You would like to think that only those who have cheated on the CFA exam would receive such a letter but unfortunately, the world is not always fair. First off, if you have cheated, I’m sorry to say that you are in trouble. The sad reality however is that even if you did not do anything wrong, you are still somewhat in trouble.
Presumption Of Innocence
Unfortunately, the rule of law does not apply in this case and you do not get the benefit of the doubt. From how I understand things, you are presumed guilty and must provide an explanation. There are many different ways to go about doing this and fortunately, this has never happened to me but I did speak to a few people, read about it and here is how I think you need to react.
You hopefully do not have anything to hide. In that case, I think it’s important to try to understand what could have caused this. Did you speak to your neighbor during the exam, take what could have looked like a peak, etc? It’s important to figure out what you think you could be accused of. Think of it from the CFA institute’s perspective. They do not want to risk losing any credibility for the exam but they will not punish a candidate without a strong belief that rules were not respected.
Write Back Explaining What Happened
I don’t think writing that you cannot imagine what they are accusing you of or anything of that nature will serve much good. Be transparent; explain what you consider to be your offense, why it happened, how it was not cheating but how you understand that it could have given that impression, how much you regret it, etc. This is not the time to be aggressive towards them. Do not go on for too long, 1 or 2 pages explaining the events, your feelings towards it and how much you regret even giving the impression of cheating, etc.