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It’s important to be aware of this when considering the number of days that you’ve actually traded. You’re measured on CME’s trading days, not calendar days!

Some “express” evaluations exist that require you to pass the evaluation in a fixed number of days, e.g. you must trade 10 days within a 14 calendar day period (to allow for weekends). It’s important when considering these types of evaluation to take weekends and any market holidays into account otherwise you may find that you’ve signed up to an evaluation that could be impossible to pass based upon the calendar! Generally, these evaluation programs will offer a time extension – for a fee! – if you reach the end of the fixed time period carrying profit but have not yet passed. You can pay for additional trading days to reach the profit target.

You must be mindful of the closing time of the futures contract that you’re trading. Some instruments, especially agricultural futures, have different closing times to equity index futures. It’s important to carefully read the evaluator’s rules on permitted times for different contracts so that you don’t inadvertently break a rule and lose your evaluation account by holding a trade “overnight” through the close of the contract’s daily trading.

Some evaluation programs split the minimum number of days required to trade into multiple stages. For example:

  • Stage 1 may require a minimum of 5 trading days to reach a profit target. Once reached…
  • Stage 2 may require a minimum of 10 trading days to reach the same profit target

It’s not unusual in these multi-stage tests for there to be rule changes between stages. Typically rules become tighter in later stages.

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