CFA Level II Update

Since my last post, I’ve studied many more hours for the CFA Level II exam. I am finally coming to understand why this exam is so difficult. While there are only 20 item sets of 6 six questions each on the exam, the number of possible topics is at least 50 and possibly up to 100. The curriculum is huge and anything in the LOS (Learning Outcome Statements) can appear on the exam.

I’ve taken three practice exams so far. The first was from the Boston Security Analysts Society and it was a live, in-person exam administered with the local CFA Los Angeles society. The second was the official CFA Mock Exam, and the third was from a test prep company called Elan Guides (http://www.elansguides.com). I’m sorry to say that I only scored around 50% correct for all three exams. Each exam tested substantially different topics from the other two and had content that I wasn’t prepared for. After every exam I carefully reviewed all the questions (both correct and incorrect) and made detailed notes. Hopefully, combining all the topics from these practice exams will cover the bases I need for the real exam. I do intend to take one more practice exam from Elan Guides which will bring me to four overall.

It’s pretty widely known that Level II is the most difficult of the CFA exams. Level I has a lower pass rate (37%), but I think there are a significant number of Level I test-takers that do it on a whim, just to see if they will pass. Level II test-takers are a narrower group of people who have already passed Level I, and yet only 42% pass Level II. So it’s definitely a very tough exam that requires a great deal of study and practice.

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