FAQ

If you have any questions not covered here, or need additional help, please email support@macrospecialistdesignation.com.

REGISTRATION & REQUIREMENTS

How do I register for the program?

You can begin your registration on the macrospecialistdesignation.com website from any “Register Now” button. You will be required to fill out a form with your personal information, which must match the government-issued identification that you plan to bring to the testing center. The Center for the Macro Specialist Designation will confirm whether you live in an approved geographical location. If so, then you will be directed to the online study platform Canvas to purchase the course. You must complete the registration approval process before paying for the exam. The M2SD program reserves the right to reject your registration in its sole discretion for any reason. If your registration is rejected, you will receive a refund of your fee.

 

Are there prerequisites for work experience or degrees?

We require that candidates are at least 18 years of age when they register for Level 1. There are no specific requirements for work experience or academic degrees.

 

Are there geographic restrictions on registration?

Yes. Currently, we allow residents of the United States, Canada, Australia, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, India, Thailand or Singapore to register for the program. We open registration to additional geographies on an ongoing basis.

In addition, as a U.S. corporation, Center for the Macro Specialist Designation must abide by the regulations of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”). OFAC regulations prohibit us from doing business with persons ordinarily resident in certain countries, as well as persons/entities on the Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN”) List. When you register and sign the Candidate Agreement, you represent these restrictions do not apply to you or your employer.

 

What documents do I need to register for the program?

As a U.S. corporation, Center for the Macro Specialist Designation must abide by the regulations of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”). OFAC regulations prohibit us from doing business with persons ordinarily resident in certain countries, as well as persons/entities on the Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN”) List. When you register and sign the Candidate Agreement, you represent these restrictions do not apply to you or your employer.

 

Are there any restrictions on registration other than citizenship or geographic location?

Yes. By registering for the M2SD program you are agreeing that:

  • You have never been convicted of a felony or any crime punishable by 1 year or more in prison.
  • You have not been banned by FINRA or the equivalent regulatory authority in the jurisdiction in which you reside.
  • You are not currently suspended by FINRA or another regulatory organization in the jurisdiction in which you reside.
  • You are a current resident of either the United States, Canada, Australia, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore, Thailand or India. Additional geographies will become available on an ongoing basis.
  • You are at least 18 years of age.

 

Can I continue to work full time while enrolled in the program?

Absolutely. The ability to maintain a full-time job, and income, while broadening your skill set is one of the advantages of the M2SD program over a full-time graduate academic program.

 

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COST

What’s the cost to complete the M2SD program?

There is a $2,500 fee to register for each level of the program, which includes the study materials and your exam registration fee. Should you need to retake the exam, each retake costs $300 per attempt. A candidate who successfully passes all three exams on the first attempt will pay $7,500 in total at the prevailing registration fee. These fees are subject to change. Some of the outside reading materials, Essential Readings, may need to be purchased for a fee if they are unavailable for free online.

 

What is the cost of the study materials?

Access to the online study materials is included with the registration fee. You are not required to purchase them separately. You may incur some additional cost to obtain the required outside readings (Essential Readings).

 

Are there any fees required to keep my designation active?

Yes, there is a $250 annual fee to maintain an active M2SD designation and participate in M2SD program events. This fee is subject to change.

 

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EXAM LOGISTICS

How many exams do I need to take to earn the Macro Specialist Designation?

You are required to take three levels of exams, in order, to successfully complete the M2SD program. Once all three levels are complete you will be invited to join the Center for the Macro Specialist Designation (CMSD). Annual dues of $250 are required to keep your designation active. This fee is subject to change.

 

Am I required to pass Level 1 to register for Level 2 or 3?

Yes, you are required to take and pass the exams for Levels 1, 2, and 3 in order.

 

Is there a time limit for me to take the exam after I register for a level?

No. It is a self-paced study program. You may take as long as you want to prepare for an exam before you set a test date.

 

Are there specific testing dates for the exam?

Yes. There will be four 3-week testing windows per year available for each level. Those dates will be published and updated on an ongoing basis. Currently they are the first three weeks of every calendar quarter. 

 

How many times a year will the exam be offered?

There will be four 3-week testing windows available per year for each level. This is subject to change.

 

Where do I take the exam?

The M2SD program partners with Pearson VUE testing centers as our exam provider. After registering for the program, you will receive more information from Pearson about how to set an exam date.

 

How long is the exam?

You will have three hours to complete the final exam. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice and true/false questions.

 

Am I able to take the exam in any language other than English?

No, English is the only language available for the exam and study materials.

