The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a postgraduate professional certification that recognizes your knowledge, education, and experience as a financial analyst. The CFA Charter is among the most respected and recognized professional designations in the world. Earning the CFA credential requires a tremendous amount of hard work and preparation, but the benefits of higher salaries and career advancement make the pursuit worthwhile.
To achieve the exclusive designation, you must pass all three levels of the CFA Exam and fulfill all other requirements. Each exam is offered a few times per year, but CFA exam dates are scheduled to change in 2022. Here’s everything you need to know about the CFA exam levels and their administration dates.
CFA Exam Levels
Each exam level tests different subject matter expertise, and the material becomes increasingly more difficult from one level to the next.
The first CFA exam tests your investment analytical skills and measures knowledge in fundamental financial areas.
The third and final exam requires applicants to demonstrate mastery of asset classes and economic concepts by applying them to practical portfolio management scenarios.
When you decide to take the CFA Exam, it’s crucial to stay on top of the dates for all three levels, from registration through exam day. This can save you money and give you the maximum amount of study time to prepare.
Below are some notable changes affecting the CFA Exam in 2021 and 2022:
1. Curriculum Freeze
Due to the June 2020 exam postponement in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the CFA Institute decided to freeze the 2020 CFA Program® curriculum for two exam cycles. This means that all candidates who took the exam in December 2020 or any exam dates offered in 2021 will be tested using the current 2020 CFA Program curriculum.
2. Computer-Based Format
The investment profession now operates in a digital world. That’s why the CFA Institute is changing how candidates learn and test to meet the times. As of 2021, the CFA Institute has transitioned all Level 1 exams to computer-based testing.
Offering the learning experience and exams in a digital environment will allow the CFA Institute to better model the tasks and competencies required of investment professionals. Candidates expect a more flexible approach to exam administration, which the CFA Institute has delivered by transitioning CFA Level 1 exams to computer-based testing in 2021.
CFA candidates must register and pass each level separately and in succession. Rather than administering the exam on only one day during a cycle, the CFA Institute will offer a window within which candidates can take an exam. Here are the most current cycles for each level for 2021 - 2022:
- Level I: November 16 - 22, 2021, February 15 - 21, 2022, May 17 - 23, 2022
- Level II: November 26 - 30, 2021, February 22 - 26, 2022
- Level III: November 23 - 25, 2021, May 24 - 26, 2022
|CPA Exam Testing Calendar|
|Feb||Level 1||Level 1||Level 2|
|May||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 1||Level 3|
|Aug||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 1||Level 2|
|Nov||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 1||Level 3|
|CPA Exam Testing Calendar|
|May||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|Aug||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|Nov||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|Feb||Level 1||Level 2|
|May||Level 1||Level 3|
|Aug||Level 1||Level 2|
|Nov||Level 1||Level 3|
Keep in mind that all CFA exam levels are administered in English, so you must possess a functional level of proficiency in written English to complete it.
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