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PCP Investigation? WTH??

Sorry for posting this in two forums but I do need some help on this ridiculous matter.

I am a level III candidate. I can’t believe I received the PCP investigation mail after vacation for the July 4th. 2 procters said I glanced at the answer sheet of a candidate on my left, which is false of course. 

One procter seems to be sure but he only dares to take “fidgeting and looking around” as the major accusation.

The more ridiculous thing is: the first procter told the other procter about his/her suspicion and the 2nd then started to believe I WAS looking at the other candidate’s answer sheet. And he/she even accused me of “looking at procters”!!! WTH?? The procters always stood in the front and that’s where the clock is!!! Do they really think they are that attractive???

They even pointed out the distance between me and the other candidate: 3 feet!!! I have myopia and there is no way I can see those little bubbles that far EVEN WITH my glasses/contact. If I were to cheat, I would choose the one sharing the same table with me on my right because his elbow kept hitting mine all the times!!!

This is completely BS, I guess that’s why no one dare to approach me during the exam. I finished the PM session very early because everybody knows it’s much easier than the AM session. The only thing I remember is I did look at the clock for a few times and move my neck because it gets sour after sitting in the same position for 6 fxking hours. People started to leave and I looked at them because their steps were all around me. THAT‘S IT! I don’t know how the procters translate those activities to be “peeking at another candidate’s answer sheet”.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I don’t know what more to write to CFAI because I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING! Research on CFAI website does not relive me. Seems like all candidates they accused are found guilty because THEY CAN DEFINE “APPREANCE OF GLANCING” HOWEVER THEY LIKE! I swear to GOD I will fight or even give up CFA at all. The institute claims its objectivity ALL THE TIMES but they can be the judge and prosecutor? That is xxxxing nonsense!!!  I hope their grading procedure is better than this!!!

Then make sure you did everything you could to prepare—enroll in a review workshop to ace it on exam day.

Don’t move your head next year.

Oh man thats why you have to bring your own watch! I was too shook to even blow my nose cause that would have involved me putting my hand in my pocket. I’m sure my table partner enjoyed my cacophony snotty inhales. Good luck with the case my dude.

Read this, written by a CFAI board member: http://www.analystforum.com/forums/cfa-forums/cfa-level-i-forum/91307468

I think that the CFAI’s procedures for detecting cheating on the exam open too much room for subjectivity.

The evidence you cited on their behalf seems pretty weak, esp. since they didn’t mention your answers being similar in any way.

I would cite your myopia (doctor’s letter, which should make clear that you can’t see such fine detail beyond three feet) and demand they prove similarities (if they are accusing you of having this happen in the AM section, that will be nearly impossible for them to prove).

Good luck to you.

Thanks everyone. 

Interestingly, the procter who first found me “cheating” was the head procter of my section. And the other procter wrote something like “after procter 1 notified me of …I also found the candidate looking at another candidate’s answer sheet 2 times….” How ridiculous! Isn’t it a live example of “Confirmation Bias” in the Behavioral Finance chapters? If the case is not regarding myself I would submit it to Schweser to make it a question in their practice exams

I’ve already contacted my doctor for the supporting letter, but it might take time. Do you think I should send the response first or wait for all evidence to be ready? The letter is dated June 20th and I didn’t receive it until coming back from my vacation on Jul. 9th. I’m just concerned whether a late response would disadvantage me.

Your inputs are greatly appreciated

Where did you take the exam and how many people were in the room?

andytrader wrote:

Where did you take the exam and how many people were in the room?

I was in the east coast. The test center is a convention center so I’d say around 500. L3 candidates are ~100, and all are in one section with 4-5 (can’t remember exactly) procters.

A revision: just found the 1st procter said I looked at the other candidate’s answer sheet at least 10 times, and at least 5-10 secs each time. Hell then I would be able to copy the whole answer sheet if I could see that far. It is so disgusting that the procters were making so much effort to make their report sounds “true”. I believe they must get paid to some extent by accusing candidates. Can’t they get punished for making things up????

Andreason,

are you still able to edit your profile (eg address) on the CFAI website?

born in the USSR

I went into my account but didn’t find a place to edit my profile. Maybe they’ve locked it. What does it mean?

I think empirically it was ascertained here, that your profile gets blocked once they start investigation.

Normally there are “Edit” buttons to change fields

born in the USSR

Ivan Drago wrote:

I think empirically it was ascertained here, that your profile gets blocked once they start investigation.

Normally there are “Edit” buttons to change fields

I know I was investigated because I received the letter… Maybe I’m dumb but could you explain why you’d like me to check again? Does it mean anything more? Thanks!

Andreason,

Sorry to hear this, and it really sucks that you cant do anything to defend yourself. But IMO if you get some sort of recommendation letter from your last teachers/profs or employee about your morals and high ethical standards, may be just may be it will help. If I were you, I would definitely do this…

Regarding Reserved access, would you mind checking it, because I am also paranoid about getting pcp, although no grounds for it.

