Frequently Asked Questions about the CMT Program


Q. Once a candidate completes all three exams, what other requirements are there in order to receive the CMT designation?

Only Members (as opposed to Affiliates) of the MTA may be awarded the CMT designation. The MTA Member application process is separate from the CMT Program process. Candidates who have completed the three Levels of the CMT Program prior to applying for Member status only need to demonstrate three (3) years of acceptable professional experience.

Q. How is the CMT designation actually conferred and when is the physical charter document received?

You will receive a letter confirming that you have earned and been awarded the CMT designation. Your status within the MTA database/member directory will automatically be updated by the MTA Staff to reflect that you are a CMT charterholder. In addition, upon being granted the CMT designation, you will be mailed your certificate of completion generally within four to six weeks.

Q. Once a CMT designation is awarded, what requirements must be maintained?

To maintain your status as a CMT charterholder you must be a member of the MTA in good standing and abide by the MTA Code of Ethics.

Q. Under what circumstances can the CMT designation be revoked?

The MTA Board of Directors, acting under the advice of the Ethics Committee, may revoke a Member’s CMT designation for serious violations of the MTA Code of Ethics.

Q. What are the eligibility requirements to register for the CMT?

There is no prerequisite coursework required to take the CMT exams but we do recommend that candidates have a university degree and experience working in the financial markets using technical analysis.

Q. Can you apply for member status within the MTA before completing all three exams?

Yes, in fact candidates are encouraged to apply for member status early so that when they complete the CMT Level III exam they will be eligible to receive the charter. We encourage candidates to submit their application for membership as soon as they meet the eligibility requirements and have their three (3) sponsors identified. In addition, sponsors can act as a mentor, and might be able to advise candidates in their study process for the exam. Candidates that have not completed all three levels of the exam require five (5) years of acceptable professional experience to attain member status.

Q. Is there a list of members willing to sponsor affiliates applying for member status?

The MTA maintains a list of current Members willing to sponsor affiliates going through this process.

Body of Knowledge

Q. What are the required readings for the CMT exams?

The official curriculum for 2017 was published by Wiley and has been available since January 2017.

Q. Where can I find sample questions for the CMT Exams?

A collection of sample exam questions similar in form and substance to those from past CMT exams are available to aide your study in the CMT Program. These exact questions will not be included in the actual exams. In addition Wiley has prepared a test preparation tool to help you simulate the exam conditions.

Q. What other sources of information should candidates refer to in order to better understand the exam material?

Questions on the CMT exams are derived solely from the official curriculum for that calendar year. There are many sources of additional information, books, websites, videos, etc. that might help to provide a better understanding of a topic, but these are not used for the development of exam questions.

Q. How important are the questions on Ethics?

The MTA uses the CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. Exam questions for on all levels are based on the text explaining the Code and Standards. Candidates on Level III are required to achieve a minimum passing score of 66% on the Ethics section. This means that candidates must receive passing scores on the other sections of Level III and attain a passing score of at least 70% on the Ethics questions in order to pass. Candidates that do not attain a score of at least 66% on the Ethics questions will not pass the exam and will be required to sit for the entire exam again. Level III candidates should place an increased emphasis on the study of the CFA Code Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

Q. Is ALL of the material in the required readings covered in the exams?

No. Not ALL of the material in the required readings is covered in the exams. Each level of the CMT exam is designed to test a representative sample of the Body of Knowledge, but any given section of the curriculum could be drawn from for exam questions.

Q. Are candidates required to memorize ALL formulas contained in the required readings?

No. One formula (the of expected range of movement in a security over a given number of days) is useful to memorize. The remainder require a general understanding of the components in each formula and a knowledge of why each one is important.

 Preparation and Training

Q. Does the MTA offer preparation courses for the CMT Exams?

The MTA does not offer preparation courses nor does the MTA endorse any preparation course. The MTA is aware of these preparation courses and provides the links for you to independently evaluate their services: Optuma Education ServicesNew York Institute of Finance offers an online prep course for the Level I exam. You can find more information by clicking those links.

Q. Using resources offered by the MTA, what is the best way to establish study groups for CMT preparation?

The easiest way to network with other candidates in the CMT program is to attend local chapter meetings.  Another easy way to form a group is to use the MyMTA professional network. Candidates can indicate in the CMT discussion forum that they would like to either form or join a study group for a particular exam level.

Additional Information

The CMT Exam Program is designed to be self-study. The CMT Board of Governors recommends the following minimum study hours for each Level of the CMT exam. These estimates are based on a college education and a background working in the financial markets:

  • CMT Exam Level I : 40 to 100 hours
  • CMT Exam Level II : 60 to 120 hours
  • CMT Exam Level III : 60 to 140 hours

Recommended study time differs from person to person based on experience with the subject, time working in the field, and prior knowledge of technical analysis. However, these are rigorous exams testing a broad body of knowledge. All candidates, regardless of work experience, must allocate appropriate time to prepare the material.


