CFA Level 1 Decemeber-Will it be cancelled?

I have registered for CFA Level 1 exam for Dec 2020. However, I feel given the current health situation in the world, its still scary thought to go to the center and write the exam. People are speculating that the peak of Covid-19 in India will come towards the end of Nov’2020 or beginning of Dec 2020.

If that’s the case, I would be more tensed about catching Covid 19 in the exam hall rather than concentrating on the exam.

Just wanted to have a general opinion - Does anyone think that CFA Level -1 exam in Dec would be further postponed?
I heard that IFOA had conducted an online assessment of Actuaries aspirants in May this year as the exam could not be conducted at the test centers. Do you think CFA will do something similar?

Any thoughts on this are welcome

I also worry that December exams might get canceled, because here in the US reopenings are failing in most big states, with cases surging even higher than before. I really don’t want to spend time studying again (it’s like failing the exam and you have to start again, and then again failing, to only start preparing for the third time). And the exam will be held in winter, the most favourable time for viruses.


I completely agree! I don’t want to spend time studying again too!

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Same concerns here for level 2. I’m in Los Angeles so it’s particularly hard hit with the virus and I’m suspecting that the exams probably will not happen.

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I am also worried about this. Hopefully if they do cancel, they will do so with some lead time so that people can plan appropriately. Right now I cannot see how December can be committed to with certainty.

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What sucks about this is that not committing to studying now is also very risky because what if the situation starts becoming stable around Oct-Nov and the exams get conducted in Dec as scheduled. Its difficult to predict anything to be honest. We cannot say for sure whether situation will get better or get worse. I know these are difficult times for everyone, and our lives have completely changed. But we gotta hustle. Right now, I am taking it slow and studying at my own pace. Not committing too many hours to study everyday nor completely giving up on studying. I think both the extremes are risky. It should be somewhere in between. Be mentally prepared for anything to happen.

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Does anyone know how masks affect your exam taking capabilities? Can you pass out? Less oxygen means your brain won’t be getting enough resources to function properly, I guess.

For people with breathing difficulties or asthma, the mask can cause discomfort. That could affect your exam taking condition.

Not sure if they will ask candidates to wear the mask during exams. They will probably do temperature checks and set the tables apart by 1-1.5m to have a safe distance. But that could mean CFA needs to rent more exam venues. And that would mean more proctors. I will pity the proctors more because they need to have the mask on the whole time.

Or they could just postpone the Dec exam to June :thinking:

Or this could speed up Level 2 and 3 to computer-based exams. :grimacing:

emailed CFA institute, and this is what they replied:

" We are carefully tracking pandemic-related restrictions around the globe. We hope that there will be no need for further postponements. If local situations require a change in plans we will adapt as needed. We are developing contingency plans for December. These contingency plans include: allowing test center changes to other locations, issuing an additional postponement, or deferring to a computer-based administration. As the December exam date approaches, we will react to the specific challenges of the pandemic and inform you of our plans."

It’s a standard answer. Can’t blame them as there are too many uncertainties to make any decision now.

IMHO they just don’t want to spend more and are being greedy. C’mon just spend some more money on extra precautions, disinfectants, temperature checkers, and extra rent.

They probably will do that, but my guess is they are also waiting on whether the government/law allows mass gatherings. In Malaysia, a mass gathering is limited to 250 pax, given the current condition (but the usual size of a CFA exam sitting is in the region of 2000+). If they do all the bookings and extra rental and get restricted from organizing the exam (or limited size), it is will be money wasted.

I also had the same concern back in May. I am in Canada and conditions are better but I seriously doubt the exam will be held in December unfortunately. I registered for the June exam because of that. Studying another 6 months and then having the December exam postponed to June would be a huge waste of time. Planning to get back to it around September and slowly go through the curriculum. Since I had already went over all readings it will mostly be about practicing and reviewing. I really hope you guys will be able to take the exam in December.

I am in Canada as well and I disagree with your assessment.

I think jurisdictions such as China, Europe, Canada for instance - places that have “flattened the curve” will be more likely to hold the exam in December. It could be done on a state/province by state/province basis as well.

I believe that CFAI cancelled only certain testing centers in China during the 2003 SARS outbreak, but left every other jurisdiction unchanged. I think something similar is likely in December. CFAI cancelled June 2020, since there was too much uncertainty about what the situation would look like and how to adapt nearly 200 testing centers to unique physical distancing guidelines around the world in a timely manner.

Additionally, GARP, which offers the FRM and ERP exams, is holding an October and a November administration of their exam. They will be providing masks to all students. I believe CFAI will follow similar procedures.


I hope you are right. Good luck!

Moderna is about to introduce vaccine, while I’m loosing money shorting it.

Hi, for exam in US, we totally have no idea how the corona situation during the exam session.
From the cfa ins insider, he said they’re going to consider from region to region.
If some states are still in serious affections, exam surely cancelled.

Hi - Could you clarify where you obtained this information and if it is publicly available as well?



CFA is an American institution and cancelled its exams when the US had new infections running at “only” ~30,000 a day. It doesn’t make sense it would proceed with new daily infections running at > 70,000 a day and, potentially, ~100,000 a day by December.

Aside from the moral imperative of keeping its candidates safe, CFAI would certainly open itself up to a class action lawsuit by running the exams.

A state-by-state approach would be morally indefensible given its manifest unfairness and the fact that it would irresponsibly encourage virus spread through candidates traveling from states with high levels of infection to those states with low rates of infection. So that idea is a non-starter.

The original poster is correct in terms of the British actuaries. All 13 of the crazy-hard IFoA fellowship exams are now online. CFAI should perhaps consider doing the same.

I think the question is not whether there will be exams in December 2020 (they won’t happen). It’s more a question of whether or not there will be exams in June 2021, which I think is 50/50 at best.

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Well even if they want to arrange the exam using all the precautions, it will be one frigging long centre with proper distance and think about how you have to wear the PPE for over 8 hours, even the thought of it scares me. Having my time with N-95 masks, trust me when I say this, it cuts the circulation quite fast, it is not meant to be worn for 8 hours! :mask: