FMVA® | Final Exam Overview + Study Tips

Congratulations on completing the FMVA® syllabus and beginning your preparation for the final exam!

There is a 30-day waiting period between final exam attempts, so we encourage you to take ample time to prepare before beginning. This guide contains:

FMVA® - Final Exam at a Glance

Exam structure 50 randomized multiple-choice questions, including Excel modeling case studies.
Exam location Online/virtual at a location of your choice. The exam does not need to be scheduled.
Exam length 3 hours, timed.
Exam content The exam covers the content from the core and prep courses. Content from elective courses will not be covered.
Exam results availability Immediately upon completion.
Passing score 70%
Eligibility Students must complete 14 core courses and three or more electives to be eligible to take the final exam.
Number of attempts One attempt
Retaking the Exam There is a mandatory one-month waiting period between exam retakes. Students who have already passed the exam are not allowed to retake it. An active subscription is required during the final exam and all retakes.
How to prepare Review course videos, prep courses, materials, exercises, and case studies. Take the practice exam (we recommend taking the practice exam more than once before proceeding to the final exam).
Practice exams Students may retake practice exams as many times as needed.

FMVA® Exam Overview

The FMVA® final exam has 50 multiple-choice questions, including Excel modeling case studies. Topics covered will relate to Finance, Valuation, Accounting, Budgeting & Forecasting, Financial Modeling, Excel, and Presentation. Below is an estimation of each topic's weight*.

Topic weights may vary

Exam Duration

The FMVA® Final Exam is timed and must be completed within three hours.

  • Generally, we recommend spending less than 3 minutes on each question.
  • We recommend spending 45 minutes per case study (60 minutes at most). If the financial models take longer than an hour each, consider marking them for review and returning to them at the end if time allows.

Technical Exam Suggestions

Use multiple windows for the same sheet to check your work effectively.

For Windows users:

  • To open a new window, use ALT W N
  • To arrange your windows, use ALT W A
  • To navigate between sheets, use ALT W W

For Mac OS users:

  • To open a new window, use Command + N
  • To arrange your windows, use Command + Option + B
  • To navigate between sheets, use Command + Control + Arrow keys
Minimize the ribbon for extra space if you have a small screen size.

For Windows users:

  • To minimize the ribbon, use CTRL + F1
  • To switch to the full-screen mode, use CTRL + Shift + F1

For Mac OS users:

  • To minimize the ribbon, use Command + Option + R
  • To switch to the full-screen mode, use Command + Control + F
Have a blank Excel sheet open for calculations, and break down the calculation step.
Calculation Best Practices

Tips for Studying & Preparing

Review Course Materials

  • Rewatch video demonstrations
  • Review course presentations, exercises, and case studies
  • Take detailed notes and organize them by topic using the "notes" feature in the CFI LMS

Refresh Your Memory on Important Courses:

These courses cover some of the more advanced concepts you will be tested on. We recommend reviewing the completed financial models in detail and being able to connect the assumptions and drivers to the relevant sections of each model.

Complete advanced-level electives 

  • Complete at least one level 4- and one level 5 elective course. While these will refer to some of the earlier courses and principles, the exam will not test your knowledge of elective content.

Take the practice exam 

  • The practice exam will best indicate what to expect in the final exam. We recommend taking the practice exam multiple times, until you feel comfortable and confident in your understanding of the material.

Important Concepts to Review

Other Tips to Consider

  • Be sure to sit in a comfortable setting with no distractions.
  • Have a snack and water close to keep you energized and well-hydrated.
  • Ensure that you have a stable network connection.
    • You can refresh your browser during a brief outage without losing progress, but the exam counter will not stop.
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