As per CFA institute, in June 2010 exam, Forty-two percent of 46,863 CFA level 1 candidates passed.
The big question is what is the minimum passing score (MPS) for CFA level 1? Well, the fact is that CFAI never releases the minimum passing scores. The MPS is calculated by the CFA Institute Board of Governors each year after the exams finish.
In early 70s and 80s it was considered that minimum passing score (MPS) was 70% of the average of the ‘several best papers’ (Here the ‘several best papers’ means the result of the top one percent candidates).
However, now-a-days according to the CFA Institute they have started using the Angloff Method as a touchstone to set the Minimum Passing Score for the CFA Level 1 Exams.
As per wikipedia:
“The Angoff approach is very widely used. This method requires the assembly of a group of subject matter experts, who are asked to evaluate each item and estimate the proportion of minimally competent examinees that would correctly answer the item. The ratings are averaged across raters for each item and then summed to obtain a panel-recommended raw cutscore. This cutscore then represents the score which the panel estimates a minimally competent candidate would get.”
So it is clear that candidates cannot know the MPS or even the individual scores. However CFA institute gives a score matrix report to all the students as to how much they scored in the each of the sections.
As per this score matrix, the “70%” is considered average to above average.
I personally believe that more than 70% marks can ensure that you clear the CFA level 1. So aim for it and achieve it. All the best!!!!
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For more info on CFA you can go through the rest of my posts.