Online Proctored Testing (OPT)
The same pandemic-related factors that compelled CFA Institute to accelerate our transition to computer-based testing (CBT) continues to persist in different markets locally. The shift to CBT allowed us to add testing windows throughout the year, in smaller test centers that can accommodate social distancing. But we have found it necessary to continue to look for ways to deliver the CFA® Program exams under the safest, most secure conditions for our candidates while preserving the security and rigor of the exams.
We have been exploring the idea of online proctored testing for over a year and considering the conditions under which it might be deployed. The increase in COVID-19 cases in many parts of the world, more stringent lockdowns, and a significant pipeline of deferred candidates now meet those conditions.
As a result, we have decided to offer limited-capacity online proctored testing (OPT) exams, in certain markets and under very specific conditions, as an option for candidates whose February exams cannot proceed because of COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is OPT?
Online Proctored Testing provides candidates with the opportunity to take the CFA Level I Exam from their home. Live remote proctors monitor the exam by camera.
Can I take this exam any time?
No. Like the other CFA exams, OPT is offered during a set exam window. The first exam will take place 13 – 15 April.
Who will have this exam option?
This option will be offered only to February candidates whose exam appointment has been cancelled and cannot be scheduled for their exam at a test center. Candidates must be in an area where the online proctored testing option is available and meet appropriate environment and systems requirements.
Will you offer this option to all levels?
At this time, online proctored testing is available only to Level I candidates who are eligible due to an exam cancellation. We will let you know if OPT is available as an option for you.
Will you be expanding this offering to other exam cycles?
We may offer OPT in future exam cycles. We will announce these dates when more information becomes available.
How do I register for this exam?
CFA Institute is offering this option on a limited basis at this time. If it is available to you, we will let you know by email. Like any other CFA exam, you would register for this exam cycle on the CFA Institute website. After registration, you will be directed to take the next step of scheduling your exam date and time with Prometric.
Will I get my results right away?
No, scoring for this exam is subject to the same rules and procedures as other CFA exams. You will be informed by email when your result becomes available.
What is the exam experience like?
To get an idea of how exam day will go, watch this video from Prometric.
Could Online Proctored Testing (OPT) be an option for me?
The idea of what some call “pajama testing” can be very appealing. The reality though, is that the requirements are strict and can be difficult to comply with. Please read the requirements thoroughly before deciding on this option.
To take this exam at home, several criteria must be met. Please make sure you understand these requirements and can meet them before you schedule your OPT exam. Several links describing the exam process are listed below for your reference.
To be eligible for OPT, you must:
Have the proper environment. You will be required to sit in a well-lit room with enclosed walls with your computer on a table or desk. You will have to test alone for the entire exam; no people or pets can be present during testing. You will be required to show that you are not in possession of any prohibited items.
- You must be able to complete a 360-degree view of your workstation and surrounding environment before the exam beings. You can use an external, movable USB cable camera or an embedded computer camera.
- Candidates who use an embedded computer camera will also require a large, free-standing mirror able to reflect unseen areas, such as the laptop face, the keyboard, and underneath the base of the laptop.
Verify that you have the proper equipment and internet capability:
- Have a secure, non-wifi internet connection or well-established, reliable wifi connection
- Have a computer onto which the ProProctor application can be downloaded
- Be plugged into a power source
- Have the following system requirements:
- Screen resolution: 1024 x 768
- Operating System: Windows 8 or above / MacOS
- Web browser: Latest Google Chrome
- WebCam resolution: 640 x 480p
- Microphone enabled
- Download speed: 0.5 mbps
- If you lose internet connectivity once the exam has begun, you will have to reschedule your exam to a future testing window. You will not be allowed to reschedule within the same OPT window.
To ensure your system meets their requirements, Prometric will require you to run a system readiness check before you can install and run the OPT application. It’s important to complete this check on the same network and computer you will use on exam day, in the same location. To complete the system check, click here.