"CFA exams to be held on Saturday only"

Anyone else notice this statement? How is this going to strengthen the security of the program? Seems like it would make the security problems worse… . http://www.cfainstitute.org/CFAPROGRAM/EXAMS/Pages/index.aspx . Assuming that everyone still starts the exam at 9am local time, isn’t a candidate in, say, Auckland NZ going to Finish the exam a full 11 hours before a candidate in San Francisco starts it ?

Well obviously you can’t have every candidate take it at the same time. How do you make someone take it 9pm - 3am ? I thought across the globe, people already took it on saturdays? I could be totally mistaken here though

The logical conclusion is that CFAI thought there were too many observant Jews managing financial assets, and this would be a good way of solving that “problem.” More seriously: I guess the motivation is that they are worried that observant Jews who can only take the exam on Sunday may have non-Jewish friends who take the exam on Saturday and give them all the answers. Happy Robert E. Lee day, CFAI. As for Aukland vs San Francisco, this is why Oceana and Asian locations get a slightly different test than than North America and Europe. Sounds to me like someone wanted to save money by writing fewer versions of the exam.

Well, let’s dissect their announcement: “CFA Program exams will be held on Saturday only. This change ensures that all candidates receive a similar exam day experience and strengthens the security of the CFA Program.” I think the key is this part: “This change ensures that all candidates receive a similar exam day experience”. They probably think that a candidate who takes the exam on Saturday will be in a different state from someone who takes the exam on Sunday. Hence, one of these groups has historically been getting an advantage, so much so CFAI thinks it is worth increasing the dispersion of exam times.

My alternative hypothesis is that candidates in some countries have been found to cheat a lot more than others. So, CFAI has rearranged the times to put the cheating countries first and the non-cheating countries later.

I always thought it was Asia that took it first, and just follows the time zones. Asia -> middle east -> europe -> US East -> US West Is that not so?

In 2011, the Asia test was on Sunday (see link below) and the US test was on Saturday. I’m not sure about Europe (does anyone know?). So, the 2011 sequence was either Europe -> US -> Asia, or US -> Asia -> Europe. The 2012 sequence will be Asia -> Europe -> US. So, without saying any names, all I’m saying is that the sequence of countries might have been crucial to the change in exam dates. If most of the cheating happens in certain countries, you would want to move those countries to the earlier part of the schedule. http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/career-discussions/62859-cfa-level-1-december-2011-a.html

I believe the exam was previously given in this order… Europe/U.K. --> U.S.A./Canada --> India/China Now it will be like this… India/China --> Europe/U.K. --> U.S.A./Canada

wait, wasn’t there passing scores by region stats somewhere, and I thought that Europe had the highest pass rates (in general). So if there were already going first, then chances are they weren’t cheating.

by cheating I mean asking someone who took it in another region what was on it. I suppose there’s always glancing and other forms of cheating.

They might be giving different exams in different regions After the 2011 level II exam, a number of folks commented on having the 5050 or 6060 score sheets.

Yes, I can’t remember where, but I remember reading that they give a different exam in Asia to prevent answers to leaking into different time zones. The exam has always been given on Saturdays, and that means the first people sitting are generally in New Zealand. Up until this year, people who are not allowed to sit for the exam on Saturdays for recognized religious reasons (observant Jews, basically), had been permitted to take the exam on the next day. I always wondered how and where those exams were given, and what precautions were taken to prevent answer leakage. I assumed that, like Asia, there was just a slightly different exam.

Uhhhh…. I don’t think that’s true. If it was, then this upcoming change to all-Saturdays wouldn’t be a change. My understanding is that in recent memory (ie. for at least the last decade), candidates writing the CFA exam at asian test centers (ie. China, New Zealand, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, India, etc) have written the exam on Sunday local time, not Saturday. Though I don’t know this first hand, as I wrote all of my CFA exams in the U.S.

Wendy, I’m so sorry, I accidentally “edited” your comment, when I meant to quote it. (I was wondering why it didn’t pop up on my screen the way I expected – the buttons are next to each other). As a board member, I have a button to edit, which is meant to allow me to edit out abusive or hate language and meant to be used sparingly (I’ve actually never used it until - accidentally - just now). My apologies Wendy. Nothing personal intended… I was just trying to reply to your reply.

Well like I said, I don’t have first hand experience of Asia CFA exams. But I believe that they have traditionally been held on Sunday in that region (except for folks with religious exceptions). I’m sure the other forum members will straighten us out. I suspect that CFAI will still allow religious exceptions.

The exam was either the same or very similar. I had a Jewish co-worker that was not religious. He did all 3 levels on Sunday, and had his study partner give him most of the questions on Saturday night. I also knew someone that was Catholic but claimed he was Jewish to the CFA Institute so he could write the exam on Sunday. I’m not sure how the Institute could prove someone’s religion, especially if someone has converted. I wonder how many other people claimed to be Jewish to write the exam the following day.

I’m with those who think this change is aimed at people who took the exam on sunday as a special case because of religious etc reasons. As a side note, this site has shut up shop on exam days to stop people spreading news of questions to other candidates (which would be an ethics violation of course)

Damn that’s unfair.

I think you guys are misinterpreting what this change is. If I understand correctly: 1) There is NO change to “religious alternate date” policy. If Saturday does not work for you for religious reasons, you can still apply for a Sunday date. Nothing different here. 2) What is changing is that the “regularly scheduled CFA exam date” has traditionally been Sunday for Asia/Oceania exam sites, and will now be Saturday for all exam sites globally. This means that candidates in India/China/Australia/etc will now write the CFA exam Before other regions, (ie. they will now write the exam “first”, rather than “last”.)

OK. I guess you’re right. I really didn’t know that the Asia/Oceana exams were given on Sunday. I seem to recall when I was taking the exam, there were posts on AF saying “They’ve started in Sydney.” I figured that as long as AF was locked before the lunch break, that would probably keep CFAI happy. It sucks that people abuse the religious exemption, although I am not that surprised. I figured that there would be few enough people who qualify that they could execute better due diligence, such as getting a note from their rabbi (if you observe Shabbat strictly, well, you should also be going to synagogue strictly and have a recognized rabbi that knows you well and is willing to stake their reputation on it).