Congratulations to all the Ontario candidates today that have just finished up writing the 2014 Core Knowledge Exam!
Coming out of the CKE can range from relief because it was easier than you imagined or on the opposite end you might feel a bit worried because you had to make a lot of choices between the two best picks. The good news is that there are probably a lot of people in the same boat which, explained below, might work in your favour. In any event, it’s done now so put it down. Busy season is just around the corner to keep your mind off of things. Here’s a little more about next steps.
What the heck are they doing for three weeks?
I have no inside knowledge of the marking process but given the quality control over the SOA and UFE I suspect that the ICAO does a fair bit of analysis on these results.
What I can tell you is that the CKE is marked and compared to previous years’ CKEs. As you may be aware, the questions on the CKE are kept secret so they can be reused between years (obviously swapped around). After the comparisons are done and analyzed I suspect that the ICAO sets a passing standard that maintains some minimum overall long-term benchmark. This typically results in a higher percentage of people passing in January than in May. This form of setting the cutoff would ensure that neither session of the CKE is easier than the other since you’re not only compared to the overall group but also to other groups that has written the CKE in the past.
What will you see in the result?
You’ll get a few pieces of information on results day.
You’ll get an overall SUCCESSFUL/NOT SUCCESSFUL result.
You’ll get an overall decile score. What’s a decile? In short, all students are split up into 10 equal groups based on their ranking. Ten is the lowest rank (bottom 10%) and One is the highest (top 10%). Anything 6-10 is below average and anything 1-5 is above average. As I’ve mentioned previously, from my experiences with people, based on mock exams, those getting in the high 50s and in the 60s are typically in the top deciles. Those in the high 40s and in the 50s are somewhere around the 3-8th decile. Of course, how you perform exam day can be different than mocks. A lot of people will be surprised by the decile ranking they get because they associated 50s with doing badly.
You’ll also get a decile ranking for each competency area. This means you’ll find out how you did in PMR vs. everybody else. A lot of people blow off tax for CKE thinking that the effort (amount to cover) vs. reward (# of marks) ratio is too low so you may be surprised how you rank in tax as well. Either way, this is a good place to get to understand where your weaknesses are for SOA.
Those scoring below 5th decile will also get a warning on their result that they are below average and should brush up on things. Thanks CPA Ontario! 🙂