CFA Exam Postponed: All the Latest Info and FAQs

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CFA exams June 2020 postponed to December 2020 and June 2021

By Zee Tan

CFA Institute announced a few weeks ago that they are postponing the June 2020 CFA exams to the next two available dates: December 2020 and June 2021.

Since the announcement a lot more details have been clarified with CFA Institute and providers. We’ve updated the FAQs in this article (check the end) with the latest information on the CFA exam postponement.

How will the CFA exam postponement work?

How the June 2020 CFA exams postponement will work

On 19th March 2020, CFA Institute announced on their website, social media and email to candidates that the June 2020 CFA exams are going to be postponed. Postponement was one of the scenarios we predicted just a few days earlier.

Under the postponement, candidates will be offered to reschedule their exam to either one of the next two upcoming exam dates. This should mean December 2020 or June 2021. The exact dates will be confirmed no later than 8th May 2020 and CFA Institute will contact candidates to discuss their options.

What has the reaction been?

Mixed, to say the least. On Reddit, reactions ranged from despair…
…to ecstatic.
On the whole I think everyone’s a little relieved to have some certainty around the June 2020 CFA exams, even if the decision isn’t what some candidates would ideally have preferred.

So my CFA exams have been postponed. What should I do now?

Self Isolation Coronavirus

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may want to take it easy for a bit to manage the situation right now, and ramp up CFA studying later.

On our part, more tips, advice and guidance for CFA candidates will be coming in the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled!

Will the curriculum stay the same for the postponed CFA exams? [Updated]

Yes.

CFA Institute has since confirmed that the curriculum for the 2021 exams will follow the 2020 curriculum. This means that the postponed exam will draw from the same material, regardless of whether you’re sitting for the exam in December 2020 or any date in 2021.

So the material you’ve bought should be still 100% relevant to the deferred CFA exam.

Obviously this is good news for candidates that are undecided between December 2020 and June 2021. When asked for the reasoning behind this decision, CFA Institute responded:

We put our candidates’ interest first and decided to minimize the impact of the postponement of the June 2020 exams by freezing the curriculum for two exam cycles.

Although the 2021 curriculum topics have continued to evolve, we felt that to transition candidates who have been postponed and ensure they accurately understand changes to the curriculum places an unfair burden on them at this time.

Registered candidates already invested a great deal of time in their studies, and we do not want to disrupt their learning or add further confusion to the re-scheduling of exam dates.

Should I choose to defer to the December 2020 or June 2021 exams?

We think the choice is clear – assuming December 2020 is not disrupted as well, you should definitely defer to December 2020. There are three strong reasons:

  1. If you sit for the December 2020 exams and pass, you can move to the next level in June 2021, so you don’t actually lose any time because of the postponement. Yes, studying for the next level in June 2021 is going to be hairy as hell, but these are different times. A postponement is a small price to pay to adapt to the coronavirus crisis going on.
  2. June 2021 is a looong way away. If you defer to June 2021, you run the risk of losing everything you’ve learnt so far, and pretty much having to start all over again.
  3. Assuming you’ve done some substantial studying for June 2020, if you postpone all the way to June 2021, you would likely have forgotten most of what you’ve studied by then and will have to restart most of your studying.

Will I need to purchase material from providers again? [Updated]

CFA exams materials

No. Providers should be extending their online access in line with the CFA exams’ postponement – in fact, some providers have since offered some generous ‘postponement offers’.

Here are specific responses to the CFA exam coronavirus postponement from our provider partners:

  • Kaplan Schweser (coronavirus update page here)
    • Online access for candidates whose exams have been postponed will be extended.
    • All live, in-person classes with start dates from March 19 through May 1, 2020 have been cancelled. All affected candidates will be notified and offered online, self study, or virtual live online classes where possible.
    • Review Workshops and Mock Exams are also being rescheduled and candidates will be notified when dates are confirmed.
    • Kaplan Schweser postponement offer 1: Kaplan Schweser are offering their Qbank for free to 300Hours readers. Just use code KS-QB300H at this page, and you should be able to ‘purchase’ a Qbank at any level for $0.
    • Kaplan Schweser postponement offer 2: Kaplan Schweser are also offering complimentary webinars, videos, and master classes throughout the postponement period – probably a good idea to make sure you keep on top of things. There’s only one webinar on offer at the moment but more will come – you can sign up to be notified.
  • Fitch Learning (coronavirus update page here)
    • Fitch Learning are pausing all in-person courses and webinars and will be rescheduling dates to later in the year to suit candidates’ chosen dates.
    • All Fitch Learning candidates will have continued access to Fitch Learning Cognition, their online learning portal and mobile app, for as long as they need until their chosen exam date.
    • Fitch Learning CFA postponement offer: Fitch Learning are hosting topic-based, complimentary webinars throughout the postponement period – covering topics from Quant, FRA to Derivatives. It’s free to attend, so do register for them.
  • Wiley (coronavirus update page here)
    • You can get a free access extension from Wiley if your exam has been postponed. Their webpage says that you’ll have to contact their customer service team to activate this, but we’ve heard that they’ve now made this automatic (thanks Anthony!)
    • They also have a free-to-view Q&A on the CFA exam postponement, which you can register for and watch here.
  • Bloomberg
    • Bloomberg will be extending June 2020 subscriptions at no cost until the December 2020 exam date.
    • Postponement offerBloomberg is offering a ‘COVID-19 Assistance Plan‘ until April 30, which offers their Level 1 and Level 2 product for free, with a 50% refundable deposit on their Level 3 product, which is around $350 at their Essential Tier. Sounds confusing? Here’s how it works according to Bloomberg:
      1. Start a 14-day free trial by April 30. Pay nothing if you cancel.
      2. Pay a refundable 50% deposit for a Level III plan of your choice.
      3. Either refer a friend or pay the remaining 50%, within 3 months.
      4. Complete the courses and take the Level III exam within 5 years, to receive a full refund minus credit card processing fees.

