You are very perceptive. I intentionally did not focus too much time on the link between the 100 marks to 150 scaled score in the masterclass. Although it is not an overly complicated process, I didn’t want students spending many restless nights understanding scaling when content and exam preparation should be given more attention.
I will try and explain the case study scoring in simpler terms with an example below. The main thing in any event is that you’ll need to try and score well for the 100 marks so that when it is scaled, you will still get a good scaled score.
So I will take as an example the MCS May 2015 exam on Flote, let’s take variant 1. The exam was for 3 hours = 180 mins. In that 180 mins, you needed to make 100 marks (as per exam scoring guide). On that particular variant, the split was:
Q1 = 60 minutes = 33 marks
Q2 = 45 minutes = 25 marks
Q3 = 45 minutes = 25 marks
Q4 = 30 minutes = 17 marks
You’ll note here that our planning of mark allocation in Saturday’s masterclass is very similar to the above split (give or take some integration marks missing).
CIMA scales the marks from 100 to 150 so as to even out the playing field. There are 5 variants on each exam sitting. Each variant has varying degree of difficulty. The uncertain part of the scoring comes in when you get whichever variant on the day of the exam.
Now with the Flote example above, I’m not sure if variant 1 was the easiest of the lot or in the middle of the pack or the hardest one. If you scored just around 50/100 for it, there is a likely possibility that you’ve failed. CIMA themselves urges students attempt to get at least 60% on a 100-mark exam. I am assuming here then that on average, when the 60/100 is scaled, you are around the 80/150 scaled mark.
If your mark was close to the 60/100 level, let’s say around 57-62%, then there might be a chance that you did not pass, depending on the exam variant that you got on the exam day. So do be careful about scoring just enough. The goal should be to score better than 60/100. The truth of the matter is that if you obtain a good mark, then there is really no way that it could be scaled into a fail.
I hope this helps you understand the scoring a bit.
P.S. Please note too that gaining a minimum of moderate level on the various competencies is equally important as a fail in any of the competencies will result in an immediate fail of the exam, even if you achieve or surpass the scaled 80/150 mark above. More on this in part 2.
To see CIMA’s take on the Case Study Exam Results, check out below video: