LAST UPDATED: Feb 26, 2021
PUBLISHED: in 2018
2021 CFA® Exam Dates & Schedule
Below we present all 2021 CFA exam dates for May, August, and November sittings (all levels). Because the CFA exam calendar is full of important dates, we arranged our CFA exam schedule into categories:
CFA EXAM 2021: DETAILED SCHEDULE
MAY 2021 EXAM WINDOW
levels: 1, 2, 3
AUG 2021 EXAM WINDOW
levels: 1, 2, 3
NOV 2021 EXAM WINDOW
levels: 1, 2, 3
START: 20 Aug 2020 | 20 Aug 2020 | 20 Aug 2020
registration for MAY 2021 | AUG 2021 | NOV 2021 exam opens
some additional CFA exam dates
CFA EXAM DATE: L1: May,18-24 | L1: Aug,24-30 | L1: Nov,16-22
* level 1 exam dates, levels 2 & 3: see below.
FINISH: July 2021 | Oct 2021 | Jan 2022
** CFA exam results have usually been released 7-8 weeks after level 1 / level 2 exam and 9-10 weeks after level 3 exam
NOTE: All the deadlines end at 11:59 p.m. ET unless stated otherwise.
CFA EXAM DATES, LEVELS: 1, 2, 3
|May 2021||Aug 2021||Nov 2021|
|level 1 CFA exam date||18-24 May 2021||24-30 Aug 2021||16-22 Nov 2021|
|level 2 CFA exam date||25 May - 1 June 2021||31 Aug - 4 Sept 2021||26-30 Nov 2021|
|level 3 CFA exam date||25 May - 1 June 2021||1 - 8 Sept 2021||23-25 Nov 2021|
- As of 2021, all levels of the CFA exam are moved to computer-based testing.
- In 2021, level 1 CFA exam will be held 6 times: in Feb, March, May, July, Aug, and Nov.
- In 2021, level 2 CFA exam will be held 3 times: in May, Aug, and Nov.
- In 2021, level 3 CFA exam will be held 3 times: in May, Aug, and Nov.
- In 2022, CFA exams are likely to be administered less frequently.
- The Feb 2021 level 1 exam window is from 16 Feb to 1 March but it may be canceled in certain locations because of the pandemic situation.
- The March 2021 level 1 exam window is from 21 to 23 March. This exam window is for select postponed candidates only.
- In July, there’s only level 1 exam. This new July 2021 level 1 exam window is from 18 to 24 July and you can read more about July dates here.
CFA Institute Scholarship Deadlines
15 September 2020
Access Scholarship for *2021* CFA exams
15 September 2021
Access Scholarship for *2022* CFA exams (START: it was mid-May 2020 for *2021* exams)
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 2021 CFA exams passed! However, as of mid-May 2021 you should be able to apply for Access Scholarship for 2022 CFA exams (levels 1, 2, 3). The deadline expires in mid-September 2021.
There are also other CFA Institute scholarships such as Women's Scholarships or Student Scholarships. However, these 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. If you want to apply for such a dedicated scholarship, you should visit your CFA Institute account to check for details.
CFA Exam Registration Deadlines
3 Nov 2020 | 11 Feb 2021 | 4 May 2021
early registration for MAY 2021 | AUG 2021 | NOV 2021 exam (registration fee: USD 700)
23* Feb 2021 | 4 May 2021 | 10 Aug 2021
standard registration for MAY 2021 | AUG 2021 | NOV 2021 exam (registration fee: USD 1000)
* For May 2021 level 1 exam, registration was suddenly closed on 2 Feb.
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.
Scheduling & Rescheduling Deadlines
10 March 2021 | 23 May 2021 | 25 Aug 2021
scheduling deadline for MAY 2021 | AUG 2021 | NOV 2021 exam (no additional fee)
16 Apr 2021 | 22 July 2021 | 14 Oct 2021
re-scheduling deadline for MAY 2021 | AUG 2021 | NOV 2021 exam (new rescheduling fee: USD 25)
The registration for 2021 CFA exams is a 2-step process: first you register for your exam and pay the registration fee, then you must schedule your exam day within your chosen exam window. Appointments are made on the first-come, first-served basis.
