Policy For Setting Pass Marks
March 2, 2001
The overriding goal in setting the examination pass marks is to pass all those candidates who have in the opinion of the CAS demonstrated by their exam responses a sufficient grasp of the syllabus material and to fail those candidates who have not.
It is the Board's desire that the threshold for passing each examination be set in accordance with the above paragraph. In doing so, the CAS should strive to maintain as consistent a standard as possible over time, adjusting the pass mark for any individual examination as appropriate in order to reflect differences in the difficulty and length of individual examinations, the preparedness of the candidates, and other factors. In all cases, however, the overriding goal as stated in the first paragraph is paramount.
The Board further affirms that the CAS shall use no predetermined pass ratio as a guideline for setting the pass mark for any examination. If the CAS determines that 70% of all candidates have demonstrated sufficient grasp of the syllabus material, then those 70% should pass. Similarly, if the CAS determines that only 30% of all candidates have demonstrated sufficient grasp of the syllabus material, then only those 30% should pass.
This policy statement is applicable to all examinations given solely by the CAS. Furthermore, the Executive Council and the Admissions Committees are charged with working with the SOA on jointly sponsored examinations to follow this policy to as great an extent as possible within the spirit of our joint examination partnership.