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A little frustrated after using Uppermark due to delays in notes. Did Schweser users have a better experience with the exam?  I know the debate is ongoing which is better but this really was a frustrating experience.  Appreciate your thoughts on it.  

The exam really did have such an expanse of readings that I wonder if they will eventually have a level 3!

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I used Schweser & thought it did a reasonably good job, given all of the changes to the exam. There were a couple of things that threw me, as I hadn’t seen before,but that will always be the case.

Overall, I felt much better coming out of Level 1. What do we think a passing raw score will look like for this exam?

Yeah, Uppermark were quite late updating the TestBank. I find their MCQ prep great in general and the essay short-questions were really helpful but it seemed they were a little late adding all the new material to the curriculum.

CAIA Level 2 definitely needs to be split into two exams if they’re keeping that amount of material in it. I felt the essays were mostly fine but the MCQ was full of tricky calc questions. Hopefully the bell-curve is kind! Not feeling too confident this time.

I used Uppermark and felt the same as Alts40. I don’t think the delays for Uppermark did them any favors either. But overall, I felt the exam was fair. I would prefer Topic 2 to be tested as an aggregate of the articles instead of just 1. What are your thoughts on that?

Do we think a 65 gets done as a raw score? When you say articles, do you mean topics?

I think a 65 would get us there (here’s hoping), yea the new integrated topic/articles they provided. They gave us 9 but only tested on 1. Right? 

70 (on the whole exam) is a guaranteed pass, so 65 would almost certainly do the job.

If the entire exam was Free Response (FR) instead of 70/30 MC/FR, I would imagine the passing score would be well below 70…

I’m confused by the terminology. Schweser doesn’t seem to present the material in “articles” format. That topic had a ton of information in their materials and a lot of it required rote memorization-basically. I think I overprepared for some of the intellectually challenging topics and underprepared for the many “lists” in the curriculum this time around.

Ha sorry about that, Uppermark provided us with a thin book titled topic 4, it had summaries of all the articles with learning objective (e.g. the art and science of manager selection, climate change etc.) and would walkthrough what they thought we would be tested on. Yes, I agree a lot of it had to do with plain memorization which is nexct to impossible to memorize everything. Curious to know how they will grade essay 2 and if there would be different weightings based on topics tested.

How did you guys do with time? Also, were there any areas that you expected to see more questions on than you may have?

Time was just about right for me, felt better on essay portion  with time though. I expected to see a lot more questions for the Asset Allocations topic but I ended getting about 10-15 on one specific chapter from that topic. 

PE, as a topic, turned out to me more challenging for me than I thought it would. Does a 63 get it done??

It’s the memorization bit that bothers me from an intellectual perspective. CFA L3 was (at least on my experience) a test of how well you <understood> concepts. This exam, however, felt like a rote learners dream come true, which is not a very good thing for a professional exam trying to prepare/refresh your application of knowledge.

The second half seemed a bit redundant, as if they want to satisfy the “essay” bit. I suspect that will fade and be another MC section as candidate body grows. 

As far as readings (ie the textbook itself) go, they are readable and interesting but I really wish they would tighten the language because sometimes it seems like you are listening to an elderly geezer who sometimes loses his train of thought. Too much fluff as if to impress by volume.  

I knew that stuff was going to cause me problems. On Level 1, it seemed like if you “understood” the material very well, you could reason through most of the MCQs. I felt like  on Level 2 they dug into some deep corners of the content for the questions. All that being said, I could’ve been pretty prepared and studied more efficiently. I’m curious to see if the curve will be adjusted down further than normal….

I could see the curve coming down if this exam was significantly different from the one last year but I doubt we can know since sharing of such information is monitored by them!  However if anyone re-sitting from last year could chime in just to give a perspective that might help.

I’m ready to put it behind me until the results come out. I’ve mentally exhausted myself over the last couple months. I’m ready to accept either result, while hoping for the best.

I did stronger for all topics in level 1. 
But this time, I will be head over heals if I can simply pass the test.

Uppermark is consistently delaying their schedule for materials upload - systems maintenance, director getting sick (and please trust our professionalism…), error in posting materials or sometimes for no ‘reasons’ at all. Even though their MCs are good, the exam ones are of completely different focus. 

