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Level II Exam Mar 2019 - how did it go??

Lukas wrote:

Passed! 
Now for the following part, in order to become a member, they require USD 350 for 1 year. I was under the impression that the first year was supposed to be for free?

Never mind, it is not for free :)

Schweser's 2019 PremiumPlus™ and Premium packages are 20% off when you order by June 13, 2019.

Passed!

Generally in these forums most posts are people who passed. This of course is natural reaction . A positive is always more pleasant than a negative to discuss. But I am here to post I did not pass. The real question is why ? 

Some background .

i came in from the CFA exemption from level 1 CAIA

used Schweser premium prep review course 

300 + hours of study ( yes I tracked every minute)

had 70 percent or more on all review exams 

I have multiple other certifications all passed on the first try 

My thoughts 

CAIA exam questions were very Cryptic in the way they asked the questions.  Of all my certifications the test taking ability vs material knowledge was the greatest differential I have ever seen

The essay outside of the ethics were especially cryptic in the exam question design

appears very little curving with pass rate at 69 percent 

Not to dissuade those looking to sit for the CAIA exam but effort and knowledge of the learning outcome was there but in my case did not produce the desired result

@SeekingAlpha Been there.  Was there exactly this time last year.  If you do consider taking Level 2 again, here is something that helped me recover from failing at my first attempt and passing this one:  While Schweser got me through Level 1 unscathed and I generally liked the way their books read for my first attempt at Level 2, I used Uppermark for my second attempt at Level 2 and found their question bank was much more similar to the real exam’s questions.  It’s all the same material, of course, but something about how Uppermark presented the questions seemed to lead to fewer cryptic sounding questions on test day as compared to my first attempt.  Hope that helps and hope you give it another go.

Passed! Congrats to all who passed, I wasn’t expecting to hear about this today! 

I think that spending days on the CAIA workbook was the most valuable thing that I did for sure. For anyone taking next cycle/retaking, definitely use that workbook! 

I used Schweser but I feel like I learned better at my own pace alongside it. Schweser had some great tools though, especially their slides on the CITs and general classroom slides as a guide for all learning objectives. I strongly feel though if I had not utilised CAIAs own resources, my results could have been very different. In hindsight there’s many things I’d do differently because I feel like I wasted a lot of time on some things but that doesn’t matter now I guess!

The same holds for me @seeking alpha. Did not use Schweser but purely gambled and did not prepare the Constructed Response Questions at all because I was simply not willing to memorize everything by heart from > 8 articles. Unsurprisingly I was not able to score high enough within the other sections to pass. But I agree that how they ask questions is sort of strange. Very little technical knowledge (derivatives) is asked. Disappointing 

Apologies to all for the double post above. I wanted to add I will take CAIA level 2 as many times as necessary though my wife and kids may have something to say about that smiley. I will have to say I am somewhat dissapointed with Schweser . I of course bear the ultimate responsibility but Schweser has never let me down for past for multiple certifications. Maybe its time to turn the page to uppermark or others ..Thanks Mamba for the advice on other providers

SeekingAlpha wrote:
Apologies to all for the double post above.

Handled.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

The topics in general. The depth of the topics in level 2 are more advanced, still is not WAY more difficult but you’ll have to study a little more or read everything with deeper concentration. Thats it. Good luck!

Hello, I’m a big fan of Schweser but found that Uppermark materials and questionbanks where more similar to the real exam. I lost Level 2 once and this second time that I used Uppermark I felt much more confident. Hope my experience helps!

I agree! Schweser got me through CAIA I w/ no issues - comp/high in all with maybe 60-70hrs of total work between the class and books

CAIA II - thought I could do that again and failed (had to end my hot streak eventually)…. got the Schweser materials (for free due to the prior failure) and did the official CAIA II workbook (literally every question) leading up to the final day. I think the extra 20-30 hrs with the official CAIA mocks and workbook really boosted me from low/comp (fail) to high/strong (pass).

At the end of the day, how you learn is different than other people - so find something that works and whoever didn’t make it this time will smash it out of the park in September! and best of luck for the fellow people sitting for the FRM with me in 20days! haha

I’ve been there too!  After taking the CFA and CPA, I found the CAIA exam questions cryptic as well.  They just aren’t clear.  After using the Uppermark test bank, you somewhat get acclimated to the kind of quirky questions they ask and I really do believe this helped me.  I did not pass CFA L2 the first time.  Most of us have been there – just remember that after putting in quality study time the first time, it will make the second time easier.