When you log on Manage Account should be on the right side. IF can’t locate it, just click on your name on top right corner and try to click on Edit on the last Professional thing. And tell us please if you can change your phone or anything and save it.

THanks and good luck!

Andreason, I didn’t ask you to check it again.

born in the USSR

OMG, that’s terrible!!

I’m truly sorry for you… and i too think it’s a ridiculous accusation.

Because most candidates know better that the candidate next to you will probably FAIL the exam (the pass rate is less than 50% mostly), so who would think to glance at other’s paper in hope to get the correct answer anyway???


I do, however, know a lot of people cheat by bringing in formulas sheets… i’m not here to share how or who or when, but let me just say they took some washroom breaks.



Andreason wrote:

I’ve already contacted my doctor for the supporting letter, but it might take time. Do you think I should send the response first or wait for all evidence to be ready? The letter is dated June 20th and I didn’t receive it until coming back from my vacation on Jul. 9th. I’m just concerned whether a late response would disadvantage me.

I believe you have 30 days to reply, if I’m correct.

Naturally right now you are angry and going through some pretty unpleasant thoughts, so you want to take some time to make sure you are thinking clearly and can articulate your point well without missing anything important.

I would suggest you spend your time drafting your response while pushing your doctor to write that letter for you in a timely way. Make several revisions, and make sure you write it well (good organization, logic, language, etc).

Avoid getting too accusatory to the proctors, I would focus on the fact that they made a gross mistake as opposed to saying they were out to get you. The truth is some people want to exhibit zeal and make themselves look important to their employer/client. If the proctors never wrote up any cheating reports, CFAI may question whether they are doing their job.

I’d get an attorney or friend who knows how to write well to review your letter before you send it, just to get a fresh pair of eyes on it.

Personally, I think someone old and smart enough to take the CFA III exam is NOT going to cheat by doing something so obvious as looking at someone’s paper. I mean, that’s how high school students and maybe undergrad students cheat, and even in that case there is much greater logic because you know whom you are cheating off of.

When you walk in to take a CFA exam you have ZERO idea who you are sitting next to. Only by complete coincidence could you be seated next to someone you knew, and with such a large amount of test takers the chances are very unfavorable of this happening. You don’t know if that person knows the material well or not. Even if you were sitting netxt to someone you thought was really smart, they could be totally guessing on the question you are copying. To top it off you’re taking the risk of getting busted. On a probability weighted level it sounds like such an idiotic risk to take, and if you’ve gotten as far as Level III a candidate should know a thing or two about probabilities.

Anyway, do your best at drafting a defense. Prepare for a long struggle (cases take 4-9 months, sometimes more), but at level III I’m sure its worth it - if you win and passed, you don’t have to re-take the exam and you’re done.

Ivan Drago wrote:

Andreason, I didn’t ask you to check it again.

Sorry if I misunderstood you.  Does my account being locked mean anything more than me being investigated?

Thanks

^ I don’t know, all I can say is that people who got investigated reported their accounts being locked. Anyway, good luck to you! You are level 3 candidate and it is apriori and highly unlikely that someone at level 3 would ever think about cheating. It appears you have much better chance to defend yourself than level 1 or 2 candidates.

born in the USSR

Good luck bro

Your account will be locked and should say Reserved Access. I wish you all the best

I think you should cite all the hours you put in and have testinonials from persons, family  etc. about the number of hours you put in.

I din’t know what else to say. Good Luck


Jeffsick

jeffsick wrote:

I think you should cite all the hours you put in and have testinonials from persons, family  etc. about the number of hours you put in.

I would qualify that with using people as references whom you are more likely to have an arms length relationship with, e.g. teachers, employers, etc. Family and friends will say and write anything you ask them to.

Giovanni wrote:

I’d get an attorney or friend who knows how to write well to review your letter before you send it, just to get a fresh pair of eyes on it.

Thank you very much for these valuable inputs! I’ve got colleague/boss who are chartholders and attorneys. I believe they will be supportive. However, the vague definition of “appreance of glancing” intimidates me. CFAI can say anything they want and sentence me regardless of the fact that I didn’t cheat, let along the letters my boss/colleagues wrote. I’m concerned the random result from CFAI will ruin my reputation and personal career…

Andreason wrote:

However, the vague definition of “appreance of glancing” intimidates me. CFAI can say anything they want and sentence me regardless of the fact that I didn’t cheat, let along the letters my boss/friends wrote. I’m concerned the random result from CFAI will ruin my personal career…

You seem to be in a good situation if you have charterholders at work who will back you up, say how long you’ve worked, etc.

I agree that ‘appearance of cheating’ is poorly defined by CFAI and gives them huge lattitude with regards to what they want to interpret under that clause. As the posting from the boardmember said, the process is biased toward finding you guilty. To me that’s pretty unethical for a professional association that is supposed to stand FOR ethics.

Yes it sucks, it is unfair, and that’s because the system here is flawed in my opinion.

