Odd rumors about CFA grading

  1. I’ve read multiple times that the CFA isn’t graded on a curve. However, a candidate told me that just because something isn’t graded on a curve, doesn’t mean the CFAI doesn’t consider candidate quality in determining MPS i.e. if the test scores come back too high, CFAI will raise the MPS so that not too many people pass and dilute the value of the credential.

  2. She went on further that all the people who are delayed from summer 2020 and Winter 2020 will be sitting for the L2 same time as me in May 2021, so the quality of candidates will be significantly raised (since they had more time to study), so it’s going to be harder for me to beat the MPS

  3. I also heard that different geographic regions have different MPS, because of the culture in Asia, there’s too many hardened test takers over there so the MPS is higher in Asia than in the USA. This sounds like total BS but thought I’d check in here.

It is an absolute crap. CFAI maintains sincerest standard that is one and uniform across the globe. Don’t get psyched. Believe in your own preparation above everything else. Your performance is in your control. Rest everything (incl. the MPS) is hypotehtical,


This is how actuarial bodies such as the SOA grade the computer-based examination. CFAI may or may not use the same methodology:


so they have a panel of experts consider each question and rate how hard each question is.
they take the difficulty of each question into account when grading.

edit: for comparison’s purposes, this is how CAS grade their exam (more specifically, exam 5)


I took L2 in Hong Kong last December and the pass rate is 55%. In normal years, it is only around 45%.

I believe CFAI has a dynamic MPS, but the adjustment would be small. If the MPS is 60, it is possible adjusted to 63 when candidates are more competent that year, but not likely to above 70… This could explain why the last year’s exam in Asian region has a highest pass rate among recent years.