Can I get a refund for the June 2020 CFA exam?

No. CFA Institute have stated:

​CFA Institute is providing registered candidates a deferral to a future exam date. Because all candidates will be rescheduled, refunds are not being offered.

Is this fair? Disclaimer: we are not lawyers, but here’s our take on it.

In the June 2020 Candidate Agreement, the terms laid out under “Exam Disruptions or Exam Compromise” state that:

If the normal testing process is cancelled, interrupted, delayed, mistimed, or otherwise disturbed, or if exam
content is compromised as a result of a disruptive event, CFA Institute may change the date, time,
location, or conditions of the exam or cancel the administration of the exam altogether.

If CFA Institute determines that a corrective action is necessary, CFA Institute may offer affected candidates a retest
or alternative test date at no additional fee (on a regularly scheduled test date or another date
selected by CFA Institute within the next twelve (12) months) or a refund of the exam fee.



CFA Institute will make all decisions regarding the administration of the exam and any corrective action in its sole
discretion.

In simple terms, in case of killer virus, CFA Institute will decide how to adapt the exam, and gets to decide whether you get a refund…or not.

So while we agree with you that CFA Institute should probably offer refunds for those who want them, according to the Candidate Agreement, it’s CFA Institute’s prerogative to deny them.

If you’re serious about the CFA charter you shouldn’t really be looking at a refund anyway – if you’re looking to take the December 2020 exams it might get a little intense studying for the next June 2021 exam cycle, but otherwise you won’t be missing out a year.

How likely is it that the December 2020 CFA exam will be affected by the coronavirus too?

Coronavirus and CFA exams

It’s hard to tell with what we know right now.

The latest reports on the COVID-19 pandemic is that while measures are being put in place to suppress the spread of the virus globally, we may well see a second wave after lockdown measures have been lifted. This happened with the Spanish flu in 1918 – in fact, the second wave was more deadly than the first.

If a second wave does happen, it is likely to happen during the winter season, i.e. December for the northern hemisphere.

Our advice on this front is to react and decide as if the December 2020 exam is going ahead until told otherwise. It’s way too early to get any definitive direction on this.

Latest FAQs [Updated 13 Apr 2020]

Will all test centers be available for the December 2020 exam?

Yes. The current idea is to test in all locations normally offered for the June exams, so you’re likely to be able to take the exam in the same test location as you were going to for June 2020.

Will the early registration deadline for June 2021 be available to candidates choosing to sit in December?

Maybe. This is still under consideration – CFA Institute are still working this out.

I paid the late registration fee for June. Can I receive a refund of the difference between the late registration fee and early registration fee?

No. CFA Institute are taking the same stance for this one as general refunds – they are not offering any.

I’m a Level 2/3 candidate and did not register for the June 2020 exam. Will CFA Institute allow new L2/L3 registrations for December now that its postponed?

No. Because of test center capacities, only Level 2 and Level 3 candidates that were postponed from June 2020 will be allowed to take the exam in December. No new registrations for Level 2 and Level 3 will be accepted for December 2020.

Since CFA Institute are keeping the 2020 curriculum for 2021, when will a new version of the curriculum be released?

The 2022 Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and 2022 curriculum will be released when registration opens for the 2022 exam.

For Level 1, the 2022 curriculum and CBOK should be released in May 2021, when the first 2022 exam window is expected to open. The Level 2 and 3 curricula will be released when registration opens for the June 2022 exams, which should be around August 2021

Will the curriculum-related Refresher Readings for members remain the same?

No, they will be updated as planned. Although the exam curriculum will not be updated to 2021 to help with consistency with the postponed exam, 2021 curriculum readings will be provided to CFA Institute members as Refresher Readings.

How will candidates be able to make the transition from the 2020 curriculum to the 2022 curriculum if there is never a 2021 version?

The 2022 curriculum and CBOK will reflect that jump and help candidates bridge that gap.

Will there be any changes on the Learning Ecosystem?

Yes…ish.

​Testable content will not change. However, during this interim period, CFA Institute will continue to evolve the learning experience and adding functionality.

Our final thoughts on the CFA exams’ postponement

It was undoubtedly a difficult but ultimately right decision by CFA Institute to postpone the exam, and their decisions on logistics and details so far all make sense to us.

