Frequently Asked Questions

Please find answers to some frequently asked questions about the STA Educational Programme below. All STA courses and most monthly meetings are considered suitable for the annual PIA Continuous Professional Development Programme.

We run each course once in the year. The Diploma Part 1 course starts end of October and the Diploma Part 2 course starts in January.

The Diploma Part 1 course runs for seven weeks, one evening a week (usually a Wednesday) from 6.15pm-8.30pm. It ends with the Diploma Part 1 examination in early December. The Diploma Part 2 course runs for 12 weeks,  one evening a week (again usually a Wednesday) from 6.15pm-8.30pm. It ends with the Diploma Part 2 examination in April.

The courses are normally held at the London School of Economics, Aldwych, London WC2A 2AE.

The STA runs occasional one-day courses on technical analysis. For more information on this please email

The STA does not currently offer in-house training but is open to discussions with individual organisations. Please email the STA office on if you wish to pursue.

The STA only holds courses in London but is looking to branch out to various UK universities.

Yes, it is possible to self-study to prepare for the STA Diploma Part 1 and 2 examinations, either by just reading the recommended reading list or by using our specially tailored Home Study Course© (HSC). The HSC is the STA’s proprietary e-learning course. Although website based, it is fully downloadable and may be used online or offline by PC, Mac, iPad or Android machines. . The program is divided into 15 units designed to cover all relevant aspects of the Diploma Part 1 and Diploma Part 2 syllabus. Each unit carries a series of multiple choice questions to test the student’s understanding of each topic. In addition the course offers an exam preparation module and a set of past Part 2 exam papers, as well as a supplement containing advice on tehcnical analysis report writing.  For information on the units and their authors please visit the Home Study Course page.

The Diploma Part 1 exams are held three times a year in March, July, and December. The Diploma Part 2 exam is held twice a year in April and October.

There is no need to have passed the Part 1 exam before sitting the Part 2 exam. Both can be sat while attending the STA Diploma Part 2 Course. In order to obtain the STA Diploma qualification both the Part 1 and 2 exams will have to have been passed, however.

It obviously depends on the cohort, but on average 70% of students sitting the exams pass.

67%. Those achieving 85% or above are awarded a Merit.

60%. Those achieving 85% or above are awarded a Distinction.

In general, at this advanced level examiners look not only for knowledge but also for the application of that knowledge – for reasoning, for conclusions, and for advice to investors when required.

The answer to SECTION 1 (Question 1) should show a high standard in chart analysis and a written report (as if for a client) based on that analysis. There is some flexibility here: candidates wishing to avoid writing large amounts of text may consider using summary bullet points or ‘grids’ within the written report. They may also express some of their opinions on the actual charts, alongside their other chart annotations.

Chart annotations combined with a written report meeting all requirements of the question can earn up to 50 points (up to 34 for analysis, interpretation and reasoning, and up to 16 for providing logical forecasts and appropriate advice). Up to another 10 points can be gained for a clear and professional structure to the report.*

For the SECTION 2 and SECTION 3 answers candidates can gain up to half their marks by demonstrating knowledge. An ability to reason and apply/interpret is needed to achieve higher marks, however.

*To pass the exam, a minimum mark of 35/60 for the compulsory Question 1 is required as well as 60/100 for the paper overall.

Examiners will send you a report on areas of weakness and, where possible, suggestions on how your answers could be improved. As with Part 1, you need to re-register to resit the exam. An appeal is possible, although not normally advisable. Two examiners will have marked each paper carefully before a decision is made – and a third examiner marking the same paper may well not come to a different conclusion. Also, there would be a fee to cover additional examiner costs.

The CFTe is the International Federation of Technical Analysts’ (IFTA) two-stage qualification. CFTe Level I is a multiple choice paper which is very similar to the STA Diploma Part 1 examination. CFTe Level II is an essay based question paper, similar to the STA Diploma Part 2 exam, but half an hour longer. Both IFTA’s CFTe I and II papers were for several decades set and marked by the STA but over the past few years IFTA have set and marked their own exams.

On achieving MSTA status, students can also receive the International Federation of Technical Analysts’ CFTe accreditation and certificate on payment of an administration fee of $200.

Once you have successfully passed both examinations you will be awarded the STA Diploma in Technical Analysis and the right to use the designation MSTA (Member of the Society of Technical Analysts), regarded as the kite mark in technical analysis. This qualification also allows you to obtain the International Federation of Technical Analysts (IFTA) CFTe certification and entitles you to certain exemptions from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) examinations. Full MSTAs with 3+ year’s industry experience are invited to become full members (MCSI).


We recommend that students spend a minimum of three to six hours per unit in the HSC or per STA Diploma Part 1 or 2 lecture, and take time to read the recommended reading lists for both Part 1 and 2 examinations.

Achieving MSTA status is no guarantee of a job as the individual’s CV and previous work experience are also a factor. However, the STA Diploma qualification is a valuable asset to any individual’s portfolio and an essential tool in risk analysis of the financial markets.

The courses are designed for professional and private investors. Sample job titles include technical analyst, research analyst, commodities analyst, market analyst, FX trader, LPG trader, crude oil operator, dealing officer, sales trader, portfolio manager, fund manager and hedge fund manager.

The STA taught courses are primarily designed for working individuals who live in, or near to London. The STA does not have the resources to help any prospective students find accommodation and or assist with VISA applications.

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