IMC Test Specification

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IMC objective

The IMC is the investment profession's benchmark entry-level qualification and is used by investment professionals to demonstrate competence for regulatory purposes. The IMC offers an excellent foundation and enhancement to careers in the investment profession. Many IMC holders continue their professional development by studying for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program.


Do I need to have completed any other qualifications prior to taking the IMC?

There is no requirement for you to have completed any other qualifications prior to taking the IMC.


What knowledge, skills and understanding do I need before taking the qualification?

There is no requirement to have completed any other qualifications prior to taking the IMC. For typically 60 to 80% of candidates, the IMC is their first professional qualification.


What do I have to do in order to complete the qualification?

In order to complete the IMC qualification you must pass two examinations - IMC Unit 1: The Investment Environment, and IMC Unit 2: Investment Practice. Exemptions are available and are detailed on the CFA UK website (


What knowledge, skills and understanding will be assessed as part of the qualification?

The syllabus provides detail on the knowledge, skills and understanding  against which you will be assessed. The question allocation across the syllabus is balanced on the guidance of industry specialists. The syllabus also includes detail on how questions are allocated across topic areas.


How will you assess my performance?

The IMC is assessed through online testing using standard multiple choice, item sets and gap-fill style questions. Exams are delivered through computer based testing at centres administered by CFA UK’s testing partner, Pearson Vue. A large number of test centres are available across the UK. A number of centres are also available overseas.


What is the criteria against which I will be measured?

The IMC examination tests your knowledge against the learning outcome statements of the IMC syllabus. In order to pass the exam(s), you must demonstrate competence against these criteria.

Are there any specimen assessment materials available?

We have two mock exams available for each unit of the IMC. These incorporate questions similar in style and difficulty to those in the IMC examination and include a number of questions that have been previously tested. Please note these whilst these questions are indicative of the types of question asked, they are by no means exhaustive. You are strongly recommended to take the necessary time to understand and address the learning outcomes in the syllabus. 


Are there any specified levels of attainment?

A standard setting process has been undertaken by investment practitioners and assessment experts to determine the required 'standard' that candidates must meet in order to pass an IMC exam. We follow a consistent process to ensure all exams have an equivalent level of difficulty. The pass mark for the IMC Unit 1 examination is between 65% and 75%; for the IMC Unit 2 examination it is between 60% and 70%. Exams consisting of harder questions will have a relatively lower pass mark and vice-versa.

How long will it take me to study for the qualification?

We estimate that a typical candidate will take in the region of 200 hours to study for a complete the full qualification. The 200 hours we refer to as the Total Qualification Time (TQT). An average candidate will take approximately 80 hours to study and sit for Unit 1 and 120 hours to study and sit for Unit 2.

How much credit is assigned to the qualification?

We currently assign 20 credits for the full IMC qualification. This incorporates eight credits for Unit 1 and 12 credits for Unit 2.
We do not currently have a policy in place for the recognition of prior learning.

What Level is assigned to the IMC qualification?

The IMC is a Level 4 qualification. This means that the level of difficulty of the qualification broadly equates to the first-year of an undergraduate degree.

IMC Candidate Testimonial

The IMC provides a strong foundation across the core aspects of investment management which can be applied across a range of different disciplines within the industry - 
Max Newman