For disgruntled candidates, it’s important to remember that in practical terms, it’s the coronavirus that postponed the June 2020 exams, not CFA Institute. For your safety and everyone else’s, CFA Institute is simply adapting to the disruption and offering candidates the best solution it can.

More articles, tips, advice and guidance to support our readers will be coming soon – if you have any questions just drop them in the comments below. Stay safe and stay home!

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26 thoughts on “CFA Exam Postponed: All the Latest Info and FAQs”

  1. Hi, I am unable to access the free Kaplan Schweser resources for the Dec 2020 exam. I have entered the code but i do not see the videos or Qbanks.

    Reply
  2. Hi, I was originally looking to enroll in the June 2021 L1 examinations , however due to Covid enrollment and registration has changed. Can you please advise if i am still able to sit the Level 1 exams in June 2021 despite not being previously registered. Thanks,

    Reply
  3. Currently a Level 2 candidate initially postponed for Dec 2020. Is the deadline the stick with Dec 2020 8/19? And if I elect afterwards, will I have to elect for May 2021 or get a refund?

    Reply
  4. Hi, i am enrolled in December 2020 cfa level 1 exam and is there any chance that i can also defer it to next date available for june 2020 candidates?

    Reply
    • No – if you’re originally registered for December 2020, you won’t be able to defer it… unless COVID-19 makes CFA Institute decide to postpone December 2020 as well.

      Reply
  5. Hi, first of all, many thanks for informative blog. I am a level 2 candidate and planning to appear for Dec 2020 exam. Incase if i dont make it, would i be eligible to re-register for June 2021 exam? The only information i have is that i can register for next level if i pass the Dec exam.

    Reply
  6. Hello, Thank you very much for the clarifications! I would like to know if there is any other condition to benefit from the following offer other than being a reader of 300 Hours. Kaplan Schweser are offering their Qbank for free to 300Hours readers. Just use code KS-QB300H at this page, and you should be able to ‘purchase’ a Qbank at any level for $0. Thanks!

    Reply
  7. As a L3 candidate who is most likely going to get deferred to Dec 2020 – if I don’t pass in Dec, will I be able to register and sit for it again in Jun 2021?

    Reply
    • Hi Joe! Yes – but it’s not clear if you would be able to register for the June 2021 exam on the 1st or 2nd registration deadlines. If we extrapolate the usual results timeline for L3, you’re expected to get your results for the December 2020 L3 exam in mid-Feb – right around the 2nd registration deadline. CFA Institute is thinking about this and will likely clarify this later.

      Reply
  8. One small correction – Wiley does not require a currently paying candidate to notify them to get an extension. It is an automated process from the perspective of the candidates. We were told this recently.

    Reply
    • Thanks! Officially the line still seems to be that you need to contact their customer service team, but appreciate that they may have changed this. Have updated the article to reflect your comments – thanks again!

      Reply
  9. Hey! Thank you for this clarifying article. I am a L1 candidate and am yet to start my prep or register even. Was hoping to register for the June 2021 before Covid thing happened. June 2021 is still what I would love to go for. What’s the best course of action for me? What would you have done in my place?

    Reply
    • Hi James – you still have plenty of time to go for December 2020. That way you could potentially complete your CFA charter 1 year sooner than if you started in June 2021.

      Reply
  10. I have registered for the 12/2020 CFA level 1 exam. I am from Cyprus. For 06/2020 there was the option to take the exam in Nicosia,Cyprus. For the 12/2020 exam there was no option to take the exam in Cyprus do I have registered to take the exam in London, UK. Now that the 6/2020 exam is postponed until 12/2020 the earliest and probably June 2020 candidates will sit the exam in Cyprus I wondered if I could also take the exam in Cyprus as well instead of the UK. CFA replied that it will not open new test Centres for the 12/2020 candidates. However I do not find their explanation logical. Any advice? Is there anyway we can convince CFA to offer exceptionally Cyprus to the 12/2020 candidates as well in addition to the 6/2020 ones? Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Hey Celia Thanks for the question. This is something that would be entirely up to CFA Institute to offer. I would imagine that it would already be a complex situation to figure out how to fit the June 2020 candidates alongside the December 2020 candidates. I can’t imagine CFA Institute deciding to further complicate logistics by opening up change of test centres to December 2020 candidates as well. CFA Institute has indicated that two dates (Dec20 and Jun21) will be offered to the Jun20 candidates. It may well be the case that Cyprus might not be available as a venue to Jun20 candidates taking their exam in December 2020 – those that do need to take the exam in Cyprus would then need to wait until June 2020. TLDR: I don’t think CFA Institute will offer Cyprus as a choice to Dec20 candidates if it isn’t offered already, Jun20 candidates taking their exam in December 2020 might not get that choice either.

      Reply
  11. Hello, I missed the deadline to enroll in the CFA Level II June 2020 Exam. Do you think they will reopen registration for the postponed date in December 2020? Thank you very much

    Reply
    • Hi JR We’ve received a few questions like these. We’re honestly not sure, although I’m personally doubtful that CFA Institute would re-open registrations at such uncertain times. As soon as we know more we will update everyone – subscribe to our mailing list if you’d like to keep updated. Good luck!

      Reply

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