The CFA Institute is postponing its June exams amid the global coronavirus outbreak, the organization announced Thursday.
Those scheduled to take the exam in June — 245,000 people globally — will be transferred to one of the next two exam administrations, the soonest of which is anticipated to take place in December, according to the institute.
The CFA Institute said it is still working to “define precisely” when those next two exam administrations will occur. Candidates will be able to choose the preferred future date of their exam.
“We cannot overstate the profound effects that coronavirus is having on families, communities, businesses, the financial markets, and the global economy,” said Margaret Franklin, president and chief executive officer of the CFA Institute in a statement.
“As the pandemic continues to intensify, with no certainty of when it will abate, we have made this decision with a heavy heart while knowing that it is in the best interest of all of our stakeholders,” she added.
Exact dates for future exams remain uncertain. Securing exam administration sites, organizing grading, and making sure candidates have access to study materials “requires intentional and careful planning,” the nonprofit said. “Although we do not have a precise date, we can guarantee that candidates will have an opportunity to take the exam before the end of the year, and we appreciate everyone’s patience in the meantime,” according to a FAQ page on the group’s website.
As for would-be test takers’ reactions, “The candidates are probably split,” one level-three candidate said by phone Thursday. “There are people like me who are behind with studying and probably happy. There are other people who didn’t have a life and have been studying since the fall.”
The procrastinating candidate had calculated the number of days until the first week of December — 261 — and made a plan. “I probably won’t start studying for at least another month,” they said. “There’s so much material and you want it to be as fresh as possible without cramming for it.”
Although many scheduled test-takers are welcoming the additional time to study, plenty of others expressed frustration at the delay. One user on social media website Reddit reacted: “[EXPLITIVE] [EXPLITIVE] [EXPLITIVE] [EXPLITIVEEEEEE]. I just want to get this stupid test over with.”
Others lamented the loss of a distraction. “At first I was hoping it would be delayed, but I seriously cannot consume more news sitting at home being scared and anxious,” one Reddit user said. “It was helpful to study.”
The CFA Institute will not issue refunds to candidates, and instead will have them defer their exam to a future date. “Because all candidates will be rescheduled, refunds are not being offered,” according to the FAQ page. A spokesperson declined to comment further on the lack of refunds.
The CFA Institute offers the exams at three prices: the early-bird special for $700, a regular rate, and $1450 for late registrants.
Some candidates who paid the latecomer fare for June wondered on Reddit whether the CFA Institute would refund them for the higher cost now that they’re all technically registered early. There is no indication that the group will do so.
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Passing the three levels of exams allows candidates to use the chartered financial analyst designation, and the institute requires work experience before candidates receive the designation.
“We have hundreds of thousands of candidates around the world, and we know how much time they have invested in preparation for the June exams,” said Franklin. “We thank our candidates for their patience as we all navigate this unprecedented public health crisis.”