?

          Reply
          • I purchased an all level access package in 2020, passed and completed the L1 using this Feb. Ive written to them but they’re not providing a clear timeline for when the L2 2022 Curriculum prep will be updated for use on their platform. Hence I’m trying to figure out how to start in the meantime.

            Thanks

    • Hi Anshsrg, yes, from a Learning Objective Statements (LOS) perspective.

      There may be some actual wording changes in the curriculum text itself but the LOS for those 3 topics are the same as 2020-2021’s.

      Reply

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