CFA candidates take the Level I CFA exam in one day and two sessions: the morning and afternoon session. A CFA candidate must attend both sessions to completed the full exam. . Here’s what to expect before and on the day of your CFA exam:
Months (1+) Before Your CFA Exam Day
Make sure you review all the testing policies of CFAI (CFA Institute) several weeks before exam day. In addition, you have to confirm that you have a valid passport (not expiring anytime soon). Thus, now would be a good time to get it renewed if needed so that you’ll have it ready when you get to the testing centre.
One Month Before Your CFA Exam Day
A month before you sit for the Level 1 CFA exam, you should confirm that your admission ticket matches your passport. The name and social security number (if applicable) must be exact matches. If your name doesn’t exactly match, the CFA Institute recommends changing the name in your CFA Institute account and reprinting your admissions ticket.
Make sure you know the location of your testing centre and are aware of the parking situation. Find out how long it takes you to get there, so you don't rush on the day of the exam. Drive to the testing centre a couple of times during high-traffic hours to manage time expectations. This preview will also help you make sure you are fully prepared on exam day.
A Week Before Your CFA Exam Day
Figure out ahead of time what you’re going to wear on the day of the exam. We know this sounds redundant, but this'll help you save time! Since testing centre temperatures can fluctuate, the CFA Institute recommends layering clothing that allows you to be comfortable in any climate. Carry a light jacket with a comfortable shirt/top underneath should you feel warm.
Remember, you’ll be at the testing centre all day so plan out what you’ll eat that day. Testing centres do not allow water and snacks during the exam, so check with your testing centre to find out what food options are available to you during the lunch break.
The last thing you’ll want on exam day is having to take extra time to figure out how to take the exam. While it’s self-explanatory, it’s still a good idea to read through instructions to ensure you’re fully prepared.
On Your CFA Exam Day
- Don't forget you'll need your valid (international travel) passport!
- Items that may be kept in full view on your desk are:
- Approved calculator
- Calculator cases and keystroke cards
- Checking into the testing centres begins at 8:00 am for the morning and then at 1:00 pm for the afternoon session.
- You must be seated in the testing centre by 8:30 am for the morning session and 1:30 pm for the afternoon session.
- The Level 1 CFA exam morning session begins at 9:00 am and ends at noon.
- The afternoon exam begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 5:00 pm.
- After the allotted time has expired, the proctor will let everyone know when they need to put down their pencils and when it’s okay to leave the room.