Choosing Postponed CFA date

Posted by: Kaplan Schweser
Published: May 6, 2020

Because of the novel coronavirus, CFA Institute postponed the June 2020 exam. Now CFA Institute has announced the dates that those who registered for the June 2020 CFA® exam may choose. This article describes the options and then explains why we recommend one over the other.

The CFA Exam Options in 2020 and 2021

Here are the main facts about the postponement shared by CFA Institute:

  • Level I: The rescheduled 2020 date is December 5, 2020 and the February 2021 window is February 23 to March 1. Those who registered for the June 2020 exam may choose to take the exam in December or February. As soon as candidates receive an invitation email from CFA Institute, they may register for the December 2020 exam. Registration for February 2021 will open on June 16, 2020.
  • Level II: The 2020 rescheduled dates are December 5 for the Americas and EMEA regions and December 6 for APAC countries. The 2021 rescheduled date is June 5. Candidates will receive an email inviting them to choose their preferred date. Those who take the exam in December 2020 will get their results in time for those who pass to register for the June 2021 Level III exam.
  • Level III: The 2020 rescheduled dates are December 5 for the Americas and EMEA and December 6 for APAC countries. The 2021 rescheduled date is June 5. Candidates will receive an email inviting them to choose their preferred date.

After reviewing this information, we have some ideas about which option you should choose.

Which Option Should Level I Candidates Choose?

If you can, we suggest registering for the December 2020 option for Level I. For one, you will only have extended the time you need to retain the material for six months. If you pass, you stay on track for the Level II exam in June 2021. If you don’t pass, you can retake the exam in May 2021 with the same curriculum. In addition, it is the last exam that will be in the format you’ve been preparing for. In 2021, the Level I exam moves to a computer-based format. Wouldn’t it be great not to have to prepare for a new format after waiting so long?

Waiting until February 2021 will also change your CFA charter trajectory. Passing the exam means you won’t be able to take Level II until June 2022. Failing the February 2021 exam means you can’t retake it until August 2021.

Which Option Should Level II Candidates Choose?

We recommend sitting for the CFA Level II exam in December 2020. You are more likely to retain the material you have already learned, and the current lockdown time is likely providing you with more time to study. If you were thinking you were not on track to pass in June, now you have six additional months to work on your trouble spots. And if you are using Kaplan Schweser exam preparation, you will be able to take four practice exams and two mock exams, which can help you gain confidence and further identify weak areas.

If you pass the exam in December, you can stay on track for the Level III exam in June 2021. If you don’t pass, you can retake Level II in June 2021—just six months later—and it will be based on the same curriculum. However, if you wait until June 2021 to take the exam and you pass, you will not be able to take Level III until June 2022. Not passing means a retake is not possible until June 2023.

Which Option Should Level III Candidates Choose?

The December 2020 option has the most to offer Level III candidates because it keeps them on track to earn the CFA charter in 2021. If you are a Level III candidate, you can build on the studying you have already been doing with extra time. You can fine-tune your review in the final stretch and hone your constructed response skills.

If you pass the exam, you will just need to meet the other requirements to get your charter. If you fail, you only have to wait six months to retake the exam, and the curriculum will be the same. Waiting until June 2021 to take the exam has consequences if you don’t pass. It will mean learning what is likely to be a new, substantially revised curriculum before retaking the exam in June 2022.

Supporting Your Choice

For all candidates who registered for the three levels of the June 2020 CFA Exam, Kaplan Schweser is providing online product access through the exam period chosen by candidates. You have access to online products through December 31, 2020. You’re covered automatically if you’re sitting for the December exam, and if you’re not sitting for the December exam, you can email us for additional support at staff@kaplan.com, using this subject line: CFA 2021.

To help you maximize your use of time over the extra study period, we are offering free master classes for all three levels of the exam. These are available to all CFA Program candidates. If you are an existing customer, you will be enrolled automatically. If you’re not a customer, you can get access here.

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