How to Schedule, Reschedule, Defer, and Cancel the CFA Exam

The new online format of the CFA Level 1 Exam is offered in four windows each year; for the remainder of 2022, those are July, August, and November (excluding February exam since it's already passed).  The CFA Institute lets candidates take as much time as they need to complete all three levels of the CFA certification.  In this article, we'll take a look at how to schedule, reschedule, defer and cancel the exam should you find yourself in a predicament to do so.

First of all, you must meet the following requirements to be able to sit the exam:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of obtaining a bachelor’s degree
  • Have four years of relevant work experience
  • Have a combination of four years of education and work experience

Once you’ve completed ONE of the following CFA Exam requirements, you are ready to schedule your CFA Level 1 Exam.

Scheduling the CFA Level 1 Exam

There are two steps required to schedule the CFA Exam:

First is to register for the CFA exam through the CFA Institute’s website.  Once you’ve completed the registration process and your payment has been processed you move onto the second step.  From there, you'll see a link to schedule your exam within your registration dashboard.

The scheduling tool will direct you to available testing centres to choose your preferred testing centre with the dates and times that work best for you.  Once you’ve scheduled your exam, you will receive a confirmation stating that you have been scheduled for the CFA Exam.  If you do not receive a confirmation email, you are most likely not scheduled and should contact the provider directly.

The CFA Institute will continue to be your resource for information about the exam. You will also receive reminders and mock exams as you get closer to your exam date.

You should only contact CFA about your exam date if:

  • You are not able to access your account or need to update your account information.
  • Have general questions about the CFA Exam.

Tips for Scheduling the CFA Level 1 Exam

  • If you're looking to schedule your exam at a specific test centre location, consider scheduling it as soon as you can (even as early as right after deciding you want to take the exam! ).
  • All test centres and seats for the CFA Exam are open on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • If you don’t get your desired testing centre location, it is best to check back again in case seats become available.
  • When looking for testing locations, look for both a city and a country. You'll get the most precise test results when both city and country are selected.
  • You can also change the date range of your search to see more options available to your desired testing date.

Changing a Scheduled CFA Exam

  • Your exam schedule can be changed, but remember that you must do it during your current exam window.
  • There is no way to switch to a new testing window.
  • The fee to change your scheduled CFA Exam is $25. 00 USD.

Rescheduling a CFA Exam

  • If you find yourself having to reschedule your entire CFA Exam, you’ll want to do so well in advance of your window deadline.
  • A rescheduled exam must go through your CFA Candidate Tile.

Deferring a CFA Level 1 Exam

CFA candidates are only allowed to defer their CFA Exam on a case-by-case basis.

  • government, employer, or university travel restriction due to COVID-19 that prevents a candidate from attending the exam (documentation required)
  • a positive COVID test within 60 days of the candidate’s scheduled exam appointment (documentation required)
  • life-threatening illness (candidate or immediate family member) in the exam window
  • death of a candidate’s immediate family member
  • mandatory military service (candidate only) in the exam window
  • pregnancy (candidate only)
  • natural disaster (candidate’s local area)

Canceling a CFA Level 1 Exam

  • The CFA Institute gives candidates the option to withdraw or cancel their CFA exams.  The CFAs can withdraw from their exam registration up to five days before the beginning of their exam window.
  • However, if you withdraw or cancel your CFA Exam, you will not receive a refund for the enrolment and registration fees. These fees are non-refundable, and will not be transferred to any other exams.
  • If you don’t withdraw your registration within the required time of five days before the beginning of the exam window, you’ll be unable to re-register for the next exam until the results of the current exam have been released.

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