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how was the exam

Just got back from the exam. I got the strangest essay asset allocation, did anyone else get crazy weird essays from current and integrated topics? Got one on hedge funds and another on Real Estate.

Since the exam window is closed I’m guessing we can discuss this now.

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Ah….no….I still take mine tomorrow….but thanks! I honestly don’t think I am adequately prepared for this exam and even if I do pass (by some sheer stroke of luck) don’t think I deserve the designation at this time….Think I will have to go back to the Level I forum and become friends with them! lol.

Window closes on the 16th fyi

Yikes - thanks Miss Cleo - can someone tell me how I can delete my message?

Just took the exam this morning. It seems like I was in tunnel vision just cruising through the exam; finished MC with 30 minutes to go and cruised through the essays in 30 minutes. I feel like I must have gotten at least 70/100 on the MC which would net me 49% and the essays weren’t so bad. I had a response for each one. If I got 15% of the essays that would put me at a total score of 64%. Hopefully did better, but I’m wondering what the curve will be.

I used Uppermark and they did a great job of preparing me. There weren’t any huge surprises. Things that I got wrong were my own fault, because I saw most of the stuff. Overall I would say the exam was very fair. Still think it’s a toss-up for me pass/fail. I gave myself a chance.

If things don’t work out for me, I’d love to get a group together of repeat test takers to discuss strategy on how to pass this exam.

LFM3RJ- did you use the Uppermark testbank? Was it helpful for the MC or the Essay part on the test or both?

I used the Uppermark Testbank. I didn’t use any practice essay questions. My rationale was I’m definitely not going to get an essay on the exam that matches any practice essays. Instead I did all of the Testbank with rationale for each questions. Whether right or wrong I tried to understand the rationale. I found this to be a good way of actually understanding the information rather than just understanding how to choose correct responses. The flash cards were a big help for the essay section as well.

Pass or fail, I am very pleased with Uppermark all the way around.

Took my exam yesterday morning, agree with most above that it was fair… frankly the MC section was easier than the Uppermark test bank questions, finished them with 20 minutes to spare. I also found one question without a correction answer as a choice, wrote my comment on that at the end of exam. Surprisingly I had zero question on topic 1, kinda makes me anticipate an essay question on that!

Now onto the essay section… Question 1 was indeed what I expected…breeze through with no problem!

questions 2 and 3, different story… think my chances are good but I was definitely challenged by these last 2 essay questions…

That’s great feedback all the way around…still trying to figure out what the min raw score is we will probably need to pass this thing….I have heard it has been as long as 55%…that sounds really low.

The Uppermark MC was fine but I didnt depend on it for anything except to learn concepts, as opposed to level 1 where we could memorize a lot of it.

chaimyster,

I also had a question that didn’t have the correct answer. I simple plug and chug calculation, wonder if it was the same question?

power10in2 Wrote:
——————————————————-
> That’s great feedback all the way around…still
> trying to figure out what the min raw score is we
> will probably need to pass this thing….I have
> heard it has been as long as 55%…that sounds
> really low.
>
> The Uppermark MC was fine but I didnt depend on it
> for anything except to learn concepts, as opposed
> to level 1 where we could memorize a lot of it.

Nah it may have been around 60% for the last exam period in September, because that exam was hard as shiit. This one however was very fair, and passing score should be like 67% or something.

MissCleo: I hope you’re right. This is my second shot at level II and Sept ‘10 was a freakn blood bath. I’ll let you know my thoughts after tomorrow am.

The.Unit.Root - Your question did not involve the calculation of AFFO, did it?  :)

that’s the one

I had the same experience with that one question.

Me too, I thought I was going bonkers

Me too — spent 10 minutes of my review second guessing something I knew like the back of my hand.

Funny thing was even messing with all the numbers in that problem, nothing gave us a possible answer!

Exactly

Eh! I guess I am the last one….I had real problems with the time, I think they should have two clocks, one for how long you are spending on that particular problem would help. It took me the first hour to do the first 35 questions. Overall I thought it was more than a fair exam and I personally needed to spend more time studying. I think 1.5x as much study time is required from Level 1 and I put in about the same time. Until September.

HA i had the same question with no answer. i’m really glad to hear that you guys commented on it. i was sure i was doing something wrong and didn’t comment.

i have been staying away from the forum prior to the test to avoid people freaking me out. i followed pretty much the same strategy as LFM3RJ… mostly did multiple choice questions and continuously reviewed the material (both source material and Schweser). i did a few essays to get the feel, but thought the same thing as LFM that i wouldn’t get an essay that i had practiced and it was more important to just keep reviewing the material.

i found the multiple choice to be tougher than the essays.. time was a bit of an issue but i did finish everything… overall i think i passed (fingers crossed). now we all just have to wait!

congrats all on finishing - pass or no pass, this test was no joke.

No Joke indeed. I agree that this test was straightforward for the most part. Unfortunately, time was an issue for me as well and I think I needed to prepare more- understimated level 2 big time after passing level 1. Oh well, September will be here soon enough.

