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September 2018 CAIA Level II - How is everybody doing? Share Ideas, report progress and share your EXAM RESULTS !!!

ws - It is comforting to know that that this is normal. i seriously can ot remember having to go through this in Level 1. Maybe because Level 2 materials are a bit more difficult and the CR section adds to the anxiety. Trust me, I am not wasting anytime. I am mainlining my exposure to the materials.

Do you think re-doing the entire Schwser Qbank is worth it, along with their practice/mocks? Or just do the practice and mocks are sufficient?


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On a different note - For those who use Kaplan Schweser, what are your thoughts on the L II instructor? What do you think of his style and delivery of the materials in comparison to L I instructor?

The mocks are a lot more challenging than the Qbank and more representative of what the real exam will be like.  But I think that you’d want to make sure you have a good handle on the Qbank before jumping into the mocks.  The Qbank can help build your confidence up and get you ready for the tougher questions.  It’s certainly not enough just to use the Qbank (although I have heard of people who used just the Qbank and passed!!!).  But if you’re having trouble with it, you’re likely going to have a lot of trouble with the mocks.  My advice would be to do them both.  The more questions you see, the better!

Just curious, changing topics.  How many hours is everyone at so far?  I know the number of hours isn’t the best indicator of anything.  Quality over quantity.  But just curious since CAIA recommends 200.  I’m just above 150 right now.

I won’t necessary allocate time to re-do all the Qbank; I rather allocate time to take practice exams; that way, it can expose your weakness, go back to the area of your weakness, re-read the material and take some qbank question as needed.

Neil202 - Thank you.

I honestly do not count the hours since it is relative to the each person’s background. But I would say I have put more than the 200 hours that CAIA claims to be benchmark. 

ws - Thank you!

Are you referring to the 3 full practice exams in Kaplan Schweser or you meant to create a mixed practice exams over all 8 topics from the Qbank? Are there any other practice test i am not aware of?


Yes, I believe there are total of 3 practice exam and 1 mock exam from Schweser, and there is also a mock exam from you can use.  That makes a total of 5.


Has anyone gone back and read the Level 1 Schweser notes? I am sure most would agree there is a lot of overlap and curious If this is something others have done. Scheduled to take Level 2 in late Sept and being cautious with how I spend my time. Was debating on reading and would appreciate and thoughts. Thanks and good luck to all! 

I find that the answers to QBank are better than taking it. I printed them out at my office and plan to review some concepts I’m weak on or overlooked in details  

I finished all the material three weeks ago. Took the CAIA mock right after and thought it was hard and fairly detailed in some topics. However, now I’m reviewing the material and reviewing the CAIA mock and thinking it was easier than I first thought taking it  

We’ll see.  You only had to know the basics in CFA exams that I found fairly easy if you got through all the material with a review.  I’m much less motivated on CAIA to CFA but hopefully I’ll muster the energy to power through like all of us. 

Whew! Just finished the Schweser Notes with QBank after each subtopic. Next up, a few days with Secret Sauce marking what likely needs further attention and then onto practice exams taking notes after each exam and reviewing weak points.

Continue to trust your process. We have all been here before and made it through to the other side. 

Just curious how everyone is handling the PM essays.  How much length is expected from us?  I know it’s dependent on the question asked, but still.  I feel that it’s possible to use a fraction of the amount of time to complete the PM essays versus the AM multiple choice.  Gets me nervous!

Hi Neil202, your initial reaction is correct.  I have always used fragment sentences, bullet points on my essay portion during CFA and it served me fine.  I have taken some of the essay practice in Qbanks and felt OK to use the same method.  Short, sweet, to the point.

Hey all, 

I took the first two practice exams in Kaplan and scored 73% and 61%, respectively. I am quit disappointed with my self in my second exam score but I know from past experience that these exams only get harder. 

The challenge that I am having is that in the first exam, it took me 2.5 hours for the 100 MCQ (30 minutes over the allocated time) so I decided to stick to the 2 hours for the the second exam and I would probably say that the low score is a partially attributed to the rush that I was going with to finish all 100 MCQ within the allotted time. 

My 2 questions, technically 3, are:

1- Did you feel these exam questions are long too or it is me? (I can ot recall having this problem in LI)

2- How did you score in these 2 practice exams, if you do not mind sharing?

3- I am not feeling as confident as i felt in L I, is this because the difficulty/extensively of the materials or i am not prepared enough. My exam in 2 weeks.

