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CAIA Level 2 September 2017

I said I would start a thread for the September 2017 exam, where we can engage and post queries/concerns and even help one another out. For those of you, who successfully passed Level 1 - Congratulations, and for those of you that are back repeating (like myself), commiseration’s, I am sure we will nail it this time around.

Anyway, best of luck all and I hope we find this thread useful  

Review the key concepts and receive exam tips just before you take the exam!


L2 candidate here attempting September 2017 to complete CAIA. Wishing everyone the best of luck with their studies and hope we are all successful this fall!

Superlamp I am also re-sitting the September ’17 L2 exam. Have used the Uppermark material & QBank in March, thought it was thorough and their QBank is good. Most likely I lacked overall exam practice (Constructed Responses) and a better understanding of the material (late shipping of Upperm. material did not help..). My plan is to get through the Uppermark notes + write my own + do QBank practice &  past exams. Have heard the Schweser videos (Greg) are apparently. Perhaps worth considering to further cement the knowledge…

Hopefully we are in a better shape this time round. 

Good luck to all

Good luck to you too.

Hi Superlamps and Caianl,

Sorry to hear that you have to re-sit. What went wrong in your previous attempt? How did you prepare? Was it that difficult? And what are your study plans this time?

The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.

I thought I was the only one doing repeats, its good to have someone else here in the same boat (bad that you failed of course but I am sure you know what I mean)

I am going to go with Schweser again, and try to focus harder on the material this time. I did use their lectures the last time, and I also did a revision course with Uppermark. The Schweser lecturer (Greg), is actually extremely good and if it wasnt for him I think I might have jumped ship already.

Anyway, like you my plan is to read, make my own notes and do way more questions. I’ve started already as I will not be around for the last two weeks in August.

I have just replied above this second. Are you in the same boat yourself?

I just passed L1 last month. Will be preparing for L2 this summer. How many mocks/practice exams you did Superlamp?

The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.

Hi everyone,

First of all I’m sorry to hear that some people have failed on your attempts, Im sure you will pass the exam this time. Regarding to me I’ll be sat for level II on September and I am going to do the same than I did for level I… one read of the official textbook because I think the most important is to understand everything and Qbank of Uppermark plus a review with the Uppermark notes! This summer will be a little harder than normal for me…

Good luck to everyone!

Well done on passing L1, and welcome to L2.

I used Schweser so took their three exams, but also took the Uppermark revision course which I did not find as helpful. Being honest, I was not as strict on myself attempting the Schweser exams as I should have been. This time I plan to be much more dedicated. I will focus less on the lectures given I have already done them, and focus more on the details. (I mentioned up there that the guy who does the lectures with Schweser is a guy called Greg, and he is fantastic so if this is your first time attempting L2 he is well worth considering).

At the end of each topic, I want to have my own notes and be 100% confident in the material. All sounds well in theory, so lets hope that actually happens. Ill post on here if I have any queries/likewise you guys should all do the same and we can all get through this and come out the other end togetherwink

I also should have added here, that I may consider purchasing the official CAIA text too. I see a few folk have mentioned that on another thread and it would be worth considering I believe.

Also - the official CAIA workbook, available for free on their website is a useful resource. When you finish a chapter with Kaplan/Uppermark it might be no harm going to that workbook and attempting all of the questions in it (Even though they are not multiple choice questions, bear in mind they are coming directly from the exam setters), and ensuring you are comfortable with all of the Key words…

Sound advice Superlamps, L2 takers please take note. I may also purchase the official CAIA text book to cover any gaps from the Uppermark Material (yes although material is good there are still plenty of them…). I would advise any L2 taker to attempt as many questions as you possibly can, and particularly the CR portion (essays). Also, do not to underestimate the preparation needed for the ethics part, although not difficult, it does take a fair amount of practice to structure your answers to be able to score max points at the exam. 

