CFA: What Happens If You Are Sick At The Exam?

It is certainly a legitimate question and one that unfortunately happens. Studying for months in preparation for one big exam only to feel under the weather when D-Day actually occurs “sucks”… there’s no other way to say it. That being said, I still think that it’s important to keep in mind that even in a weaker or more fragile condition, passing the exam is very much possible. In my experience, there remain a few important things to focus on when not feeling great for an exam:

Give It Everything That You Can

One thing that all candidates have in common is that once the exam ends, there is usually little planned so you will have plenty of time to get better, regain energy, etc.Spend every little bit of energy on the exam.

Take Breaks

It’s difficult enough to focus for 3 straight hours when we are feeling well, but it can become nearly impossible when someone is not 100%. I never was very sick on the exam but it did sometimes feel weak or extremely tired. I think the best way to deal with it is taking several short mental breaks. Think about something else, even for a few minutes. It will help much more than you can imagine.

Take Whatever Will Help

Every person is different and for some, taking an energy drink, some medicine, or other types of “energy sources” will hurt their concentration level. However, for many others, such as myself, it can give a small boost. Remember, you are trying to maximize your concentration, memory and understanding capabilities for the next few hours. I would however not even consider taking something for the first time on the exam day, Experiment before the exam in order to know how your body will react to whatever you intend to take.

Take The Exam No Matter What

You might feel like you have no energy, that your chances of passing are slim to none, etc. Don’t give up. Not after spending this much time studying. You will regret it. At this point, what are a few more hours to at least give it a shot? It might work out better than you can imagine.


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