Sign up  |  Log in

Can you win if you're investigated for cheating?

After reading online after the exam there seems to be a lot of people being investigated for cheating on the exam though they claim to not have cheated. I finished with the AM session about an hour early and the PM session about an hour and a half early. In that time I was bored looking around a lot, took a lot of water breaks, fidgeting, etc. Is it likely that I will be suspected of cheating for doing so?

It seems like some proctors are all too willing to report test takers for fairly innocuous things. 

Make sure you’re fully prepared on exam day. Save 15% on Wiley’s final review study materials including 11th Hour Final Review course + Test Bank with Three Mock Exams. Use code CFAEXAMDAY.

It has happened, but it’s extremely rare.

Baby albino rhinoceros rare.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams

So the exam rooms aren’t video monitored. And basically if a proctor mistakenly believes you cheated or is just a giant tool and says you did that’s that and your exam score is voided and you’re potentially suspended/banned from the program?

What kind of backwards-ass logic is that?

Although difficult to comment, the proctors are not going to take you on 1 vs 1.  The proctor witness reports I saw in the past contains testimony from at least 2 ( I remembered seeing even 4) or more proctors and usually involving multiple recurrent “violations” from the subject candidate.  The content of the testimony can be something like: I have been standing behind the subject candidate for 10 mins and I noticed he/she glanced at the adjacent candidate 6 times in the interval of 3 seconds each.  The other one can write something similar as well; I have been told by proctor #1 regarding the suspicious movement of the subject candidate, after standing on the back left hand side of the candidate for 7 min, I can confirm he is in fact looking at the answer sheet of the candidate next to him/her multiple times.

The formation can be, but not limited to; side by side, front and back or 4 corners monitoring by the proctors.  Can people get accused of cheating? That’s maybe a type 1 error with a α of 0.0001?   That’s why on the website or during the exam it will tell you “Looking or glancing at another candidate’s exam or giving the appearance of doing so violates the exam rules and regulations.

Remember, a lot of the candidates argue they did not cheat and maybe even willing to get attorney or lawyer to defend themselves.  Perhaps they are telling the truth, but they just forgot one simple thing: if you appeared to be cheating (doesn’t matter if you cheat or not), that’s a violation. Period.  

Again, the question here is not even whether you cheated or not.  You should ask yourself, did you give the appearance of cheating? 

You would think with how much we pay in exam fees and how stringent they are on cheating they would put up partitions between us so that it’s not an issue, innocent or otherwise. Instead of just bilking money out of candidates by voiding scores when they really didn’t do anything wrong.

You’ll know by the end of June if you are under PCP investigation.  Letters go out about 3 weeks after the exam for simple violations, like writing beyond time.  More complicated violations, e.g. from similarity analysis, take a bit longer.

Oh yea of course it will be a good idea to partition the candidates.  Maybe better find a place with 1000 separate rooms or each room with just cam recording capability too.  If not how about hire another 950 proctors and have each to make sure each and every single candidate are not doing something weird inside the room.  And guess what’s going to happen to your exam fees? 

The reason why there is no partition is to make sure the space is an open one and can be monitored with the minimal number of proctors.  Whoever got odd body movements can be identified almost instantly.  You define wrong by whether you committed cheating.  The institute defines it quite clearly.  Good luck. 

Obviously I wasn’t implying they should have separate rooms for all of us or have 950 proctors. It does make sense however how the partitions would make it harder to catch cheating. There’s no reason why they can’t video tape the exam-taking process and review it when necessary however. The costs of doing so would be marginal and would ensure innocent test-takers aren’t unfairly punished.

As to your comment as to whether I gave the appearance of cheating. I’m well aware how they define “wrong” vs. right in this situation. While sitting there glancing around/fidgeting/etc. I didn’t touch my test book nor did I ever open it again during that time so I didn’t “give the appearance of cheating either”.

Thanks though, I’m hoping I’m just overthinking the situation.

I can only say good luck to you, and hope we are all overthinking this.  I want to share my view with you too.  Who would you rather have as a candidate?  A candidate that will not cheat under minimal monitoring or a candidate that will not cheat under heavy surveillance? 

The way how you and I define cheating is slightly different.   According to you;  ”I didn’t touch my test book nor did I ever open it again during that time so I didn’t “give the appearance of cheating either””, so what you are saying is as long as I am not going to open the test or change my answer further, I can just walk around the exam room and start looking at other people’s answer?   

Honestly, I am not well aware how they define right vs wrong.  Of course I hope you are right.  My own personal view is if the candidate looked at another candidate’s answer (subjective, I am sure that’s not you) but did not change answer, I will still consider the candidate cheated.  Because it happened during examination period and it isn’t over so there will always be opportunity to change it.  Kinda grey isnt it?  Like going into a store and walk behind the cashier and open the cash register but didn’t take the money.  Maybe legal, but I believe not ethnical there.  

Do you think the institute judge violation based on your intention or action?

a. glanced at other and changed answer

b. glanced at other but did not changed answer

I say both are violations.  Kinda hard to get an answer unless we invite all the DRC and the Professional Conduct Staff here. lol.  

Definitely get what you’re saying. My point in saying that by not opening my book again absolves me from giving the appearance of cheating in the eyes of the CFAI but rather if there were to be a proctor who would be uncertain as to whether or not they saw me looking at another’s paper (which they should be since I didn’t) perhaps not opening my book again would further stand to benefit me as they might use that for justification that they could have been wrong about me looking at someone else’s paper. Oh well, what’s done is done. All we can do now is wait and hope for the best.

Here are two hypotheticals. 

1) Candidate looks at neighbors answer.  Sees that it is different than his own. changes answer.

2) Candidate looks at neighbors answer.  Sees that it is the same as his own.  This confirms in his mind that he is correct, and he does NOT change his answer.

We all agree that (1) is cheating.  How about (2) ?

You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

I love hypotheticals.   My view is that by not changing the answer does not absolve the candidate from cheating, so 2) is definitely a cheating to me.  And even if we have a third option;

3)  Candidate looks at neighbors answer.  Sees that it is the different as his own and he does NOT change his answer.

I will still consider that cheating.  When you looked at place where you are not suppose to look, you violated the rule already. Or another one,

4) Candidate looks at neighbors answer.  Sees that it is the same as his own.  This confirms in his mind that he is correct, and he changed his answer but later change it back to his original answer.

That’s also a cheating to me.

The result certainly is important but the intention or way of thinking is even more important.  You looked, you cheated.  I mean if I am a proctor, I don’t care if you change your answer or not, if I saw you glanced at other, I will just make a report.  I can see a lot of other candidates will argue 2) is not cheating because he didn’t change the answer but the fact is that they all looked at neighbour’s answer, that’s a violation in my opinion.  A lot of people only define cheating as just changing answer, that would be very very narrow way of defining cheating.  For the purpose of ethnics, cheating can be much more.  

DilutedEPS - Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I’ve had that happen to a friend. He described a very similar situation to yours and got a PCP email 3 weeks after the exam that he was investigated for suspicious behavior. He did all he could to contest but his results were voided eventually. Hope you have better luck!

Relax. I am ****ing king.Going to toilet more times than to drink.I drink more times on the exam if I have time for that.Nobody will question these suspecious activity unless you are doing not according to proctor rule.

I was investigated at Level 1 for 2 reasons.I reply back to the PCP very honestly purely based on my opinion and explaination.And they were accepted.