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Crying, farting, sleeping. Inside Saturday's CFA exams

December's CFA exams are over for another year. For the thousands of people who sat Level I last weekend, their spare time is now their own again.

Sitting the six hour exams is a notoriously stressful experience. Broken into two three hour sessions, the exams are notoriously challenging (this June, Level I pass rates hit a five year low of just 41%) and proctors are notoriously intolerant of anything that contravenes the CFA Institute's sometimes irrationally strict rules (e.g. wearing a Fitbit). With thousands of sleep-deprived and over-caffeinated finance types crammed into exam halls globally, the potential for bodily dysfunction is strong.

Accordingly, Saturday's exams in London's Excel Centre were reportedly blighted by fecal violations in a toilet cubicle. People sitting the exams at other centers complained on Reddit of farts that made it hard to concentrate on the fixed income questions, and of vomiting and crying during the morning sessions. 

Most unnerving of all, one exam-taker said he sat next to someone who slept through 2.5 hours of the morning exam and then again through two hours of the afternoon exam after apparently completing the questions in a fraction of the allotted time. After suggestions that the sleeper was someone entered by his employer who guessed everything because he hadn't revised enough, one Reddit user said it was almost certainly him and that he finished the exam quickly because it was "ten times easier than the mocks and the end of chapter (EOC) questions." Cue horror and more trips to the toilet from everyone else.

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Photo by Graeme Worsfold on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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