Why You Need to Decide ASAP Whether to Register for the CFA Exams

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By Christine

Many candidates make a huge mistake when it comes to registering for their CFA exams.

The point of no return, if there is such a thing in the CFA exam process, is when you register for the exams. That’s what makes many candidates hesitate a bit when deciding whether to register. To many of us, it’s more than shelling out the hundreds of dollars, but it’s also a mental commitment to ourselves, that we are officially committed to another cycle of determined effort.

This is a shame, because being undecided costs money, and increases your chances of failing. Here’s how you should go about your decision to register for the CFA exams, and why you need to decide as soon as possible – in the next few days, in fact.

Consider The Monetary Aspect

Let’s start with the quantifiable bit – looking at the cost involved.

We all know that registering late is more expensive, but do you know what are the key dates to save the most cost? Below are the registration deadlines for the June 2017 CFA exams. To get full details of the CFA exam deadlines, sign up to our Calendar

Deadline (Eastern Time)
21st September 2016
23:59 ET
15th February 2017
23:59 ET
Register by this deadline!
15th March 2017
23:59 ET
1st-time enrolment fee
Retakers need not pay this again
USD 450
USD 450
​USD 450
Exam Fee
​USD 650
​USD 930
USD 1,380

Looking at the rise in costs between all 3 deadlines, you can see that the key deadline, not to be missed, is the second one, i.e. 15th February 2017. Beyond this date, the cost rises by more than $400 just for registration alone

$400 gets you a crapload of extra study materials, so why waste it on indecision? Make sure you make the second deadline.

You Need All the Extra Time You Can Get

As we mentioned, registering for the exams also symbolizes something else. By registering, we’re acknowledging to ourselves that we’re committing the exam. And that often marks the point where we stop being half-hearted and lackadaisical in our studies and start planning for real.

After all, we’ve registered.

So think about this – if you’re leaving it until beyond the 15th of February to register for a CFA exam that takes place early June 2017, are you really giving yourself the best chance you can to pass? Not really.

Commitment-wise, if you do want to pass, you need to start getting serious as soon as possible. And that means not just meeting the deadlines. Decide whether you want to take the exam or postpone it, and if you do want to take the exam, register as soon as possible. Today, if you can.

Many of you would have chosen to put this decision off until you got your Level I results. That’s fine – many in the past have done so, and you can’t register for Level II until you get your Level I results anyway. But from here on out, there is no reason to delay further.

Have you decided on registering for the CFA exams in June? Let us know below.

Zee Tan
Author: Zee Tan


20 thoughts on “Why You Need to Decide ASAP Whether to Register for the CFA Exams”

  1. I’ve just started looking seriously at taking CFA Level 1 (bad timing). I’m torn between the June 2019 sitting vs December 2019. I already hold an ACA and I’m generally good at exams but I’m wandering if starting work for the June exam now whilst in a full time job is destined for failure plus a pretty hefty financial cost. I wonder if there are any stats on success/failure of people applying at the 3 deadlines…

    • This is a really bad time to consider – it’s about 50-50 at this point. I think that if you really hit the gas on studying it is possible, and worth considering since if you take (and pass) December 2019 you’ll have to decide whether to squeeze in June 2018 Level II, or miss out a year. (http://www.300hours.com/1/post/2018/06/thinking-about-level-i-dec-heres-what-you-need-to-know.html) However, bear in mind that most CFA candidates also have financial backgrounds and are generally high-performers, so the chance of failing is still pretty real regardless of previous exam performance. There haven’t been any stats on pass rates by deadline registration, but that’s a fantastic idea, and we’ll add it to our Analyze Results section!

  2. Hai i want to enroll for CFA Level 1 exam for Dec 2019. I have no idea about the curriculam the difficult level for the exam. iam a MBA (Finance) graduate. So kindly advice we whether a period of 9 months a sufficient time for cracking the level one exam. Kindly advice so that i can proceed further

  3. If I haven’t prepare for any of the test is it better to take in June 2019 or in December 2019? Please advise… Will 300 hours is enough to prepare for the test if i’m not finance background? thank you

    • If you’ve not prepared or registered, I’d recommend taking December 2019 at this point, unless you’re prepared to really hit the books and are quite confident of your finance knowledge.

    • Hey Takalani, Way to go, I love your never-give-up attitude! Check out our Level I tips in the blog, or ask a question at the Q&A Board. Stay tuned for the Analysis Report too – we hope to provide some insights that may help you. Best of luck!

  4. I just found out I passed level 1. Between work and family i think it would be a stretch for me to tackle 2 right now. Isnt that typically the most difficult? What can I do over the next few months to ease myslelf into level 2 studying since the material obviously isnt available for 2018 exam?


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