Will I get fired if I fail the CFA?

I always get interesting questions from all of you readers through our contact form but today I got 3 questions regarding the same subject so I thought I would address it. The question is certainly legitimate but it does make you think. So here you go:

“Will I get fired if I fail the CFA exam?”

Many employees are told that they must pass the exam. The big question of course is if failing it will mean you being fired. Obviously, every circumstance can be different but I will answer from my point of view as well through my experience in knowing many who failed the exam.

After The Exam

If for some reason you are scared of losing your job if you fail, I would be very cautious after the exam. No matter how things go, I would just say that you think you did ok but it’s very difficult to say. That way you are not adding even more pressure.

If You Do Actually Fail

I honestly think that in 99% of cases, you will NOT get fired right after failing the exam. There are some things that you must do however if you fear that you could be in that 1%. If you fail I would:

Act surprised but not shocked – Remember failing the exam can happen to anyone and chances are that your boss or someone they know and respects failed it
Have a clear explanation – No bad excuses but what happened and why did you fail?
Have a clean plan – You need to tell your boss how motivated you are to retake the exam but also how next time’s plan will make you pass. Never mind the fact that you can’t guarantee it, right now you just want to survive that extra day.
Do not act as if you are worried – Failing the CFA is tough enough as it is, you should not get fired for it if you can retake it so assume you won’t. No one likes to see depressed employees!!

You Have Not Failed Yet..!!!

We are the end of April and I’m a firm believer in the fact that passing even while starting your studying right now is more than possible. You have about 5-6 weeks left at this point so make the most of it instead of worrying about the what if scenarios.


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