IMCA Announces 2010 Pass Rates for CIMA® Exams

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Cumulative Pass Rates among the Most Rigorous for Financial Services Credentials

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For several years our volunteers have been enhancing the CIMA certification process in response to a rising level of expectation for advanced knowledge and competence in investment management.

Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®) announces the first-ever published cumulative pass rates for its two Certified Investment Management Analyst(SM) (CIMA®) Examinations. The cumulative pass rate for the CIMA Qualification Examination is 63 percent, and the cumulative pass rate for the CIMA Certification Examination is 58 percent.

2010 pass rates for the two CIMA exams are comparable to those reported in 2010 for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) certification. In 2010 the CFA cumulative pass rate was at 42 percent and the CFP certification exam cumulative pass rate was at 52 percent. These pass rates reflect a cumulative of all examination tests reported for 2010 and all examination levels required.

“For several years our volunteers have been enhancing the CIMA certification process in response to a rising level of expectation for advanced knowledge and competence in investment management,” said Sean Walters, CAE, executive director and CEO of IMCA. “An examination process that is fair, objective, and rigorous is one measure of our success in this regard. Our ultimate goal is to meet international standards for certification bodies.”

CIMA certification signifies that an individual has met experience, education, examination, and ethics requirements for advanced investment advisors and consultants. CIMA professionals work with individual or institutional clients and have demonstrated advanced competency in making portfolio recommendations based on investment theory, developing investment policies for individual and institutional clients, analyzing performance measurement and recommending the selection of an investment manager, analyzing and recommending specific investments, and applying ethical and legal responsibilities.    

The initial certification process includes a background check and demonstration of three years of experience in financial services. The CIMA Qualification Exam must be completed before a candidate is eligible to attend the registered education component at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. A Certification Exam is administered for candidates who have successfully completed the registered education component. Additionally, CIMA certificants are required to report 40 hours of continuing education every two years, and continue to adhere to IMCA’s Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards of Practice to maintain their certification.

Topics covered on the CIMA exams were identified through a Job Analysis study of the tasks and competencies required of advanced investment advisors and consultants. Individual exam questions were developed, reviewed, and tested by volunteers from the profession. The pass rates for the Qualification Examination reflect data from January through December 2010. The pass rates for the Certification Examination reflect data from May and November 2010 testing windows. The Modified Angoff method is used to determine pass/fail scores for both exams. Varied questions appear on each examination taken. A panel of experts from the field appraises each question and determines how many correct answers are necessary to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to pass. A candidate’s pass/fail score is determined by the level of knowledge and skill he or she demonstrates and is not dependent on other candidates’ scores. In addition, the level of difficulty for exams is evaluated to ensure candidates are treated equitably regardless of which questions appear.

For more information about CIMA certification, visit http://www.imca.org/main/do/CIMA_Home. Currently, more than 6,300 advisors currently hold the CIMA certification.

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