Well, fked up real this time! Thanks

Im planning to do Level 2 this September, and using Uppermark to prepare - how many MCQ did they include / update for level 2 this time? I remember that the Level 1 Qbank had around 1000-1100 questions to practice.

You guys are starting to make me feel a bit better. It doesn’t sound like anyone feels like they have/had this locked down. After Level 1, I really felt pretty confident & scored very well. Feel like I put as much or more time in for L2. 

@Alts40 I’ve spoken to a couple of people and the majority of them feel the same for better or for worse. I can’t remember how many MCQs Level 2 had but it was over 1,000.  Happy to be done for now, hoping I won’t have to study for it again but we will see.

Do they feel the “same” as in somewhat uneasy on how they did or is there a sense of confidence? Given the subjective nature of the written response, it’s probably tough to feel too confident unless you know that you destroyed the MCQs.

Alts40 wrote:

Do they feel the “same” as in somewhat uneasy on how they did or is there a sense of confidence? Given the subjective nature of the written response, it’s probably tough to feel too confident unless you know that you destroyed the MCQs.

One X-factor in all of this is how the updated cycle of new material this go-around will affect the overall performance.  I’d like to think this is taken into account (in favor of those taking the test this time), but who knows…

lunautic wrote:

Im planning to do Level 2 this September, and using Uppermark to prepare - how many MCQ did they include / update for level 2 this time? I remember that the Level 1 Qbank had around 1000-1100 questions to practice.

Good luck!  I believe the L2 Qbank had about 900 MC questions and about 150 free response questions.  Note: Questions were added over several months and were not all available at the beginning of the study season.

One significant advantage that you will have over those of us taking the March test is that all of your Uppermark books should ship simultaneously after you order.  Those of us who ordered Uppermark in late-2016 for March 2017 got 4 shipments of books.

I felt like I had a full month less time to study, given the delay in getting the materials. I mistakenly thought the holidays would present a good opportunity to get a lot of work done right out of the chute but it didn’t play out that way.

@Alts40 I feel likewise. Granted that is personal discipline but there’s something unnerving when books arrive late and you have no idea about how much more is left to read. I personally prefer to finish early and spend that period skimming notes and practicing.

@stanza those “sick days” drove me up the wall for the video lectures!  Also found the tone monotonous to the point I once fell asleep! :) I do not like it when someone simply reads off the slides with random forays on politics. Greg at Schweser is more lively.

Delays in books and sometimes haphazard updates are why I am moving to Schweser if I don’t pass – which served me well for CFA but I do advise Uppermarks Q-bank. On a lighter note that Q-bank must have had a glitch at one point and utterly failed me on a test only for me to find out it was marking right answers wrong. However, I do wish they handle such matters better.

Re questions: I remember seeing about 1,170 questions on their database.

I used Uppermark for level 1 and found the instructor to be extremely monotone and drag on and on. Some of the videos would span over 6 hours and pots and pans would be smashing away in the background.  

I used Schweser for the CAIA level 2 - loved Greg. He’s passionate and lively and kept his lectures to 3 hours. I thought the exam was tough and I wasn’t prepared for the niche questions asked in topic 2. I wish it was a blend of questions vs the entire item set from one article. I felt the essays were more regurgitation of lists and definitions v.s. application of knowledge.

I do like Uppermark’s Qbank over Schweser - especially in being able to take CAIA weighted exams and the type of questions. But I liked Schweser Qbank in that you can compared your score to overall score of your peers (kind of give a general idea of where you are in the pack). 

I feel uneasy on the outcome - but delighted the exam is done. 

Your point about performance tracke is giving me some consolation, as I was looking pretty good vs peers on mock exam and practices tests , relative to peers. That being said, I feel like I had a tougher time on essays than even I anticipated.

Uppermark level 2, if my memory serves, should have 1299 questions (with long q, MCs and some short questions).

Well, I quit watching the videos when the instructor drew a put graph wrong for twice in level 1.

I used Scheweser Q bank before taking a test CAIA level 2 which was pretty similar with the real test for the multiple choice questions. But the essay for Q bank was not pretty similar with the real one. 

For Level 1 i worked through the whole Uppermark Qbank and only used the official material from CAIA. I plan to do the same for Level 2 - just wondering on the free response questions, does Uppermark analyze them or just show some kind of key point summary afterwards what you should have mentioned?