What to expect on CFA Exam Day?

What to expect on CFA Exam Day?
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Vivek Sayal

Published on October 16, 2013


  • 2424 Views

As the date of the December 2012 CFA Level 1 exam comes closer, here are few pointers as to what the candidates can expect on the day of exam.

CFA level 1 exam happens in 2 sessions – Morning session and Afternoon session. A candidate has to appear for both the sessions in order to receive the result. Here is the tentative schedule for the day.

Check in process
Check in process begins at 8:00 AM for the morning session and at 1:00 PM for the afternoon session. During this process, the candidates will have to produce their admission ticket, valid passport and approved calculator. CFA institute has changed the identification policy since January 1, 2011. Prior to this date, any government issued photo identity proof was accepted but now only valid international travel passport is accepted as proof of identity.

Candidates seated in examination room
Candidate should be seated in the examination room by 8:30 AM for the morning session and by 1:30 PM for the afternoon session. The testing room doors are closed after these timings and candidates are instructed about the exam rules and regulations. Once the doors are closed the candidates who are arriving late to the room will be allowed to enter the room only once the exam begins.

Exam begins
CFA Level 1 exam begins at 9:00 AM for the morning session and 2:00 PM for the afternoon session. This session lasts for 3 hours. Candidates should start attempting the paper after receiving the start instructions from the proctor. Admission ticket, passport and calculator are checked again in this session. Candidates will have to sign on the sheet given by the proctor to mark their attendance. In case, a candidate finishes the paper early, s/he can hand over the question paper and answer sheet to the proctor and leave the testing room. Before leaving the testing room, it is advised that the candidate should gather their belongings (calculator, passport, stationery items etc) to avoid any inconvenience. Candidate is not allowed to leave the testing room during the last 30 minutes of the session.

Exam ends
Exam ends at 12:00 PM for the morning session and at 5:00 PM for the afternoon session. The candidate should stop writing once the proctor instructs. In case the candidate continues to write even after the proctor’s instruction, the proctor may file a report against the candidate. The candidate should remain seated until the proctor collects all the materials and all the material has been reconciled. The candidate should leave the testing room only when the proctor gives the instructions to leave.

Additional Guidelines for the candidates

  1. In the rooms that do not have a clock, proctor will write the remaining time on the chalk board/white board/flip chart in every 30 minutes. In the last one hour, the proctor will update the timings every 15 minutes and will make two verbal announcements in last 30 minutes with the interval of 15 minutes.
  2. The candidate should print their admission ticket on clean and unused paper.
  3. The candidate should review all the information mentioned on the admission ticket.
  4. The candidate should take with them only the calculator that is approved by the CFA Institute. The candidate is not allowed to borrow or share the calculator during the exam. The candidate should clear the memory of the calculator before they enter the testing room.
  5. The candidate should not write anything on the front or reverse of the admission ticket. This is considered a violation of the CFA Institute testing policy.
  6. The candidate should read the CFA Institute website for directions and special instructions for the exam center. If possible, the candidate should visit the exam center prior to the day of exam to avoid any confusion on the day of exam.
  7. The candidate should strictly follow the testing policies of CFA Institute without any exception. Failure to adhere to the testing policies is considered a violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA program, will result in CFA Institute voiding the candidate’s result and may result in the termination of the candidacy of the candidate for CFA program.

About the Author

Vivek Sayal, MBA from XIMB, is currently working as a trainer for various finance courses. He has over 3 years of industry experience in organizations like J P Morgan Chase and Tata Consultancy Services. He has passed CFA Level 1 exam and FRM Part 1 exam. He is also NCMP Level 2 certified.


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