Episode 61: Why 70% is Good Enough [Podcast]

It appears 70% is the minimum score required to pass the California Supplemental Exam.  It’s important to realize sometimes, good enough is…well, good enough.


Podcast Episode 061.

I discuss the 70% minimum score required to pass the California Supplemental Exam. Although, you will need to satisfy minimums in each of the five Categories, the minimum overall score is 70%. You don’t need to know everything about CEQA or the Architects Practice Act, to name a few, you just need to know the most important elements and how to apply them to the Exam. This is not a test about memorization or a test in which you can simply “phone it in.” You need to study and prepare, but it’s important your desire to feel like you need to have a command of all the subject matter is unrealistic and could be hindering your studying preparation.

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CAB Pass Rates Released

Heather, a candidate currently preparing for the Exam, posted the CAB pass rates that she found in CAB’s June meeting minutes. Since the multiple choice Exam began on February 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012, 1,390 candidates have taken the Exam, of which 56% passed. This is inline with the percentage of candidates who passed when the Exam was administered in the Oral format. While, the percentage of pass rate may seem discouraging, I offer insight and my thoughts on why it’s not as bad as it appears.

Enforcement Actions

In this new segment, I turn to CAB’s recent newsletters and discuss an individual who has been found to violate the Architects Practice Act and how that applies to what we need to know so we don’t make the same mistakes. In this week’s installment, I discuss an enforcement action from CAB’s Spring Newsletter in which a licensed architect who violated Business and Professions Code section 5536.22(a), Written Contract. The individual failed to include all of the required 5 items that must be in a contract with a client. Yes, this stuff really does happen.

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6 comments… add one
  • Heather Singerman

    Glad I could provide some useful info!!

    • David

      hi heather,

      yes it was most useful, thanks again and good luck on your Exam!

      thanks, david

  • Emily S

    I just took the CSE on Saturday, 10/6. I failed with a score of 71 – I apparently need a 73 to pass. So I’m not sure if the passing score is a moving target or not, but it is certainly not a solid 70 to pass.

    • David

      hi emily,

      Wow, they are back to 73? they were at 73 last year for a few months, then they knocked it down to 70 after the first statistical analysis, which is where it has been for some time. you are the first i’m hearing of it going back to 73. that is a drag, but hang in there you will get it. take a well deserved break for a few months, then get back on the horse, you’ll get it next time!

      I’ll be sure to keep my ears peeled to see if others are experiencing the same situation.

      hang in there!


  • David

    Hi emily,

    I found some additional information that may be behind the raising of the cut score. speculation on my part, but based on historical data, it could shed some light. Check out Video Tip #9 which I just created and released;

    thanks, david

  • Edgardo Rios

    I thought I read 60% in Gang Chen’s book “Mock California Supplemental Exam”. Did it change?

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