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Can someone please explain what 'ethics adjustment' is?

I keep coming across this phrase but not much explanation about it. How does it work and how does it affect the exam results?

Many thanks in advance.


  • jasdevjasdev LondonPosts: 84 Sr Associate
    Simply that if a candidate's exam score is borderline, their performance on the Ethics section will be used to determine whether they pass or fail.
  • I wanted to ask this as well.

    I'm assuming CFAI doesn't make it known what is 'borderline' (1 question? 2?) Or how 'well' do you have to do to benefit from the ethics adjustment?

    As it's just an 'adjustment' technically can you score zero in ethics as long as you score enough in others? (I'm not planning on doing this btw lol)

    And does this apply to every level?

    Thanks jasdev, you da man.
  • jasdevjasdev LondonPosts: 84 Sr Associate
    From the horse's mouth (via @christine 's article on the homepage here):

    What is the "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.

    CFA Institute has a policy of not releasing either the minimum passing score or individual candidate scores. Consequently, CFA Institute does not release specific information about the ethics adjustment or the candidates who were affected. The adjustment has had a net positive effect on candidate scores (and thus pass rates) in most exam sessions. The published pass rates always take into account the ethics adjustment for borderline candidates.

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