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CFA Level 1 candidate passes the exam after terrible accident

Yesterday was results day for May's CFA Level 1 exams. The 39% of people who passed included Daniel Thompson, a London School of Economics graduate and risk analyst at SocGen in London. Succeeding in the notoriously difficult exams is never easy, but for Thompson the pass was doubly impressive because shortly before he was last due to take the test last time, he nearly died. 

Thompson was ready to take the CFA Level 1 one Tuesday in August 2022. On the preceding Friday, there was a tube strike. He was cycling through South London when his bike hit a pothole. The next thing he knew, he woke up in hospital two days later. 

After the pothole, paramedics said Thompson had hit a stationary car and been knocked out. He was wearing a helmet at the time, but nonetheless suffered a bleed on his brain.

Brain injuries' severity is typically positively correlated with time spent unconscious, but Thompson was lucky. Despite being knocked out and breaking his jaw, the long term impact of the crash was minimal. Although he initially suffered memory loss and had difficulty recollecting words, he was still able to put in the 300 hours of study and was still in the minority who passed. In a post on social media, he says he now plans to go for Level II.

Thompson's success comes amidst frustration from the majority who failed. "Failed even though I have a degree in finance. What a waste," said one poster on Reddit.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: +44 7537 182250 (SMS, Whatsapp or voicemail). Telegram: @SarahButcher. Or, email Signal also available  

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Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • IH
    29 June 2023

    Congratulations Daniel, this is a very difficult exam. Most people do not take it seriously enough, hence the low pass rates.

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