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Body of Knowledge

The Market Technicians Association (MTA) commissioned a body of knowledge study through Prometric to support the ongoing development of The Chartered Market Technician (CMT) Examination. The CMT Program is a certification process in which candidates are required to demonstrate proficiency in a broad range of technical analysis subjects.

The three-part examination consists of:

Level I (132 multiple-choice items with a focus on definition)
Level II (170 multiple-choice items with a focus on application)
Level III (an essay examination with a focus on integration)

A body of knowledge study is designed to obtain descriptive information about the tasks performed in a job and the knowledge needed to adequately perform those tasks.

Body of Knowledge Executive Summary

* Download a printable PDF of the Body of Knowledge

The Market Technicians Association (MTA) develops and maintains the CMT certification process. Prometric, a professional testing firm, administers the CMT exams on behalf of the MTA. The original “Body of Knowledge Study” was conducted in 2004 and was the basis for the technical analysis material required to successfully pass the CMT examination process. In 2007, a Pulse Survey was taken to update the CMT test specifications to better reflect changes in the study of technical analysis.

In response to continued changes in the study of technical analysis and membership growth, the MTA, with the guidance of Prometric, completed the 2010 Job Analysis to ensure that the CMT exams reflect the knowledge and tasks required to perform technical analysis. This survey was sent to 956 MTA members and CMT charter holders. Of this number, 337 submitted completed surveys resulting in a participation rate of 36.4%.

Development of test specifications for the CMT Certification Examinations

The CMT test specifications were revised in January 2010 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. Level 3 was not included in this survey. All test specification changes were based on a careful review of the survey results.

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

  • CMT Level I (Definition). The Level I examination 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 examination 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 examination 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 III candidate must pass the ethics portion of this exam or risk failure.

The CMT examinations test the critical knowledge and tasks needed to perform the duties as a technical analyst. The tasks provide context for designing robust examination items that reflect work activities validated through the “Jobs Survey” in addition to the recommendations made by the Test Specifications Committee. . All material assigned for CMT I and CMT II candidates will be cumulative. CMT III candidates are responsible for the readings assigned to all levels of the CMT program curriculum.

Task Domains

  1. Data Collection
  2. Data Analysis
  3. Decision Making
  4. Implementation
  5. Ethics

Knowledge Domains

  1. Theory and History
  2. Markets and Market Indicators
  3. Construction
  4. Trend Analysis
  5. Chart and Pattern Analysis
  6. Confirmation
  7. Cycles
  8. Selection
  9. System Testing and Money Management
  10. Ethics

Development of Test Content Weights for the CMT Level 1 and Level 2 Certification Examinations.

The Test Specifications Committee and the MTA membership population including all CMT’s participated in a survey that required each member to individually assign a percentage weight to the each of the six knowledge domains: General Principles; Trend and Momentum; Sentiment (Behavioral Finance); Flow of Funds; Intermarket Analysis; and Trading Investment Strategies.

Weights were then entered into the Excel® spreadsheet and results shared with all committee members. This resulted in a productive discussion among the committee members regarding the optimal percentages for CMT Level I and Level II examinations. The following show the recommended weights by domain for the CMT I and CMT II examinations.

Test Content Weights Recommended by the Test Specifications Committee for the CMT Level I Certification Examination:

CONTENT AREAS

PERCENTAGE

QUESTIONS (+/- 2)

Theory and History

10%

12

Markets

3%

3

Market Indicators

13%

16

Construction

15%

18

Trend Analysis

15%

18

Chart and Pattern Analysis

18%

22

Confirmation

10%

12

Cycles

4%

5

Selection and Decision

5%

6

System Testing Money Management

4%

4

Ethics

3%

4

TOTAL

100%

120

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

Test Content Weights Recommended by the Test Specifications Committee for the CMT Level II Certification Examination:

CONTENT AREAS

PERCENTAGE

QUESTIONS (+/- 2)

Theory and History

3%

4

Market Indicators

5%

7

Construction

1%

1

Trend Analysis

20%

30

Chart and Pattern Analysis

23%

35

Confirmation

15%

23

Cycles

3%

4

Selection and Decision

17%

26

System Testing Money Management

10%

15

Ethics

3%

5

TOTAL

100%

150

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

CMT Level III examination:

The CMT Level III Examination consists of nine independent questions 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 which call for independent consideration potentially linking that answer to an analysis of other parts in the question. 

The primary focus of the Level III Exam is the practical and ethical application of technical analysis. 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 a printable PDF of the Body of Knowledge

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CMT Study Materials

Recommended Reading Lists
The books and chapters that the MTA recommends for successful completion of the CMT Program
Level I - Level II - Level III

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

Archived CMT Study Sessions
The archives of the former CMT Institute Preparation Courses that were previously offered by MTA.
Level I - Level II - Level III

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


CMT Quick Links

Forms & Exemptions
Learn more about how to apply for exemptions and download templates for forms.
Series 86 Exemption - SEC Form ADV

Testing Center Guidelines
Find out how to locate a Prometric testing center that is close to your location!
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Registration Fees & Policies
See a complete breakdown of all registration fees.
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