Thanks for your feedback and good luck to everyone.

@Gogo40,  keep up the hard work, keep at it. 

I had 80 and 75 on the first two.  I plan on take #3, Mock (from Schweser) and final Mock from CAIA in the remaining weeks.  Don’t be discouraged with those, use them to fresh up on the topics you did poorly.  Also, here is my observation, the mock MC question and Qbank questions in general are VERY POORLY WRITTEN, half of the time, I was trying to figure out what the heck the question was asking, I suspect you felt the same way.  Anyway, I figured that the exam wording will be  much tighter.  For MC choice, look at your answer and decide if the mistake is fundamental lack of understanding (re-read that topic) or sloppiness (still time to tight up your process).

I took the three Kaplan mocks.  Still have the 4th to do as well as the CAIA mock.  I did the best on the 3rd Kaplan mock and the worst on the 2nd one.  That 2nd one was hard!  So don’t be too discouraged by your 61%.  Keep grinding, we’re almost there!

I’m 20 days away from the exam and today I’m stating with mock exams. I’ll be doing the three printed schweser mocks and leave the official CAIA mock for the last week.

Good luck to everybody!

Thanks @ws and @Neil202.

For those who have taken the CAIA sample mock, do you know if there is a way to go back and review your answers versus the correct answers? I submitted my results, saw my multiple choice score but as I was scrolling down to figure out grading for the constructed response the page glitched and took me to another CAIA page. When I went back to the sample mock page, there was no option to review old sample exams you have taken. I reached out to CAIA and am waiting to hear back, but curious if anyone else has experienced this/knows of a solution? Sure would be nice to review my wrong answers!

Thanks and good luck everybody!

Edit: In case anyone else runs into this, by contacting CAIA they were able to retrieve my exam and send a PDF of my results!

Hi EVresearch,

unfortunately that is not possible. What I did was to take a screenshot of my exam. Use a chrome extension for that, called “full page screen capture”. It basically scrolls down for you and creates a great PDF file with the full online exam and your answers.

Do the online exam again, I am sure you will remember your answers and you will be faster the second time. After that, make the capture ;) 

Thanks, paki! Fortunately, CAIA was able to grab my exam and send the PDF. The screen grab is a great idea though for when I re-take it in a few days.

Wow nice, I did not know that CAIA does that!!! Good info, thank you too and good luck at the exam, mine is this Wednesday !

Good luck! I’ll be sitting for the exam next Saturday. 

Would be great to hear how the exam compares to the Schweser mocks/CAIA mock in terms of difficulty from anyone who has taken level 2 in the past or throughout the week. 

Did anyone wrote L II today? If you have, please share your thoughts.

The anxiety level is high and it would be nice to know your thoughts. 

Best of luck everybody!

I am in camp that whoever took LII, please don’t share your experience.  You are bounded by your ethics standards.  Enough BS already, I don’t want to hear other’s feel on the exam, such extra information can only distort my preception of the exam.

No one suggested that anyone shares anything specific about the exam nor violates the Standards. If you do not want to hear others in a FORUM then simply do not read the forum. No need to be rude and call people’s conversation on a public forum BS. You could have simply stated your opinion respectful and civilly. 

Chill there Gogo40, nobody called your comments BS.

I just did the CAIA mock.  Wow.  Kaplan was so much easier.  Need to regroup then review this.  Hopefully it was mostly dumb mistakes I made, but feeling a bit discouraged right now looking at my AM score. 

Hey folks, What should I carry to the exam room? obvious things; ID; what else?

Also, do they provide a rough paper in case one needs to calculate?

I took the exam yesterday - my Schweser practice exams were 91, 92, 92  and I honestly feel like I failed the exam.

… wanted to get a head start on the FRM - but will most likely just be sitting for lvl II in March :/

Wow! Those are some really good Schweser scores. I’m surprised you don’t feel more confident.  I personally found the essays on the real test difficult.  Ethics is so much easier being multiple choice!  Same with CIT.  The multiple choice questions in the AM i found to be fair.  Just hoping for the best over here and hope the next six or so weeks go by quickly before we get the results. My Schweser mock scores were in the upper 70’s, btw.

Is there anything we can do in the meantime so when we all pass, we can get our letters immediately?  Like pay dues or join a society or anything like that?  I remember when I passed CFA, I was able to get the letters immediately because I joined the local society ahead of time, was approved, and paid my dues.

Good luck everyone!