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Level III Curriculum Changes

The CFA® Program curriculum equips candidates with relevant knowledge and skills that reflect current investment management practice.

As part of our commitment to prioritizing the interests of our candidates and helping minimize the impact of pandemic-related disruptions, CFA Institute froze the 2020 CFA Program curriculum for 2021 exam administrations. This meant that all candidates who took exams in 2021 were tested on the 2020 CFA Program curriculum. Despite this freeze for candidates, the curriculum continued to evolve. Extensive work through practice analysis and curriculum development has resulted in revisions across all levels of the curriculum.

When you register for your CFA Program exam, you receive the curriculum aligned with the exam you will take. Exam questions will be based solely on the current curriculum year readings.

Refer to the key and tables below to see what has changed in Level III of the CFA Program curriculum over the past two years, and download our Level III infographic (pdf) and Guide to 2022 CFA Program Curriculum Changes (pdf) for more information.

  • Update: Smallest degree of change. Data, examples, and references were brought up to date.
  • Revision: Medium degree of change. Content was adjusted and improved for clarity or accuracy.
  • Major Revision: Largest degree of change. Content was rewritten or significantly altered to reflect new guidance or advances in the industry.
  • Added: New area of content introduced to the curriculum.
  • Dropped: Reading no longer appears in the curriculum. Material was no longer relevant or was better captured elsewhere.
  • No Changes: Content remains the same as in the 2020 curriculum.
Reading Change Summary of Changes
The Behavioral Finance Perspective Dropped
The Behavioral Biases of Individuals Revision Streamlined and updated with new examples but content coverage stable.
Behavioral Finance and Investment Processes No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Capital Market Expectations, Part I: Framework and Macro Considerations No Changes
Capital Market Expectations, Part II: Forecasting Asset Class Returns No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Overview of Asset Allocation No Changes
Principles of Asset Allocation No Changes
Asset Allocation with Real-World Constraints No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Options Strategies No Changes
Swaps, Forwards, and Futures Strategies No Changes
Currency Management: An Introduction No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Overview of Fixed-Income Portfolio Management Revision Eliminated duplication
Made notations consistent
Added new visuals
Consolidated content on FI portfolio risk/return measures
Liability-Driven and Index-Based Strategies Revision Eliminated duplication
Made notation consistent
Added new visuals
Improved exposition
Yield Curve Strategies Major Revision Full rewrite incorporating yield curve scenarios and market view, cash and synthetic strategies, visuals, and more examples
Fixed-Income Active Management: Credit Strategies Major Revision Full rewrite incorporating yield and credit curve scenarios, cash and synthetic strategies, visuals, and more examples
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Overview of Equity Portfolio Management No Changes
Passive Equity Investing No Changes
Active Equity Investing: Strategies No Changes
Active Equity Investing: Portfolio Construction No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Hedge Fund Strategies No Changes
Asset Allocation to Alternative Investments No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Overview of Private Wealth Management No Changes
Topics in Private Wealth Management New Replaced Taxes and Private Wealth Management in a Global Context, Estate Planning in a Global Context, and Concentrated Single-Asset Positions readings
Taxes and Private Wealth Management in a Global Context Dropped
Estate Planning in a Global Context Dropped
Concentrated Single-Asset Positions Dropped
Risk Management for Individuals No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Portfolio Management for Institutional Investors No Changes
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Trade Strategy and Execution No Changes
Portfolio Performance Evaluation Revision Clarified content on attribution models
Investment Manager Selection Revision Eliminated overlap with Portfolio Performance Evaluation content
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Case Study in Portfolio Management: Institutional Revision Added new material on ESG
Case Study in Risk Management: Private Wealth No Changes
Integrated Cases in Risk Management: Institutional New New reading covering financial, environmental, and social risks that a hypothetical SWF faces in their portfolio of long-term direct investments
Reading Change Summary of Changes
Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct No Changes
Guidance for Standards I–VII No Changes
Application of the Code and Standards: Level III Revision Added new cases
Professionalism in the Investment Industry Dropped
Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct No Changes
Overview of the Global Investment Performance Standards Revision Revised and updated to be in alignment with 2020 GIPS Standards

See all readings and exam topics in the Level III Study Sessions

See what's changing in Level I

See what's changing in Level II