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Grading and Results

Do the pass/fail numbers published by CFA Institute include all the registered candidates or just the ones who took the exam?

The pass rates include only those candidates who actually took the exams. The numbers do not include no-show candidates or those who withdrew.

Does CFA Institute recognize the highest scores annually or create an honors list?

No.CFA Institute posts scores as pass or fail and does not consider one candidate as more (or less) accomplished than another merely because of their relative ranking in a particular year.

Why doesn’t CFA Institute let candidates know what score is required to pass the exams, or let candidates know what score they achieved on the exam?

The minimum passing score (MPS) for each level of the exam is determined by the CFA Institute Board of Governors each year after the administration of the exams. Neither the MPS nor individual candidate scores have ever been released. To set the MPS before the administration of the exams would require that an absolute standard be applied without regard to the difficulty of the exams; this could potentially be very unfair to candidates, especially across time. To release the MPS and individual scores would also be unfair to candidates; CFA Institute does not consider one passing candidate to be more (or less) accomplished than another passing candidate merely because of their ranking relative to either the MPS or other candidate scores. To release scores would inevitably lead to such ranking, which would be especially unfair for candidates taking the same level exam in different years. Find out more about the history of the exam.

I received at least 50 percent on almost all topics on my results score matrix, but I still did not pass. How can that happen?

Candidates should not attempt to interpret an overall passing or failing score from the results matrix information. The minimum passing score for the exam is determined by many factors, and is not a predetermined or specific percentage of the points either for individual topic areas or for the entire exam. Specifically, candidates should not necessarily interpret scores between 50 and 70 percent as passing.

Do I have to pass each of the individual topic areas to pass the Level I exam?

No. The total score on your exam is simply the number of correct answers you gave. However, be careful about any “test wise” strategy that recommends ignoring a topic in your study. Recovering from a zero score in a topic is very difficult.

On the Level III exam, you said not to write answers on the question pages, so I wrote my answer on a lined answer page instead of on the template. Was my answer graded?
Please be assured that CFA Institute grades answers that are written on pages labeled for a specific answer, regardless of whether you used the template provided. You will not be penalized if you did not use the template. Be reminded, however, that you waste valuable time by redrawing a template that is already provided for you. Candidates should answer on the templates provided and should follow the instructions given in the template.

If my answers differ from those in the published guideline, will I receive any credit?

Possibly. The guideline answers are intended to show a representative candidate response given the CFA Program study materials assigned in that year. One of the reasons the exams are graded by CFA charterholders who are experienced practitioners or academicians is to ensure that all acceptable answers receive appropriate credit. Your answer may have received partial or even full credit.
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Tiểu sử của CFA- dữ liệu đậu rớt từ 1963-2007

The Evolution of the CFA Program

* 15 June 1963: 284 senior analysts sit for the first-ever CFA exam
* 2-3 June 2007: More than 90,000 candidates from 162 countries sit for one of the three levels of the CFA exam

Industry giant Benjamin Graham first proposed the need for a rating designation for financial analysts in 1942. However, it wasn’t until 1959 that the National Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (NFFAS) voted to form the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts (ICFA) to provide a certification of competence in financial analysis.

The ICFA was formally incorporated in 1961 and gave the first CFA exam two years later, bringing Graham’s idea to fruition. The ICFA formally merged with the NFFAS, by then known as the Financial Analysts Federation, in 1999 to form what is now CFA Institute.

The CFA Program has evolved with the profession since 1963.

The original program focused on equity security analysis in a U.S. setting and emphasized ethical and professional standards. Today, those topics are still prominent, but they are presented in a global context along with other topics, including fixed-income analysis, alternative and derivative investments, and portfolio management.

View exam pass rate historical data (PDF).

Find out more about the history of CFA Institute (PDF).


Exam Results

Exam results are reported as "pass" or "fail" within 90 days (60 days for Level I) of the exam date.

Results are only available online and are never released over the telephone. Individual candidate results are only released to the candidate and are never released to a third party. A summary of exam results may be distributed to the CFA Institute member societies, CFA exam prep course sponsors, and others.

Actual exam scores are not released. The score matrix provided on the exam results is an indicator of overall performance and cannot be used to determine approximate scores or pass/fail status. The “<=50%” range is considered poor; “51%–70%” is considered poor to average; “>70%” is considered average to above average.

Print a copy of your results as a permanent record. Results will be available for approximately one year after the exam date. Subsequently, an official letter can be provided indicating only a pass or fail result; the analysis grid will not be available.


If you are uncomfortable with the grading process after receiving your results, you may request that your exam be manually retabulated by CFA Institute staff at a cost of US$100.00. To request an exam score retabulation, complete a request form, or contact us to request a copy of the form. Your form and payment must be received by CFA Institute within 30 days of the release of exam results. All exam materials, including answers, are the property of CFA Institute and will not be returned to you in either original or copied form.
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