Q. How are the exams graded?

  • The Level I and II exams are multiple choice and machine graded and then the results go through a psychometric review. This process requires candidates to wait approximately four weeks before receiving their final scores.
  • The Level III exams are graded by CMT charterholders. Grading is based on a uniform answer key for each question. This answer key provides a breakdown of points that candidates earn for both full and partial credit answers.

Q.  Do typographical and grammatical errors affect your Level III score?

Typographical and grammatical errors will not penalize you on the Level III exam. Exams are graded solely on the application of the technical analysis concepts being tested. We encourage candidates to answer questions using short phrases or bullet points where appropriate. Graders are aware that English might not be the candidate’s first or primary language.

Q. What is the passing score for each level of the exam?

The exact passing score will vary with each exam depending on the set of questions used and how those questions perform. Both before and after each exam, questions are reviewed for accuracy and comprehensibility. After the test is complete the data from all test scores are also given a psychometric review. This review process forms the basis for establishing the exact passing score for both the Level I and Level II exams. In the past these exams had a fixed passing score at 70% of possible points. That amount is still a default target for exams, but with the post-exam review process, the actual cut score may vary by one to three percentage points. The new process allows us to more effectively equate the difficulty of the current exam to a relevant benchmark–a past exam or set of exams. This allows us to adjust scores depending on degree of difficulty of each exam.

Q. Why doesn’t the MTA provide candidates with their actual score?

There are multiple reasons that the MTA does not provide candidates with their actual score:

  • The final passing score is based on a rigorous analytical process, thus a passing mark changes from one exam administration to the next. The same numerical score that was a passing mark on one exam may be a failing score on another. The MTA recognizes that each exam will not be of the exact same difficulty.
  • The MTA does not want to create ‘classes’ of CMT charterholders. If candidates were provided with scores, employers may want to hire only the highest scoring candidates.
  • The goal of these exams is to learn the material, to pass each level of the exam, and to earn the coveted CMT charter. The association has no mission for creating an incentive for one passing candidate to be recognized as relatively stronger in any way to another passing candidate based on their exam scores.

Q. Is there a process for challenging a failing score?

No. The association’s judgement is final. There is no process for challenging a failing score. The grading process, as previously mentioned, is very thorough. Levels I and II are machine graded, and all Level III exams are carefully reviewed and double-checked.

Q. Is there a review process for exam scores?

Exam scores are not reviewed on individual cases. If you failed the exam, writing a letter to the MTA and pleading your case will not change your score. However on occasion the questions in an exam may come under scrutiny for varying reasons. In these situations the MTA with the assistance of Prometric will review potential anomalies or problems (e.g. missing graphics on the computer presentation) and review what changes if any will need to be made. Such cases are rare.

For those who want a personal consultation based on their exam results for Level III. An MTA staff or subject matter expert will, for a fee of $100, review the strengths and weaknesses of your results and give you guidance on what you need to do to better prepare for the exam. In this activity the candidate receives personal feedback indicating problem areas and strategies to address them.

Q. How long are the CMT tests and scores maintained on file?

All results are actively maintained in the MTA database indefinitely. Levels I and II are computer scored and maintained as a record for five (5) years. The Level III exam and graders’ scoring sheets are maintained on file for three (3) years, effective October 2014.

Q. When are exam results released?

The results for the CMT Level I and II exams are communicated as quickly as we can possibly verify the results and upload the scores to our database. This process may require three to four weeks.

CMT Level III exam results require a manual grading process and therefore take longer. They are generally are made available approximately six to eight weeks from the exam date.

 Registration and Fees

Q. When is the exam held?

CMT Exam Levels I, II, and III are given twice a year, in April/May and October. To view the dates for the next exam administration click here.

Q. Where is the CMT exam held?

The CMT exam is administered all over the world at Prometric testing centers (our test administration partner). You will find the exam center nearest to you at the Prometric website once you complete your enrollment in the CMT Program.

Q. Where is the Prometric test center nearest me?

Test centers are available around the world. Visit the Prometric website for a complete list of all available test center locations. At the Prometric site, under HOW DO I? enter MTA in Start by entering test sponsor, on the next page select Market Technician Association, under I WANT TO, select LOCATE A TEST CENTER, then follow the prompts.

Q. How do I enroll in the CMT Program?

Before you register for the CMT exam, you must first enroll in the CMT Program. Enrollment can be quickly processed right from the MTA website. Simply visit the My CMT section of your Member Profile.

Q. How do I register for an exam?

As an active member enrolled in the CMT Program, you may register for a CMT exam. You will submit your registration and exam fee to the MTA and then schedule your exam with Prometric (our test administration partner). The entire process can be completed online. To register for the CMT exam, simply visit the My CMT section of your Member Profile. Please note that exam fees are not refundable.

Q. What is the MTA Veterans Reimbursement Policy?

The CMT exams have been approved for reimbursement of test fees for veterans and other eligible persons in accordance with the Division of Veterans’ Affairs policy. For information on how to submit reimbursements after your examination, please visit

 Q. Can I take multiple exams at once?

No. Candidates may take only one exam at a sitting. You will not be able to register for the next level until you have passed the prior level. However, successful candidates could sit for all three (3) exams within a year and a half.

