All You Need to Know About LEVEL I CFA® Exam Computer-Based Testing

All You Need to Know About LEVEL I CFA® Exam Computer-Based Testing

The CFA Institute has transitioned all level testing to be computer-based in 2021. Prometric will administer all the exams, and you should schedule your exam appointment.

Why Did the CFA Program Transition From Paper to Computer-based Testing?

1. To Remain Relevant

The CFA Institute aims to remain the gold standard in giving investment credentials, and this requires that they evolve as the investment world and education world advances. The testing industry has also shifted to computer-based testing in the last few decades.

Transitioning to computer-based testing will help the CFA Institute remain relevant and assist their candidates in demonstrating how they will apply their knowledge and skills in the digital marketplace. It also addresses the preferences of today’s candidates.

2. It is More Flexible and Convenient

The evolving finance and education industries lead to changes in the needs and expectations of candidates and potential employers. Computer-based testing allows the CFA Institute to provide an exam setting that is more flexible and conducive. There are more exam dates, more exam locations, and smaller exam settings.

3. Increased Accessibility

As a result of improved technological advances globally, using computer-based testing allows the CFA Institute to meet global testing demands. It will improve accessibility to more students due to more exam venues and more flexible exam scheduling.

How do I schedule my CFA Exam?

You should ensure that you are enrolled in the CFA program before you schedule an exam appointment. The exam is not on one set date; instead, there is an exam window.

To register for your CFA exam, follow two simple steps;

Step 1: Enroll for the CFA exam using the CFA Institute website.

Step 2: Complete the registration process and process your payment. Select the “schedule your exam” option in your CFA Program tile. You will get to the Prometric scheduling tool to present you with available testing centers, dates, and times. You should receive a confirmed date and time after successful scheduling. Ensure that you complete this step before the scheduling deadline.

You can visit the CFA Institute website to download the scheduling tool instruction sheet.

How do I prepare for the computer-based CFA Exam?

To prepare for the computer-based exam, you should familiarize yourself with the exam tool features. It would be best if you understood how the computer-based exam works before your scheduled test day.

You can preview the Prometric CFA exam tutorial any time before taking the exam and as a refresher on the exam day. By previewing the exam tutorial, you will understand things like;

  • How to navigate the screens during the test
  • The mouse pointer
  • Tracking your progress when taking the exam
  • What highlighting, flagging, and strikethrough means
  • How to manage your time and identify the time remaining

The Prometric CFA exam tutorial has a brief sample test. You can find more exam resources on to help you prepare for the computer-based test.

What to Expect on the Scheduled Test Day

It would be best to show up at least 30 minutes early for your exam. You should make prior preparations like finding out where the testing center is and how long it will take you to get there to avoid being late. You might not be allowed to take the exam if you arrive late, and you will not get an exam fee refund or transfer.

The CFA Institute requires you to show a valid passport for identification when registering or sitting for your exam. You are only allowed a few items in the exam room, so you should leave other personal belongings in your car. You might undergo a check through a metal detector wand, asked to empty your pockets to ensure you do not have any personal belongings.

Some of the prohibited items from use in the test room include communication and electronic devices such as mobile phones and handheld computers. You are likely to be given a storage locker to keep your items. The exam official will then escort you into the exam room with the approved items such as your identification and permitted calculator.

Taking Your Computer-based CFA Exam

You will be provided with writing materials to use during the exam and allowed to use the approved calculator. Security measures such as cameras will be put in place to monitor candidate cheating. You should be aware of the examination rules and regulations; you should be quiet during the exam, and any deceit will lead to disqualification.

The exam duration will be five and a half hours, including 30 minutes for the tutorial, two 135 minute exam sessions, and an optional 30-minute break. You will have the same average time per question as to the paper-based testing option.

Upon completing your test, you should gather your belongings from the test area and locker and leave. The CFA Institute will contact you once your exam results are available. Contact us at and practice for your CFA computer-based examination using our CBT mock exam database. Our practice exams mimic the test at the end of your course and equip you with experience to help you pass any level.

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