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So you've received a post-exam letter from the CFA Professional Conduct Program (PCP)...

This is probably a bit scary. You may have cheated and got caught. In which case, I have no advice for you here. Move on.

But let's say you are innocent and you are now under investigation. First things first: read carefully. Investigations vary in their weight, but ALL claims made by a proctor are going to be investigated. Respond to the letter via email, and establish an electronic line of communication. Be civil. Remember where I said read? There may be some mitigating factors that are misunderstood. You can be investigated for even the appearance of cheating. There is a tick box on the form that asks where the candidate was fidgeting, stretching, etc. Do you see where this is going? How many proctors observed the alleged behavior and are corroborating? Not just what is the actual excuse, is it believable?

Explain everything in detail. If you have a medical condition that makes you fidget, need the bathroom urgently, etc please tell them. Send medical records to back it up, if possible. You will get a detailed report of the proctor's position and observations. If you were sitting in the back and they made this assessment from the front desk, be sure to point out that this assertion is made from a poor vantage point over 20 yards away.

Next: you're probably going to have to tell some people. This is up to you. Odds are work sponsored your exams, and peers will start getting their scores. You can try to avoid the issue, or you can bring it forward. Which do you think makes you look less guilty?

Finally: be patient. I'm writing this on the back of my own investigation, during which I didn't find much good advice. I had a single proctor claim I was staring across the aisle to read the paper of someone approximately 10 ft away. I would add this was the handwritten morning segment of the CFA III. I was just staring into space, and this was a clear case of mistaken rigor in filing a report. It took over three months post results (usually mid-August, so late November) to get the all clear. Do email every 2-4 weeks requesting a sitrep, unless you have been given a specific time frame. This is not pestering them, it is only fair that you should want to know the status of something this important.

Advice to prevent this: even the appearance of guilt can trigger an investigation. Try like hell to keep your head down and focus ONLY on the test. Do not make a sound. Try not to cough, yawn, or sneeze too frequently.
hairyfairyPaulAdaptPrepStuj79

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