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CFA Exam Personal Belongings Policy

You must read the COVID testing policy procedures.

You are strongly encouraged to leave your personal belongings at home or in your car when you arrive for your exam. As a courtesy, your test center will have an area away from the testing room designated for personal belongings. If testing personnel find items in the testing room 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.

The following items are permitted in the testing room but must be kept in full view on your desk when not in use:

  • Approved calculator
  • Calculator cases, keystroke cards, and loose batteries
  • Eyeglasses (without the case)
  • Additional personal items allowed in the test center (PDF)
  • Valid international passport
  • Water (in a clear or transparent container with a lid or cap)*

No other items are permitted, including:

  • Food or non-water beverages*
  • Wallet (money purse)
  • Baggage of any kind, including transparent bags, backpacks, handbags, tote bags, briefcases, luggage, carrying cases, passport covers, or eyeglass cases
  • Study materials, including notes, papers (unauthorized), textbooks, or study guides
  • Writing utensils and scratch paper, other than what is provided to you by the test center, or calculator manuals
  • Mobile phones, cameras, headsets, computers, tablets, wearable technology (such as fitbit® or other fitness tracking devices), smart watches, or any Bluetooth®-enabled or any remote communication or photographic devices
  • Any type of desk clock or timer, including wristwatches
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Jewelry (other than wedding or engagement rings), ornate hair clips, headbands, combs, barrettes, tie clips, or cufflinks

*At most test centers, candidates may bring water into the testing room during their exam. No other beverages are permitted. Water must be in a clear or transparent container with a lid or cap. All labels must be removed, and the container will be inspected for notes or other test aids. You will need to remove the lid/cap for visual inspection by the test center staff. Should the container not meet the requirements or if water is not permitted in the testing room due to facility regulations, you will be able to keep it in your locker or the designated personal belongings area and access it on break. 

You will be provided with a whiteboard or erasable writing tablet for use during the exam. Additionally, some personal items may require inspection as part of the check in process.

Certain medically necessary items may be allowed in the testing room with prior approval.

CFA Institute, testing personnel, the test center, and vendors are not responsible or liable for stolen, lost, misplaced, or damaged personal belongings.

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