I figure up it from 300 hours to 400 hours and Uppermark for the second go around and see if it gets me over the top. LOL . I will say the CAIA folks get the award for “Psychops” (psychological operations for those not in the military)  as far as the questions are concerned. They are the masters of “distractor” answers and ” can you guess what we are asking” questions. I can only hope the “quality control” in the question writing improves.

For those that will be joining me either in Sep 2019  or March 2020  good luck and those that passed congrats

Forgive me if someone already mentioned this (I glanced through all the posts and didn’t see anything), but do we all think it’s safe to assume that with a 69% pass rate there was likely very little if any curve? I wouldn’t think they would have used the curve to bring it up to that high a number.

Evans22 wrote:

Forgive me if someone already mentioned this (I glanced through all the posts and didn’t see anything), but do we all think it’s safe to assume that with a 69% pass rate there was likely very little if any curve? I wouldn’t think they would have used the curve to bring it up to that high a number.

I was wondering the same.  69% is a full 11 percentage points higher than the March 2018 pass rate.

Evans22 wrote:

Forgive me if someone already mentioned this (I glanced through all the posts and didn’t see anything), but do we all think it’s safe to assume that with a 69% pass rate there was likely very little if any curve? I wouldn’t think they would have used the curve to bring it up to that high a number.

That certainly sounds like a logical assumption.  They offer so little information about how they score the exam that it makes it hard to determine MPS or curves.

I was not aware the passing level was 11points lower in March 2018. I find that interesting since this I believe was the March 2019 was the first time the CFA exemption for level 1 was allowed. Did the CFA charterholders bring up the score vs what it would have been without them ? Did CAIA want to preserve the integrity of the exam by making it more difficult given the CFA charterholders were taking it ? I am not sure ,but i can tell you from the grid they provide of where you scored well or not well i would have passed easily (assuming the previous post is correct) the passing rate was 58% in March 2018.? I am guessing CAIA will not share the data as far as how the CFA chartherholders did relative to the non CFA charterholders for the Level 2 Exam in March 2019.

SeekingAlpha wrote:

I was not aware the passing level was 11points lower in March 2018. I find that interesting since this I believe was the March 2019 was the first time the CFA exemption for level 1 was allowed. Did the CFA charterholders bring up the score vs what it would have been without them ? Did CAIA want to preserve the integrity of the exam by making it more difficult given the CFA charterholders were taking it ? I am not sure ,but i can tell you from the grid they provide of where you scored well or not well i would have passed easily (assuming the previous post is correct) the passing rate was 58% in March 2018.? I am guessing CAIA will not share the data as far as how the CFA chartherholders did relative to the non CFA charterholders for the Level 2 Exam in March 2019.

To clarify the 58% pass rate I mentioned above, this is the percentage of people that attempted Level 2 and passed in March 2018 (not the “score” needed to pass).  I was one of the 42% of people that failed Level 2 in March 2018 which is how I have that figure…the whole, “We regret to inform you…” letter.  I don’t know, but I would assume the passing score was in the 70% or slightly lower neighborhood, but I don’t think anyone really gets to see that number.  

@seekingalpha: I completely agree with your comments re Kaplan Caia 2 premium package. I was scoring in the 86% range on the questions but failed the exam. And I agree the way the exam questions were worded were baffling and unnecessarily so. I hope you will take the time to provide your written feedback via email to Kathy Lyons. I am speaking tomorrow with the head of the CAIA programs at Kaplan to share with him the numerous problems I found with their level 2 materials, including their contracted lecturer. I will be trying Uppermark this time along with the CAIA materials. I would also urge you to request a refund for your Kaplan materials. I too have had good experience with Kaplan but for this time. 

@mabmba, CAIA will send you the pass rates for the last few years if you ask them about it. I got this information last week. 

Pay close attention to the people who don't clap when you win.

Hello,

Uppermark for CAIA is fantastic. I urge you to try it. How the questions are written and the type of questions from the QuestionBank is very similar to the real deal.

Good luck!