With so many changes and constant updates in CFA exam policies recently, it can be hard to keep up with them when you’re busy studying.
And sometimes, life happens and you can no longer attend your scheduled CFA test appointment as originally planned. What are your options then?
In this constantly-updated article, we summarize the latest CFA deferral and rescheduling policy via a simple FAQ.
- Questions on CFA deferral & rescheduling policy
- Can we reschedule CFA exams? If so, how do I change the exam date?
- Can I change CFA exam location to a closer test center?
- I cannot schedule a CFA test appointment as my preferred city and test location is shown as full. What are my options here?
- What happens if my CFA exam is rescheduled by Prometric or British Council?
- What happens if my CFA exam is cancelled and not rescheduled?
- What is the CFA exam rescheduling fee?
- What is the current CFA deferral policy? Can I defer my exam to a future exam cycle?
- What are my options if I need to change my exam window anyway?
- I'm fed up. What is CFA exam's refund and cancellation policy?
Questions on CFA deferral & rescheduling policy
Can we reschedule CFA exams? If so, how do I change the exam date?
With the latest exam policy, you can reschedule your exam date within your current exam window (e.g. from 27 Aug to 29 Aug), but this change must happen before your exam window’s scheduling deadline. This will incur $250 non-refundable fee plus additional taxes (if applicable) and can be done via the link on your candidate tile.
Changing test appointments between exam cycles are not allowed, e.g. from Nov 2023 to May 2024. A deferral is required to move your exam to a future testing window.
Can I change CFA exam location to a closer test center?
Yes, you can change your test location or exam date, both within the same exam window, for an appointment change fee of $250.
Note that changing between exam cycles are not allowed, e.g. from Nov 2023 to May 2024. You’ll need a deferral request to change to a different exam window (see further below on deferral rules).
I cannot schedule a CFA test appointment as my preferred city and test location is shown as full. What are my options here?
Some test locations are reaching maximum capacity before close of registration dates.
CFA Institute is currently working with their computer-based test partners, Prometric and British Council, to continually add test slots in existing locations globally. If CFA Institute is unable to secure additional appointments, registered candidates will be offered the option to schedule as soon as possible into another exam window.
So if you have registered early, make sure you keep checking back frequently for test slot availability in your preferred exam location.
Alternatively, if you prefer a little more certainty of taking the exam in this exam window, you can book a slot in an alternate exam location for now, and pay $250 later (but before the scheduling deadline) to change the exam date or location to your preferred slot in case it becomes available later.
What happens if my CFA exam is rescheduled by Prometric or British Council?
This happens to a minority of CFA candidates, usually due to local restrictions or weather events.
Whenever possible, CFA Institute’s policy here is to reschedule you in the same exam location and exam window, but for a different date. If there are no open test slots at that location, you’ll be rescheduled within a 50 mile radius of your original test center.
If there are no available appointments or a test center within 50 mile radius, your exam appointment would unfortunately be cancelled and you should qualify for a free emergency deferral (see CFA deferral policy summary further below). This would allow you to defer your exam for up to 12 months, subject to availability and registration deadlines.
What happens if my CFA exam is cancelled and not rescheduled?
You’ll first hear about the cancellation from Prometric (firstname.lastname@example.org), so make sure you check your inbox and spam folder just in case.
CFA Institute will then reach out to you within 15 days of the cancellation to provide you with more information of the next available exam windows. You will have until the registration deadline for each of these exam windows to re-register. For example, if you choose the May 2023 exam, you will have until 31 Jan 2023 to register.
What is the CFA exam rescheduling fee?
To make exam date or location changes within an exam window, the test appointment change fee is $250.
What is the current CFA deferral policy? Can I defer my exam to a future exam cycle?
It depends on your situation. CFA Institute has just updated their deferral policy to allow for both paid or emergency deferral options from August 2022.
There is now a paid deferral option costing $399, which you can purchase up to 24 hours before your actual scheduled exam appointment.
Only 1 Paid Deferral is allowed for each exam registration. This allows you to postpone your exam to a future exam cycle within 12 months (subject to availability and registration deadlines). This payment would help cover the costs of absence in an exam centre as well as extending the Learning Ecosystem access.
If you didn’t have a scheduled exam appointment, you have up to 3 days following the close of the exam window to purchase this deferral option.
Once you purchased a paid deferral option, your existing exam appointment would be cancelled immediately. This is non-reversible and non refundable.
As for Emergency Deferral, you can request this up to 3 days following the close of an exam window, with proof or documentation.
Currently, CFA Institute will consider a free Emergency Deferral only in the event of one of the following:
1) You or your immediate family member are suffering from a life-threatening illness;
2) death of a candidate’s immediate family member (grandparents are not considered immediate family member);
3) mandatory military service (candidate only) during the exam window;
4) pregnancy (candidate only);
5) an exam rescheduled by Prometric and after contacting Prometric, you couldn’t find a new suitable appointment date.
6) travel restriction issued by local government due to local pandemic situation. (Documentation must be issued to a specific candidate or location. Public guidance about general COVID protocols will not be accepted.)
A candidate’s “immediate family member” is defined as only the candidate’s parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse/domestic partner, or child.
Using the Emergency Deferral form takes up to 7 weeks for approval. If approved, this also allows you to postpone your exam to a future exam cycle within 12 months (subject to availability and registration deadlines).
If your application for emergency deferral was rejected (either insufficient proof or don’t qualify), you can still purchase a paid deferral.
In either cases of deferral (paid or emergency), your access to Learning Ecosystem would be updated if your deferred exam requires a new curriculum.
CFA Institute now have a deferral request form available for each exam cycle about 1 month before an exam window starts, and lasts for a month. Candidates have to wait until the deferral request form is available to submit your CFA deferral request, as it will only be processed via this form. As a reminder, here are the Emergency Deferral Form and Paid Deferral Form for CFA exams.
CFA Institute also stated that candidates who receive an emergency deferral from the Feb 2023 exam will not be able to register for May 2023.
What are my options if I need to change my exam window anyway?
Since changing between exam windows is not currently allowed (e.g. changing from May 2022 to Nov 2022), you can opt for a paid deferral for $399 if you don’t qualify for a free emergency deferral (documentation required).
In the worst case, you can also choose to withdraw from an exam until 5 days before the start of your exam window.
However, an exam withdrawal means that the enrollment and registration fees will not be refunded, deferred or transferred to another exam cycle.
Withdrawing after the deadline means that you can only re-register for the next exam until after the results of the current exam have been released (about 60 days after exam window ends). Withdrawal submission takes 3 days to process, which are irreversible once processed.
I’m fed up. What is CFA exam’s refund and cancellation policy?
You can find out more about CFA Institute’s latest refund, cancellation and withdrawal policy here.
Do you have further CFA deferral and rescheduling questions not covered by the FAQ above? Comment below and we will try to help!
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