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CFA® Exam 2020 Curriculum Extended to 2021

By: Kaplan Schweser
January 14, 2021
Woman noting that the CFA Exam 2020 curriculum was extended to 2021

The postponement of the June 2020 and the cancellation of the December 2020 CFA® exams due to COVID-19 concerns have resulted in a number of questions. Candidates want to know whether the curriculum will change in 2021, if the 2021 CFA Level I exam will still be computer-based and offered four times, and what the 2022 curriculum will be like. This article answers these questions and concerns.

CFA® Exam Curriculum Freeze for 2021

On April 6, 2020, CFA Institute announced a curriculum freeze, which means that the 2020 curriculum will be extended through 2021. Candidates of every level who take the exam in 2021 will be tested using the current 2020 curriculum. Basically, this information breaks down as follows:

  • Level I 2020 will apply to Level I 2021 (remaining windows: May, July, Aug, and Nov).
  • Level II June 2020 will apply to Level II 2021 (May, Aug, and Nov).
  • Level III June 2020 will apply to Level III 2021 (May, Aug, and Nov) .

CFA Institute made this decision to minimize the impact of the postponement of the 2020 exam. For transitioning students, postponing exams to 2021 with a new curriculum could disrupt their learning, add confusion, and place an additional burden on their study plans.

Because the 2021 curriculum was evolving at the time the curriculum freeze was announced, CFA Institute will release the 2021 curriculum as refresher readings.

CFA Exam Changes for 2021

CFA Institute has announced the end of June and paper-based exams, starting in 2021. All levels of the exam will be computer-based. Level I of the CFA exam will move to four times a year after 2021. In 2021, to accommodate postponements and testing center closures, CFA Institute is opening two more Level I windows and one more window for Level II and Level III. There is now an additional July window for all 2021 candidates. For Level II and Level III, there will be windows in May, August, and November.

To find out all of the CFA exam windows for 2021, read this article.

Substantial Curriculum Changes Are Coming in 2022

The 2022 curriculum will incorporate 2021 changes in addition to 2022 changes, which means the curriculum change for 2022 will be substantial. CFA Institute will release the 2022 Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and curriculum when they open registration for the 2022 exam. For Level I, the curriculum and CBOK should be released in May 2021 when the first 2022 exam window is expected to open. The Level II and III curricula will be released when the June 2022 exam registration period opens.

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