Passing Score

Doesn’t it just bug the crap out you that we never know what we REALLY got on the exam? Sure would be nice to know, although I understand why CFAI doesn’t release the actual candidate scores or MPS. A great mystery we shall never find the answer to.

I know one someone who took the exam last June (L1), and he got 50-70% in all topic areas and passed. So, at least for that one particular exam, the passing socre was below 70. Here’s too hoping we all get a candidate friendly MPS for the 12/3 exam.

Also, in regards to discussing exam content, ins’t it odd that you can’t discuss exam content with people you know took the exam? What’s the harm in asking your friend/coworker what they answered for a particular question? I mean, you both took the same exam! Maybe CFAI is worried that even thought that’s harmless, if that starts, then it’s just a matter of time before it eventually finds it way to unauthorized ears?

Regardless of how good everybody wrote the exam, the percentile system will definitely ensure that the passing score comes down. I don’t think it comes down too much considering that passing rates have been static for quite some time. I find that weird as well. I mean, there are more than 50-60k candidates per level. If someone wanted to know a few questions, it wouldn’t be that difficult?

Part of me thinks the MPS is way below 70, like 65 or 64. Think about it… they throw out 2 questions on every test due to ambiguity / bad questions. Then if they throw out the top 10% (might be a stretch) I get a MPS of 62.5%. (240 - 2 questions thrown out x 90% x 70%) = 62.4% Probably overly optimistic…

Overly optimistic i think especially as you can theoretically achieve a 33% score just by guessing, so you would need to get less then half the questions right and guess the rest. It will be whatever it needs to be to pass approx 34/35% of the candidates end of story. I think you would need a score > 70% to realistically pass but should aim for higher, especially as this is a voluntary exam, and it should reflect what you want to do in your professional life - would you be happy being operated on by a surgeon who only got 62.5% in thir exams?


I agree with your conclusion but not your analogy. This is an exam for financial analysts, not surgeons. Regardless of how important we think we are, this is not, and never will be even close to the scale of life or death.

Yeah, it’s all speculation on our part, obviously. However, it’s highly improbable that the MPS is above 70. I think you’d start getting pass rates below 30% if it were that high (just guessing). Whether or not you are measuring competency, a pass rate under 30% would hurt the CFA program most likely. That would just discourage people from even trying, and reduce revenue for CFAI. It is a business in the end, and if people don’t want your product your screwed.

I don’t see CFA so much as a business. At least from their words, they barelly cover costs. I have to admit that 1.000 USD for the books+exam+CFA Institute Events is as cheap as it can get (I don’t think all those CFAs writting and updating the Curriculum work for minimum wage).

This is derailing the thread, but I think it’s a business like anything else. How many unsolicited emails did you get from CFAI, the local CFA Society, Kaplan, Elan, etc. trying to sell you something CFA related? Ok back to the topic - I think the MPS and the nominal mean score are VERY close together. Was anyone else personally alarmed by how many people go into the exam scoring 70-80% on their mocks? I was confident walking in after getting those scores but from anecdotal evidence (conversations in line and at lunch mostly) everyone seemed to be in the 70-80 mock range. How the exam shakes out to 35% passing is beyond me unless the difference between mean and pass is crazy thin.

Yeah, I was scoring about 80 on my last couple mocks, and there’s no way in hell I got an 80 on Saturday. Although, this forum isn’t representative of the candidate base as a whole I don’t think. We are the nerds, so to speak. But I agree with you on wondering how the hell it ends up at like 35%.

Predicting the MPS is not really that useful. If everyone scores exceptionally high or low, they will just change the MPS, thus invalidating all predictions. Instead, you should focus on pass rates, which are more or less constant from exam to exam. In other words, you can’t say “hey guys, I think I scored 70%, therefore I probably passed”. Maybe this particular exam was easy and everyone scored high. Instead, focus on what % of other candidates you think you beat. Since the population of candidates is large, the performance curve will be more or less constant in each exam. The exam difficulty is probably more volatile than the quality of candidates.

CFAI is never going to make the passing score greater than 70%. If you scored over 70% - congrats on to Level II!

no idea then. hah!

It was once rumored they make the top scores 100% and down the curve based on that. So if the top 1% made 96%, the MPS would slide down to 66%. but if you managed to get 70%+ you should be fine.

MPS I think is around 65%. This is my vague idea. I dont think it would be above 70%.