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Question on Negative Marking for Essay

Hi all, I understand that CFA does not exercise negative marking for MCQs or even essays. My question is, if you answer an essay question with as many things you can think of (even the ones that could be wrong), will your score be marked to zero even if your answer contains correct points? I give two examples and seek your help in answering my doubts:

Q1: List and explain 2 uses of market indices.
A1: i) For performance benchmarking (correct)
      ii) For bragging rights (obviously wrong)
      iii) For portfolio analysis (correct)

In the above example, do I get the full 2 points or do I get negatively marked for my wrong pointer? Over here, the question asked for 2 uses, but I gave 3 —> will only the first 2 points be looked at?

Q2: Discuss the benefits of diversification.
A2: (I can ramble on and on for 1 full page even for a 4 mark question)

In the above example, assuming I have hit all the correct pointers for the benefits of diversification, as well as the wrong pointers… How will I be marked on this? Full marks? Or if I have 4 correct pointers and 3 wrong pointers, do I only get 1 mark?

Thanks everyone!

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For question 1: if they ask for 2 uses they’ll read only the first two, so you’ll get credit only for i).

For question 2: it’s more subjective.  If it looks like you’re shotgunning they’ll take off marks, but I’m not sure how exactly they decide how many to deduct.

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/

Q1: Only first two answers will be considered. 4 points = 2 uses. 2 point = 1 correct use. If the first or second are wrong, and the other one is correct, you get 2 points, irrespective of your third answer. Your third answer will be ignored. Don’t waste your time there.

Q2. ‘Discuss the benefits of diversification’ is not a plausible question. The ‘discuss’ kind of questions are always given in a context (the text above the question), they are very precise, and usually they also complement with how many discussion points you should include ‘discuss two benefits/cons/reason etc’ 

You would never get a question as open ended as the 2nd one

mheithy wrote:
You would never get a question as open ended as the 2nd one

True enough.

Discuss questions are usually quite specific:

  • Discuss two reasons why Gascoyne has a lower risk tolerance than Martinez has
  • Discuss three factors that suggest that the Areolas’ investment portfolio is inappropriate
  • Discuss one improvement that Szczęsny could make to her Monte Carlo simulation

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/

Looking at how candidates score on the morning exam, I believe we are misinterpreting their claim of partial credit. 

I have no proof, but my thinking is:

Question 1 has 4 parts A, B, C, D for a total of 18 minutes = 18pts. Part A is a two part question for 6 minutes/points. If you miss one part of A you get 0 points, but can still get credit for B, C, D for 12 partial points.

Its the only explanation on why the 90%ile score is in the high 60’s.

Just my thought, best of luck.

CFA Charterholder
CAIA Charterholder

Thanks everybody. My questions are answered. So, example #2 is moot since CFA questions are very specific. To conclude, there will be no negative marking since they only look at the first 2 pointers anyway!

S2000magician wrote:

mheithy wrote:
You would never get a question as open ended as the 2nd one

True enough.

Discuss questions are usually quite specific:

  • Discuss two reasons why Gascoyne has a lower risk tolerance than Martinez has
  • Discuss three factors that suggest that the Areolas’ investment portfolio is inappropriate
  • Discuss one improvement that Szczęsny could make to her Monte Carlo simulation

currently searching on google “how to pronounce Szczęsny”

mrow