Updated 2024 What-to-Bring CFA® Exam Day Checklist

Review / CFA Exam Checklist

The CFA exam checklist for 2024 computer-based exams includes a valid passport but no admission ticket! You are allowed just a few items on your desk while in a testing room. All other items are prohibited from the testing room.

Here's what to bring on your CFA exam day:

What-to-Bring CFA Exam Checklist

What to Bring to CFA Exam? Level 1, 2, 3

Here's the list of items you MUST BRING to your 2024 CFA exam:

  • valid international travel passport – for your identity verification,
  • your own approved calculator – 'cos there’s no sharing!
  • no admission ticket for CBT CFA exams.

You may also bring:

  • calculator case/cover and keystroke card (no manual!),
  • loose calculator batteries,
  • water in a clear or transparent container with a lid or cap,
  • eyeglasses (without the case),
  • face mask,
  • pre-approved medication or personal items such as earplugs or tissues
    (see the list).

And that's it!

If not used, all the items you take with you into your testing room – including your passport and calculator – must be kept on your desk, in full view.

All other personal belongings that you bring with you on your test day such as your jewelry, wristwatch, mobile phone, wallet, bag, etc. must be kept in a locker outside the testing room. As a rule, you'll be allowed to access your personal belongings only while on a scheduled break.

Try to bring only the most necessary things and leave all dispensable belongings in your car or at home.

If the test center staff finds out you have any prohibited items with you in the testing room, you'll be required to place them away in your locker and you'll have no access to them while being tested. It is your responsibility to have only permitted items with you and to obey the CFA exam rules.

To your testing room, you mustn’t bring any:

  • writing tools or scratch paper,
  • books/notes,
  • food or drinks (other than water in a transparent bottle),
  • mobile phones or other devices,
  • money/wallet/purse,
  • baggage/bag,
  • watches, clocks or timers,
  • jewelry, hats, ornaments, etc.

All these rules and measures are aimed at reducing cheating and are intended to provide all test-takers with equal chances and safe testing conditions. All test centers are equipped with monitoring systems. If it's found that you were in possession of some prohibited or unauthorized items while taking your exam (cf. your calculator) or that you gained some unfair advantage, you can be refused your CFA exam result.

"Must-Do" CFA Exam Checklist

There are also a few things you need to do before your 2024 CFA exam:

  • Plan your best travel route to your test center. Allow for a delay, e.g. due to a traffic jam. But first – check your exam date, time, and location to avoid any mistakes!
  • Arrive approx. 30 minutes before your scheduled exam appointment to allow for the check-in. If you arrive late, you may be refused admission and you will forfeit your exam fees (they are non-refundable and non-transferable).
  • Bring as few things as possible and wear comfy clothes. There'll be a visual inspection of your person and the personal items you bring into the testing room.
  • Learn about other candidates' CFA exam experience to know better what to expect in your exam and to avoid the mistakes that others made.

"What-to-Bring-to-CFA-Exam" Checklist
Explained in Detail


To take your CFA exam, you must have a valid international travel passport. If your passport has expired, you must have it updated in time for your exam.

It’s important that the information given in your CFA Institute account exactly matches the data given on your passport. In particular, if the name stated in your passport is not exactly the same as given in your CFA Institute account, you won’t be allowed to take your exam and you will forfeit your fees.

The ID permitted in your CFA exam:

  • is an original government-issued valid international travel passport,
  • contains your name, date of birth, passport number, expiration date, and the name of the country/region that issued the passport,
  • is machine readable (testing personnel may use a passport reader to decipher the machine-readable strip on the data page),
  • includes a recognizable photograph.


You can choose one of the 2 calculator models allowed, which are:

  • Texas Instruments BA II Plus (including TIBA II Plus Professional)
  • Hewlett Packard 12C (including the HP 12C Platinum, 12C Platinum 25th anniversary edition, 12C 30th anniversary edition, and HP 12C Prestige)

You must have your own calculator – there’s no sharing! If not used, it must be kept in full view on your desk.

If you take loose batteries, the calculator case, or the keystroke card, you must also keep them on your desk. However, consider replacing the calculator batteries a couple of days before your exam (then use your calculator to make sure it works!). You want to optimize and not lose your time on bad batteries.

Both your calculator and calculator items will be inspected before the exam. It is your responsibility to have an approved calculator. If you use an unauthorized calculator during your CFA exam, your exam results may be nullified.


You may bring a bottle of water into a testing room if you take your CFA exam in 2024. The bottle (container) must be transparent and it needs to have a lid or cap to keep the bottle close when not used. The bottle will be inspected before you are admitted to the testing room.

Non-transparent bottles or transparent bottles with non-transparent labels are not ok. You won't be able to take such a water bottle with you to the testing room. Instead, you will be asked to leave it in your locker and you'll be able to use it only during the scheduled break.

May 2023 CFA exam was the first CBT-format CFA exam when candidates were allowed to bring a bottle of water to the exam.


If you need your eyeglasses, they will undergo visual inspection during the check-in process. The same may be true for your medication or other items such as earplugs or tissues that you may want to use during your exam.

The list of pre-approved personal items that you can have on you during the CFA exam has been given by Prometric. Note that if your medication or some other items are not on the pre-approved list, you should ask for prior approval if you need them with you in the testing room.


The requirement to wear a mask during your CFA exam is no longer in place. However, it may vary locally, so best check the current COVID-19 regulations in your testing area.

Also, if for some reason you feel that you want to wear your mask, you can. You'll be surely asked to take it off for identification purposes during the check-in process before you are admitted to the testing room but you are allowed to have and use a mask if you want.

"Don't-Bring" Checklist Clarified


For computer-based CFA exams, there’s no admission ticket. However, to be on the safe side, you may want to get your confirmation number ready. You'll find it in the e-mail sent to you to confirm that your CFA exam has been scheduled. In the past, CFA candidates were sometimes asked to give their confirmation number when they arrived at the test center. This may vary locally, though.


In the past, CFA candidates needed to remember to bring their No. 2 or HB pencils to the exam. Now, for the computer-based CFA exam, no writing tools nor your own scratch paper are allowed in the testing room. Instead, you will be provided with scratch paper or an erasable writing tablet or whiteboard for use during your exam.


Neither food nor drinks other than water in a transparent bottle are allowed in the testing room. You may bring your packed lunch (preferably something light, a quick bite) to be eaten during the break between the sessions (if you choose to take one). The whole exam day lasts more than 4 hours, so you may get hungry.

You will be allowed to access your food or drink only when on a scheduled break. Other than that they will have to be kept in your locker.

Please note there'll most likely be no designated food-and-drink stations.

UPDATED: May 8, 2023; Aug 21, 2023; 4 Dec 2023

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