Saturday's CFA exams blighted by various washroom disasters

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CFA exam disasters

Saturday was CFA exam day. To judge by the post-exam comments of some of the 227,031 people who sat the notoriously difficult examinations, it was also a day blighted by problems of a scatalogical sort.

On of the most popular Reddit posts on the exams concerns a candidate in New York who says his, "risk tolerance was high," and so he ate some, "crazy spicy halal chicken for lunch." This turned out to be a mistake: his stomach needed to, "write down the value of [its] intestinal assets with a vengeance about 90 minutes in."

Another candidate on the same thread says he was busy doing positive affirmations and "power poses" in a stall when someone came into a neighbouring stall and destroyed the vibe.

In Chicago, there were complaints about an "ethics violator," who allegedly hid papers in a toilet cubicle and had a look at them halfway through. In Boston, a candidate was allegedly eliminated for taking too long in the toilet and holding up the start of the morning exam. In Toronto, a candidate was apparently seen running to the front of the bathroom queue before the afternoon session whilst shouting, “diarrheaaaaaa.” Another Toronto candidate complained that the queues for toilets there were so long that he had to go in a bush in the parking lot.

Bodily functions weren't the only issues on Saturday. In one New York test centre (number four) candidates said there was a concert happening next door: "Bass starting blaring periodically through the exam," complained one test-taker. In Vancouver, there was pigeon flying around the examination hall.  And in one, unnamed venue a male candidate began crying 20 minutes in and was refused permission to leave.

The CFA exams are notoriously difficult: each of the three exams requires at least 300 hours of study and the pass rates vary from 43% for level one to 54% for level three. The six hour exams - broken into morning and afternoon sessions - are therefore a period of high tension. Now that the exams are over, some candidates complain they're oppressed by the sudden eruption of free time.  Their digestive systems, however, have time to recover.

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