The best you can hope for is a good defense and getting the sympathy of those reviewing  your case.Once you’ve prepared your defense and sent it off, try to do something else to keep your mind off of it. Check back with them once a month or more often to make sure they know you’re serious. That’s the best you can do.

I have every hope you’ll win.

I’m sorry that sucks.  I take the test in a third world country for this reason.  Americans are too obsessed with rules and catching people.  Land of the free my ass.  This is really just another example like that of snowden.  

Next time take the country where the proctors will help you cheat (think Asia).


No Homo

@Giovanni

Thank you again for your support. I can’t help thinking if I seek help from people at work and CFAI makes the judgement against me, I will be completely ruined…Sorry to think like a coward, but my mind is burning in hell now…

Andreason wrote:

I can’t help thinking if I seek help from people at work and CFAI makes the judgement against me, I will be completely ruined…Sorry to think like a coward, but my mind is burning in hell now…

There is no way that having this issue will ever ruin you. The CFA is just an academic credential. Sure, one that takes a hell of a lot of pain to acquire, but nonetheless it cannot substitute for your work experience or people skills.

Besides, the knowledge you have acquired by taking CFA levels 1-3 is with you. In the worst outcome you can still claim you passed levels 1 and 2 on your resume, and studied for 3.

Had you done something obscene like cheated using an electronic device or checked formula sheets in the bathroom, you’d probably get expelled from the program. I think that’s extremely unlikely in  your scenario. Most likely they’ll give you a suspension for a certain time and then let you take it again. So that can’t mean you are ruined, just horribly inconvenienced and I’d say INSULTED is the worst part of it.

There is nothing more insulting than being prepared and being honest, and being punished. But ruined? Not over this.

Public censure could be ruinous as employers now google people’s names and/or do fairly sophisticated checks.  Not trying to scare anyone but these are the reasons I wear blinders when I take these exams.  Not worth someone’s subjective decision to say I glanced anywhere.  Totally not worth cheating on an exam or give the appearance. 

andytrader wrote:

Public censure could be ruinous as employers now google people’s names and/or do fairly sophisticated checks.  Not trying to scare anyone but these are the reasons I wear blinders when I take these exams.  Not worth someone’s subjective decision to say I glanced anywhere.  Totally not worth cheating on an exam or give the appearance. 

This is awesome, for 2 reasons:

1) no issue with CFAI regarding appearance of cheating

2) the pass rate of candidates sitting around you plummets to almost zero, because they become so nervous and scared haha

i will think of buying them as well!

born in the USSR

Public censure is not likely in this case I think, the evidence appears to be pretty weak in my view (too circumstantial, without a concrete example such as similar responses). I think that public censure reserved for blatant violations where there is no reasonable doubt, and enough stupidities like that get done (e.g. people cramming formula sheets in the bathroom, sharing exam info over the internet, etc).

Andreason simply needs to put a solid defense together. If I found that someone put up a solid, respectful defense and didn’t have any other accusations against them, even if I wasn’t convinced I’d lean toward a more lenient sentence. Especially someone who passed two levels so far without a hitch.

I would be very surprised if I were wrong here.

The Righteous Hacksaw wrote:

I’m sorry that sucks.  I take the test in a third world country for this reason.  Americans are too obsessed with rules and catching people.  Land of the free my ass.  This is really just another example like that of snowden.  

Next time take the country where the proctors will help you cheat (think Asia).


How bad does it get over there? I literally wouldn’t even know how to cheat on this exam unless one were two just bring in the actual curriculum on exam day.

I wonder how they determine the proctors. In my country which is very small, the proctors become known to you after seeing them year after year. (Hopefully this is my last)

They know you so well that when I turned up this year, the lady said to me that” I was sure you passed last year. I never thought I would be seeing you”

In the developed world, USA, Canada and UK its way too large to ever know a proctor.

Why then are the proctrors not CFA Charterholders, so that they ensure that they understand what;s on the line and will use “best judgement” or the proctors should be at least the  same persons who do PCP  investigations

This really needs some sort of review and rehash by the Institute.

P.S Why don’t the institute pay for cameras in the testing room, surely our fees can go towards that.




Jeffsick

jeffsick wrote:

This really needs some sort of review and rehash by the Institute.

I totally agree, but the problem is that they have no real incentive to - the candidates who face this issue are relatively small in relation to the populus and aren’t strong enough to affect change on their own. Sadly to say most of the time for an organization to change it needs to feel pain or see the threat of it.

Thanks Giovanni for your continuous support.

I was angry when I saw the procter said I glanced at other candidate’s answer sheet for 10 fxxking times and 5-10 secs each time! They are so keen to make their story look like truth. If I spent that much time peeking and was able to see, I would be able to copy the whole blxxdy answer sheet! This makes me look really bad and even guilty if I bring the report to my boss and colleagues. CFAI can be dead to me for good but I can’t stand the doubt people might have from their false accusation!

It’s really a delimma and I barely ate for the last 2 days. Can’t figure out why this is happening to me