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25% : Lowest Passing Rate in the History of CFA L1 Exams | May 2021 Global Attempt

25% : Lowest Passing Rate in the History of CFA L1 Exams | May 2021 Global Attempt
Author: SS (Quick Thoughts)| Date: 28 July 7am IST | Read Time: 3-4 mins

27 July 2021...the historic day on which CFA Level 1 results for May 2021 candidates were declared. It’s been less than 12 hours since results were declared–and to be honest–it’s quite a jolt.  Making headlines globally…from Bloomberg to Reddit…Twitter to Telegram groups—the buzz is on! CFA Pass Rate Plummets to Record Low of 25% for Level 1 Exam………

In the history of CFA exams at all levels– 25% is the lowest passing rate that has been seen. Hitherto, we had rates lying somewhere around 40-45%.

Since exams in India were cancelled for May 2021, Indian students didn’t bear the brunt of it. However, students who have taken their exams in July 2021, or those who are due to appear in Aug or Nov 2021–are negatively surprised.

What is the rationale of this low passing rate. And is it here to stay?

Frankly speaking, this got to be answered by CFAI…they have just put on a post saying that the start-stop nature of studies caused by the pandemic might have resulted in this low pass percentage. If we take this argument on face value, it raises one question and provides two conclusions-

Q1: Why was there no effect (of the start stop nature of studies) on the Feb 21 exams?

Conclusions:

The minimum passing score (MPS) has stayed the same (around 73%) and you have to cross that to pass. So nothing changes in the world. We will find that passing percentage will revert to 40-45 % in the July/Aug  attempts, and especially November exams…

Wo kahte hain na, ki Indians jab tak apna jalwa nahi dikhaenge, pass percentage ka bar kaise uthega…? After all– humlog hi to vo 73% MPS ko cross karne mein saksham hain!

Its fine it you think this is too boastfull…but then I know how much breadth and depth we cover while preparing for Level 1 and I can tell you with full confidence that its hard (read ‘impossible’) to find others who prepare that comprehensively for Level 1!

However, the above thinking is just a conjecture…and conjectures is what they are…

So , on a conservative note, the other way is to assume that the MPS has been raised to say 80% and all of you who are preparing for CFA Level 1 should try achieving 80% plus accuracy when you take Mocks. This ensures that you are in a safe zone.

Sir—what about Level 2 & Level 3?

Nothing…no change…people are heavily prepared & still preparing for the L2 & L3 exams for November 2021…and I feel that passing percentage will rise instead of falling if CFAI keeps the MPS intact.

Regards, Sanjay Saraf Sir

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