The Unofficial Guide to the Computer-Based Test via Prometric

The Unofficial Guide to the Computer-Based Test via Prometric

Check if your local Prometric testing center is closed due to covid-19

Here is a nice introduction video of the Prometric test center:

This has already been shown in the video, but it’s worth reiterating: you must wear a mask at all times in the Prometric testing center. You don’t have to arrive 30 minutes early, but it is a good idea. Just don’t arrive late for your test. Depending on how many candidates are taking the test, you might be able to start your test a bit earlier than usual, or you might have to wait until there is an available seat. The waiting room is not meant to be used for studying. There should be a sign asking candidates to not study in the room. If you absolutely have to, you are free to leave the room and review your study notes.

Registration and scheduling
Once you register for an exam and pay the necessary fee, your exam sponsor, in this case, the CFAI will email you your candidate id number. This can take 2-3 days. From Prometric FAQ

Make sure you double-check your spam or junk folder - email providers can sometimes mistake legitimate emails with spam. You need this number to schedule your exam online. If you still have not received your number, you should contact CFAI

If you can’t find an available day to schedule your exam, keep looking. It’s often the case that more seats become available as time passes. You might also want to check testing centers that are farther from where you live.

What to bring on the test day

  1. A valid identification document. In this case, a valid international travel passport.
    Note: you must bring a valid international travel passport. Passport cards, national identification cards, internal passports and driver’s license, among other items are NOT accepted. You can, however, use an alternative form of ID if it satisfies certain requirements. Read more.

  2. Calculator: Texas Instruments BA II Plus, Texas Instruments BA II Plus Professional, or Hewlett Packard 12C. See CFA Calculator policy below. Some test sponsors allow candidates to bring multiple calculators, so long as they are in the list of approved calculators. CFAI doesn’t make it clear if you can bring multiple acceptable calculators. Texas Instruments BA II Plus Pro is generally considered the superior option.

You will be asked to store all other belongings in the locker, as shown in the introductory video.
Don’t bring a pen or pencil - you will receive a pen when you come to the testing center.
You are NOT allowed to use your own pen or pencil to take the test.

CBT Tutorial Section
Before starting your exam, you will be given a short interactive tutorial explaining how to use the system. Here is a tutorial specific to the CFA exam:

Prometric Frequently Asked Questions

1 Like

Does anyone know what kind of writing instruments are provided? Dry erase markers and board or pencil and paper? Just trying to have a clear understanding of what to expect.

The last time I took a test at prometric (a few months ago), they offered a pen and blank papers to work on the problem. It was from a different examination body, but I don’t expect it to be different for CFA.
They used to give pencils in the past, but switched to giving pens after covid happened.


Thanks for the unofficial guide, it would be good to get an official one going one day.

I have a few follow-up questions to this if fellow candidates can offer any guidance:

  1. If I have a HP 12c Calculator and a TI BA II Plus Professional, can I bring both calculators into the examination?

  2. Calculator covers & and keystroke cards, is there any guidance on whether you can have the leather pouch or custom hard case you buy off ebay / amazon?

  3. Are calculator covers allowed to have stickers with your name on it?