Q. How long does a candidate have to successfully complete the entire CMT Program?

Once a candidate has enrolled in the CMT Program, there is no imposed time limit to pass the three levels of examination. However, given the annual updates and revisions to the curriculum, candidates are encouraged to complete the CMT Program in consecutive administrations, expediting their pursuit of the CMT designation.

Q. How many times are candidates allowed to take the exam?  

There is no limit on the number of attempts candidates may take to pass each level of the CMT exams. There is no mandatory waiting period after an unsuccessful attempt on any exam level. Candidates may register to retake an exam during any future administration, or take advantage of the exam retake opportunity. The schedule for retakes will usually fall within six weeks after the regularly scheduled exam.

Q. Can I change the test center I was assigned to?

Yes, you may change your selected test center through Prometric by following the prompts to reschedule your exam. You may change test locations for Level I & II up to 48 hours before the exam date. Please be aware that Prometric will charge a $25 administrative fee for any changes made after the close of registration. For Level III, you must make any changes by the close of registration.

Q. What is the MTA “No Show” Policy?

If you do not arrive at your scheduled exam date/time/test center location, the examination fee is forfeited. There are no refunds or transfers.

Q. Can I defer my exam?
No. Deferment is not an option.

Q. Can I reschedule my exam within the current administration?

To make adjustments to your exam date/time/location (within the current administration), please go to You may reschedule your exam before the registration deadline at no cost. There will be a $25 rescheduling fee to Prometric for all adjustments made after the close of standard registration.

Q. Can I cancel my exam?

Candidates who register during the standard registration period may request a cancellation of their exam and will be eligible for a full refund within two weeks of payment. Candidates registering after February 28, 2017 may request a cancellation of their exam and will be eligible for a refund minus the test center administration fees within two days of payment.

You must provide a confirmation of your cancellation from Prometric to receive your refund.

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 Format of the Exam

Q. How much time are candidates given to complete each exam?

  • Level I – 2 hours
  • Level II – 4 hours
  • Level III – 4 hours

Q. What is the length and format of the exams?

  • Level I – 132 multiple choice questions (Only 120 are counted, 12 are for piloting new questions)
  • Level II – 170 multiple choice questions (Only 150 are counted, 20 are for piloting new questions)
  • Level III – Essay questions totaling 240 points. Candidates should use the point allocation of each question as guidance for time management.

Q. What is the composition of each exam?

  • Level I – primarily definition & recognition – This exam measures basic, entry-level competence and understanding of technical analysis. The Level I candidate needs to have a working knowledge of the basic tools of a technical analyst.
  • Level II – primarily application & analysis – This exam requires the candidate to demonstrate a greater depth of analysis and use of technical tools. The Level II candidate is expected to demonstrate proficiency in applying more advanced analytical techniques and technical analysis theory.
  • Level III – primarily integration & synthesis – This 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 Level III candidate is asked to analyze case studies, make recommendations and justify those recommendations based on the data provided. All candidates must pass the ethics portion of this exam.

Q. Are all exam items scored?

Pretest questions are unscored and serve the purpose of expanding our question bank. We evaluate new questions psychometrically and statistically to ensure the relevance, validity, and appropriateness of each question to its respective level of the CMT exam. There are 12 pretest items in the Level I exam and 20 pretest items in the Level II exam. All items are scored at Level III.

 Day of Exam

Q. What should I bring to the test center?

Candidates should print a confirmation of their scheduled exam from the Prometric website. This confirmation contains the date and time of the exam, and the address of the test center.

For CMT Level I & II, you may bring a simple calculator to the test center; Prometric will provide two pencils upon request.

For CMT Level III, you will need to bring a simple calculator to the test center; Prometric will provide two pencils upon request.

Prometric Test Centers will supply paper upon request. A calculator will be on your test module during each Level.

Candidates must provide one form of a current and valid ID, bearing a signature and a recent photograph.

Q. What constitutes a valid form of ID?

Acceptable forms of primary identification include: valid passport, driver’s license (with signature), employee ID card (with photograph) and state ID card. Acceptable forms of secondary ID include: valid credit card, ATM card, check-cashing card, citizenship card.

Please note, candidates taking the exam outside their country of citizenship must present a valid passport. This is the only form of acceptable identity. Also, candidates from Egypt and Vietnam must present a valid passport. The National ID Card will not be accepted as a primary ID as it does not bear a signature.

Q. Can I take the CMT exam with testing accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

If you have a special need or require any accommodations, please contact the MTA after you register for your exam. Candidates for Level I & II must contact the MTA at least thirty (30) days prior to your test date to request special testing arrangements. Candidates for Level III must contact the MTA thirty (30) days prior to the close of registration. The MTA does not limit testing accommodations only to those who are US citizens or who reside in the US.