Woman Taking Level II and Level III Exam on Computer

Posted by: Kaplan Schweser
Published: December 22, 2020

Starting in 2021, Level II and Level III of the CFA® exam will be offered in a computer-based testing format, ending 60 years of paper-based testing. Let’s look at all the changes.

What is Changing?

Here is a summary of the changes:

  • All levels of the CFA exam will be computer-based.
  • There will be no more June exams for any level.
  • The Level II and Level III exams will be offered twice a year in 2022. In 2021, they will be offered three times.
  • There will be exam windows instead of one uniform date.
  • The total testing time for all levels is 4.5 hours.
  • Level II and Level III will use the same item set (vignettes) and essay format (Level III) used for the paper-based exams. The total number of item sets on the exam might vary slightly.

For information about all the changes for Level I in 2020, check out this article.

What Are the New Schedules for Level II and Level III?

There will be a special exam schedule for Levels II and III in 2021, and then a regular cadence will begin in 2022. The planned 2021 exam windows for Level I are still in effect. The exam windows for Level II and III in 2021 are:

  • May, August, and November for Level II
  • May, August, and November for Level III

Beginning in 2022, the schedule for Level II and Level III will be:

  • February, May, August, and November for Level I
  • February and August for Level II
  • May and November for Level III

Have more questions? Register to view our Online Q&A OnDemand.

What About Future Postponements?

If you are trying to make a decision about an exam date, be sure to check the government and health advisories in your test area. CFA Institute follows the guidance of local governments. The plan is to hold exams in any location where CFA Institute can meet public health and safety requirements.

If you were registered for the June 2020 postponed exam, and the exam you subsequently registered for is also postponed, you will have the option to defer again. Or, you can request a refund for the registration fee you paid for the June 2020 exam.

Why Is CFA Institute Making These Changes?

The world that investment professionals experience today is increasingly digital. For that reason, CFA Institute has been working on the transition of its exam from paper-based to computer-based for several years. The COVID-19 global pandemic was the impetus for CFA Institute’s decision to accelerate the move from paper to computer-based testing. The computer-based testing environment and additional dates and times available means that fewer candidates will sit for the exam at the same time, which reduces personal risk compared to the high-capacity venues used for the paper-based test.

What Are the Next Steps?

You can get more details about the CFA Institute announcements in these documents: