The CFA Institute released on August 3rd the results of the CFA level 2 exam. With a pass rate of only 40%, I wanted to share with you some of the tips and techniques I used to pass the level 2 exam on the first try.
The CFA Level 2 exam is no joke. If you were lucky enough to pass level 1 with few months of preparation and cramming all the revisions at the last minute, forget about taking the same approach with level 2.
Level 2 study materials are much deeper and require a more rigorous study plan.
Here are some of the tips I used when I took my level 2 exam.
Start studying as soon as possible and prepare a schedule- I suggest that as soon as you receive your results for level 1 to start buying materials for level 2 and get the ball rolling.
Watch videos provided by the approved test providers and take notes- One way to learn the materials is by watching online content. CFA level 2 IS NOT about memorization. You definitely need to understand in-depth the concepts and apply them in scenario-based problems.
Do the problems at the of the curriculum chapters and the white/blue boxes within the curriculum.
Practice vignettes as much as possible- CFA level 2 differs from CFA level 1 in the way the institute tests you. You will have cases to read and then answer questions based on those readings.
Study more than the 300 hours threshold- 300 hours to study level 2 is definitely not enough. Higher chances of success come with more hours of studying. The more you study and the better you understand the materials, the higher are the chances of you passing the exam. If you want to be part of the 40% of the students who passed the exams, put in a lot of hours and cut social distraction where possible. If you signed up to obtain the Charter, it is a sacrifice you need to make.
The CFA curriculum and the CFA ecosystem are more than enough to pass the exams- I know a lot of people use textbooks from test providers and practice problems from those materials. I honestly suggest sticking to the CFA books which are more than enough to give you the required challenge. I only used materials from the test providers just to go over the video lectures, but other than that the CFA books are all I used.
Study all the topics inside out and do not skip any readings.
Leave 4-8 weeks to practice as much as you can- The CFA website has very good and challenging vignette problems as well as mock exams. Do all of them and if you more have time, repeat them again.
Be smart in your learning- Learn, practice, and revise. Do not read textbooks. Reading is just passive learning Watch video lectures provided by Mark Meldrum, IFT, or Fintree to learn the materials. They are approved test providers that simplify concepts and go into detail over the curriculum. Practice the problems as soon as you finish a reading and keep your revision constant to internalize everything you learned and to keep your memory fresh.
All in all, I would say consistency and self-discipline are the secrets to passing the exam. As long as you study every day and you are focused on your end goal, you can do it. Anything in life can be achieved as long as we want it #youcandoit