Best CFA Exam Location?

Taking my Level 2 this June, and I plan on taking a week off from work during the week of the exam. Since I’ve got enough frequent flyer miles, I plan on taking the exam somewhere else and lock myself in a hotel for the entire week for some serious review time.

I took my level 1 exam in Ft Lauderdale in December, but I want to try a different city this time.

Which cities below has the best exam experience (and also good for partying after the exam is finished!)

  • Toronto

  • Boston

  • Philly

  • Chicago

  • Dallas

  • Houston

…and other suggestions welcome (preferrably remaining in the EST/CST time zone to avoid jetlag!)

You have too much money and time.

EDIT: I’ve always wanted to go to Chicago.

I understand that Toronto’s awful. (It used to be OK, but they moved it to a site near the airport. Maybe not so bad if you stay near the airport, but awful if you have to drive there, especially when the highway’s jammed as it was a couple of years ago: candidates abondoned their cars on the highway and ran to the testing center.)

I took L1 in Dallas (twice) and L2 and L3 in San Antonio. San Antonio was in a better location (right on the Riverwalk), and there were far fewer people. So that would be my advice.

If they have the exam in one of the hotels, you can just book that hotel and save yourself the “abandon my car on the highway and run” thing. If they don’t have it at a hotel, they’ll have it at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, which is about 100 yards from a hotel. Then, when you’re done, you can party on the Riverwalk without having to drive.

I’d do Vegas.

Instead of spending time looking at the map of geographic coordinates, how about opening a CFA book?

Aside from traffic, Toronto would be an awesome city to write in. There are somewhere near 10,000 people that all write in this hangar, and then once you get back to the city the partying would be great.

I’ve gotten a cab from downtown to the airport at least 10 times during rush hour (5:00), and the most it has ever taken me is 50 minutes to get there. If you plan to leave early enough you’ll be fine.

Your first-hand experience is certainly more useful than my second-hand info.

^im not sure if he has firsthand experience taking the exam in Toronto.

Ive heard too many horror stories about Toronto to feel comfortable taking the test there.

Totally, do somewhere where you can party after.

Though I’m a twenty minute walk away from my test center so no way I’d switch my location :slight_smile:

Why can’t you just take a vacay after the exam? Locking yourself in a hotel for a week sounds miserable. Stay home -> study -> test -> party

Yes, there definitely were first hand reports here last year of folks bailing out on the highway, ditching their vehicles and running to the exam on foot. The vehicle access in and out of the venue is apparently awful. A cab wouldn’t be much better, though no parking issues.

^at least you wouldn’t have to pay to get the cab out of the tow yard.

Assuming it is still in the PA Convention Center, the Philly location isn’t bad. There are several nice hotels within a 2 minute walk. Although I’m long disconnected from the local party scene, I understand the night life in Philly is still rather good. If you do chose Philly, I would not recommend planning to eat lunch at the Reading Terminal, which is right next to the convention center. It’s a great place for a bite, but is an absolute zoo on a normal Saturday.

Having taught a Level I review course in Philly last Spring, I heartily concur, in toto.

I suggest Bangkok in Thailand. After exam, You can get all of free.

I agree with emichan. Use those frequent flyer miles to celebrate after the exam! Or drown your sorrows. Whichever.

I only have experience with Boston’s test centers. When it was at the BCEC, I loved it. When it was at the World Trade Center, it was a nightmare.

And all because of one reason: bathrooms. Lol. Not nearly enough in the latter. Like literally the lines were a hundred people deep, whereas at the BCEC there are bathrooms everywhere. But bathroom hell seems to be the case at a lot of CFA test centers worldwide from what I’ve read. Eat smart the day before cool

But Boston is a fun city for afterwards, lots to do and there is a good choice of (expensive) hotels nearby. Easy access to the centers from South Station MBTA.

^ And one of the cities with the most students per capita.

just wear a stadium buddy

Or use the sink.