One of the questions that I have been receiving the most in recent days is about candidates that are looking into registering for the CFA exam in December. Is that even possible? Absolutely but the only exam being offered in December is for level #1. Before getting into that, I do have to ask:
Are these questions coming from candidates that are due to take the June exam but are feeling very negative about the results?
I would imagine that it is the case, especially since many of the candidates that have sent me these emails are not doing their #1 exam. Now let me be clear if I have not been clear enough in previous posts. It is NOT too late to pass your exam. No matter where you are, if you are ready to dedicate yourself to this exam for the final month, it’s still very much possible to give yourself a very good shot. There are plenty of reasons why candidates fail the CFA exam but feeling unprepared one month before the exam is no excuse to already start preparing for the “worst case scenario”.
Back To The Question, Can You Do The December Exam?
If and only if you do eventually fail the June exam, then it will be a good time to look at the next one. To answer your question, only the Level #1 exam is given in December so if you are at level #2 or #3, you will be stuck to wait for an entire exam. If that doesn’t convince you to get going, then I guess nothing will.
Why Is Only Level #1 Given In December?
There are plenty of rumors and possibilities but I think the main reason is to make it harder. If candidates can simply retake the exam a few months after failing, suddenly not succeeding looks a bit less discouraging. The CFA Institute has been very good about keeping its standards very high and having only one exam makes more sense in that regard.