 

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STUDYING & STUDY MATERIALS

What are the required study materials?

The required study materials include a series of video lectures by Francois Trahan and a downloadable PDF document of the video slides he covers. There is one video lecture per chapter. There are also study questions and answers (Q&A) for each chapter and three full-length practice exams. Each chapter also contains required Essential Readings (ERs) that will be covered on the final exam. There are links to most of the ERs in the syllabus on Canvas, however some may require purchase at a reasonable cost. 

 

Is there an additional fee for study materials?

The video lectures, slides, Q&A, and practice exams are included with your registration fee. Each chapter also contains required Essential Readings (ERs). We provide free links to most of the ERs in the syllabus on Canvas. However, a small number of ERs may require purchase at a reasonable cost.

 

Are there deadlines associated with the program of study?

No. This is a self-paced study program and you can take as much time as you like to prepare for the final exams before sitting for them.

 

Can I get a written copy of the study materials?

Study materials are available exclusively online through the Canvas education platform. You are able to download a PDF of the slides covered in the videos. 

 

What are Essential Readings?

Essential Readings are reading materials written by external authors that provide context for the core M2SD content. They are generally authored by experts on the topic at hand and they are included in the  final exam. ERs include academic articles, online posts, and portions of books.

 

How do I obtain the Essential Readings?

Links to most of the ERs are provided in the syllabus on Canvas. A small number may require purchase. 

 

How long will it take me to study for each level of the exam?

The program is self-paced, and you make take as much or as little time you need to prepare for each final exam. Generally, you can expect to study for about 250 hours per level, depending on your prior experience. This would mean about 7-10 hours per week to complete a level in 6-9 months. 

 

Are the study materials available in any language other than English?

No, English is the only language available for the study materials.

 

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EXAM DAY

What happens on exam day?

On exam day, you will travel to the Pearson VUE exam center you chose when registering for your exam window. You must bring a valid, government issued ID. The information on your ID must match EXACTLY the information you provided during your initial registration. If this information changes please contact support@macrospecialistdesignation.com. You will be required to follow all of the rules and restrictions of the Pearson testing center. Please consult their website for more information.

 

What do I bring on exam day?

On exam day, you must bring a valid, government issued ID. The information on your ID must match EXACTLY the information you provided during your initial registration. If this information changes please contact support@macrospecialistdesignation.com. Please see Pearson’s website for additional restrictions on what you are allowed to bring to the testing center. No additional equipment is required by the M2SD program, such as calculators or pencils.

 

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RETAKING AN EXAM

How many times am I able to retake an exam if I fail?

You can retake any level of the exam three additional times for each unique $2,500 registration fee. However, each of the three additional retake attempts will require a $300 retake fee. If you fail the same exam level four times you may begin the registration process again by paying an additional $2,500 fee. These fees are subject to change.

 

Is there a waiting period to retake an exam if I fail?

You may retake the exam during the next available testing window. You may not take the exam multiple times within the same 3-week testing window.

 

Is there a fee to retake an exam?

Yes. The first three retake attempts for any level require a $300 fee for each retake. Four unsuccessful exam attempts will require you to reregister for the level and pay the $2,500 registration fee. These fees are subject to change.

 

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AFTER THE EXAM

Is there any continuing education required to maintain my certification after passing all three levels?

Currently there is no continuing education requirement. You must pay the $250 annual dues to maintain your designation in good standing. This information is subject to change.

 

How long will it take to receive my results?

You will be notified whether you passed or failed the exam within 30 days after the end of the testing window in which you took the exam.

 

Can I connect with other M2SD designation holders?

Yes. The Macro Specialist Designation program will provide ongoing opportunities for designation holders to network with each other.

 

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BENEFITS OF THE M2SD

Why should I enroll in the M2SD program instead of the CFA® program, or in lieu of pursuing an MBA degree?

The M2SD program is designed to be complementary to fundamental research education and training, including the CFA program. The CFA program focuses almost exclusively on bottom-up, stock-specific fundamental analysis. The M2SD program teaches candidates practical techniques to perform well in evolving macro backdrops. The M2SD program is a far more cost-effective educational program than a traditional MBA and allows the candidate to continue working full time.

 

How will the M2SD program help me get a job in the financial industry?

The M2SD program broadens your investment tool kit. It covers macro investing techniques not included in other financial market certifications or traditional academic programs. In conjunction with traditional pathways, such as Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) programs, the M²SD prepares today’s investors with comprehensive skills to improve performance and navigate uncharted economic cycles ahead.

 

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