CFA Exam December 2020: And Computer Testing Coming in 2021?

cfa exam december 2020 google calendar

For anyone taking the CFA Exam December 2020, you are not alone. In fact, quite the opposite. Everyone taking ANY level of the CFA Exam in 2020 will be taking the exam this coming December due to the postponed June 2020 exam. What’s more, come 2021 the CFA Institute will begin testing for the exam via computers as opposed to the antiquated “scribble in the bubble” approach.

Curious about this year and next given all that’s going on? Let’s talk.


CFA Exam December 2020: What to Expect

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and maybe it’s a nice rock!), you’re probably well aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed many major events. The postponed June 2020 CFA exam was one of those major events. In any event, the new date was set for December 2020. We’ve had several questions about what to expect so here’s what we know so far from the CFA Institute.

First, the questions are not expected to be harder (or easier) than previous exams. In short, you shouldn’t expect any difference in the type of questions you’ll be asked given the new date.

Next, the actual date is expected to December 5, 2020. While this is currently the plan, the CFA Institute indicated on their website that they will monitor local requirements. This of course relates to the possibility that some areas may have social restrictions precluding test taking, while others may not. In that case the CFA Institute has said they will continue to assess local requirements as the date approaches.


2021 Computer-Based Testing is Coming!

The last paper-based CFA Level 1 exam will be offered this December 2020. Thereafter, the CFA Level 1 exam will be computer-based. This is a significant change for anyone that fails the December 2020 exam, and needs to retake it. But, we believe it will be a major relief for any prospective test takers. Why?

Primarily because the new exam will be shorter, but also because most candidates will be accustomed to taking practice questions on a computer and the feel of taking the exam may be more familiar than filling in bubbles on a test sheet. Next, there are more possibilities to pass Level 1 in a given year (four exam windows – February, May, August, and November).

Finally, although the exam will be computer-based the CFA Institute has yet to detail how long it will take for results to become available.


Frequently Asked Questions About the CFA Computer-Based Exam

The computer-based CFA Level 1 exam offered in February 2021 will include the following:

  • 180 questions (90 questions per section)
  • 2 hours and 15 minute sections (x 2)
  • 400+ exam locations worldwide
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Option to retake the exam in August 2021 if failed
  • Option to take CFA Level 2 in June 2022

All in all, if you have the CFA Exam December 2020 in your plans then things may be a little different than in a typical year. That said, there is a lot of time left to study. A CFA Exam tutor can always help, but plenty of studying should also get you there. Good luck!

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