The full details of the analysis are covered in previous posts (see here for topics analysis, and here for MPS & band differences), but for the main takeaways, the top 5 key learnings for CFA Level I are summarized here.
- Strongest subjects. The subjects with the best performance by candidates are Corporate Finance, Equity Investments, Ethics and Financial Reporting & Analysis. So strong, in fact, that in the passing candidates’ sample, almost no candidates scored below 50% in any of those topics. These topics are relative heavyweights as well – together, these subjects comprise about 53% of the exam. More details >>>
- Weak areas. The pain points for candidates are Derivatives, Economics and Quantitative Methods. This is especially impactful in Economics and Quantitative Methods as they account for 10% and 12% of the exam respectively. More details >>>
- A key difference between passing and failing candidates is a lack of focus on the heavy-weighted subjects. The drop in quality across failing candidates compared to the passing pool is fairly even, but high-weighting topics decline more than others – a solemn reminder to candidate to make sure to focus on topics with high weighting. A notable exception to this is Ethics – with 15% weighting, it is one of the best-performing topics in the failed candidates sample. Perhaps an effect of the ethic adjustment study tip. More details >>>
- The MPS is probably 64%. Based on the data so far, the Minimum Passing Score for Level I June 2012 is somewhere between 64% and 68%. It’s likely to be 64%, but more data would be needed to further confirm this. More details >>>
- The difference between bands is about 8-11 questions. The average percentage difference between bands is about 3-4%. This equates to about 8 to 11 questions in the Level I exam. More details >>>
As a final tidbit, here is the entire sample used in the June Level I analysis visualized with the estimated MPS. Each band represents a candidate, ordered here by ascending order of their band mid-point. The thickness of the band is the minimum and maximum range of the particular data point. Green bands represent passing candidates, and red bands represent failing candidates.
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