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Body of Knowledge

The knowledge and skill that a Chartered Market Technician® (CMT) uses to create value in their work comes from a broad range of subjects. The CMT Program maintains a rigorous certification process to help financial professionals distinguish themselves within their industry. The three exam levels test the knowledge and skill candidates have derived from their work and their study of a defined curriculum—the CMT Body of Knowledge. CMT charterholders work with a broader and deeper skill set than their peers because the CMT Program encompasses a high-quality, job-relevant curriculum. As such, the CMT Program facilitates candidates’ competitive differentiation in the financial industry.

The current Body of Knowledge includes a wide array of topics judged relevant and critical by the MTA membership and other professionals in the financial services industry. This page contains an explanation of what candidates will learn, the benefits of this study, a breakdown of the topics covered, the corresponding exam weightings, a list of required readings, as well as information about how the body of knowledge was developed.

What Candidates Learn From The Body of Knowledge

The curriculum is organized into exam-specific knowledge domains that provide a framework for recognizing, analyzing and implementing investment strategies and trading opportunities. These domains are not equally weighted on the exam so it is important for candidates to have a sense of how much emphasis to place on each domain during their study efforts. The knowledge domains and the corresponding weightings for each level are listed below:

 

Level I Knowledge Domains

I. Theory & History
II. Markets
III. Market Indicators
IV. Construction
V. Trend Analysis
VI. Chart & Pattern Analysis
VII. Confirmation
VIII. Cycles
IX. Selection & Decision
X. System Testing
XI. Statistical Analysis
XII. Ethics

* 120 Operational Items (12 Pretest Items): Total Items: 132 per exam

Approximate Exam Weightings

9%
5%
7%
5%
16%
23%
3%
5%
13%
5%
6%
3%

100%

 

 


Level II Knowledge Domains

I. Theory & History
II. Market Indicators
III. Construction
IV. Trend Aanalysis
V. Chart & Pattern Analysis
VI. Confirmation
VII. Cycles
VIII. Selection & Decision
IX. System Testing
X. Risk Management
XI. Statistical Analysis
XII. Ethics

* 150 Operational Items (20 Pretest Items): Total Items: 170 per exam form

Approximate Exam Weightings

5%
8%
3%
15%
15%
6%
3%
10%
10%
15%
7%
3%

100%

 

 


Level III Knowledge Domains

I. Risk Management
II. Asset Relationships
III. Portfolio Management
IV. Classical Methods
V. Behavioral Finance
VI. Volatility Analysis
VII. Ethics

* 240 Possible points; 40 - 50 Total Question items

Approximate Exam Weightings

21%
18%
18%
21%
10%
7%
5%

100%

 

Development of the Body of Knowledge

The Market Technicians Association (MTA) develops and maintains the CMT certification process with the help of Prometric, a professional testing firm. In January of 2015 the MTA conducted a Job Analysis to ensure that the CMT exams reflect the knowledge and skills required to perform technical analysis in an institutional setting. This survey was sent to the entire MTA membership as well as select external senior investment professionals. The data from completed responses was tabulated and analyzed, and verified by Prometric, so as to insure that the exams of the CMT program focused on material that could best prepare candidates for available work and opportunity in today’s market climate.

Development of test specifications for the CMT Certification Examinations

The CMT test specifications were revised in March 2015 using the survey results and the input of the Test Specifications Committee regarding the tasks, knowledge and indicators to be included in the CMT Level I and Level II examinations. All test specification changes were based on a careful review of the Job Analysis survey results.

As described in MTA’s published information about the CMT test specifications:

CMT Level I (Definition)
The Level I exam measures basic, entry-level competence and understanding of the candidate. The CMT Level I candidate needs to have a working knowledge of the basic tools of the technical analyst.

CMT Level II (Definition/Application)
The CMT Level II exam requires the candidate to demonstrate a greater depth of analysis and competency. The CMT Level II candidate is expected to demonstrate proficiency in applying more advanced analytical techniques. Overall, the candidate is responsible for the theory and application of concepts and techniques.

CMT Level III (Integration)
The CMT Level III exam tests the candidate on the development of logical and consistent research opinions, portfolio strategies and trading decisions based on a wide range of charts and technical data. The CMT Level III candidate must pass the ethics portion of this exam or risk failure.

CMT Level III examination

The CMT Level III exam consists of six ethics questions and five to nine scenario-based questions. The answers to these questions are worth a total of 240 points. The exam is scheduled for four hours and consists primarily of short-answer style questions. Each question has several parts that may call for independent consideration or integrated study which links answers of the parts together. Points from one question are not related to points in another question.

The primary focus of the Level III exam is the practical and ethical integration and implementation of technical analysis with the work of additional sources. That means the questions are structured so as to allow candidates to demonstrate their ability to apply principles learned and identified in the first two exam levels, along with advanced skills in the readings from the Body of Knowledge for Level III. Level III candidates will analyze different types of charts with the objective of developing and substantiating their analysis and investment recommendations. The candidates are required to substantiate their conclusions based on all available information provided in each test question.
The Ethics portion of the exam requires a particular attention to detail. A candidate will not achieve a pass for the CMT III exam unless they can demonstrate a certain level of competency in ethics. There will be six multiple-choice questions on ethics. A passing score on the exam must be accompanied by successfully answering at least four of the six ethics questions.

Aside from the ethics questions, the breakdown of the points required to pass the Level III Exam is not given out before the test, but is written in the table of contents of the test. Candidates are advised to review the table of contents first. The point values can be used to allocate the time necessary to answer questions. For example a candidate might want to allocate 20 minutes for a question worth 20 points. 

Candidates should note that the sample exams for Level III exemplify the general format described above, but that the point allocation may differ significantly from the sample exams. New questions are written for every test administration based on the established learning objectives and the approved reading list.

The Level III exam is proctored by Prometric testing centers the same as Levels I and II; however, Prometric does not score the CMT Level III examination. All Level III exams are scored by a select group of CMTs and results are communicated to candidates via email sixty to ninety days after the exam date.

 

Download the CMT Body of Knowledge PDF Summary

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CMT Study Materials

New Integrated Curriculum
Get your copy of the new all-in-one curriculum ebook for your exam.
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Learning Objectives
Review the learning objective for each level of the CMT Exam using the following links:
- CMT Level I learning objectives  
- CMT Level II learning objectives
- CMT Level III learning objectives

CMT Sample Questions
Practice exams designed to aide your study preparation for each level of the CMT Program.
- CMT Level I Sample Exam A
- CMT Level II Sample Exam A

Archived CMT Informational Sessions
View archived informational sessions for each level of the CMT Exam for this administration.
Level I - Level II - Level III

Additional CMT Preparation Resources
View archived webinar sessions covering various topics throughout all three levels of the Exam.
View in Knowledge Base »

CMT Newsletter
The CMT Newsletter is a bi-weekly publication sent to all those enrolled in the CMT Program.
View the archives »

Alternative Reading Lists
For those interested in using this different method of preparation, we have detailed modified reading lists at the following link.
View Alternative Reading Lists »

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