- CFA Institute has provided an extensive list of CBT information here.
- For an overview of computer-based testing for 2021, we invite you to watch the overview video or you may also watch the full CFA Program CBT information session webinar recording and presentation slides.
- To learn more of the available test centre location tool, kindly refer here.
In addition to that, below are the details compiled by CFA Society Malaysia:
TESTING WINDOWS & DURATION
Q: How many times are exams offered per level in 2021?
A: Each exam will be offered in scheduling windows of up to ten days, depending on location. Exams in 2021 and 2022 will be offered as follows:
- For Level I in February, May, July, August, and November (2021); February, May, August and November (2022);
- For Level II in May, August and November (2021); February and August (2022)
- For Level III in May, August and November (2021); May and November* (2022)
Q: Will CFA Institute add more capacity for the 2021 exam before the end of the scheduling window?
A: CFA Institute is adding more capacity to the 2021 testing windows. If appointments are full, we encourage candidates to continue to check back daily for new appointments to be added. It may take up to 10 business days for new appointments to populate.
Q: How long can I complete all of the 3 levels of CFA exams?
A: CFA Institute is committed to maintaining the rigor of the exam and the candidate experience. Beginning in 2021, every candidate who does not pass their exam will have to wait a minimum of six months to retake it. For example, a Level I candidate who takes the February 2021 administration and does not pass may not sit again until the August administration. Or, a Level II candidate who passes the exam during the August administration will not be able to sit for Level III until the May 2022 administration.
Q: How long is the exam duration?
A: With the transition to computer-based testing, CFA Institute will implement a change in exam length. There will be a two 2.25-hour sessions for Level I; approximately 2.25-hour sessions for Levels II and III** with an optional break in between sessions. Each exam appointment will include:
- 30 minutes allotted to pledge, tutorial, and survey
- 135 minutes for session 1
- 30 minutes for an optional break
- 135 minutes for session 2
- Total testing time is 4.5 hours
- Total appointment time is 5.5 hours
Note that the schedule above is for Level I and serves as a guide for Levels II and III exam structure. More detail about Level II and III exam appointments will be provided soon.
SCHEDULING & RESCHEDULING
Q: Where can I check seating availability before I register for the exam? This impacts my decision to register.
A: At this time, CFA Institute cannot provide a way for candidates to see if there is availability in a desired location prior to registration. We recognize this is not ideal but CFA Institute is working closely with the exam delivery vendors to secure enough seats for registered candidates.
Q: How do I find a seat in my desired location?
A: During the scheduling process, you will be able to search by address, city, or zip code. Here are a few tips for selecting your exam location and time:
- To ensure that you get your preferred test center, schedule your exam appointment promptly. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Some cities show as full, but we do continue to add capacity where we can, so if you are firm on your choice, keep checking back.
- For optimal results, be sure to search by city and country. You may find areas with extra capacity within a reasonable travel distance outside of your chosen city.
- Do not search by "country" alone, as it may provide you with no results.
- Don't limit your date range search to just a few days. Select the entire exam window. You may have to be flexible when selecting which day to test. We will not be able to accommodate everyone on their preferred date.
- When you do choose your appointment, plan to stick with it. We know it is tempting to change, but this makes it difficult for other candidates to find seats.
Q: What are my options if my preferred testing city and country show as full when I'm trying to schedule my exam appointment?
A: Due to the pandemic, we have experienced some locations that reached maximum capacity before registration was closed. CFA Institute is working with the computer-based vendors at Prometric and British Council to continually add appointments in existing locations around the globe. However, if they are unable to secure additional appointments, they will offer candidates from those areas the opportunity to schedule as soon as possible into another exam window.
Q: How can I schedule my exam appointment?
