CFA: Information on Exam Registration, Scheduling, and Deferrals

In this article, we will be looking at CFA Information on Exam Registration, Scheduling and Deferrals.

Our exams are administered in smaller test centers around the world by Prometric and British Council, in order to meet the needs of a new generation of learners. We’ve been able to streamline the exam to make it easier for you to manage your day and to reduce the amount of time you’ll spend in the testing center by moving to a digital format. For this reason, we wanted to provide some guidance on how to navigate the scheduling and attendance of your CFA exam in the new computer-based testing era.

CFA is also known as The Chartered Financial Analyst program is a postgraduate professional certification offered to investment and financial professionals worldwide by the American-based CFA Institute.


What are the required steps for a successful CFA exam registration and scheduling?

Registering for your CFA exam is now a two-step process.  

  • Step 1:  Enroll in the CFA exam through the CFA website. 
  • Step 2: After you complete the registration process and your payment is processed, you will see the “schedule your exam” option in your CFA Program tile. This will take you to the Prometric scheduling tool where you will be presented with available testing centers with dates and times. You must complete this step by the scheduling deadline. If you do not receive a confirmed date and time, you are not yet successfully scheduled for an exam.

Who will provide information about my exam?

Prometric: Once you have chosen your exam date and test center location, Prometric will send you an appointment confirmation email, keep you apprised of any pertinent scheduling changes and tell you of location-specific situations.

If you are concerned about a change or cancellation message you received from Prometric, please contact Prometric directly.  

CFA Institute: CFA Institute will provide you with a series of emails containing basic information about the exam, the resources we will make available to you, and how to use these resources. As the exam grows closer, CFA Institute will send reminders about mock exams, general exam policies and other considerations.  

Contact CFA Institute if: 

  • You are having difficulty accessing your account or need to change your personal information
  • If you have not yet scheduled your exam and have general questions
  • If you are having trouble connecting to your study resources


Where can I check seating availability before I register for the exam? This impacts my decision to register.

At this time, we cannot provide a way for candidates to see if there is availability in a desired location prior to registration. We recognize this is not ideal but are working closely with our exam delivery vendors to secure enough seats for registered candidates.

How do I find a seat in my desired location?

During the scheduling process, you will be able to search by address, city, or zip code.   
Here are a few tips for selecting your exam location and time. 

  • To ensure that you get your preferred test center, schedule your exam appointment promptly. Seats are available on a first-come, first -served basis.
  • Some cities show as full, but we do continue to add capacity where we can, so if you are firm on your choice, keep checking back.
  • For optimal results, be sure to search by city and country. You may find areas with extra capacity within a reasonable travel distance outside of your chosen city.
  • Do not search by “country” alone, as it may provide you with no results.
  • Don’t limit your date range search to just a few days. Select the entire exam window. You may have to be flexible when selecting which day to test. We will not be able to accommodate everyone on their preferred date.
  • When you do choose your appointment, plan to stick with it. We know it is tempting to change, but this makes it difficult for other candidates to find seats.  

What if I need to change my scheduled appointment?

If you need to reschedule your exam appointment in your exam window, you will be charged a non-refundable USD 250 fee* and any applicable taxes. You may not use this change to move to a new testing window, such as November 2021 or February 2022.

*We recognize that in some locations, the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is making it difficult to finalize exam schedules, navigate travel restrictions, and secure seating in your preferred location. To help alleviate these inconveniences, we have reduced the USD 250 fee to USD 25 for exam changes within 2021 windows (i.e. changing a time or location within the exam window you are registered for). This policy will be in place for all 2021 exams.

What are my options if my preferred testing city and country show as full when I’m trying to schedule my exam appointment?

Due to the pandemic, we have experienced some locations that reached maximum capacity before registration was closed. We are working with our computer-based vendors at Prometric and British Council to continually add appointments in existing locations around the globe. However, if we are unable to secure additional appointments, we will offer candidates from those areas the opportunity to schedule as soon as possible into another exam window.

I registered for an appointment in a different city when registration opened up as there were no appointments available in my city. As the appointments are now added, can I reschedule to my original city without any additional charges?

Because we recognize the ongoing challenges created by the pandemic, for all 2021 exams we have reduced the appointment change fee from US$250 to only US$25. This will allow you to either change location within a testing window or to change your exam date within a testing window. This does not apply to 2022 exams, and does not allow you to change testing windows, from August to November, for example.


How do I re-schedule my exam?

For general rescheduling before the deadline for your exam window, visit the link on your candidate tile.

What happens if my exam is rescheduled by Prometric?

Exam reschedules are not common, but do occur for a number of reasons, including pandemic restrictions, weather events and local situations. Whenever possible you will be rescheduled into the same location and exam window for a different date. If there are no open appointments at that location, you will be rescheduled within a 50-mile radius of your originally selected center.

What if I am rescheduled for a date that won’t work for me?

Sometimes it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment for a date that is sooner than your original appointment. We realize this may be inconvenient.

If your rescheduled appointment does not work with your schedule, you can attempt to contact Prometric at 1-800-310-6402 or 443-751-4833 for assistance with rescheduling. Due to high call volume, you may experience long wait times.

If there is no test center within a 50-mile radius, your appointment will be cancelled, and you will need to contact CFA Institute for more options. You may be eligible for a deferral to another exam window. Contact CFA Institute for more information.

What happens if my exam is cancelled and not rescheduled?

In the event your exam is cancelled, you will first hear from Prometric via email. This email will come from Please label this address as a safe sender so that this email does not go to your junk folder.

CFA Institute will contact you within 15 days of the cancellation to provide you with additional information and your options.

When will I be able to re-register if my exam is cancelled?

If it is necessary to cancel your exam, CFA Institute will provide you with information on the available testing windows within 15 days of your cancellation. You will have until the registration deadline for each of these testing windows to reregister. For example, if you select the Nov 2021 exam, you will have until 20 July to register. 


How will I be informed if I am eligible for a refund? When can I apply for that?

Candidates whose exams have been impacted twice by COVID-19 circumstances will be eligible for another deferral or a refund. If you are eligible, you will receive additional information about next steps via email. The window for July 2021 candidates to apply for a refund will be 16 August – 13 September 2021.

I have heard it will take 120 days to process a refund. Why is that?

Due to the extraordinary nature of this situation, and in many cases the length of time since a payment was originally received it may take UP TO 120 days from the close of the request window for your refund to be processed.


When will this year’s Access Scholarship application open?

There is not a firm open date at this time.