Exam-Related Sanctions

When enrolling in the CFA® Program or registering for any level of the CFA exam, candidates agree to understand, accept, and comply with all conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures for the CFA Program. 

At the testing center, candidates sign a Candidate Pledge, affirming they will follow all rules of the CFA Program and acknowledging that a violation of any rules will result in CFA Institute voiding exam results and may lead to suspension or termination of candidacy in the CFA Program.

Candidates are advised of the conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures through several communications, including the CFA Institute website, exam ticket, verbal statement read prior to the commencement of the exam, and the back of the exam booklet.

The exam-related conduct outlined below includes any activity or conduct related to participation in the CFA Program, including conduct before, during, and after the administration of the CFA exam, and any conduct that compromises or attempts to compromise the reputation, integrity, validity, or security of the CFA exam.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, the following sanctions were imposed, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members.

Writing/Erasing Past Time Called

Exam Rule

Candidates must not continue to write or erase after time is called.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
Private Reprimand 1034
1 Year Cannot Participate in CFA Program 37

Use of Scratch Paper

Exam Rule

Candidates may not use scratch paper during the exam. Scratch paper includes writing paper, the exam ticket, calculator keystroke card, desk top, or any other surface.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
1 Year Cannot Participate in CFA Program 42
2 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 23
3 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 9
4 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 2
5 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 4
Private Reprimand 49

Unauthorized Calculator

Exam Rule

Only two calculator models are approved for use on the CFA exams:

  1. Hewlett Packard 12C
  2. Texas Instruments BA II Plus

Sanction Number of Sanctions
1 Year Cannot Participate in CFA Program 2
Private Reprimand 267

Opening Question Booklet before Start of Exam

Exam Rule

Candidates must not open the exam or begin working on the exam before instructed to do so by the testing personnel.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
1 Year Cannot Participate in CFA Program 2
Private Reprimand 172

Possession of Study Materials

Exam Rule

Study materials, including notes, papers, textbooks, present/future value tables, and/or study guides are not permitted in the testing room. Personal items, including study materials, that are not allowed in the testing room must be placed the area designated for personal belongings. Candidates must print their exam admission ticket on clean, unused paper.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
1 Year Cannot Participate in CFA Program 3
3 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 1
5 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 2
Private Reprimand 1
2 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 7
Permanent 1

Leaving Exam Center/Building

Exam Rule

Candidates who exit the designated, secure, proctored test area during the administration of the exam may not re-enter the testing room.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
3 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 1
Private Reprimand 10

Possession and Use of Electronic Devices

Exam Rule

Mobile phones, MP3 players, cameras, pagers, headsets, computers, electronic organizers, personal data or digital assistants, or other remote communication or photographic devices are not permitted in the testing room.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
1 Year Cannot Participate in CFA Program 2
2 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 3
3 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 1
5 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 2
Private Reprimand 32

Talking during Exam

Exam Rule

Candidates may not speak to anyone other than a proctor during the administration of the exam.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
2 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 1
Private Reprimand 3

Assistance during Exam

Exam Rule

Each candidate attests through the candidate pledge signed prior to the exam that they will neither give nor receive assistance while taking the exam. Looking or glancing at another candidate’s exam or giving the appearance of doing so violates the exam rules and regulations.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
1 Year Cannot Participate in CFA Program 19
2 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 115
3 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 4
5 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 309
Permanent 1145

Failure to Cooperate

Exam Rule

Candidates are required to produce documents, testify, and otherwise cooperate in disciplinary proceedings of CFA Institute.

No instances led to a sanction.

Disclosure of Exam Content

Exam Rule

Candidates must not share information about exam content with anyone, including other candidates.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
5 Years Cannot Participate in CFA Program 1
Permanent 1
Private Reprimand 1

Misrepresentation

Exam Rule

Disciplinary sanctions may be imposed for falsification of information on CFA Program enrollment applications, presenting a falsified identification for admission to the exam, presenting a modified exam ticket for admission to the exam, and/or any other misrepresentation related to participation in the CFA Program.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
1 Year Cannot Participate in CFA Program 1
Private Reprimand 2

Failure to Follow Instructions/Inappropriate Behavior

Exam Rule

Candidates must follow the directions of testing personnel and treat testing personnel and fellow candidates with respect and in a professional manner. Candidates must not create a disturbance during the administration of the exam.

Sanction Number of Sanctions
Private Reprimand 2

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