COVID impact on December exam

So I know that we are about five months away from the exam and the time may seem plenty for things to come back to normal. But are things really going to be OK in the entire world? If you look at US, things are pretty bad over there and it seems that it will only get worse before things get better. Then, there will be that potential gradual reopening and God only knows how much time would it take for new COVID infections to completely subside. Therefore, I find it highly unlikely that things will come back to normal in December in at least some parts of the world. So I have been wondering what would CFAI do? Continue insisting that everyone needs to do the exam at the same time or maybe base its decision on country-by-country basis? Five months is really not a whole lot of time especially since the vaccine is highly unlikely to be available any time soon.

If they postpone the exam, it will be a gap of two calendar years (assuming they postpone it for June 2021). It would have negative impact on CFAI’s finances, people’s desire to pursue CFA exam, etc.

1 Like

High risk that December 2020 may get cancelled. There may be a chance of exam proceeding but with maximum social distancing. Best bet is to prepare assuming December exam is still on (until further notice)

I agree with you that the best bet is to prepare. It worries me though that the exam could be postponed again and prolong this whole agony. It is time to move to life and the final level is preventing us all. If it were not for COVID-19 we would have been already done with the exam.

… and happily enjoying your break from taking exams.

Doesn’t seem like things are going to get any better any time soon. Wonder if any of the practice prep providers have any insight? Can’t imagine stuffing thousands of people into a testing center shoulder to shoulder right now.

They gave us the same standard answer… “will monitor closely… update everyone nearer to exam…”

It’s very frustrating. Hard to imagine that an exam will be possible in December (in California we are basically back to where we were in April- malls, salons, houses of worship, gyms are all closed and no mass gatherings). Even if the situation gets better, will 1,000+ people be allowed to gather in a hall for 6+ hours at that point? Hard to imagine so, but we must study on based on the long shot that the exam is possible in December. Last time was hard: being in the study zone with a few months left and boom- postponed test. Now to do that again and get an email in Sept or Oct that the test is postponed would be mentally devastating. CFAI is not allowing anyone who chose December to change their date and they are not announcing anything. Just this generic ‘we are monitoring…’
I know nothing can be done, but I’m just venting…
The end is so close but yet so far. ONE MORE EXAM!!!

Agreed, highly frustrating. Not letting us change from December is perposterous, things are hard enough right now a little flexibility would be nice.

It is indeed frustrating but if you can reach this stage, I think you will be able to pull through till the end. :muscle:

There’s no way they can hold this exam in the US. The question is how long will they wait to tell us.

I think other 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 here. 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.

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.


It’s looking less and less likely. Not letting us switch from December is a terrible policy. Some of us have kids/families, etc., and won’t want to risk it even if it gets slightly better by December. Schools may not even be open at this point.

In EU things are improving considerably. I really hope they hold the exam in December, assuming things do not get worse.

Doing an exam with glasses and mask is not funny.

I heard you can opt out of December and sign up for next June if you want to. Anyone know if that’s true or not? Sounds like all prep providers are suspending live classes too. The institute shouldn’t string us along like this.

I talked with Marc LeFebvre earlier this week. He’s not. If he cannot hold live in-person classes, then he’ll hold live virtual classes.

Depending on my schedule, I’m going to try to sit in on at least part of at least one of his classes.

i reached out to CFAI regarding the possibility of rescheduling ourselves
Below is the reply they gave

“Thank you for following up. As your invitation to register stated, when you re-register, your exam selection will be binding according to existing policies. We will not be able to honor deferral requests nor change exam dates outside of those policies. As the global situation evolves, we will respond with our candidates safety in mind. At this time, the December 2020 CFA exam has not been postponed. Please continue to monitor our website for updates, and we will contact December candidates with any decision made by CFA Institute.”

So no we cannot reschedule ourselves.

The way it seems, you cannot postpone it on your own but CFAI could postpone the exam if health reasons require such a step. To me, this is a fair deal although not ideal as the exam has already been postponed.

Not sure about fair, some flexibility in such an unprecedented situation would be fair… We may all have health reasons if we’re not allowed to postpone. I hope whoever is willing to take the exam is able to, just saying I hope they give us an option instead of stringing us along until October/November to update us.

one of the prep providers who is also on the board seemed to suggest there is a vote coming up in 2 weeks time. CFAI may decide something based on the outcome of the vote. Hopefully they will decide soon. I dont mind if they go ahead with the exam in december but it should be a firm decision.
Although its equally true the way virus is raging in US specially in Florida Texas Arizona and California public health is a genuine concern. Even if the candidate himself is not sick he or she may have elderly people and relatives at home :frowning:

1 Like