How Are You Getting to the Test Centre?

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Back when I took the exam in the London Excel Centre – Transport for London sometimes added to the general fun of the day by scheduling engineering works on both the Jubilee and DLR lines which feed into Excel Centre, so the ensuing result was chaotic to say the least. I ended up walking to Canary Wharf that time. Fun fun.

But having problem-free transportation on the day is not impossible, obviously. All you need is a little bit of preparation beforehand. Below is my general advice to a transport-issue-free CFA exam day.

First and foremost – make sure you arrive early. Arriving early solves all kinds of problems – more time to turn back if you’ve forgotten something, less anxiety on whether you’re going to be on time or not, and more importantly, problems with transportation increase exponentially approaching exam start time as everyone rushes to the same place for the same time. Traffic jams, accidents, trains break down, you’ll see ’em all.

Ever seen thousands and thousands of people try to arrive at the same place at the exact same time? It ain’t pretty.

If you live fairly distant away from your test centre I highly recommend that you stay overnight in a friend’s place or a hotel the night before, close to the test centre. You want to wake up refreshed and ready to take the exam on exam day, and not spend the first 3-4 hours of your day travelling to the test centre.

Advice for specific modes of transport:

  • Public transportation: Make sure it’s running on the day itself
  • Cabs: Book your cab early – I guarantee you they will be all booked up. 
  • Driving: I suggest to aim to park slightly further away from the test centre and take a short walk. You may find that saves a lot more time than queuing for a parking space.
  • Walking or biking: Frankly I think this is the best option if you can swing it. Only thing to watch out for is the weather.

The last thing you need is to prepare for it all but not arrive in time to take the bloody exam, so make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s easier to screw it up than you think.

But I hear you ask – I’m only talking about getting there, what about after the exam? Won’t the same problems exist?

Who gives a toss? The exam is over. Have a few pints, wait a while. It’s all good.

Good luck!

Zee Tan
Author: Zee Tan


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