Before taking the CAIA exam, you may want to have a basic understanding on the grading system and passing rate.
Here is the information I gather from the CAIA Association.
What’s the CAIA Exam Passing Score?
The CAIA Examination staff uses 70% of the total points as the initial benchmark, but since they compare candidate’s score against the average exam score, the curve effectively moves the passing score below 70%. The passing score and candidate’s actual score is never disclosed.
First of all, the exam is 100% computerized, but don’t expect to get the score right after the exam (e.g., as in GMAT).
Result Release Dates
This is because the scoring is possibly curved and extra time is required to grade the essays (by human graders instead of by computers). You can expect to get your results within 3 weeks for Level 1 and 6 weeks for Level 2.
How Do I Get the Results?
You will receive an email from CAIA Association on how to view your CAIA Candidate Performance Report. You should therefore make sure the email address is up-to-date.
What is the CAIA Candidate Performance Report?
It is a diagnostic report that show your relative strengths and weaknesses on each topic compared to the “reference group”. The performance levels are weak, lower, comparable, higher and outstanding calculated based on standard deviation.
The reference group is comprised of all candidates whose total test scores were within the bottom quartile of those who passed the exam during the testing window in which you sat for the exam. In my opinion, you can see this group as those who score just enough to pass the exam.
Please note that even if you score “comparable” in most of the categories, you may not pass given the different weighting of each category.
Here is a sample report extracted from the CAIA exam handbook:
What is the Historical Exam Passing Rate?
In the last exam (2015), the pass rate was 66% for Level 1 and 67-8% for Level 2. You can refer to this page for historical trend.