Is it Possible to Postpone my CFA® Exam After Scheduling it?

Is it Possible to Postpone my CFA® Exam After Scheduling it?

You need to fulfill specific criteria and appeal directly to the CFA Institute to postpone your CFA exam. The CFA Institute sometimes postpones scheduled exams due to natural disasters, significant format changes, or pandemics such as the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020. In such instances, candidates receive notice to reschedule exams to the new date or register again if the institute announces a postponement.

How to request individual exam postponement

Postponing an individual exam is referred to as a deferral and is only allowed in specific circumstances. You should submit a deferral request to the CFA Institute before or within ten US business days after the exam window.

The CFA Institute reviews your deferral request, and they decide on a case-to-case basis. The decision on deferral requests is final and remains at the discretion of the CFA Institute. If you are not sure about your decision to request a deferral, the CFA Institute provides a self-assessment that will help you make the right decision.

The exceptional circumstances that may allow a deferral include;

  • Your government, employer, or university impose travel restrictions that prevent you from accessing the testing center
  • You or an immediate member of your family have a very serious or life-threatening disease
  • You are pregnant
  • There is a sudden death of one of your immediate family members
  • You are obligated to mandatory military service on the date of the test
  • There is a natural disaster affecting your local area

The CFA Institute defines immediate family as the candidate’s parents, grandparent, sibling, spouse/partner, or child.

You should notify the CFA Institute through email about your request to defer your examination. They will review your case and determine if you can postpone your exam to the next sitting. If your case meets the criteria, you will get a qualified deferral, but you will forfeit the paid payments. However, the CFA Institute will defer your enrollment to the next scheduled sitting.

The CFA Institute policy on forfeiting any fees paid upon deferral is that the paid registration fees plan the exam logistics and provide support services. The number of paid registrations helps plan for the number of testing centers, computers needed, furniture and exam stationery, and a deferral leaves a space that remains unfilled.

If you fail to qualify for a deferral, you can withdraw from the CFA exam.

How to withdraw from the CFA exam

If the CFA Institute rejected your deferral request, you could choose to withdraw from the CFA exam up to five days before the set test date. You will not have to take the exam, but you will have to register if you want to take it at the next sitting.

According to the CFA Institute policies on exam withdrawal, you will get a full refund of your registration and exam fees if you withdraw within the first three days after you registered. If more than three days have passed after you registered, you will have to forfeit all the fees paid.

You can register for the exam once your withdrawal is processed, but you will pay all the fees again. If you do not withdraw before the scheduled exam date and fail to sit for the exam, you will have to wait until all the results of the current sitting are released by the CFA Institute before you can register for the next sitting.

If you need to withdraw from your CFA exam, you should do so in time and through the proper channels to avoid inconveniences. It would be best to keep in mind that a withdrawal is final, and you cannot re-register for the same sitting.

How to change your CFA testing center

If you do not want to defer or withdraw from the exam, but you will not be able to sit for it at your assigned testing center, you can request a center change.

You can change your assigned testing center online through your account, and you will not need to forfeit any of your fees. The change is automatic if you do it before admission tickets are released unless the new testing center has no opening.  The CFA Institute would notify you by mail of the change if the requested center has available space if you placed your request after the admission tickets were released.

How to avoid postponing your CFA exams

The future is unpredictable, and you cannot tell if you will get medical emergencies or when natural disasters will occur. However, it is best to try your best to avoid deferring or withdrawing from your CFA exams, especially for Levels two and three that have one sitting a year.

Take into careful consideration your weekly job schedule and if you will be able to set apart enough time to study and take time off to sit for your exam. Reading for your CFA examinations will need dedication, and you should understand your priorities if you are still in college.

Plan and adhere to a study routine as soon as you register for your exam. Focus on the core topics during your studies and practice taking the exam.

Contact us at to access a vast library of study materials to help you prepare for your exams. Our online study notes and video lessons will help you assimilate the most complex concepts. We have up-to-date question banks that will help you practice how to answer exam questions. You will sharpen your skills with our computer-based testing mock exams and customizable quizzes.

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