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CFA Results Release Date, Performance Breakdown and Appeal Process

Eagerly waiting for your CFA results? I am here to answer your questions on the date, how to read your performance report, and just in case, the appeal process.

Here is the text version for your reference:

CFA Results Timeline

Level 1 and 2 results are typically released 8 weeks after the exam day. Level 3 results come in 2 weeks later.

The CFA Institute will be sending your CFA exam results to your registered email address. You can also view the results online one day after.

CFA Results Reporting and Performance Breakdown

You will be given a “Pass” or “Fail” but without a score. CFA Institute explains that they consider all passing candidates equally successful and therefore no need to release actual scores.

They do provide a report showing performance by topic areas:

cfa passing score level 1

The maximum points for each topic indicates their relative weighting in the exam. The next 3 column shows the candidate’s performance 3 bands: <=50%, 51-70% and >70%.

The bands indicate your performance relative to those who fail the exam. CFAI, however, doesn’t exactly explain how this is calculated.

What’s the use of these score bands then?

They are useful only to show the relative strength and weakness across topic areas. In the example above, the candidate did pretty well in all categories except Derivatives and Fixed Income.

You can’t compare the score bands with those in previous exams because the overall performance can be different from one exam to another.

It is possible that two candidates get the same performance breakdown, but one passed and the other failed. This is because the performance is reported as a range and it is hard to compare with a range.

cfa resultsBorderline Pass / Fail Cases

If you score right at the borderline, then your performance in ethics will make or break your exam based on the so-called “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.”

In other words, if you are borderline fail, you will be upgraded to a pass if there is a strong performance in the ethics section, and vice versa.

CFA Exam Score Retabulation

You can file a Retabulation Request Form withing 30 days of results release.

For multiple choice and item-set section, this process involves a CFA Institute staff manually pulling your answer sheet from the pile, check the answers against the answer key, and make sure the total score is calculated correctly.

For essay section, it is also an exercise to confirm the score is recorded and totaled correctly. It does not involve re-grading.

3 Takeaways

  1. Make sure your registered email address is correct.
  2. The retabulation is not an appeal or re-marking of scores. In my opinion it doesn’t worth the hassle and cost.
  3. Focus on ethics in your exam prep!

For Your Further Reading

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