CFA exam pass/fail criteria

I’ve been reading that to pass the CFA exam, you have to score over a hurdle score the institute sets. But does anyone know if you need a minimum score requirement on each topic on the exam? Or if you fail, is there a break down on what topic you did the worst in?

Number right/number of questions

I wouldn’t worry too much about that if I were you. Just make sure you do enough practice exams and go through lots of questions, that way you’ll make sure you know the stuff well enough to pass. (I passed in June, and that was my strategy).

I’m pretty sure that it changes from year to year. I think they have a group of existing charterholders/members that sit down and write the exam, and go based on those results.

SomewhatDamaged, kinda. The MPS (minimum passing score) can and probably does change year to year, but as Niblita75 stated, it’s based on your overall score on the exam, not by topic. Note that the MPS is never made public and your score in Ethics may dictate a PASS or FAIL if your overall score is borderline. An article on CFAI’s website titled “Into our 5th decade” provides an interesting discussion on the MPS. As for informing you on your weak areas, CFAI provides you with a vague assessment of your score for each topic. You’ll be informed of whether you scored <50, 50-70, or >70% of the points for each topic. This forum is literally chalk-full of examples, go ahead and search for “RESULTS ARE OUT” or “POST YOUR RESULTS” threads started in mid-to-late July of this year.

“Candidates who have taken the exam receive a score report that is intended to be fairly unspecific: there is no overall score for the test, only a Pass/Fail result. For each category of questions, each test-taker is given a broad range within which his or her performance falls: below 50%, between 50% and 70%, and above 70%. The passing grade for the exams has been defined as 70% of the top percentage of exam papers until 1989; since then, the grading method is not explicitly published.[10] and the minimum passing score is set by the Board of Governors after each exam. The Board of Governors review the results of a Standard Setting process and input from psychometricians. Standard Setting is a process by which CFA Charterholders from around the world review the exam and recommend, for each question, a minimum passing score for the “just qualified candidate”. The minimum passing scores for each question are aggregated and presented to the Board of Governors as a recommended minimum passing score for the entire exam. The Board of Governors is not bound by this recommendation, but does recognize it as very important information.” from wiki.