PCP Investigation. Please help! URGENT


I gave my L1 CFA exam on 7th Dec,2013. I received a letter from CFAI that I am under PCP investigation for suspected cheating. I have NOT CHEATED in the examination.

I am alleged by Proctor 1 : That I looked into the candidate 's paper for 2-3 secs and 1-2 secs in a 5mins gap (9.45 and 9.50am).

Proctor 2 (Who was sitting in the front of the exam hall) that she observed me thrice looking into the paper of candidate in front of me and the candidate beside me for 1-2 secs. @9.10 9.20 and 9.30 am. She reported that I looked around.

I did get a bit anxious during the starting few minutes of the examination and unintentionally raised my eyes and might have looked around for a one or two seconds while I wasrecollecting my thoughts. NOTE: I am a left handed person and I bend opposite than a right handed person would, which might have created an impression on proctors’ mind that I was looking at the other candidate’s sheet while my head was up. I totally respect what proctors have said but the allegations of cheating is something that I would disagree upon. Proctor 1 did tell me to look into my paper later. In response I became aware of my unconsious action, nodded and never looked up again and gave my 1st exam and 2-5am exam smoothly. Please Help me Urgently! I have graduated from the premier most institute of my country (India).I have been among top 1% students of my country in the national level examination. I am a very hard working person and cannot even think of cheating on any exam. I even have had a good academic record through out the course of my graduation. Please advice of how can I formulate my response to them (I have already sent them one mail mentioning some of the points above). Should I ask some Charterholders that I am in close touch with to write to them about my character? Should I show them certificates of my academic credentials? What more can I add… to hold a storng position for my defense. Thank you.

Hey homie,

Sorry to hear that the CFAI thinks you’re a cheat! I believe you when you say you didn’t and i’m sure you’re a hardworking Indian!

You’ve done the right thing in emailing the CFAI, but perhaps you could also write a letter and send them evidence of that you have done a lot of studying i.e. perhaps sending them the reciept for your Schweswer material etc…

There are quite a few people that come onto this forum telling the world of the PCP investigation, so maybe hit the search function and have a look at the previous threads and advise!

Thanks! for your support pokhim. I wish you luck for your L3 exam.

Unfortunately I studied on my own and used my friend’s (June,2013 L1 attemptee) Schweswer materials.

I did see a lot of threads about PCP investigations and I’m waiting for people like Joey, Itera,mpcollins, Anderson, boardmembers and other active members of Analyst Forum to voice out their opinion on my case of what they genuinely think and advise me for the next steps.

Man that really sucks, especially if you weren’t cheating. Lesson now is, never look to your sides. Always look to your paper or up at the ceiling. Anyway, perhaps getting charterholders you know to write some letters on your character vouching for you is not a bad idea since presumably CFAI would recognize charterholders are held to a standard of ethics and should not lie.

Since you’ve searched the forum you’re probably well aware that there are very few, if any, cases where someone under investigation has won. It also takes a very long time for them to respond. I would prepare on not taking L2 this June and also focus your efforts on not getting banned. I don’t think you will but your results might get voided.

Yeah, if the “similiarity analysis” doesn’t turn up anything, you might have a hope. If your answers are similar to those you are alleged to have copied off, you’re likely toast.

Write the letter explaining pretty much what you said in post one. That’s all you can do.

Has anyone ever lawyered up when it comes to these investigations?

I hate to be the guy that says it, but I think you’re pretty much screwed. Getting a few charterholders who know you to attest to your character might help keep your penalty to having your results voided instead of suspending your candidacy, but 2 invigilators reported you for look at other candidates’ papers a total of 5 separate times. I believe you when you say you weren’t cheating, but 2 of them reporting 5 separate times is going to be pretty hard for a review panel to ignore.

^ I missed those details. 5 times in one hour. Yikes. Could be grim.

