LAST UPDATED: Oct 13, 2020

CFA exam / 2020 & 2021 dates & schedule





2020 & 2021 CFA® Exam Dates & Schedule


Below we present all CFA exam dates for the nearest Dec 2020 and Feb 2021 sittings. Because the CFA exam calendar is full of important dates, we arranged our CFA exam schedule into categories. See which one you’re currently most interested in.


CFA Exam 2020 & 2021: Detailed Schedule

December 2020

level 1 June 2020 all levels

February 2021

level 1 June 2020 level 1


START: 5 Feb 2020 | 17 June 2020

registration for DEC 2020 | FEB 2021 exam opens

scholarship deadlines

CFA exam registration deadlines

some additional CFA exam dates

CFA Institute study materials availability

exam admission tickets availability

substitution & rescheduling deadlines

CFA EXAM DATE: 5/6* Dec 2020 | 16 Feb - 1 March* 2021

* For more details, see below.

FINISH: 26 Jan** 2021 | 20 April** 2021

CFA exam results available (** our educated guesses)

NOTE: All the deadlines end at 11:59 p.m. ET unless stated otherwise.



IMPORTANT:

  1. Because of the COVID pandemic and the unprecedented postponement of June 2020 CFA exam administration globally, the nearest CFA exam date for June 2020 candidates (all levels) is December 2020. Read more here
  2. Owing to the transition of CFA exams to computer-based testing as of 2021, there are many differences between Dec 2020 and Feb 2021 exams, as described in this post.
  3. Starting in 2021, level 1 exams will be held 4 times a year – in February, May, August, and November. Both level 2 and level 3 exams will be organized twice a year. In 2021, it's going to be May and August for level 2 and May and November for level 3. Read more here

CFA Institute Scholarship Deadlines

Access Scholarship

15 September 2019

Access Scholarship for *2020* CFA exams

15 September 2020

Access Scholarship for *2021* CFA exams (START: mid-May 2020)

Remember: if you want to apply for Access Scholarship, the deadline expires in mid-September of the year before the exam you wish to take. That is why Access Scholarship application deadline for 2020 and 2021 CFA exams passed! It won't be until the next year when the Access Scholarship window gets open for 2022 CFA exams...


Other Scholarships

8 Aug 2020 | not given

Student Scholarships for DEC 2020 | FEB 2021 exams (The application window for 2021 exams opens on 1 Sept 2020.)

already awarded | not given

Women's Scholarships for DEC 2020 | FEB 2021 exams (The application window for 2021 exams opens on 1 Sept 2020.)

Other CFA Institute scholarships are subject to limitations, e.g. not all students can apply for Student Scholarships (ask your alma mater) and women need to hurry because Women's Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

CFA Exam Registration Deadlines

25 March 2020 | 13 Aug 2020

early registration for DEC 2020 | FEB 2021 exam (registration fee: USD 700)

19 Aug 2020 | 28 Oct 2020

standard registration for DEC 2020 | FEB 2021 exam (registration fee: USD 1000)


Note that newcomers to the CFA Program have to pay a one-time program enrolment fee of USD 450. The amount is the same regardless of the CFA exam registration deadline you choose.


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CFA Institute study materials availability

upon registration

CFA Program Curriculum (e-book format) + Practice Questions + Mock Exams

You will get free access to the digital version of your CFA Program Curriculum upon registration for your exam. Upon registration or at a later date, you may also purchase a printed version for USD 150 + costs of shipping and customs. You may also choose to print the whole or parts by yourself.

Practice Questions and Mock Exams are available after logging into the CFA Institute website and they are free of charge for all registered candidates.

Feb 2021 Scheduling & Rescheduling Deadlines

14 Dec 2020

scheduling deadline for FEB 2021 (choosing exact day within the Feb exam window, no additional payment)

25 Jan 2021

re-scheduling deadline for FEB 2021 (USD 25 of rescheduling fee)


For your Feb 2021 exam, you are asked to self-schedule your exam. What it means is that after you register for your exam (and pay the exam registration fee), you must schedule your exam day within the Feb exam window (16 Feb-1 March). Appointments are made on the first-come, first-served basis. You may also re-schedule before the rescheduling deadline if you pay the rescheduling fee of USD 25 (for each reschedule!). Read more below in the Substitution & Rescheduling section.

