Finished Your CFA Exam Recently? How Did You Celebrate?

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By Zee

Post-exam plans are often a much fantasized aspect when prepping for the CFA exams.

A missed party. Not going out with your regular gang. Passing on on a movie or a game. Every time this happens, you might think, “After the CFA exams. AFTER it, I’m gonna party so hard they won’t know what hit them!”

This is deferred gratification: the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward. Interestingly, your ability to apply deferred gratification seems to be quite correlated to general success in life.

However, during the 5-6 months of CFA prep, you may have been deferring the crap out of your gratifications. Hence for your first CFA night, many candidates may have some pretty epic plans.

Conversely, sometimes you can be so exhausted that no matter how grandoise and well-thought-out your plans were, exhaustion takes its toll. Sometimes all you managed was a feeble croak before you collapsed thankfully onto your bed for some quality sleep.

Looking back, my nights out after the CFA exams were quite varied across the years. Here are my recollections.

CFA Level I – KO-ed
As it was my first time, I was relatively unprepared for the mental ordeal that was CFA exam day. I was totally spent by the time I trudged out of the exam hall – I barely dragged my sorry ass home, never mind any kind of partying I planned for the night. I didn’t even get good sleep that night – my eyes were burning and my mind was quite restless. It took me a few days to readjust back to normal CFA-free life. 

1st CFA Level II – The Night Out
As you may know, I didn’t pass my CFA Level II the first time around. This time, I took the exam with a largish group of my friends, so we trooped to Canary Wharf and proceeded to imbibe a truly prodigious volume of brain-killing alcohol. There was table-top dancing at some point, and I remember hurling beer bottles around and yelling at terrified tourists.

Good times.

2nd CFA Level II – The Couch Potato
Sobered up by my previous CFA failure, I took a quieter approach. I did exactly as planned – order in a large pizza with extra cheese and garlic sauce, plopped myself in front of the TV and slobbed away happily. Bed at an earlyish hour, and pretty good sleep if I remember correctly.

CFA Level III – The Civilized Night Out
I was keen to replicate my Couch Potato approach for Level II, but my expanding waist (no thanks to the CFA prep process itself) suggested that I give pizza a miss this time. I opted to have a nice dinner out with friends instead. Wine, food, and drinks afterwards. Civilized, enjoyable and sociable.

What about you?

How did you, or how are you planning to spend your first night after the exam? Vote below so we can get a good idea of how wild people are, or are planning to be!

If you’ve planned or done something particularly special, let us know in the comments below!
Zee Tan
Author: Zee Tan


3 thoughts on “Finished Your CFA Exam Recently? How Did You Celebrate?”

  1. Though arriving to the exam site was a swarm of taxis, there were none to be had as we left. Relieved and ready to see the Chicago i had only viewed from my hotel room window i began walking. I missed the SEC championship (regarded as the best game of the year), saw a train full of santas and wandered without asking for directions. 1.5 hours later i arrived in my hotel, showered, ate a filet in the hotel restaurant, guzzled two beers and promptly retired to my bed. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

  2. I can totally relate to the Post Level 1 feeling you had…I remember going out for a Chinese with my housemates (it was one of their birthdays on 30 May, so I had to force him to also defer his gratification until after my exam!), before heading to a casino in the West End. I can clearley rmember the overriding exhaustion of that night, I had been looking forward to it for months but when the time came all I wanted to do was go to sleep! On the plus side I did score a couple of hundred quid at blackjack!


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