For those using the official material and notes/books from other providers, how do you have time to read all of the material and do practice questions?   The official book is over 1100 pages plus over 500 pages for the structured response questions. How are you guys budegeting your time to effectively get through all of the material?

Start early and take advantage of your ”free time.” I saved all the CIT for the end and read most of them on my lunch breaks. I covered the book in about 3 months and it’s really not that bad if you break it up into pieces. Hour or two each day during the week before work and a couple hours each day sat-sun.

JBanalyst88 wrote:

Start early and take advantage of your ”free time.” I saved all the CIT for the end and read most of them on my lunch breaks. I covered the book in about 3 months and it’s really not that bad if you break it up into pieces. Hour or two each day during the week before work and a couple hours each day sat-sun.

That’s solid advice.  I definitely appreciate it.   In your opinion,  would it be more valuable to read the Wiley book once and a third party’s material, or just read the Wiley stuff twice? 

I read the wiley book twice technically. I highlight key topics the first time around and the second time I take notes on the highlighted. The second time around doesn’t take nearly as long becasue I’m concentrating only on the highlighted areas. Like making your own cliff notes. Once you get in a routine of doing a little each day, it seems much easier. I did use Kaplans practice exams the last couple of weeks, but not their text.

Very sound advice, thank you .JBanalyst88.

I am going to buy the official text, and in addition to my current Kaplan notes I am going to invest in their flashcards so I can be sure I know the jist of every single L.O. In addition before I start each section, I am going to look at the keywords from the CAIA workbook and make sure I am totally comfortable with them.

We can do this Ladies and Gentlemen, since last speaking I’ve completed all of Ethics and more than half of CIT and already feel more confident

I am also going to be taking level II in September.

I am going to use a similar plan to level I. 

1) Read the original text and do workbook problems. - May and June

2) Uppermark study guides and qbank questions.  July and August

3) Practice tests, review weaker areas, Secret Sauce final review - September

It’s a lot to do in 5 months, but I like starting with the original material and narrowing it down from there in multiple passes.

Will be taking level 2 also in September and still have not started and will have 2 weeks that i will be traveling in August. I am just too afraid of those essays questions, for those who took the exam, are they an analyzing questions or just list and define type of questions?

thank you guys and i am planning to study with Kaplan 

Hi all,

I’m taking Level 2 in September. Just wanted to wish you all the best of luck in your studies. Stay hungry.

You too ChiBH12.

Aziz44 do not be too afraid of the essay questions. One of them will be on ethics and guaranteed to be worth 10% of the exam. The other will be on current and integrated topics, and also worth 10% of the exam. I have just finished studying and making notes on those two topics. I am planning to eat these notes for breakfast every morning, and pin them to the roof in my bedroom so instead of counting sheep every night I can read these. If you nail these two sections that is 20% of your 70% needed to pass in the bag. I would advise you to understand the current and integrated topics, but also to know the key points or lists that are provided (That means learning them off unfortunately and dont neglect this).

The third essay question, can be anywhere from the 6 remaining topics. This one can be the most problematic in my opinion. My advice here is to keep an open mind when going through the material and if you spot something that you think might be asked focus on that. Also, you can get a calculation question here so be prepared for that. Practice doing the calculations using a computer, you might be surprised at how that can catch you out.  

I used Uppermark for levIel 1 and the textbook. Is that the best for level 2 as well or is Kaplan better?

The Uppermark Qbank is better. Cant comment on the Uppermark notes - however the Kaplan notes are fine too. I’ve mentioned above, the Kaplan lecturer (Greg), is fantastic.

Thanks for info

I  passed both at first attempt with Schweser. Found Greg to be really good with the videos. I would advise the purchase of videos for L2. I did over 90% of the qbank and the mock CAIA paper to be prepared for exam. Prep can be done in 3 months while working. Content not as much as CFA. 

CAIA Charterholder

So how are people getting on? Exam window opens next week right?