Dec 2015 CFA Results Day: All You Need to Know

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By Zee

Were you a December 2015 candidate?

If so, your results day is coming soon (see our Calendar!). Read on – we’ve summarized all you need to know about your results day: dates and times, what to expect, what do your results mean, and how to make the most of your result. Good luck!

When will I get my results?

For the December 2015 exam, results will start being announced from 9AM ET on these dates:

  • 26th January 2016: CFA Level I results emailed to candidates
  • 27th January 2016: CFA Level I results available online

You can check what time does 9AM ET mean in your local timezone using the button below:

Track all CFA-important dates with our CFA Calendar

You can also track all these dates (and other key CFA events) with our CFA Calendar, which is also available in our sidebar throughout the 300 Hours.

You can sync our always-updated calendar to your own personal calendar, so that you’ll never miss an important CFA date!

Your results will most likely NOT arrive exactly at 9AM ET.

In fact, it might take a few hours before it arrives in your inbox. Sending thousands of individually tailored emails at once is tricky, and it takes time for the system to send all of them out. Be patient – you’ll get yours!

The Minimum Passing Score

So what is the Minimum Passing Score (MPS) that everyone seems to be talking about?

Simply put, the MPS is the score you have to match or beat in order to pass. Coming in at anything below this score, and it’s a case of good try, come back again next year. The MPS is never confirmed externally – but chances are it has a maximum of around 70%. 

Our CFA Insights book gives a good estimate as to where the MPS should be – you can get it here.

Score ranges, not exact scores

Unfortunately the CFA Institute does not publish your detailed score. You will receive a Pass / Fail grade, and score ranges by topic, i.e. for each CFA topic, you’ll be assigned 1 of 3 score ranges: 0-50%, 51-70%, 71% and above.

However if you’d like an estimate as to what your exam score was, on results day you can use our Results Analysis tool to calculate this automatically for you.

The (failing) score bands

If you receive a Fail grade, you’ll also be provided a score band, which is a number from 1 (lowest failing category) to 10 (highest failing category). If you’ve scored a Band 10 failure, you’ve most likely just missed the passing mark. Our CFA Insights book also gives more insight as to what scores these bands are estimated to represent.

Ethics adjustment

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.

This means that if your results indicate that you’re a borderline fail, you can be lifted into the passing zone by a strong performance in Ethics. And what if you’re a borderline pass? In that situation, you could receive a Fail grade if your Ethics performance was particularly weak.

For more information on the importance of Ethics see this dedicated post on Ethics.


If you’re not satisfied with your results and wish to request a retabulation, note that this is only a technical check to ensure that your paper was graded correctly with no mistakes. 

It is not a subjective reconsideration of your case so only request one if you think there has been an error in the grading process.

Hope that covers all you want to know about results day. However if you still have a question about results day, just drop it in the comments below!

Zee Tan
Author: Zee Tan


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