CFA Exam Coices
07 May 2020

CFA® Institute Covid-19 Postponement Follow-Up – Exam Choices

CFA® Program candidates at all levels have in the last few days received an update from CFA Institute regarding their exam postponement and the choices of date that they have.

Essentially, CFA candidates enrolled originally for the June 2020 exam may choose one of two dates: for Level I this is December 2020 (the last paper-based exam) or February 2021 (the first computer-based exam). For Levels II and III the choice is between December 2020 and June 2021.

Importantly, the CFA Program curriculum is not being updated for the 2021 exams so candidates will not need to update the materials from which they are studying.

Candidates have not been offered refunds, even if they booked during the “late” window for the June 2020 exam and have been deferred.

For the most part, CFA candidates who are successful in exams can catch up with their original timeline through the levels: December candidates who pass their exam will get results in time to register for the Level II or III June 2021 exam.

Using a rule of thumb that an exam must be at least six months after the previous one, the detailed choices for candidates who had booked for June 2020 are as follows:

CFA Level I candidate choices: December 2020 or February 2021

If the exam date chosen is:
•  December 2020 and the candidate passes, they may enrol for the June 2021 Level II exam
•  December 2020 and the candidate is unsuccessful, the first Level I resit date is August 2021
•  February 2021 and the candidate passes, they are too late for the June 2021 exam and may enrol for the June 2022 Level II exam
•  February 2021 and the candidate is unsuccessful, the first Level I resit date is August 2021.

CFA Level II candidate choices: December 2020 or June 2021

If the exam date chosen is:
•  December 2020 and the candidate passes, they may enrol for the June 2021 Level III exam
•  December 2020 and the candidate is unsuccessful, they may resit Level II in June 2021
•  June 2021 and the candidate passes, they may enrol for the June 2022 Level III exam
•  June 2021 and the candidate is unsuccessful, they may resit Level II in June 2022.

CFA Level III candidate choices: December 2020 or June 2021

If the exam date chosen is:
•  December 2020 and the candidate passes, then congrats!
•  December 2020 and the candidate is unsuccessful, they may resit Level III in June 2021
•  June 2021 and the candidate passes, then congrats!
•  June 2021 and the candidate is unsuccessful, they may resit Level III in June 2022.

Exam registration

Although CFA Level I remains open for December 2020 registrations, you can no longer register for Levels II and III in December – instead Levels II and III will open in July for the June 2021 exams.

The prices for 2021 are being held at the 2020 level, which are as follows:
• CFA Program enrolment fee (one-off for first time Level I candidates): US$450.00
•  Early Registration: US$700.00
•  Standard Registration: US$1,000.00
• Late Registration (Levels II and III only): US$1,450.00

The CFA Program registration dates and deadlines are as follows:

Exam Early Standard Late
Dec 2020 Level I (Date has passed) Ends 19 Aug 2020 Ends 9 Sept 2020
Dec 2020 Levels II/III N/A N/A N/A
Feb 2021 Level I 16 June to 13 Aug 2020 Ends 3 Nov 2020 N/A
June 2021 Level II 29 July to 23 Sept 2020 Ends 17 Feb 2021 Ends 17 March 2021
June 2021 Level III 29 July to 23 Sept 2020 Ends 17 Feb 2021 Ends 17 March 2021

Note that the computer-based exams for Level I will be across a window of dates, up to seven days in length. The February 2021 window is from 23 February until 1 March. Candidates will have a choice of date and will be able to reschedule up until 25 January 2021.

The “late” registration period will no longer apply at Level I from 2021, once exams are running on a quarterly basis. To be fair, registering late (typically with less than three and a half months of preparation time) has never been advised with the CFA Program as most CFA candidates would have far too little time to do justice to their chances of success. It seems a safe bet that each quarterly exam will close registration around three and half months before the window – for instance early November for the late February exam.

This is a lot of information to take in. Many candidates are asking about Levels II and III moving to computer-based or increasing frequency. CFA Institute has not announced any changes to these two exams – of course we will keep candidates informed of updates as soon as we can, especially in this rapidly changing world.

Note for Quartic candidates

Quartic is running regular workshops at all three levels (and for all time zones) from now onwards, with the full timetable for December classes beginning in a few months. For the time being all classes are purely online.

Levels II and III candidates looking to enrol in the June 2021 CFA exams can already receive full support from us. We will guide every step of your learning, including over the next few months before you gain access to your CFA curriculum and online facilities from CFA Institute.

Life may have turned upside-down for many of us. But please try to maintain progress on your CFA studying – you will look back in the future and be glad that you did.

For any queries, please get in touch.