Exam admission tickets availability

Nov 2020 | Feb 2021


Your exam admission ticket will be available in your CFA Institute website account about 4 weeks before the exam date. You must carefully check all the data written on the ticket and make sure it is correct. Notify CFA Institute in case of any inaccuracies. Before the exam, print out your admission ticket (check if all information is visible!) and bring it with you! Otherwise, you will not be admitted to the testing room and you will forfeit your registration fee. Also, remember to reprint your admission ticket if you update any of your information such as passport expiration date or test center change.

Note that before you are allowed to view your admission ticket, you will be asked to agree to all kinds of terms and conditions. It is important that you read the CFA exam policies which explain everything you need to know about the exam other than the required material.

Substitution & Rescheduling deadlines

19 Aug / 21 Sept | 20 Oct / 7 Dec

disability accommodations requests for DEC 2020 | FEB 2021 exams*

21 Sept 2020

religious alternate date requests to sit the exam on 6 Dec 2020

30 Sept 2020 | 25 Jan 2021

test center change requests for DEC 2020 | FEB 2021 exams (NOTE: The Dec 2020 deadline passes at 12 Noon ET!)
* IMPORTANT: Disability accommodations dates coincide with registration deadlines; new application form available as of late July 2020.

19 Aug / 21 Sept | 20 Oct / 7 Dec

disability accommodations requests for DEC 2020 | FEB 2021 exams (NOTE: The dates coincide with registration deadlines; new application form available as of late July 2020.)

21 Sept 2020

religious alternate date requests to sit the exam on 6 Dec 2020

30 Sept 2020 | 25 Jan 2021

test center change requests for DEC 2020 | FEB 2021 exams (NOTE: The Dec 2020 deadline passes at 12 Noon ET!)

Dec 2020 CFA exam date is fixed. If, however, it is unsuitable to you for religious reasons, you may submit your religious alternate date request. Also, the disabled may count on support if needed. If your impairment prohibits you from sitting for the exam like other candidates, you may ask for necessary adaptation. You need to document your disability and fill in some forms available at the CFA Institute website. CFA Institute also offers a possibility of changing your test center location. However, it greatly depends on seating availability. As a rule, for paper-based exams, test center change requests were accepted until four business days before the exam. NOTE THE CHANGE! Dec 2020 candidates may file in their test center change requests no later than 30 September 2020.

Feb 2021 candidates are given a week-long exam window (16 Feb-1 March, may vary from center to center) to self-schedule their exam. Appointments are made on the first-come, first-served basis. Candidates may reschedule their appointment within the exam window after paying USD 25 of rescheduling fee (note the rescheduling deadline of 25 January 2021!). The rescheduling option enables you to alter your exam day or test center location (within your exam window). The change is possible based on seating availability. If there is no free spot at a given time – you should check regularly for seating availability. Mind, though, that every actual rescheduling costs USD 25. Moreover, be sure to get familiar with test centers information (options may vary from center to center). Also, when scheduling your exam, you should take your religious beliefs into account. Try to pick an appropriate exam date so that you need not reschedule.

CFA exam date

5/6* Dec 2020 | 16 Feb - 1 March* 2021


* 5/6 Dec 2020 – exams can be held on Sat and Sun to accommodate also June 2020 candidates + religious alternate date is 6 Dec. Read more about postponed exams here

* 16 Feb – 1 March 2021 – exam window when you can self-schedule your level 1 exam. Read more about computer-based exams here


Dec 2020 exam is the last paper-based CFA exam. Starting in 2021, exams will be computer-based and will be held 4 times a year for level 1 – in February, May, August, and November. Both level 2 and level 3 exams will be organized twice a year. In 2021, it's going to be May and August for level 2 and May and November for level 3. Currently, 2021 CFA exam registration, all dates and levels, is open.

