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CFA® Program Candidate Checklist

In addition to studying for the exam, you also need to prepare for exam day – getting to the test center, getting in, what to wear, and so on. Here's a high-level timeline.

Download a clickable version of the checklist

We have modified our exam day procedures in response to COVID-19. Watch a video from our partners at Prometric to learn what the exam day experience may look like for computer-based exams.

Several Months Prior to Exam Day

During the Month Prior to Exam Day

  • Plan your travel route to the test center on exam day. (What will the traffic be like on exam day? Is there road construction or other events which could impact your travel time?)
  • Confirm the name in your CFA Institute account matches the name on your international travel passport.
  • Make sure you know all the testing policies; violating any CFA Program rules, regulations, or policies may lead to suspension or termination of your candidacy.
  • Review the Rules of Procedure (PDF).

During the Week Prior to Exam Day

  • What to wear on exam day? Face coverings (covering the nose and mouth) are required to be worn while in the test centers. Temperatures at test centers can vary. Plan to wear layers of clothing (e.g., a sweater) so you can be comfortable.
  • What belongings can I bring into the test center? Be sure to read the entire Personal Belongings Policy.
  • What are you going to eat on exam day? You may bring your own food and water, but it must be kept either in your small bag or under your chair. Water stations are not available at test centers. Food may not be accessed or consumed during the timed portion of the exam.

Items to Bring on Exam Day

  • Valid international travel passport
  • Items that may be kept in full view on my desk:
  • Approved calculator. 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)
  • Calculator cases and keystroke cards
  • Eyeglasses
  • Additional personal items allowed in the test center (PDF)

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.

No other items are permitted, including:

  • Food or drinks
  • 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, textbooks, or study guides
  • Writing utensils, scratch paper, or calculator manuals
  • Mobile phones, cameras, headsets, computers, tablets, wearable technology (such as 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

On Exam Day