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In What Order Should I Do the CFA Level 2 Readings?

You are registered for the CFA level 2 exam and now you are like: I am so confused; I do not know what to start with!

If you are one of the candidates starting on your journey towards the CFA program, do not worry we all go through the same thoughts.

In this article today, I will be sharing a few tips on how to study for the CFA level 2 and the order sequence for each reading.

First, there is no real golden rule to the "perfect sequence" for the readings. Some topics may be better to start earlier while some others later. Mark Meldrum has a few videos on Youtube where he suggests in his own sequence for all the readings. I used his approach and tweaked it a bit.


Here is the sequence I followed:

  1. Equity

  2. Corporate Finance

  3. FRA

  4. Quants

  5. Fixed Income

  6. Derivatives

  7. Portfolio Management

  8. Alternative Investments

  9. Economics

  10. Ethics

I started my level 2 journey with a relatively easy, interesting, and heavily weighted topic- equity. I wanted to start with an easier topic just to get myself motivated and at ease with the study plan. Equity was also the longest reading, so I knew It would have taken me longer to complete it. I then followed the sequence with corporate finance which was my favorite reading of all, and not too challenging either. Then, it was time to deal with FRA which seems scary at first, but when you go through the reading, it isn't as bad as everyone says. Then I left the middle for the most challenging topics: Quants, Fixed Income, Derivatives, and Portfolio Management. These were particularly difficult to study especially because they are abstract and dry although the topic of Quants wasn't new to me. On the other hand, It took me quite a lot to go through the concepts of Fixed Income and Derivatives. One thing I would indeed suggest is to do Fixed Income and Derivatives together as they have overlapping topics. I left Alternative Investments, Economics, and Ethics for the very last, but with enough time to study each of them especially Ethics which I don't think should be neglected in any of the levels. Economics again was a dry subject.


So this was my approach. Here is what I think you can also do.

  • You can start with the heaviest topics and end your study with the lightest topics and by heaviest I mean the weight each topic is given in the exam.

  • You can start with easy topics and alternate between easy and difficult readings

  • You can do all the difficult topics first and leave the easiest ones at the end.

  • You can do the longest readings first and the smallest readings last.

Hopefully, this helps as a guide or at least as a starting point.


Study well & Practice a lot. More tips will be shared in the next blog articles.