A definite guide on NSE Certification Examination (Updated): I gave the NSE certification in the first half of 2018 and cleared all in the first attempt. I got certification for a few modules including the fundamental analysis module. Moreover, I’ve listed these certificates on my social profile pages as it adds more weight to my finance profile, given that I’m from a non-finance (engineering) background.

Since the last couple of months, I’ve received a number of emails with the same question -“Sir, how to get certified by NSE?”, “Is the NSE Certification helpful to get a job in the Indian stock market industry?”, “Is NSE certification helpful?”, “How much it costs to get NSE certified?”, etc. Therefore, in this post, I decided to walk you through the exact process to take an NSE certification exam. And moreover, how to learn this examination and get certified in the first attempt.

To be honest, it’s quite easy to get certified by NSE, if you have got a decent enough knowledge in this field. Nevertheless, even if you are a beginner, you can easily clear the examination if you are ready to spend some time and effort. Let’s get certified!!

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What is NSE Academy Certification in Financial Markets (NCFM)?

NSE Academy Certification in Financial Markets or NCFM program is an online testing and certification program that tests the practical knowledge and skills required to operate in the financial markets. The NCFM program operates on NSE intranet and is administered through their designated test centers located across India. (Source: NSE India)

In short, NCFM is an online testing and certification program to maintain a higher level of excellence in finance personnel.

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NCFM offers different modules for different roles. For example, if you are interested in technical analysis, you can attempt the NCFM module for the technical analysis certification.

Can NSE Certification add value to your career?

Frankly speaking, there’s no formal education given to the students regarding investing or the stock market in school/colleges. Therefore, taking an NSE certification exam can help you to enhance your theoretical and practical knowledge.

Moreover, if you are from a non-fiance/commerce background and want to work in the share market industry, this certification can definitely help you. It will give your profile an advantage when compared to the applicant with the same qualifications, but no certification. In short, NSE certification can be helpful for the students/professionals aspiring to make a career in this field.

Also read: Should you Quit Your Job to Trade Stocks?

What are the modules offered by NCFM?

First of all, I would like to mention that NCFM offers dozens of modules (as given below). And of course, you cannot consider giving all of them at once. Apply to the certification exam for the roles/fields in which you are interested. (It’s doesn’t makes much sense to give a certification exam for investment banking operations if you are interested only in equity research.)

Now, NSE Academy offers different modules for Foundation (Beginners), Intermediate and Advanced investorsEach module is designed to impart specific knowledge in the given domain relevant to the personnel working within that specified area. Here’s a quick snapshot of the different modules offered by NSE:

1. Foundation Modules

NCFM Foundation modules

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2. Intermediate Modules

NCFM Intermediate modules

3. Advanced Modules

NCFM Advance Modules

4. NCFM Proficiency certification

NCFM Proficiency certification is a combination of exams to get a predefined certificate. You have to complete all the modules (as pre-defined) in order to receive this certification. Here are the different proficiency certificates currently offered by NCFM:

NCFM Proficiency certificate

(Image Source: National Stock Exchange of India Ltd.)

5. Additional Certificates/Examinations

NSE also offers additional recorded and classroom courses. In addition, postgraduate courses for full-time programs and weekend/executive batches also available. For example,

  • Sri Sri University & NSE Academy in collaboration are offering the Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Markets (PGDFM) in Odisha.
  • Bengal Institute of Business Studies & NSE Academy in collaboration are offering the Post Graduate Program in Financial Markets (PGPFM) at Kolkata.
  • IMS Proschool, an official learning provider of CFA Institute & NSE Academy jointly offers 10 months (Part/Full time) – Post Graduate Program in Investment Banking & Capital Markets to sculpt you as a hardcore finance professional.

You can find more details about these NSE courses and examinations here.

NSE Certification Exam Details

— Eligibility for NCFM Certification

There’s no specific eligibility to sit in the NSE certification exam. In other words, there’s no special qualification requirement or age limit to give the test.

— Exam details – #of Questions, Passing Marks etc

Here are some general details of the certification exams:

  • The questions will be asked in multiple-choice questions (MCQ) format. This means that you will be given 4-5 options for each question and you have to select the correct answer.
  • Most of the certification exams are 120 minutes long and have either 60 or 70 questions.
  • The maximum mark for the examination is 100 marks and the pass mark is 60-70%. (The passing mark varies with the module you are attempting).
  • Few modules have negative marks on the questions. This means that for each wrong answer, some marks will be deducted from the total score.
  • After clearing the examination, you can immediately print the certificates as it will be available online on your portal. However, the paper certificate will be couriered to you- which might take 15-20 days to reach (depending on your address).
  • Generally, the fee for the majority of the modules in Rs 1700 + GST. However, for some advanced modules- the fees are higher.

