Nobody knows what the minimum passing score is. The CFAI has never released candidate scores, nor has it ever released the MPS.
_ However, it has stated that nobody has ever failed an exam if they scored 70% or more. _
For those of you at Level 1, I don’t think there is a good “strategy” for you. You need to learn as much as you can, because you will need all of those building blocks at Level 2 and 3. Pay particular attention to Ethics, because it is NOT intuitive (i.e. you can’t just pick the most conservative answer), and the Ethics material is the exact same at Levels 2 and 3. You also need to understand the FRA material inside and out.
For those of you at Level 2, I would offer this to you: each vignette will generall have 2-3 easy questions, 1-2 medium questions, and 1-2 hard questions. You need to get all the easy questions in every vignette. Don’t ever leave any low-hanging fruit out there. But you’ll also need to pick up about half of the medium and hard questions. Ergo, I would focus your attention on those subjects that you know best.
For example, I am a CPA, so FRA came somewhat natural to me. Equity was also relatively easy, because I am interested in business valuation. Corporate finance is a blend of the two, so I focused heavily on it, as well. I didn’t know much about (nor was I interested in) the other study sessions. So I studied them well enough to try and pick up all the easy questions, and maybe half of the “medium-hard” ones. I really tried to pick up all of the points for FRA, CorpFin, and Equity. (And ethics–you should always try to pick all of those up.)
I figured that FRA/CF/Equity was 50% of the exam, and if I could get 80% of those right, get 80% of the Ethics (which you know will be 10%), and get 50% of the others, then that should earn me a passing score. This strategy worked for me, and I passed with flying colors. (I wound up getting 70%+ in all areas but econ and oddly enough, FRA.)
For those of us at Level 3 (where I am now), I’m not really sure what to expect. I expect about half the exam to come from Ethics, Individuals, Institutions, and Fixed Income. So I plan to knock those out of the park. I’m a little less enthusiastic about the other study sessions, although I think Derivatives and Asset Allocation will also be relatively heavily tested (but less than the ones mentioned above).
That being said, I do NOT recommend that a person say, “Well, I just want to get where I’m making 70’s on the Schweser Q-Bank.” I think that is a very dangerous way to think. I think you should aim for 100% all the time, because you really have no idea what CFAI is going to throw at you on the exam. (I think this is particularly true at Level 3.)
Let me leave you with quote from Vince Lombardi. _ “We are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence.” _
Good luck to all, whatever level you are on. 100 days to go!