What is the Passing Grade for CFA Level 3?

Learn about the minimum score needed to pass the challenging CFA Level 3 exam from an expert's perspective. Find out what it takes to succeed and how the passing grade is determined.

What is the Passing Grade for CFA Level 3?

As an expert in the field of finance and investments, I have been asked numerous times about the passing grade for the CFA Level 3 exam. This is a common concern among candidates who are preparing for this rigorous and highly competitive exam. In this article, I will share with you my insights and knowledge on what it takes to pass the CFA Level 3 exam. First and foremost, it is important to understand that the minimum score to pass the Level 3 exam is not a fixed number. It often falls in the 60% range, which means that you would need to get a score of approximately 60% on each part of the exam, both in the morning and afternoon phases.

Each element of the Level III exam consists of a bullet followed by 4 multiple-choice questions, with each question having a value of 3 points. However, this does not mean that you need to get more than 70% on everything to pass. In fact, some candidates have reported passing with scores as low as 65% or even 63%. It is also possible to pass with an average score of just 51% on all subjects. This suggests that you can compensate for a lower score in one or two subjects by performing exceptionally well in others. Of course, if you manage to get an average score of 70% or higher in all subjects, you can be confident that you will pass the exam with flying colors.

While there may not be enough data points yet since Level 2 exams are held three times a year, we can expect to see a pattern emerge in future exams that will shed more light on the passing grade for Level 3.The CFA Institute, however, does not publish the minimum passing score (MPS) for its exams. This has led to much speculation and debate within the industry about what the real MPS is. Based on our own historical analysis, it is possible to pass Level 1 even with a low score in some areas. When the CFA Institute introduced the current result graph format, it sent detailed results to all Level 3 candidates. Unfortunately, the official minimum passing score (MPS) is not made public and may vary from exam to exam.

After each exam administration, the CFA Institute's Governing Board sets the MPS for each level. This means that the CFA Level I exams may have become more difficult in recent years, but they have also become slightly easier at times. Looking at more recent data, it is possible that the MPS for Level 1 of the CFA will decrease again. The most recent pass rate for the CFA Level II exam was 48%, which is higher than the historical average pass rate of 45%. This suggests that the overall quality of candidates taking the CFA exams on May 21 may be lower than what the CFA Institute defines as a “simply competent” candidate. As an expert in this field, I understand and appreciate the trust that candidates place in us when seeking information about the passing grade for CFA Level 3.I assure you that your information will remain confidential and will only be used for anonymous analyses to help current and future CFA exam candidates.