CFA Exam Day Schedule in 2020

Dec 2020 CFA Exam Day Schedule Morning session Afternoon session
check-in 8.00 a.m. 1.00 p.m.
doors closed,
announcements begin
8.30 a.m. 1.30 p.m.
exam starts 9.00 a.m. 2.00 p.m.
exam ends 12.00 p.m. 5.00 p.m.

The 2020 CFA exam (all levels) consists of two 3-hour sessions with a break meanwhile. Both sessions are obligatory. For level 3, the morning session consists of open-ended (constructed response) questions and the afternoon session – of 60 multiple-choice questions (formed into item sets). Level 2 has 60 multiple-choice questions (formed into item sets) per session. For level 1, each exam session has 120 multiple-choice questions.

Changes are due for 2021 exams. The details of level 2 and level 3 exams are not yet know. However, there is some new info available for the CBT level 1 exam. Each level 1 Feb 2021 session will consist of 90 questions and the time is down to 2 hours and 15 minutes per session.

That makes it 240 questions total for Dec 2020 and 180 questions total for Feb 2021. Importantly, for both level 1 exams, you'll have 1.5 minutes per question on average.



NEW CFA EXAM DAY SCHEDULE
IN 2021

Feb 2021 Level 1 CFA Exam Day Time
pledge, tutorial, and survey 30 minutes
SESSION 1 135 minutes
no. of questions 90 questions
BREAK 30 minutes
SESSION 2 135 minutes
no. of questions 90 questions
WHOLE TESTING TIME 4.5 hrs
WHOLE EXAM DAY 5.5 hrs

Summing Up 2021 Changes
to CFA Exams

Together with the 2021 transition of CFA exams to computer-based testing, there are many crucial changes:

  • Level 1 will be held 4 times a year: in Feb, May, Aug, and Nov.
  • Both level 2 and level 3 exams will be held twice a year. In 2021, it's going to be May and Aug for level 2 and May and Nov for level 3.
  • There will be many more proctored test-centers around the world (over 400!).
  • You’ll be able to self-schedule your exam within the exam window of up to 10 days (actually, it's been extended for the Feb level 1 exam + the window length greatly depends on a test center and geographic area).
  • There will be 3 kinds of 'exam enrollment' deadlines: registration fee deadline, scheduling deadline, and rescheduling deadline.
  • You'll have 2 exam registration fees (USD 700 or USD 1000) to choose from and a new rescheduling fee of USD 25 will be introduced.
  • There will be fewer multiple-choice questions in your level 1 exam, 90 per one exam session (180 total).
  • The total testing time decreases for all levels from 6 to 4.5 hours.
  • Some new types of exam questions may be expected due to the digital environment of the exam.

So, basically, there’s no longer going to be one single date when candidates are told to sit their exam. Instead, there’s an exam window of up to 10 days (more for the Feb level 1 exam!) and you can decide (self-schedule) when you want to take your exam. Also, you'll be able to reschedule your exam within your exam window (after an additional payment of USD 25 and before the rescheduling deadline is up). Exam windows will be available more often. Finally, the exam itself will be shorter and there will be fewer questions. You can read more about 2021 CFA exams here.

CFA exam results availability

26 Jan** 2021 | 20 April** 2021


** These are our educated guesses based on how CFA Institute released exam results in the past.

For paper-based exams, you will wait about 7.5 weeks for your level 1 and level 2 exam result and about 9.5 weeks for your level 3 exam result.

For computer-based exams – results could be available sooner than 7.5 weeks post-exam. Still, the exact date is not yet known even to CFA Institute emphasizing that the same MPS procedure will still be in place.

CFA exam pass rates vary across levels:
level 1 pass rate (December 2019): 42%
level 1 pass rate (June 2019): 41%
level 2 pass rate (June 2019): 44%
level 3 pass rate (June 2019): 56%
level 1 pass rate (December 2018): 45%
level 1 pass rate (June 2018): 43%
level 2 pass rate (June 2018): 45%
level 3 pass rate (June 2018): 56%




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