To protect the integrity of the CFA Program and ensure the exam process is fair for all candidates, we enforce the following policies and procedures. Failure to comply may result in suspension or termination from the CFA Program.
It is your responsibility to read and understand all testing policies set forth by the CFA Program. Testing personnel will report to CFA Institute any violations of testing rules or policies that occur during the exam. Learn more about misconduct and rules violations.
Admission Ticket Policy
Before viewing your ticket, you will be prompted to read and agree to abide by the conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures for the CFA exam. It is your responsibility to print one copy of your admission ticket on clean, unused paper and bring it with you to the test center on exam day. You will not be admitted into the testing room without an admission ticket.
You must not write on the front or back of your admission ticket at any time before, during, or after the exam. Your ticket must display the correct exam date and test center according to our records. Your ticket will only allow you admittance to the test center listed.
The information on your admission ticket must match the information as it appears on your valid international travel passport. Submit an Identification Information Change Request (PDF) if necessary. If the information does not match, you will not be permitted to sit for the exam and will forfeit your registration fee. Review the existing identification policy for more information.
Find out more about your admission ticket (candidate login required).
Calculator Policy Calculator Policy
Only two calculator models are authorized for use during CFA Program exams:
- Texas Instruments BA II Plus (including BA II Plus Professional)
- Hewlett Packard 12C (including the HP 12C Platinum, 12C Platinum 25th anniversary edition, 12C 30th anniversary edition, and HP 12C Prestige)
Both authorized models are widely available through retail stores or online. Buy an approved calculator early so you can practice using it as you study.
Bring the approved calculator with you on exam day; calculators will not be available at the test center. You may not borrow from or share a calculator with another candidate during the timed portion of the exam.
Find a Texas Instruments calculator distributor or purchase online.
Find a Hewlett Packard calculator distributor or purchase online.
Please note that CFA Institute does not profit from the sales of these calculators. CFA Institute does not endorse, warrant, or guarantee the calculators or any other products or services provided by these distributors.
CFA Institute strictly enforces all policies with regard to calculator usage during the exams and candidates are required to abide by the policies of CFA Institute.
Your calculator will be inspected prior to the start of the exam. Your calculator must remain on your desk in full view and proctors will continue to inspect calculators throughout the administration of the exam. Possession or use of an unauthorized calculator at the test center will result in the voiding of your exam results and may lead to the suspension or termination of your candidacy in the CFA Program. Failure by the proctors to detect an unauthorized calculator prior to the start of the exam, or your use of an unauthorized calculator at any time during the exam, does not imply that the calculator is an approved model or that your results will ultimately be reported.
Calculator covers, keystroke cards, and loose batteries are permitted in the testing room; instruction manuals are not. You may keep a small screwdriver with you if necessary to replace batteries in the BA II Plus.
Candidate Pledge Policy
Candidate Pledge Policy
At the testing center, you will be required to sign a pledge affirming that you have not given or received assistance during the exam.
Sample Candidate Pledge (may vary on exam day)
As a candidate in the CFA Program, I am obligated to follow Standard VII(A) of the CFA Institute Standards of Professional Conduct, which states that members and candidates must not engage in any conduct that compromises the reputation or integrity of CFA Institute or the CFA designation or the integrity, validity, or security of the CFA exam.
- Prior to this exam, I have not given or received information regarding the content of this exam. During this exam, I will not give or receive any information regarding the content of this exam.
- After this exam, I will not disclose any portion of this exam and I will not remove any exam materials from the testing room in original or copied form. I understand that all exam materials, including my answers, are the property of CFA Institute and will not be returned to me in any form.
- I will follow all rules of the CFA Program as stated on the CFA Institute website and the back cover of the exam book. My violation of any rules of the CFA Program will result in CFA Institute voiding my exam results and may lead to suspension or termination of my candidacy in the CFA Program.
Exam Materials Policy
Exam Materials Policy
You must attend both sessions or you will not receive exam results. If you do not sit for the morning session, you will not be permitted to sit for the afternoon session.
Completed exams become the property of CFA Institute and will not be
returned in either original or copied form. You must not remove any
materials from the testing room. Legal action will be taken
against any candidate who removes an exam book (either in part or in
whole) from the testing room and/or reproduces it.
You must not open the exam or begin work before instructed to do so
by the testing personnel. At the end of the exam, you must immediately
put pens and pencils down when instructed to do so.
You must remain seated until all
exam materials are collected and reconciled. Because of enhanced exam
security, this process may require you to remain seated for additional
time after the 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. end times.
(Effective 1 January 2011)
CFA Institute requires an international travel passport* from every candidate. This policy sets forth one global standard, in the form of a single document that is both internationally obtainable and recognizable, that allows us to confirm the identity of our candidates, and to ensure that all candidates receive identical treatment during the exam day admissions process.
This policy applies to all new and returning candidates, and is strictly enforced.
It is your responsibility to read and understand the instructions and requirements below.
- You must enter and verify your valid international travel passport* information to enroll in and register for the CFA Program.
- If your passport information changes (e.g., name, expiration date, passport number, country of issuance), update your CFA Institute account by submitting an Identification Information Change Request Form (PDF). Once submitted, processing may take up to two weeks.
- You must present your international travel passport* on exam day, and the name†, date of birth, passport number, expiration date, and country of issuance on your passport must match exactly the information you provided to CFA Institute.
- On exam day, if you do not present a valid international travel passport or the information in our records does not match the information on your passport, you will not be permitted to take the exam and you will forfeit your registration fee. Failure by proctors to detect an invalid passport does not imply the passport is valid or that your results will ultimately be reported.
