CFA Institute doesn’t provide individual exam score when it releases the results. In order to clear the CFA exam (any level) your CFA Exam score should be greater than a minimum score set by the CFA institute’s board of governors. This is called the Minimum Passing Score (MPS).
The CFA Exam score is not given in detail.
The board of governors decide the MPS once the exam is conducted. In order to ensure fairness to all candidates, the difficulty of the paper is taken into consideration while arriving at the MPS. Over 500 CFA charter holders gather at the headquarters of CFA institute to grade the answer sheets. While grading, the candidates’ information is kept hidden to protect the privacy of the candidate.
CFA institute uses Modified Angoff Standard Setting Method to decide the Minimum Passing Score. All the questions of the exam are graded by the grader based on the expected performance of an average candidate. Once grading procedure is completed, CFA Institute reviews the grading done by all the graders. Based on the grading and the recommendation of the charter holders the institute sets the MPS. MPS is an internal measure of the CFA Institute and is never disclosed.
Based on the MPS set by the institute, the institute generates the results for the candidates who appeared for the examination. Pass Rates for the CFA exam are calculated as the total number of candidates who crossed the MPS to the total number who appeared for the examination.
If you’re a border line pass or fail, based on the MPS, you can be either failed or passed based on your performance in the ethics exam which if strong can turn a border line fail into a pass and if weak can turn a border line pass into a fail:
The Board of Governors instituted a policy to place particular emphasis on ethics. Starting with the 1996 exams, the performance on the ethics section became a factor in the pass/fail decision for candidates whose total scores bordered the minimum passing score. The ethics adjustment can have a positive or negative impact on these candidates' final results.
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