CFP Board Update Regarding Grading Process

Below is an email from Carol Lee Roberts, Managing Director, Examination and Education at the CFP Board.  She outlines the grading process and why it takes approximately 8 weeks to grade the exam.  After reading how thorough the Board is and her detailed explanation, it’s understandable why it takes 8 weeks to grade.  Thank you for the information Carol Lee!

Good Afternoon,

I hope I can clear up a bit of the confusion and ease your mind about waiting.  All results will be mailed via first class mail to your preferred address.  Approximately seven days after mailing the results will be available online in the secure log-in section of the website.  

This information was also communicated in an email sent August 15 2008 to everyone who took the July 2008 exam.  At that time,  we also repeated the suggestion that you begin the process to request a official transcript to fulfill the bachelor’s degree requirement. 

 I would also like to explain why it takes so long to provide the results.  It is not simply a matter of scoring a scan-tron exam.  

There are several steps in the process.

1. The exam is not scored until everyone has taken it.   Those individuals who have had special accommodations either due to religious requirements or disabilities take the exam up to one week later.

2. Once all the physical exams are received back by the test vendor, there is a verification of the exam booklets versus the exam site counts.  As this time the no show list provided to CFP Board.

3. During the generation of the no show list, a compilation of candidate concerns and exam question concerns is also taking place.  Candidates comments on the questions are retained for the Problem Item Notification call.

4. The Problem Item Notification call is held with the Council of Examination(COE) and reviews questions that have been identified by candidates or by statistical abnormalities.  Each question is reviewed and a decision is made to score all, score multiple answers or that the question is valid.    Once all items are resolved,  the exams are rescored based on the decisions made by the COE.

5.  The final scoring of the exams is then subject to the adjustments required by the Modified Angloff Method.  The scores on all questions and the scores on the equator items.  An evaluation is then made to determine if the test form is more difficult, less difficult or similar to the previous exam forms.    The equating information is used to determine the cut score for the exam.

6.  Once the statistical analysis is completed the file with the exam scores and the deficiencies is compiled and provided to CFP Board.

7. Upon receipt of the file,  CFP Board does it own quality control to make sure that every exam taker receives a complete score on the examination.

8. When all scores are received and verified,  a mail merge is done to mail letters to the candidates to their preferred mailing address.

I know that waiting for the scores is very difficult.  I, too, had to wait weeks for my score and wondered why it took so long.   I can assure you that everyone at CFP Board works to make sure that the scores are released as soon as possible,  and the only delays are those necessary to make sure that the exam score release is accurate.

Thank you for your patience,  and I assure you that we are doing everything we can to make sure the letters go out quickly and accurately,

Carol Lee Roberts, CFP(R)

Managing Director,  Examination and Education