Is Your International Travel Passport Valid?
In order for your passport to be considered valid it must:
- Be a current (not expired) international travel passport*.
- Include a recognizable photograph of you on the passport data page.
- Contain your name†, date of birth, passport number, expiration date, and country of issuance. How to locate this information on your passport (PDF).
- Exactly match the information you provided to CFA Institute.
- Be an original document. Photocopies will not be accepted.
*An international travel passport is a document issued by a national government which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. It is the only acceptable form of identification for the CFA Program. Passport cards, national identification cards, limited travel documents, and internal passports are not valid forms of identification for the CFA Program. Read more detailed information.
Examples of acceptable name variations are provided below.
|Name on Passport
||Name on Admission Ticket|
|Doe Maria Jane
||Maria Jane Doe|
|Maria Jane Doe
||Jane Maria Doe|
|MARIA JANE DOE
||Maria Jane Doe|
|Maria Jane Doé
||Maria Jane Doe|
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our identification policy.
Personal Belongings Policy CFA Exam Personal Belongings Policy
You are strongly encouraged to leave your personal belongings at home or in your car. As a courtesy, your test center will have an area designated for personal belongings. If you must bring personal belongings to the test center, please ensure they are clearly identifiable as many items look the same, particularly mobile phones.
If proctors or security personnel find items that are not permitted, you will be required to place them in the personal belongings area. You will not have access to these items during the exam, only during the lunch break and at the conclusion of the exam.
Please note that it is not the responsibility of the test center, proctors, or security personnel to ensure the safety of the materials in the personal belongings area. Neither CFA Institute nor the test center, testing personnel, or vendors will assume responsibility or liability for stolen, lost, or damaged personal property left in this area.
You must follow these guidelines at your test center. With your cooperation, candidates will be checked in promptly and seated on time.
The following items must be kept on your desk:
- Exam admission ticket
- Valid international travel passport
- Approved calculators
- Approved writing instruments (pencils for Levels I and II, pens and pencils for Level III)
The following items may be kept on your desk, if needed:
- Pencil sharpeners (no knives)
- Erasers, with no paper holder or cover
- Loose calculator batteries (no packaging) and screwdriver for battery replacement
- Calculator cases and keystroke cards
- Eyeglasses, but not the eyeglasses case
- Wristwatches (analog and digital); however, audible alarms and/or timers must be turned off
The following items are permitted in the testing room but must remain in your pockets or under your chair when not in use:
- Wallet (money purse)
- Medicine, tissues, and other necessary medical or personal items
- Gum, hard candy, cough drops
- Eyeglasses case
The following items are not permitted:
- Food or drinks
- Baggage of any kind, including transparent bags, backpacks, handbags, tote bags, briefcases, luggage, carrying cases, passport covers, or pencil cases
- Study materials, including notes, papers, textbooks, or study guides
- Scratch paper, present/future value tables, or calculator manuals
- Highlighters, correction fluid, correction tape, or rulers
- Knives of any type, including box cutters and knives used as pencil sharpeners
- Mobile phones, MP3 players, cameras, pagers, headsets, computers, electronic organizers, personal data assistants, or any other remote communication or photographic devices
- Any type of desk clock or timer
Recording Exam Answers Policy
Completing Your Answer Sheet
Level I (multiple choice), Level II (item set), and the PM session of Level III (item set)
It is your responsibility to complete the answer sheet correctly to ensure all information is accurately recorded during grading and your results are correctly reported back to you. See more instructions for completing an answer sheet (PDF).
You must bring your own sharpened No. 2 or HB pencil on exam day. Testing personnel will not provide writing instruments or pencil sharpeners to candidates.
Failure to follow instructions may affect how the scanning machine reads and records your information. Your score is determined solely by the marks read by the scanning equipment. Marks made by a writing instrument other than a No. 2 or an HB pencil may not be read by the scanning equipment. Marks that do not fill an oval completely may not be read by the scanning equipment. Random marks and poor erasures may be read as your intended answer.
Answers written in the exam book will not be graded.
Completing Your Essay Book
Essay Answers for Level III AM Session
It is your responsibility to complete the essay book correctly to ensure all information is accurately recorded during grading and your results are correctly reported back to you. When completing your essay book:
- Use blue or black ink. You must bring your own pen on exam day. Testing personnel will not provide writing instruments to candidates.
- Write your CFA Institute ID and seat number on the front cover of your exam book.
- Sign the candidate pledge inside the front cover. Do not remove the candidate pledge card.
- Essay answers must be written in English.
- Each essay question consists of one or more parts (A, B, C, etc.). Some parts direct you to write your answer in a template. Instructions in bold print immediately following the question direct you to the page number of each template. Answer all other questions on the lined page(s) following the question. For these questions, label each part of your answer clearly (A, B, C, or i, ii, iii, etc.).
- Answers on question pages will not be graded. You may make marks and notes on the question pages.
Scratch Paper Policy
Scratch Paper Policy
You are permitted to do scratch work in the exam book on question pages or blank pages. You are not permitted to remove any pages from the book, including blank pages. Do not use your admission ticket as scratch paper. It is a CFA Institute testing policy violation to write on the front or back of your ticket at any time.
CFA Institute may change its conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures governing the CFA Program and CFA Institute membership from time to time. Candidates and members are required to adhere to the revised conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures, which will be published in various CFA Institute publications, including the CFA Institute Bylaws, and on this website.
If you have witnessed or know of a violation of the CFA Program exam policies by a candidate, we encourage you to report violations here.