You may also re-schedule your CFA exam before the rescheduling deadline if you pay the rescheduling fee of USD 25 (for each reschedule!). 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 center information (options may vary from center to center, e.g. the length of the exam window may differ).
CFA Institute study materials availability
CFA Program Curriculum (online) + Practice Questions + Mock Exams
You will get free access to the digital version of your CFA Program Curriculum upon registration for your exam. After registration, 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.
Our printable notes for your CFA exam readings are a nice option if you want to have some printed study materials. They are in the form of e-books that you can print out and add your own notes and examples to it (we've left some dedicated space). You'll find them inside your personalized study plan .
Practice Questions and Mock Exams are available after logging into your CFA Institute account and they are free of charge for all registered candidates. Moreover, if you opt for the full version of your CFA exam study plan at Soleadea, you'll also find lots of practice questions and tests, including mocks, inside your study schedule
CFA exam date
May 18-24 | Aug 24-30 | Nov 16-22
level 1 exam window for MAY 2021 | AUG 2021 | NOV 2021 candidates
May 25 - June 1 | Aug 31 - Sept 4 | Nov 26-30
level 2 exam window for MAY 2021 | AUG 2021 | NOV 2021 candidates
May 25 - June 1 | Sept 1-8 | Nov 23-25
level 3 exam window for MAY 2021 | AUG 2021 | NOV 2021 candidates
For all 2021 CFA exams, there'll be computer-based testing. Exams are composed of two sessions with an optional break in between. Each exam session will last approx. 2 hours and 15 minutes.
For LEVEL 1 CFA exam, you can expect 90 multiple-choice questions per session. That makes it a total of 180 questions. You'll have 1.5 minutes per question on average.
For LEVEL 2 CFA exam, you can expect 44 multiple-choice questions per session. That makes it a total of 88 questions that are arranged into item sets (vignettes followed by 4 or 6 multiple-choice questions). You'll have ca. 3 minutes per question on average.
For LEVEL 3 CFA exam, you can expect both open-ended (constructed response) questions and item sets (like for level 2). There will be 8-11 constructed response questions in the first session and 44 multiple-choice questions arranged into item sets of 4's or 6's in the second session. For constructed response questions, time will be stated per question. For item sets, it's ca. 3 minutes per question on average.
2021 CFA EXAM DAY SCHEDULE
|2021CFA Exam Day||LEVEL 1||LEVEL 2||LEVEL 3|
|pledge, tutorial, and survey||30 minutes||30 minutes||30 minutes|
|SESSION 1||135 minutes||ca. 135 minutes||ca. 135 minutes|
|no. of questions||90 questions||44 questions formed into item sets||8-11 constructed response questions|
|BREAK (optional)||30 minutes||30 minutes||30 minutes|
|SESSION 2||135 minutes||ca. 135 minutes||ca. 135 minutes|
|no. of questions||90 questions||44 questions formed into item sets||44 questions formed into item sets|
|WHOLE TESTING TIME||4.5 hrs||ca. 4.5 hrs||ca. 4.5 hrs|
|WHOLE EXAM DAY||5.5 hrs||ca. 5.5 hrs||ca. 5.5 hrs|
CFA exam results availability
July 2021 | Oct 2021 | Jan 2022
For computer-based exams – results could be available sooner than approx. 7.5 to 9.5 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 (Dec 2020): 49%
level 2 pass rate (Dec 2020): 55%
level 3 pass rate (Dec 2020): 56%
all levels (June 2020): exams postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak
level 1 pass rate (Dec 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 (Dec 2018): 45%
level 1 pass rate (June 2018): 43%
level 2 pass rate (June 2018): 45%
level 3 pass rate (June 2018): 56%