Effective vs. Raw Pass Ratios

By Beth Fitzgerald, FCASFor each exam sitting, the CAS Web Site publishes a list of the passing candidates and a summary of the statistics for each exam. The exam statistics include:

- number of candidates who wrote the exam;

- number of passing candidates;

- number of candidates who scored below 50 percent of the pass score; and

- effective pass ratio.
The number of candidates who score below 50 percent of the passing score are referred to as the "ineffective" candidates. Usually, these candidates sat for an exam but were not well prepared. The "effective" candidates are the remaining candidates who scored at or above 50 percent of the passing score.

The effective pass ratio is the number of passing candidates divided by the total number of "effective" candidates. The raw pass ratio is the number of passing candidates out of the total number of candidates who wrote the exam. Depending on the number of "ineffective" candidates, the raw pass ratio can vary from one exam sitting to another. The "effective" pass ratio is a better measure of the results for an exam sitting.