# Partial credit in AM paper

How are partial points awarded in the exam ?

For example, if there’s a 4 point question asking you to calculate Tobin’s q and to evaluate if the market is over/undervalued, and you calculate the Tobin’s q to be, say 0.80 when the correct answer is 1.20, but you then make the correct inference on the under/overvaluation of the market based on the incorrect 0.80 Tobin’s q?

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That’s a good question.

I’d award 2 marks for the inference being consistent with the calculation, but I honestly don’t know CFA Institute’s policy on this.

I encourage you to e-mail them (info@cfainstitute.org) and ask them, then kindly report back to us.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

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I would personally give myself a big fat 0/4 for calculating it wrong.

Drockk93 wrote:
I would personally give myself a big fat 0/4 for calculating it wrong.

As well you should.

But I – and, perhaps, CFA Institute – would be slightly more charitable.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

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Well, if you get the formula and calculation wrong, you’ll likely get no points for that, but then if you get the calculation wrong, isn’t your “justification” just as likely to be incorrect? Unless you’re just doubley wrong.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.

Last year, someone from CFAI hosted a Q&A session that answered all kinds of questions, some stuff similar to your question. Here is from last year:

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This year, they are doing it again on 4/17/2019:

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Thanks 125mph, never saw that before.  Interesting what that guy said in general but I only saw one thing that may pertain to partial credit which was the following:

If a questions asks to list 2 things (ex. what are 2 disadvantages of using median manger as benchmark), if a candidate lists 3 things, graders will only look at the 1st two and disregard the 3rd response, irregardless of which ones were right.

I took an L3 Schweser review course last year and the instructor, Jean Paul Broussard, was also a past L3 grader. He said, no matter what, make sure your circled answer is consistent with your justification. Circling overvalued and hedging yourself by writing why it is undervalued will most likely get you a big fat zero.

He mentioned many questions (most likely excluding mathematical ones like the OPs question) have multiple acceptable answers and it’s possible you may get partial credit if your reasoning is sound, despite being wrong.

Mattyj7183 wrote:

I took an L3 Schweser review course last year and the instructor, Jean Paul Broussard, was also a past L3 grader. He said, no matter what, make sure your circled answer is consistent with your justification. Circling overvalued and hedging yourself by writing why it is undervalued will most likely get you a big fat zero.

It's a long shot, gotta make it.

Epsilon wrote:

Look at recent, past Level III AM exams and you’ll see questions along these lines:

Then, in the answer template, they have “Answer A” and “Answer B” listed in the first column with instructions that you’re to circle one, and with instructions in the second column to justify the answer that you circled.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

And if you don’t circle the answer but you indicate the answer correctly in your justification, I beleive you only get partial credit even though all you had to do was circle!

The FAQ in CFAI site says a lot of people fail to answer the question asked or follow instructions.

They also listed candidates hedging questions too much!

Oh i see. thanks to both of you! haven’t tried taking mocks and past exams yet.

It's a long shot, gotta make it.

125mph wrote:

And if you don’t circle the answer but you indicate the answer correctly in your justification, I beleive you only get partial credit even though all you had to do was circle!

The FAQ in CFAI site says a lot of people fail to answer the question asked or follow instructions.

They also listed candidates hedging questions too much!

We have been taught hedges all along so we are just applying what we learned :P

keroppi3785 wrote:
125mph wrote:
And if you don’t circle the answer but you indicate the answer correctly in your justification, I beleive you only get partial credit even though all you had to do was circle!

The FAQ in CFAI site says a lot of people fail to answer the question asked or follow instructions.

They also listed candidates hedging questions too much!

We have been taught hedges all along so we are just applying what we learned :P

At Level III I believe that you’re taught that if your view is more profitable than the risk-free result, then hedging to lock in a worse result is stupid.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

S2000magician wrote:

At Level III I believe that you’re taught that if your view is more profitable than the risk-free result, then hedging to lock in a worse result is stupid.

During past exams„ I’ve noticed a few test questions that were very similar in nature and correlated. That is, if you got it right, you likely got both right… and if you got it wrong, you likely will get both wrong. If I had no clue on the answer, sometimes I’d hedge and switch the 2nd answer so that guaranteed myself 50%… sometimes I’d take the risk and go for it.

Is that the double inflection point or just having different behaviorial tendancies.