— Test Centers in India

You have to give NSE Certification exams on the designated test centers. Almost all major cities in India have a test center for NSE or NCFM certification. For example, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Patna, Raipur, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, etc.  Here’s a list of available centers

How to enroll for the NSE Certification exam?

Here is the step-by-step process to enroll for the NSE certification exams-

  • First, you need to visit this link to check out the available modules, their fees, and course content. Select the modules in which you are interested.
  • In case, you want to take a model/free test, you can try it here.
  • Once you’ve decided the module that you’ll be attempting and test center- next you need to pay the fee and register for it.
  • To register for the examination, you have to create an account on the NCFM Portal. Here’s the link to the registration pageIt’s quite simple to register on the NCFM portal. All you need to do is to enter your details (personal info, address, qualification, pan card, etc) and submit the form.
  • After your account has opened, you can pay the fee for the module (in which you are interested) and book the test date and center.
  • Finally, you’ll also receive an email with the course material (ebook) that you need to study and you admit card for the examination.
  • Prepare well for the exam and Good luck!!

That’s all. This is exactly the process to register for the NSE Certification examination.

NCFM New registration

A Few Additional Tips for NSE Certificate Participants

  1. Give at least 2 weeks for preparation: For the intermediate and advanced modules, you need to study for at least 2 weeks. For the foundation (beginner) modules, this preparation time can be shorter. But to be on the safe side, go through the course materials/ebook at least once before attempting the exam.
  2. Avoid incorrect answers- There will be negative marking in most of the modules. And remember, your final marks will be printed on the certificate. Don’t take bets on the MCQ questions that you don’t know.
  3. Stay calm and enjoy the test: The last thing that you want to do is to ‘freak out’. You can give multiple attempts for the certification examination. If you were not prepared nicely or the exam didn’t go well, simply re-attempt. It’s not the end of your career.

Also read: 3 Best Sites to Learn Virtual Stock Trading in India (Without Risking Your Money)

Bonus: Additional Certification Courses

Besides NCFM, here are few other popular websites where you can enroll for certified courses-

Also read: NISM Certification – A Complete Beginner’s Guide

Closing Thoughts

NSE Certification can help to boost your resume and your knowledge. If you are looking for a career in the stock market/finance industry, this certification can definitely give you an advantage.

Anyways, even if you not planning to pursue a career, you can take this test for fun or check your knowledge. NSE certification exam is quite cheap compared to most financial exams like CFA, CFP, or any other financial courses on EDX, Coursera, etc.

Nevertheless, even after getting certified- you have to put a lot of effort from your side and have to continue your life-long education to become a successful investor/trader. There are other popular share market learnings platforms like Fingrad, that can also help you to get significant market knowledge. In short, the certification won’t help you much in real-time investing/trading. However, your knowledge and experience will!!

That’s all. I tried to cover most of the points. In case, if I missed anything or if you’ve any queries- feel free to comment below. I’ll be happy to help you out. Cheers!!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is NSE certification?

The NSE Certification offered by the NSE Academy Certification in Financial Markets or NCFM, tests the practical knowledge and skills required to operate in the financial markets. It is an online test that is operated on NSE’s intranet and is administered through their designated testing centers that are located across India.

  1. Which NSE certification is best?

Some of the popular NSE certificates are:

  • Certification in Online Stock Market for Beginners
  • Certification in Fundamental Analysis
  • Certification in Technical Analysis
  • Certification in Options Trading Strategies
  • Certification in Currency and Commodity Markets
  1. How can I get NSE certificate?
  • First, a candidate will have to register on the NSE website. 
  • Once registered, you will get a unique NCFM registration number along with a user ID and Password.
  • Using these credentials to login to your NCFM account to make payment / enroll for test / update address / check study material status / view certificates etc.
  • Once you give the test and get the minimum passing marks or more, you will receive the NSE certificate.
  1. Are NSE certifications useful?

Yes, NSE certificates are useful. Firstly, they add value to your résumé. Secondly, they help you to gain theoretical as well as practical knowledge about how the stock market works. And finally, they can help with assignments and get a job in the stock market industry, at an economical price.

  1. How do I become a NSE certified analyst?

If you want to become a NSE certified analyst, choose the modules that you want to get certified in. For example, fundamental analysis. Clear the Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced certifications and the Proficiency Certification. If you clear the test, you get certified. A few certificates are valid for a lifetime, whereas a few others require renewal.

  1. How do you become a certified trader?

The NSE offers various courses that can be completed successfully to become  a certified trader. Some of them are: Certified program on live trading strategies, Certification in Technical Analysis, Certification in Option Strategies, Certification in Equity Research Analysis, and Certification in Research, Trading & Advisory. After successfully completing, you can become a certified trader by NSE Academy.

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