Just figured somebody mentioned there is some kind of dynamic within the exam questions. I couldn’t find any of that on the CAIA page but are there real different questions and essays for the individual test takers. To me that sounds odd especially for the essays coz how would you assure to make it 100% fair?

I also had one question that didn’t pan out to any number which was AFFOed and really got bad on my nerves coz time was a BIG issue on both MC and Essays to me. Finished MC and had a whooping 50 seconds left and like 20 secs after finishing the essays.

I think Ethics wa pretty harsh especially when u don’t have the drill from CFA Ethics. MC was ok but to be honest not a breeze at all. I hope we all pass coz thats what it’s all about! Fingers crossed

CAIA L1 wasn’t supereasy as some people say (mostly those that already have a CFA or stuff like that) but CAIA L2 was definately way more challenging.

I found some MC wildly basic while others covered the most obscure topics - I remember reading about them in two sentences of all the material (ie. linked index option/notes vs swaps - what were the benefits and detractors of the two) - really, just not something I focused in on. I am still shocked there was nothing about how to build a beta overlay strategy, I was almost certain we would have seen that in an essay. As soon as I started the exam and saw nothing on ethics and we went right to PE, I knew we would have an ethics essay so that was a ‘give me’ until I got to it and had to know the name of the standard! Rediculuous! I still probably scored 8 out of 10 but I was pretty certain we were all told we didnt have to know the name of the standards that were violated in examples….Did anyone get the math essay question about valuing a CDO? I didnt recall seeing any questions like that in any material - how are we expected to be tested on subject matter we have not seen before?? Seriously, I am open to any criticism here if I am the only person who feels this way. Hopefully I passed but we’ll see. Best of luck to all of us.

I guess pretty much everything is fair game for a test like the CAIA though I basically agree that there have been quite some question that have been challenging. I just hope there is a nice curve so we all pass coz we put in quite some work. CFA L3 is gonna be next in line for me and that was a bloodbath for me last year. Still didn’t start prep for this year - I guess thats gonna be some serious fun again.

power10in2 Wrote:
——————————————————-
> I found some MC wildly basic while others covered
> the most obscure topics - I remember reading about
> them in two sentences of all the material (ie.
> linked index option/notes vs swaps - what were the
> benefits and detractors of the two) - really, just
> not something I focused in on. I am still shocked
> there was nothing about how to build a beta
> overlay strategy, I was almost certain we would
> have seen that in an essay. As soon as I started
> the exam and saw nothing on ethics and we went
> right to PE, I knew we would have an ethics essay
> so that was a ‘give me’ until I got to it and had
> to know the name of the standard! Rediculuous! I
> still probably scored 8 out of 10 but I was pretty
> certain we were all told we didnt have to know the
> name of the standards that were violated in
> examples….Did anyone get the math essay question
> about valuing a CDO? I didnt recall seeing any
> questions like that in any material - how are we
> expected to be tested on subject matter we have
> not seen before?? Seriously, I am open to any
> criticism here if I am the only person who feels
> this way. Hopefully I passed but we’ll see. Best
> of luck to all of us.

It sounds like from what has been posted that the test was a bit more standardized this go round. I find it absurd that we would all get different essays and essentially get effed if there is a hard one. Last year one of my essays was pulled from literally 1 paragraph in the text. I won’t divulge the exact essay questions but I had one essay from Topic 5, and one from Topic 8, nothing on valuing a CDO though, that sounds like a bitttchh

power10in2 Wrote:
——————————————————-
> I found some MC wildly basic while others covered
> the most obscure topics - I remember reading about
> them in two sentences of all the material (ie.
> linked index option/notes vs swaps - what were the
> benefits and detractors of the two) - really, just
> not something I focused in on. I am still shocked
> there was nothing about how to build a beta
> overlay strategy, I was almost certain we would
> have seen that in an essay. As soon as I started
> the exam and saw nothing on ethics and we went
> right to PE, I knew we would have an ethics essay
> so that was a ‘give me’ until I got to it and had
> to know the name of the standard! Rediculuous! I
> still probably scored 8 out of 10 but I was pretty
> certain we were all told we didnt have to know the
> name of the standards that were violated in
> examples….Did anyone get the math essay question
> about valuing a CDO? I didnt recall seeing any
> questions like that in any material - how are we
> expected to be tested on subject matter we have
> not seen before?? Seriously, I am open to any
> criticism here if I am the only person who feels
> this way. Hopefully I passed but we’ll see. Best
> of luck to all of us.

It sounds like from what has been posted that the test was a bit more standardized this go round. I find it absurd that we would all get different essays and essentially get effed if there is a hard one. Last year one of my essays was pulled from literally 1 paragraph in the text. I won’t divulge the exact essay questions but I had one essay from Topic 5, and one from Topic 8, and the ethics essay nothing on valuing a CDO though, that sounds like a bitttchh

I still won’t believe there is anz difference in the essay topics given? I mean wow I liked my essays on the exam I wrote on 16th and would have been pissed if I were to know I didn’t get the same ones if I had written like on 15th

What topics were your essays Butterich? Same as mine?

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Sincerely

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Director of Exams
CAIA Association

————–
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