LAST UPDATED: Oct 22, 2020

2020/2021 CFA® Exam Calendar


CFA exam / New Key Dates



  • 7 December 2020:
  • That's when the Feb 2021 level 1 exam registration closes. Until 14 December, you can self-schedule your exam. Read more here.

Here you’ll find some new CFA exam calendar dates, especially those which emerged owing to the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic situation. The basic registration and administration dates of 2021 CFA exams, all levels, are also given below in a table.

However, if you’re looking for more detailed info, here:

CFA Exam Calendar Under Scrutiny

  1. August 2020
  2. September 2020
  3. October 2020
  4. December 2020

CFA Institute has decided that in 2021 all levels of the CFA exam will be held on computers. It means that the Dec 2020 exam will be the last paper-based exam for all levels! The December exam is available to all level 1 candidates, including first-time takers, as well as to postponed June 2020 candidates of all levels. The registration was closed on 19 August.


Dec 2020: Last Paper-Based Exam, All Levels

On 19 August, the registration for Dec 2020 CFA exam closed for good! There will be no other registration deadline, which is a result of the recent changes introduced by CFA Institute.

June 2020 candidate?

The deadline also applied to you. Even if you had previously chosen the Feb 2021 level 1 exam or June 2021 level 2 or level 3 exam, you were given a chance to change to the Dec exam until 19 August.

2021 CFA Exams Registration Is Now Open

On 20 August, the registration for 2021 computer-based exams opened. It includes all levels and dates, except for the Feb 2021 level 1 exam because here the registration opened already in mid-June.


Level CFA exam Registration opens Registration closes Exam window
Level 1 February 2021 17 June 2020 7 Dec 2020 16 Feb - 1 March
May 2021 20 Aug 2020 23 Feb 2021 18 - 24 May
August 2021 20 Aug 2020 4 May 2021 24 - 30 Aug
November 2021 20 Aug 2020 10 Aug 2021 16 - 22 Nov
Level 2 May 2021 20 Aug 2020 23 Feb 2021 25 May - 1 June
August 2021 20 Aug 2020 4 May 2021 31 Aug - 4 Sept
Level 3 May 2021 20 Aug 2020 23 Feb 2021 25 May - 1 June
November 2021 20 Aug 2020 10 Aug 2021 23 - 25 Nov

Once again. From 2021, all CFA exams (all levels) will be delivered in proctored computer labs only!

The early registration deadline fee is USD 700 and the standard registration is USD 1000. The latter is currently available for the Feb exam because the early bird registration deadline passed on 13 August.

June 2020 candidate?

You need to decide until 20 October (free of charge) which computer-based exam you’d like to take if you’re not taking the Dec 2020 exam.


2021 Scholarships for Women
& Students

As of 1 September, you can apply for Women's and Student Scholarships for your 2021 CFA exam. The application window is now open so you'd better log into your CFA Institute account to find out more. Know this if you hesitate: CFA Program Women's Scholarships have been awarded so far on a first-come, first-served basis. And if you're a student – ask your alma mater whether you can apply (only students from affiliated universities and colleges are accepted).

If you are awarded the scholarship, you will have your CFA exam registration fee reduced to $350. So, it's worth the effort... Learn more here

Dec 2020 Test Center Change Request Deadline!

As soon as 30 September, the deadline for Dec 2020 test center change request passes. That's a huge change! As a rule, for paper-based exams, test center change requests were accepted until four business days before the exam. This year, the deadline is set much earlier.

Owing to the June 2020 exams postponement and with the Dec 2020 exam being the last paper-based exam, CFA Institute is facing seating availability constraints and some venues are said to be already filled. Moreover, the ongoing pandemic can also affect the exam administration in certain locations.

As regards your exam location and test center:

  • 30 September is to enable CFA Institute to count exam takers and see if a given test center meets local government guidelines,
  • it may be in October or later that you will find out whether the Dec exam gets canceled in your area,
  • local regulations will be followed when it comes to exam administration in different geographic regions,
  • there's really no knowing whether your test center will be open or closed for the Dec exam,
  • sadly, no attempts to reduce the number of test takers by making more test centers available have been made.


Free-of-Charge Withdrawal from Dec 2020

Until 20 October, you can withdraw free of charge from the Dec 2020 exam and register for any of the 2021 CFA exams at no additional costs. The deadline passes at 11:59 pm ET and concerns all candidates currently registered for the Dec 2020 exam. So, if you're having second thoughts about taking the Dec exam, re-register asap! Here's what you need to do


Will Dec 2020 CFA Exam Be Postponed?

5 or 6 December 2020 is the date of the nearest CFA exam (last paper-based). There are many concerns about the Dec exam being postponed again. CFA Institute says that if the exam gets canceled in your area, you'll be notified immediately. However, this is not what candidates would like to hear. It is widely expected that the Dec 2020 exams, all levels, will be delivered despite the difficult pandemic situation.


Sat, 5 Dec
(all levels)


Sat, 5 Dec (level 1)
Sun, 6 Dec (levels 2 & 3)

Most recently closed Dec 2020 CFA exam test centers? See here

If Dec 2020 CFA exam gets canceled in your area:

  • you’ll be able to defer your exam (free of charge) to any of 2021 CBT exams, or
  • you’ll be able to ask for a refund if you're a postponed June 2020 candidate.

Dec 2020 CFA Exam Administration

With respect to the exam administration, CFA Institute will follow local restrictions and regulations binding in your geographic area. You should get notified about any special health protocol to apply in your Dec exam due to the pandemic.

4 health-related news for the Dec 2020 exam:

  1. You will be required to wear a face covering that covers both your mouth and your nose at all times, from admittance to your testing center through dismissal. You will be asked to remove your face covering during ID verification. You may also bring gloves, face shields, hand sanitizers, etc.
  2. The rule of social distancing will be in place. You will be seated apart from other candidates and asked to keep the distance during both check-in and departure.
  3. You will be allowed to keep all your personal belongings in a small bag that will fit in under your chair. However, you will not be permitted to access the bag from announcements until departure.
  4. You should bring your own bottle of water (sealed!), which must be kept on the floor for easy access during the exam (more).

CFA Exam Refund Request Window

From 7 to 21 December refund requests will be accepted – concerns all postponed June 2020 candidates whose Dec 2020 exam has been canceled again. According to the latest CFA Institute's statement, all the fees paid upon your June 2020 registration will be refunded. The refund delivery can be quite lengthy and can take even until 21 Apr 2021.

Relevant information about the refund procedure will be provided by CFA Institute in due time, when your exam is again postponed.