CFA Level 3 Mock Exam

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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CFA Level 3 Mock Exam

Getting ready for the final step of your CFA designation?

Our CFA Level 3 Mock Exam guide offers a realistic example of the type of questions that you will be expected to answer on your exam. This mock exam has been structured in order to allow you to facilitate your preparation in conjunction with your other study materials.

Let’s get started below.

General Overview

Our condensed CFA Level 3 mock exam is aimed to give you a realistic example of the sort of exam questions that you will be expected to know, and has been changed to account for the structural exam changes that were made post-February 2023.

Even though it’s not a full exam, we believe that it is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Reflective Content: Though shortened, our mock exam mirrors the essential components and question types found in the actual exam. By engaging with these questions, you will be able to better comprehend the concepts, methodologies, and practical applications required
  • Balanced Structure: Our mock exam follows a balanced distribution of item and essay questions, in alignment with the recent updates to the CFA exam structure. This offers an opportunity to experience the real exam’s varied question formats
  • Focused Preparation: With a focus on essential topics across various financial domains, this mock exam is an effective tool for targeted study. Whether you’re looking to reinforce your knowledge, identify areas for improvement, or hone your test-taking strategies, our practice test is designed to cater to these needs
  • Realistic Experience: Though condensed, the questions have been designed to reflect the complexity and depth of the actual exam. Engaging with this mock test will provide insight into how to manage your time, approach different question types, and apply your knowledge in a simulated exam environment

Note: Even though mock exams are a valuable tool that you should use when preparing in order to discover your weak areas, it’s essential to recognize that they cannot replace your other study tools, and thus should only be used as supplementary content.

Recommended Course

For all of your CFA Level 3 exam needs, StateRequirement recommends Kaplan’s preparation materials. 

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Schweser

CFA Level 3 Mock Exam

Below we have provided a summarized representation of the types of questions that you would expect to see when taking your CFA Level 3 exam.

Keep in mind that time limits are the same for each session (2 hours and 12 minutes), meaning that you’ll have a total of 4 hours and 24 minutes to finish your exam.

Note: We recommend cross-referencing your answers with your CFA Level 3 study materials; this will ensure that you understand the reasoning behind each correct and/or incorrect answer.

Session 1

Essay Sets (6 sets)

Ethical and Professional Standards

  1. Describe the main principles outlined in the “Professional Standards of Practice” and provide an example of how they ensure integrity in the financial sector.
  2. Given a scenario where an asset manager has a potential conflict of interest with a client, explain how the “Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct” can guide the manager’s actions.


  1. Illustrate how the forces of supply and demand determine the price of a commodity. Give an example using a real-world scenario.
  2. Explain the impact of a contraction phase in the business cycle on investments. How would you adjust an investment portfolio in response?

Equity Investments

  1. Differentiate between valuation techniques for equity securities and provide an example of when to use each.
  2. Discuss the role of equity portfolio management in investment strategy and provide an example of how an external factor, such as a change in monetary policy, might impact an equity investment strategy.

Item Sets (5 Sets)

Fixed Income

1. Which of the following best describes the impact of rising interest rates on bond prices?

  1. Increase
  2. Decrease
  3. No Change

2. Given a bond with a face value of $1,000, a coupon rate of 5%, and a yield to maturity of 6%: Which of the following best describes the bond’s current market price?

  1. The bond is trading at par
  2. The bond is trading at a premium
  3. The bond is trading at a discount
  4. Not enough information is given


1. The main purpose of a futures contract is to:

  1. Speculate on asset prices
  2. Trade equity
  3. Hedge against price movements

2. Which derivative instrument gives its holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy an asset at a predetermined price within a specific period?

  1. Swap
  2. Option
  3. Forward

Session 2

Item Sets (6 Sets)


1. Given an increase in the volatility of the underlying asset, which of the following effects on a call option’s value is most likely?

  1. The value of the option will decrease
  2. The value of the option will remain unchanged
  3. The value of the option will increase
  4. The effect on the option’s value is unpredictable

Alternative Investments

1. Private equity investments typically involve:

  1. Trading publicly listed stocks
  2. Investing in startups or taking over established companies
  3. Short-term trading strategies

Alternative Investments

1. Which of the following statements about hedge fund strategies is MOST accurate?

  1. Hedge funds primarily focus on long-only equity strategies, similar to mutual funds
  2. Hedge funds utilize a range of strategies, from market-neutral to global macro, offering diversification benefits
  3. Hedge funds consistently outperform traditional investments irrespective of market conditions
  4. Hedge funds avoid using derivatives and prefer direct investments only

Essay Sets (2 Sets)

Fixed Income

  1. Explain how changes in credit ratings can influence bond prices. Provide an example using a real-world scenario.
  2. Describe the term structure of interest rates and how different shapes of the yield curve can signal economic changes.

Alternative Investments

  1. Analyze the role of commodities in a diversified investment portfolio and provide examples.
  2. Compare and contrast venture capital and private equity investments, highlighting the key differences in their approaches and objectives.

Note: The above mock exam has been condensed for illustrative purposes; in the real exam, each session will contain 5 item sets and 6 essay sets or 6 item sets and 5 essay sets. Each essay set will also be supported by vignettes.

Interested in getting started? We recommend Kaplan’s CFA Level 3 learning materials and study resources.

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Schweser

Alternatively, you can have a look at our CFA Level 3 article.

CFA Level 3 Mock Exam FAQ

Is there a mock exam for CFA Level 3?

Yes, there is. The CFA Institute offers its official mock exam for CFA Level 3 candidates. In addition to that, there are other mock exams available, such as our own CFA Level 3 Mock Exam overview. We recommend having a look at a variety of different mock exams and answer explanations when preparing for your CFA Level 3 exam.

Which is the best CFA Level III mock exam?

The best mock exam is subjective and can vary depending on individual preferences. However, the official mock exam provided by the CFA Institute is highly recommended as it is tailored to match the real exam’s content and exam format. If you’re not ready to start your CFA Level 3 exam, you can have a look at our CFA Mock Exam Level 2 guide instead.

How many mock exams are there for CFA Level 3?

The CFA Institute offers an official mock exam for CFA Level 3 candidates. Besides that, many third-party providers offer additional mock exams. This means that, ultimately, the number of mock exams you’ll be able to take will really depend on you (e.g., budget, time availability, etc.).

Is CFA Level 3 the hardest?

CFA Level 3 is often considered the most challenging of the three levels because of its emphasis on portfolio management, wealth planning, and its unique exam structure that combines item sets with essay-type questions that require a constructed response format. Interested in finding out more? Take a look at our CFA Level 3 article.

What is the fail rate for CFA Level 3?

The pass rate for CFA Level 3 varies each year, but it generally sits between 45% and 55%. Overall the pass rate for Level 3 has trended a bit higher compared to Levels 1 and 2. Having said that, we recommend referring to the official statistics provided by the CFA Institute for the most up-to-date information. Have a look at our Mock Exam CFA Level 1 article for more information.

Read More

For all related articles, have a look at our Financial Advisor Resources page.