During the Exam
Why can’t I bring my mobile phone into the testing room?
It is a standard practice of many professional organizations to prohibit all electronic devices from the testing room. This not only ensures a fair and equitable testing experience for all candidates, but also maintains the integrity of the exam. If it is discovered that you possess a mobile phone or any other electronic device in the testing room, it will be confiscated and you will be reported to CFA Institute for disciplinary action.
Should I be concerned that the HP 12C automatically rounds up when computing the time required to accumulate a given future value?
No. CFA Institute is aware that the HP 12C rounds up when computing the time required to accumulate a certain sum. We have taken that into consideration in the creation of questions and in the grading process.
On the exam, when trying to calculate a ratio that mixes income statement and balance sheet statement information, when should I use the average values of the balance sheet information as opposed to the beginning- or end-of-year values?
The way ratios are calculated depends on the availability of data and how particular ratios are going to be used. There is no "one size fits all" solution, and such differences are part of the nature of financial analysis. Candidates should be familiar with the assigned curriculum and be prepared to perform calculations and interpretations based on that curriculum. If it is relevant, the exam questions will normally specify how the calculation is to be performed (e.g., "use beginning-of-year balance sheet data for your calculations"). Candidates must determine the most appropriate data to use in any calculations. The intended use of the ratio will help you to choose the appropriate data.
In quantitative methods we refer to the z-table, t-table, and F-table. Will these tables be provided during the exam?
No. CFA Institute does not provide distribution tables with the exam. If a question requires information from a specific distribution table, that information will be provided with the question, but the tables themselves will not be provided. Similarly, time value of money tables (present value, future value, etc.) are neither needed nor provided. The two approved calculators are capable of performing any required present value and future value calculations.
When answering constructed response-essay exam questions, may I use abbreviated words to save time or must I write out all words in full?
Use of abbreviations is acceptable. Candidates are responsible for the clarity of answers and for ensuring that there is no uncertainty or ambiguity of meaning in the abbreviations used. Candidates should be cautious about abbreviating highly technical, specialized, or less widely used terms.
Why am I not permitted to have water at my table during the exam?
Exam books and answer sheets could be damaged as a result of spills. Water stations are provided in the testing rooms at convention halls/exhibition centers, and drinking fountains are accessible to candidates during the exams at universities and schools.
Will I be allowed to use scratch paper during the exam?
No. However, you are permitted to do scratch work in the exam book on question pages or blank pages. Exam admission tickets must not be used as scratch paper
What topics will I see on the exam during the morning session or during the afternoon session?
Traditionally on Level I, all topics are covered in the morning session and all topics are covered again (with different questions) in the afternoon session. On the Level II and III exams, some topics are covered in the morning session only and other topics are covered in the afternoon session only.
Should I use pen or pencil on my answer sheet?
Candidates are instructed to use a #2 or HB pencil only when completing their answer sheet. Using ink or other pencil types may affect how the scanning machine reads and records the information. Your answer sheet will be graded as it was submitted.
Can medicine be brought into the testing room and used during the exam?
Yes. You may keep medicines, tissues, and other necessary medical or personal items in your pockets or on the floor beneath your chair during the exam. They may be accessed as needed.
What if I did not complete my candidate number?
Our experienced grading staff carefully reviews each answer sheet for completeness. A staff member will complete your candidate number to ensure your information is recorded correctly.
What if I did not complete my name?
We primarily use your candidate number as an identifier during the scan sheet grading process; we only use names for reference when someone has written his or her candidate number incorrectly.
Will my using a pen cause a problem with scoring my exam?
Candidates are instructed to use a #2 or HB pencil only when completing their answer sheet. Using ink or other pencil types may affect how the scanning machine reads and records the information. Your answer sheet will be graded as it was submitted. Please ensure that only a #2 or HB pencil is used for future exams.