Exam Day Stories
Got a great exam day story? Post it here. Post actual stories if a story is just beyond rediculous it will be removed.
Mattlas' Level 1 & Level 2 stories
TLDR: Make sure you sign up for the right city, and make sure your exam ticket is portrait mode, and not landscape.
Level I: Check your city.
I live in a big city and the exam was written in a massive hall be to house thousands. When it was time to check in and get your seat, the massive flock of nervous candidates would pile from all across the large lobby to get their exam ticket and passports checked. My friend who was my study partner, and I, were anxiously waiting to write level I and we would try to keep the small talk flowing to distract us from over thinking what's going to happen within the doors were we about to walk through. As I open my mouth to continue the useless banter flowing, I was interrupted by some sort of commotion from a guy who was getting his passport and exam ticket checked.
I stopped talking, focused on my eyes on what was unfolding just several feet in front of me...
"NO, THAT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?" followed by replies by several of the CFAI invigilators
"I"m sorry, we cannot let you in. You are not at the right test area you, there is no exam for you here". "THIS IS NOT HAPPENING. LET ME IN, OH MY GOD!".
All the remaining candidates who were waiting to go through the same process, which were at least a couple thousand I may add were staring at the situation much like a flock of deer in headlights. I'm certain everyone re-checked their tickets and said "Thank god that's not me"
"Sir, I'm sorry, we need to continue signing in other candidates. There's nothing I can do".
I never saw that guy again. I checked in without issue. I looked back to see if there was any progress with the candidate and all I saw was him sitting down on the bench nearby with his head nestled in hands, shoulders slumped, crushed, defeated.
Moral of story of level I. Make sure you get the right test location. They will not let you in.
Level II: Damn Portrait mode.
I live on my own, and as a bachelor there are certain things I do not require which were once at my parents house, many years ago. One being a printer. They're bulky, expensive and a pain in the ass when you run out of ink. Being in our line of work, we have offices which undoubtedly have printers. Great. I'll print my exam ticket at work before I have that week off before the exam to review and continue to study. I knew I had to print it before my last day of work since I would not be returning to the office until after the exam.
Fast forward to the Thursday before the Saturday exam. I've refocused after a slight meltdown earlier in the week and I was on track. I realized I forgot to print my ticket at work so I went to the local print shop, to log into the CFA website to print my exam ticket. The lady in front of me was a Russian immigrant trying to renew her passport and couldn't pay the $20 for the photos because her credit cards were maxed. This frustrated me on more than 1 level but I digress, it was distracting and adding to the fact shop was smelly, dark and stuffy - I just wanted out. The man behind the counter asked me what I wanted and I politely asked to him to print 1 page from 1 website in color. $1 cost. lol - what a ripoff. When I printed it, all my data was on the sheet was I satisfied. As it was not my printer in the corner of my eye I noticed there was 2nd page, but that couldn't be mine right? I knew that the CFA exam ticket was only page. Plus given the fact I was already flustered by hearing this russian lady plea with the worker to let her pay for 1/2 now and 1/2 tomorrow when her check cleared - I simply took the first page and paid. I felt satisfied seeing my name exam test location etc... confident, put the ticket in my bag with all my CFA materials and went on my way.
Exam day: My buddy who passed level I with me the year before threw in the towel and wasn't there for level II. I saw another friend so we caught up and chatted and while in line to check-in. Useless small talk to pass the time, I tell my friend about the horror story the year before. Small enough world, supposedly he knew the guy - we lightly chuckled, felt bad though had some relief that wasn't us. I re-tell the story from my perspective anyway as the line starts to move as the candidates pour into the exam room......... that's when I notice something terribly wrong. My heart stops, I start to feel the beads of sweat collect on my forehead, when I realize what exactly happened, I felt my heart almost burst through my chest. That 2nd page I ignored at the print shop, was actually part of my exam ticket! I made the shocking realization, while I was literally just finishing the story of my level I experience, that my exam ticket was printed on landscape mode and not portrait, and the bottom part of the exam ticket was actually on that second page back at the print shop!!!! Was I going to roll the dice and have that same meltdown as the level I victim? No way! I smoothly tell my friend "I'll be back in a minute - keep my spot in line" as I self-implode in front of him. What the FUCK! What was I going to do???
Considering this is a big hall, I made the immediate conclusion there has to be a printer somewhere. I recall seeing security guards so I rushed there with 5 minutes to go , I somehow spurt out my situation to this fellow. He can sense the urgency as my voice was trembling. He ushered me to the head security office where I had to re-explain my situation to another security guard through a glass window. I told him I'd pay him $1000 to let me print 1 page ticket - I was serious. I was going to write that exam no matter what. The man behind the wall window spoke to his supervisor who let me into his office - 2 minutes left before I needed to be in and I was able to print my ticket on portrait mode...... Fucking landscape mode.
I told him I would pay him after the exam was written - which he declined and wished me good luck. I forget his name because I was so high on adrenaline and fear - but I wish I could thank him again.
With my freshly printed ticket, I was able to get in without issue and was on time. Crisis diverted. Moral of story of level II Print your exam ticket in portrait mode!
Level III: Original "Sink" Story
From AnalystForum user ccooper55, Level III, NYC, 2007
I am waiting for the bathroom in this massive line about 10 minutes before the start of the exam. There is this guy panicked out of his mind in line ahead of me who I noticed for the previous half hour had been rocking back and forth in the corner of the lobby murmering his notes back to himself from memory…a real whackjob.
Anyway, As I am standing in line with this guy in front of me he starts to sweat profusely and I can litterally hear this guys stomach rumbling…this is where he really freaks out. He starts pounding on the stall doors ( there were only 2) and, of course, no one is coming out so this ass clown drops his pants, hops up on the sink, and blows SH**T all over the sink! The most disgusting thing was the backspray all over this guy! He was COVERED in his own Sh**t. I am laughing my ass off but this guy didnt miss a beat, he rinses off his pants, throws his shirt in the trash and walks into the test wearing only his windbreaker and wet pants.
I could hardly stop laughing to myself a full half hour into the test…I knew then I was going to be alright because at least I didn’t just blow ass chunks all over the bathroom…priceless.