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CFA Exam Updates

Expanding Exam Options

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its global assault, government restrictions have increased and introduced new challenges to our efforts to acquire capacity for interested candidates in 2021, particularly in the February Level I window. While we are planning to administer the exam where possible, to help alleviate your concerns, we have created more scheduling options for you.

Additional information about new exam options for each level can be found below. Map your journey through upcoming exam cycles with our pathing infographic PDF.

Level I Candidates

  • If you registered for the February exam and HAVE scheduled an exam appointment, you will be eligible to defer to another computer-based exam window in 2021 at no additional charge. Additional details about deferring your exam will be provided by email on 2 February.
  • If you registered for the February exam and did NOT schedule an exam appointment, you will now be eligible to defer to another computer-based exam window in 2021 at no additional charge. Additional details about deferring your exam will be provided by email on 2 February.
  • Additionally, CFA Institute is exploring the possibility of offering an Online Proctored Testing (OPT) exam for candidates whose February exams are cancelled due to COVID. Additional details about Online Proctored Testing options will be provided by email on 2 February.

Level II and Level III Candidates

For December Level II and Level III candidates whose locations have been closed, you may register for any applicable 2021 exam. If you would like to sit in May (LII and LIII), August (LII) or November (LIII), you may register now.

In addition to the current available windows, we will be adding more testing windows in 2021 for LII and LIII candidates.  New windows will be scheduled for August (LIII) and November (LII).

More information will be shared soon regarding registration for new windows.  

  • Registration and scheduling for the 2021 computer-based CFA exams is a two-step process. You must first log in to your account and select your new exam window, then schedule your exam appointment. Current available dates, times, and test center options will be presented to you during the scheduling process, but note that more appointments will be added.  
  • If your exam has been twice postponed by COVID-19 closure, you may qualify for a refund. Please refer to the “Refunds” section below.

We are working diligently to respond to the challenges of the pandemic and meet the needs of our candidates by creating new, more frequent opportunities to sit for the CFA exam across 2021. We will continue to be responsive as the environment continues to change.  

Thank you for your patience as we work through these complex processes. We will continue to provide more detail on this CFA Exam Updates page, so check back often! 


If you were deferred from June 2020 and again from December 2020 and have not yet registered for a 2021 exam, you may request a refund of the fees you paid when you registered for the June 2020 exam.  The option to request a refund will be available for two weeks, beginning at 9:00am ET on 7 December to 11:59pm ET on 21 December 2020. Please note: If you request a refund and then decide to register for a future exam, you may register and pay the registration fee for any open exam after 23 December.

You must complete and submit the refund request form before 11:59pm ET on 21 December 2020 for your refund to be processed.  Once we receive your request, we will send additional instructions to the email address you provide. Click here to complete your refund request form.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if my exam will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

CFA Institute is actively monitoring factors globally and is in constant contact with our CBT vendors at Prometric and British Council. 

We will inform candidates who are impacted via email as soon as possible following any closure decision.

How can I be sure that my chosen 2021 exam won’t be filled?

We understand your concern that 2021 exams may reach capacity. Unlike the paper-based exams, which required us to serve all candidates in one day, the computer-based exams provide more exam day options, along with smaller, more convenient settings. This allows us to respond more easily in areas with greater demand.

We are negotiating with our partners at Prometric and British Council to ensure we are able to accommodate all displaced candidates by opening additional exam windows and adding test center capacity.

After registering, if you do not see available appointments in your desired exam location, please continue to check back through the scheduling function for availability to be added in the coming days.

Why can’t you test ALL levels in CBT in February?

The coronavirus forced us to accelerate by several years our plans to transition both LII and LIII to CBT. With all the constraints that we and our CBT vendors were facing, it was not feasible for the first LII or LIII CBT offering to be any earlier than May in order to meet our rigorous requirements. Level I was planned to begin in February, as announced in early 2020.

Can I expect special protocols for upcoming exams?

Yes, you can expect to see social distancing measures in place at the test centers. Candidates and testing personnel will be required to wear face coverings that cover from nose to chin throughout the duration of the exam. At most centers, candidates will be seated six feet apart, and we will allow personal cleaning and sanitary supplies. You can refer to our candidate checklist for more information.

Do I need a current passport?

Please check and make certain that your passport will be current at the time of your scheduled exam. You will not be allowed to sit for the exam if your passport is expired.

Stay Informed

We will communicate with everyone through a variety of channels including email, social media, our website, and candidate resources portal. We encourage you to verify your email address on record by logging in to your CFA Institute account and to follow our CFA Program social channels on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WeChat and Weibo. We will also communicate directly with all Approved Prep Providers and local CFA Societies around the globe as details are available.