Unfortunately, bro - as higgmond says it, there is little hope because of multiple proctors saying stuff. That being said, I think the best way to approach a response is by citing factual evidence against the allegations, rather than attempting to prove your moral character. Were you looking next to you or across the aisle? If the latter, how wide is the space, are you wearing glasses, could you see that far? Did the proctor approach from the front or behind, did they actually observe the direction of your eyes? Are there any inconsistencies in their description of your behavior, or contradictions in their separate observations? Read extra carefully every detail of the report, prepare a long list of factual defense and be creative about it. Attempting to prove that you are an honest person who wouldn’t cheat is a futile endeavor.

i don’t really understand these investigations. why doesn’t a proctor just tell you to stop upon first glance, instead of marking it down. if you appear to glance again, then you get written up with high confidence that there was cheating going on. if i were told to not look around as it appeared i was cheating, i’d be so scared to lift my head that there would be no suspicion of cheating from thereon out. without a warning and greater scrutiny by the proctors after the warning, how can the PCP investigators be confident in any ruling?

i mean, i’m glad they’re so strict, for the sake of the charter, but come on, there has to be a system to protect those non-cheaters who have the need to take their eyes off their paper for a bit of a mental breather. i know i needed a few neck stretches and ceiling ganders.

Yeah, with accusations of fairly regular periods of suspicious behavior from 9:10 to 9:50 from 2 different proctors, one of whom said something to you and then you stopped, I can’t imagine the Institute deliberating on this too much.

Also, I don’t know how far the excuse of the first few minutes of anxiety is going to get you when they’re accusing you of cheating for basically the first hour of the exam.

If you’re waiting for Joey, you may be waiting a while…

Sorry to hear about this. If I were you, I’d just give the one-figure salute to the CFAI and move on to bigger and better things. Many people have had successful careers in finance without the CFA.

November 2016 to be exact.

BTW, I’m surprised at the amount of PCP investigations. This is becoming a plague.

all these PCP’s coming up here is more of a function of more candidates taking them nowadays… with nowhere to turn to, people cme anonymously asking for advice on AF

The rate of being written up is at least 1 per 1000 test takers?

how come so many PCP investigations now??

not looking up from paper for 3 hours is brutal. i usually stare into blank space when thinking of answers. esp L3 AM part. Singapore’s exam venue is big and spacious, with tables spaced sufficiently apart so probably that saved my behind.

going along the factual route would help more than character endorsements. but not 1 but 2 proctor gave their statement which is pretty much in unison, highly damaging and enforces each other. u have to work on that.

Thank you all for your replies.I know it’ll be really tough for me ahead :frowning: :(. Genuinely asking, How bad an outcome can I expect? Will I be prohibited completely or censured or a 5 yr ban or a 1-3yr ban. Can I expect only a voiding of my result. The answer to this question can really help me to urgue CFAI to push my case faster if possible… so that if they decide on only voiding my result before the March deadline, I can give my L1 again in this June. Does my point of being a left handed person and therefore bending opposite than a right handed person, so even when I looked up, it might have appeared to a proctor that I am looking into the candidate’s paper beside me…seem a strong point? because it is actually true :(. HOW CAN I PRESENT IT IN A BETTER AND CONVINCING MANNER. Also that proctors’ report say that my glances were most 1-2 secs…which clearly indicates that my actions were unintentional and in no way of cheating…seem a valid point.? Any better way to present it? :frowning:

Please Help! I would like to mail them by tomorrow 4th feb, 2014.

I don’t think any of us can answer this accurately but I do think you should completely forget about taking L1 this June…even if they moved at lightning speeds I doubt they’d have a decision (to void at best) before the last deadline. From all the investigations we’ve seen so far on the forum lately, it seems CFAI moves extremely slow and there is nothing you can do to speed them up…and most people lose too. I don’t think your left-handed thing provides a strong point. Focus your energy on not getting banned and taking the exam next year. Good luck.

give an exam? u r an indian??