CFA Exam Rescheduling Policy: Can I Change Exam Date or Location?

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CFA Exam Rescheduling Policy: Can I Change Exam Date or Location? 1

With so many changes and constant updates in CFA exam policies due to COVID-19, 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 exam rescheduling policy via a simple FAQ.

Questions on CFA Exam Rescheduling Policy

FAQ on cfa exam rescheduling policy

Can I change my CFA exam date? If so, how can I reschedule it?

It depends.

In 2021, CFA candidates can change their scheduled exam appointment within their current exam window, e.g. from 26 May to 29 May. There is a reduced appointment change fee of $25 applicable for such changes.

However, changing between exam cycles are not allowed, e.g. from May21 to Aug21.

You must reschedule before your exam’s scheduling deadline via the link on your candidate tile.

Can I change my CFA exam location to a test center closer to me?

Yes, you can change your test location or exam date, both within the same exam window, for a reduced appointment change fee of $25 in 2021.

However, changing between exam cycles are not allowed, e.g. from May21 to Aug21.

To do this, you must change your test location before your exam’s scheduling deadline via the link on your candidate tile.

I cannot schedule a CFA test appointment as my preferred city and test location is shown as full. What are my options here?

Due to the pandemic, 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 weekly 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 $25 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 is no available appointments or a test center within 50 mile radius, your exam appointment would unfortunately be cancelled and you need to contact CFA Institute for your options. It is likely you would be eligible for a deferral into another exam window.

What happens if my CFA exam is cancelled and not rescheduled?

You’ll first hear about the cancellation from Prometric (, so make sure you check your inbox and spam folder just in case.

CFA Institute will 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. E.g. if you choose the Aug21 exam, you will have until 4 May to register.

What is the CFA exam rescheduling fee?

To make exam date or location changes within an exam window, the appointment change fee is $25 for 2021 due to the pandemic (normally $250).

Can I defer my exam to a future exam cycle?

CFA candidates are currently not offered an option to change their exam windows (e.g. from Aug21 to Nov21).

However, an exam deferral may be offered if CFA Institute had to cancel or postpone an exam, as it had done in the past for Jun20, Dec20 and Feb21 candidates.

Currently, CFA Institute will consider a deferral on a case-by-case basis, only in the event of one of the following, impacting the candidate or a member of his/her immediate family:

– government, employer, or university travel restriction 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); or
– natural disaster (candidate’s local area).

Note that a candidate’s “immediate family” is defined as only the candidate’s parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse/domestic partner, or child.

Concerns over sitting for the exam because of COVID does not qualify for a deferral.

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 May21 to Nov21), nor is deferral an option unless it’s an extraordinary circumstances, you can 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 policy?

You can find out more about CFA Institute’s latest refund policy here.

Basically, CFA candidates twice impacted by COVID-19 will have the option to defer again or to request a refund.

The refund request window for February and March 2021 candidates will be open from 29 March through 12 April 2021.

Do you have further questions not covered by the FAQ above? Comment below and we will try to help!

Meanwhile, you may find these related articles of interest:


22 thoughts on “CFA Exam Rescheduling Policy: Can I Change Exam Date or Location?”

  1. Hi Team,

    My Grandfather passed away on the 8th of April 2021 due to Covid 19 and I am registered to appear for Level 3 this May. Am I eligible for a deferral as this has affected my studies drastically and I am unable to concentrate.

    • Hi Anurag, I hope you are doing ok, I’m sorry for your loss…

      According to CFA Institute’s deferral policy, your case for deferral would be considered as there is a death in your immediate family.

      So if you would like to defer, you must send your deferral requests to CFA Institute prior to OR within 10 US business days after the exam window. Decisions on deferrals are final and are at the sole discretion of CFA Institute. That said, candidates awarded a deferral are responsible for all applicable new curriculum charges.

  2. Hi! Thanks for the article. So If you catch corona before exam, meaning within a week before exact exam date for example, you should instantly write an e-mail to CFA with documentation of positive test result right? And what happens next? Do they let you defer to next exam window? And do you lose any money in this case?

    • Hi Nick, in the unfortunate event a candidate catches COVID-19 before exam (within 60 days of exam appointment are eligible), CFA Institute would consider your case (with proof) to let you defer to another exam.

      To do this, you must request to defer prior to OR within 10 US business days after the exam window. Decisions on deferrals are final and are at the sole discretion of CFA Institute. If successful, you can defer your exam, but are responsible for all applicable new curriculum charges.

      Hope this helps

      • Hi Sophie!
        Thank you very much for the reply. One additional question: So if curriculum doesn’t change from original to deferred exam window, then there will be no additional charges right? They might request exam fee only.. Correct me if I’m wrong.

        • Hi Nick, if you are allowed to defer, and that your curriculum doesn’t change between the exam windows, I don’t think there are any other additional charges. Not even exam fees.

  3. Hi, I could not find a test location in my country (Perú) because it was full, so I did not schedule, will I get the option to do the exam in another window exam or I will need to pay one more time,

  4. I was registered was december2020 exam,it got cancelled,till now yet not registered for other exam date.can I register now without additional fees.i m trying to register for July 2021 exam but they asking me extra 1000$.any solution.
    Tried to mail CFA institute but not getting any reply.

  5. In October 2020, I was offered a refund as a twice-affected candidate or the option to register for 2021, and I chose to register for the May 2021 exam in London Islington. Prometric have now rescheduled my appointment to Uxbridge (about 25 miles further away) and are unable to offer me a place in London in May 2021.

    Prometric have offered to find me a different time, or a deferral to August or November 2021. Had I known that Uxbridge/Croydon were the only options available, I would have chosen the refund option back in October 2020. I’ve reached out the CFAI but they seem to have withdrawn the twice-affected option despite the reschedule+relocation.

    I feel this is not reasonable, and I should have the option to withdraw (an option I had back in October) given they have “gone back” on what we had agreed upon? I’d be grateful for your advice.

  6. Hi,

    I change my exam from Dec 2020 to May 2021 but need to move it to Aug 2021. Will I forfeit all that has been paid?


    • Hi Cynthia, as per the updated FAQ above, CFA Institute doesn’t allow any changes between exam cycles (e.g. May21 to Aug21). So your only option is to either stick with it or withdraw. A withdrawal does mean your fees paid are forfeited and not refundable.

  7. Please i want to reregister to Feb 2021.I don’t know if that date 20th Oct covers both withdrawal and re-registering. Please is the re-registeration process done immediately

    • Hi Somto, the 20th Oct deadline is for postponed June 2020 candidates who have not re-registered, and candidates who want to move out of the December 2020 exam, to register for any 2021 exam. So if you want to move to Feb21 exams, you should withdraw and re-register now

  8. I was enrolled for June 2020 and then re-registered for December 2020. Can I now switch to Feb 2021 without forfeiting the fee?

      • I am a Level 1 June Candidate postponed and registered to Dec 20 exam. Now I want to change to Feb 21 Level 1 exam. System is not allowing me to withdraw or reregister for Feb 21. How to do so?

        • Hi Ritu, if the system is not showing the option for you to withdraw and reregister as a June 2020 postponed candidate, please reach out to CFA Institute ASAP as you’ve up to 20 Oct 2020 to change your dates.

  9. I have done early bird registration for Dec 2020 exams, can I shift it to February 2021 without any extra fees?

    • Hi Palak, as you’re not part of the group of June 2020 postponed candidates, unfortunately you cannot change your registration dates without forfeiting your registration fees. Enrollment and registration fees are generally non-refundable. CFA Institute only offers a full refund within 3 days of payment if you change your mind.


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