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Need suggestion for preparing Level 2, as I've skipped Level 1

Hi,

Would like some suggestions on how better prepare for the Level 2 in March 2019… I became a CFA charterholder last year and later I decided to pursue CAIA. Luck for me I took the Stackable Credential Pilot Program from CAIA and was able to skip Level 1.. The bad thing is that unlike other people who took the level 1 and passed, I have zero experience on CAIA exams and am still leveraging my past CFA experiences but I believe those are not the same.. I am still gathering information for a complete set of study materials then I will be studying 20 hours a week or something like that..

Would really appreciate if someone can provide some guidance.. Anyone who has benefited from the Stackable Pilot program and has also passed Level II ? Time for you to shine. :) 

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Sure, I just went through it.

I think if you just work steadily you’ll be fine. 

The worst part was the unknown for me. So here’s what I learnt.

  • The computer testing was different, and I found that it was slower going compared to paper and pencil.
  • They give you a laminated booklet and a fine sharpie to do your working out on. It was close enough to working on paper so it was fine.
  • Ethics was more challenging than CFA as it falls in the written section and not multiple choice.
  • Multiple choice is slightly harder as it has 4 choices rather than 3.
  • The CIT sections were also challenging so pay attention to it, but towards the end.

.

rexkicker wrote:

Sure, I just went through it.

I think if you just work steadily you’ll be fine. 

The worst part was the unknown for me. So here’s what I learnt.

  • The computer testing was different, and I found that it was slower going compared to paper and pencil.
  • They give you a laminated booklet and a fine sharpie to do your working out on. It was close enough to working on paper so it was fine.
  • Ethics was more challenging than CFA as it falls in the written section and not multiple choice.
  • Multiple choice is slightly harder as it has 4 choices rather than 3.
  • The CIT sections were also challenging so pay attention to it, but towards the end.

rexkicker, thanks for all the information. Helpful indeed.

As for the study materials. What did you use? I see CAIA listed three books (below) two are downloadable (I plan on buying the Alternative Investments: CAIA Level II physical book). Did you use third party materials like Kaplan or UpperMark? How about mock-up exercise ? (I used Kaplan Mock-ups for all CFA exams..)

Standards of Practice Handbook, 11th Edition, CFA Institute, 2014. ISBN: 978-0- 938367-85-7. The link to download the Handbook can be found on the CAIA website. •

Alternative Investments: CAIA Level II, 3rd Edition, Wiley, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-119- 01639-7. •

CAIA Level II: Current and Integrated Topics, 2017. These readings can be downloaded free of charge from the CAIA website

Thanks!!

I got the Uppermark package with notes and mock exam, I’m biased as I’ve never liked Kaplan even for CFA (I went with Elan/Wiley). The CIT topics are also included as part of the Uppermark notes.

The mock was great I thought, and prepared me well enough for the exam, especially for the written sections.

Also don’t forget that CAIA also release a workbook which is a good source of questions too. 

rexkicker wrote:

I got the Uppermark package with notes and mock exam, I’m biased as I’ve never liked Kaplan even for CFA (I went with Elan/Wiley). The CIT topics are also included as part of the Uppermark notes.

The mock was great I thought, and prepared me well enough for the exam, especially for the written sections.

Also don’t forget that CAIA also release a workbook which is a good source of questions too. 

Thanks ! Did you finish all three textbooks before Uppermark notes? For CFA I never read the text books, all Schweser notes..

Same boat here… random questions:

so multiple choice is all on a computer? 3 hours and how many questions? Can you leave early if you’re done? Is there an official minimum passing score? Would you say harder/easier than CFA generally?

There are many other stems discussing this if you go thru the forum.  In summary, much more qualitative than CFA exams and detailed questions of which quite a few were not covered by Kaplan. Still, the MPS seemed like it must be significantly lower than CFA exams.  

I found the computer much harder to navigate for multiple choice since it’s harder to impossible to skip around questions.  

I just read the Uppermark books and did the questions (both CAIA workbook and Uppermark) after each chapter. 

The time crunch is real, as the multiple choice in the AM is 100 questions in 2 hours, so works out to 72 seconds per question, 18 seconds less per question compared to CFA Level 1. Add to it the four choices also slows you down. I ran out of time and only answered 98 out of the 100 questions and obviously no time for review.

I had plenty of time in the PM session (also 2 hours) and left half an hour early.