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Level II and Level III CFA® Exam Changes in 2021 and 2022

By: Kaplan Schweser
December 10, 2020
Woman Taking Level II and Level III Exam on Computer


Level II and Level III of the CFA® exam are offered in a computer-based testing format, ending 60 years of paper-based testing. What does that mean for candidates? Read on to find out.

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 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.

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 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 the Level II and Level III exams will be:

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

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

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 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 scheduled to take the postponed 2020 Level II and Level III exams, and the exam you subsequently registered for is also postponed, you will have the option to defer again or register for one of the new windows. Or, you can request a refund for the registration fee you paid for the June 2020 exam. Kaplan Schweser is following all the CFA Institute developments, and you can keep up to date here.


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