A: The registration for a computer-based exam is a two-step process. In CBT, candidates must first register for their exam, and then schedule their exam appointment. Test center options with confirmed available seating will be presented to you during the scheduling process. If you do not see your preferred test center, please confirm it is listed on our planned CBT test center locations PDF here. Once you have confirmed we plan to test in your preferred area, check back daily for new appointments to be added. It may take up to 10 business days for new appointments to populate. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. View the scheduling tool instruction sheet here.
Q: Can I reschedule my exam?
A: Yes, you may. Rescheduling after initial appointment incurs USD 25* fee only within the testing window (e.g May candidates can only reschedule dates within May testing window sitting only) as per the CFA Exam Admission and Appointment Policy here. This fee does not apply for changes to other testing window (i.e Feb to Nov). Please note that candidates cannot move from one testing window to another without completing a new registration and paying a new registration fee.
Q: I registered for an appointment in a different location when registration opened up as there were no appointments available in my desired location. As the appointments are now added, can I reschedule to my original desired location without any additional charges?
A: Because we recognize the ongoing challenges created by the pandemic, CFA Institute has reduced the appointment change fee from US$250 to only US$25. This will allow you to either change location within a testing window or to change your exam date within a testing window. This does not allow to change testing windows, from May to August, for example.
Q: What is the difference between ‘Schedule Deadline’ and ‘Rescheduling Deadline’ as shown in CFA Institute website of Exam Dates Timeline?
A: Candidates will have until the scheduling deadline to book their testing appointment. If you want to make a change to the appointment date, time, or location they must do so before the rescheduling deadline. The 2021 rescheduling fee of within testing window is USD25. Please note that candidates cannot move from one testing window to another without completing a new registration and paying a new registration fee.
Q: How do I reschedule my exam?
A: For general rescheduling before the deadline for your exam window, visit the link on your candidate tile.
Q: What if I am rescheduled for a date that won't work for me?
A: Sometimes it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment for a date that is sooner than your original appointment. We realize this may be inconvenient.
If your rescheduled appointment does not work with your schedule, you can attempt to contact Prometric at 1-800-310-6402 or 443-751-4833 for assistance with rescheduling. Due to high call volume, you may experience long wait times.
If there is no test center within a 50-mile radius, your appointment will be cancelled, and you will need to contact CFA Institute for more options. You may be eligible for a deferral to another exam window. Contact CFA Institute for more information.
Q: What happens if my exam is cancelled and not rescheduled?
A: In the event your exam is cancelled, you will first hear from Prometric via email. This email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please label this address as a safe sender so that this email does not go to your junk folder.
CFA Institute will contact you within 15 days of the cancellation to provide you with additional information and your options.
Q: When will I be able to re-register if my exam is cancelled?
A: If it is necessary to cancel your exam, CFA Institute will provide you with information on the available testing windows within 15 days of your cancellation. You will have until the registration deadline for each of these testing windows to reregister. For example, if you select the Nov 2021 exam, you will have until 10 Aug to register. See all the deadlines here.
Q: What happens if my exam is rescheduled by Prometric?
A: Exam reschedules are not common, but do occur for a number of reasons, including pandemic restrictions, weather events and local situations. Whenever possible you will be rescheduled into the same location and exam window for a different date. If there are no open appointments at that location, you will be rescheduled within a 50-mile radius of your originally selected center.
COMPUTER-BASED TESTING FORMAT
Q: Will the testing format remain the same as per previous Paper-Based Testing?
A: Just as before, all questions are written by a team of experienced charterholders and all questions come directly from the curriculum and are reviewed to be sure they are consistent with the expectations set in the Learning Outcome Statements.
- The Level I exam will continue to be in a multiple-choice format.
- For Level II and Level III, we will be using the same item set and essay format (Level III) that we have used in the past but the total number of item sets on the exam may vary slightly.
Q: How does the CFA Institute conduct Computer Based Test (CBT) for CFA Level III given the format is essay?
A: For essay question, there will be a space available for you to explain your answers and CFA Institute is currently working on the equation and calculation editor function so the candidates may be able to type in the calculation and formula as well. Once the function is available, CFA Institute will showcase this to the candidates via a demo. However, candidates are not required to show their work. A correct numerical value will receive full credit. If a candidate is so inclined, it is possible to use the equation editor that is part of the exam software to build a formula as part of a response. A candidate might also choose to include a simple written description of the steps used in a calculation. If a candidate chooses to show their work, it will be evaluated as part of the response and could conceptually result in partial credit in cases where the answer is not otherwise fully correct.
Q: How can I familiarize myself with the exam computer software?
A: Candidates can familiarize themselves with software features of the exam by visiting the exam software tutorial here (https://bit.ly/36BpZat) and the tutorial can be found on the CFA Institute landing page on Prometric’s website in the candidate resources dashboard here.
Q: Will there be mock exams available to candidates with the new CBT format?
A: Mock exam will be provided in the Learning Ecosystem available to the registered candidates to practice.
Q: Will every candidate receive the same sets of questions? If yes, how many sets of questions will there be for CBT?
A: CFA Institute is unable to share the number of sets that will be available but CFA Institute will ensure the candidates experience will be consistent and tested fairly.
Q: Will 2021 CBT exams use a new curriculum?
A: The curriculum will remain the 2020 version throughout all exams for all levels in 2021; new curriculum will be released for 2022 exams when those registration windows open.
Q: Will there be COVID guidelines in place at CBT Test Centers?
A: The CBT environment will be quite different from the typical paper-based venue environment. Please watch this video here from our exam vendor, Prometric, to learn what the exam day experience may look like as a result of COVID guidelines.
Q: Will the materials and stationeries be provided during the exam?
A: Candidates will be provided with writing materials to use during CBT exams and will not be allowed to bring own materials, but you will only be allowed to bring a calculator to the exam center. Just as before, the calculator must be either the Texas Instruments BA II Plus or the Hewlett Packard 12C.
Q: How does CFA Institute ensure that the security and standards of the exams are upheld?
A: Exams will be delivered in proctored exam centers with robust security measures in place. Each test center will closely monitor candidates for cheating or unethical behaviour in any form. Besides, after each of the test is being taken, there will be some analysis and observers working after to ensure no leakage of questions in any form. Actions will be taken to candidates who violate the rules and regulations.
CFA Institute will also have strict cyber-security measures in place, and they work continuously with the IT experts to thoroughly define any potential risks and solutions. Their selected vendors have a track record of success and years of experience in this area, and CFA Institute will partner with them to implement security measures that mitigate any potential risks. CFA Institute will take all available precautions to secure the exams.
Q: If a candidate experiences any technical issues during the CBT sitting, will they have the option to reschedule their exam?
A: Please refer below on the options:
- If internet connectivity is lost, the candidate can continue to test without interruption.
- If electricity is lost, there will be a disruption although test centers in locations with regular electricity interruptions have back-up generators for this purpose.
- If there is a technical issue, the proctors will work with Prometric to address the issue on-site.
If a problem occurs, the candidate will be asked to remain in the test center while the issue is addressed. Once the problem is fixed, the candidate will be able to resume testing where she left off. No time will be lost. If any issue takes more than 30 minutes to resolve, testing personnel will offer the candidate a new appointment. It is up to the candidate to determine whether to wait for a solution or reschedule the exam. (If the candidate chooses to reschedule, he/she will be presented with a new, complete exam. He/she cannot pick up where they left off.) There will be no fee involved to reschedule the exam if candidates choose to reschedule due to technical issues that take more than 30 minutes to resolve.
Q: How my computer screen view will look like for the item sets and essays questions under CBT?
A: Item sets and essays will appear in a set split screen view, with the vignette appearing on one half and the items on the other.
Q: Will the candidates be allowed to use CTRL + C and CTRL + V in the keyboard from the passage to our answer?
A: Yes, candidates may use the above function during the exam.