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Level 2 vs. Level 1

Warren Buffett wrote:
… they can ask some really hard or obscure part of the syllabus for the other 3/6…

They’re crafty that way.

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

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Warren Buffett wrote:

personally found level content 2 easier than level 1 just because there was far less going on and it was more in depth.. that said I think passing level 2 is harder because you need to get mostly 4/6 and a few 5/6 questions right in each vignette to safely pass… And while I found I could do 3/6 quite easily, I found that they can ask some really hard or obscure part of the syllabus for the other 3/6…

Interesting. By that math, 4/6=67% and 5/6=83%. Do you think the MPS is around a 70 or higher on L2? I don’t want to start a thread by guessing MPS as it will get us nowhere, but do you think it’s higher on L2? Then again, you did say “safely pass” so i’m guessing the MPS is probably in the 60’s like L1 likely is.

The MPS is believed to be about what you would expect for Level 1: 65%-70%.

I found Level 2 less stressful for me because as others have noted - less broad than Level 1. My university degree was in Econ & Stats so no finance for me, but very quantitative. I am currently in real estate finance so again, very little overlap with large topic areas like Equity, FI, Derivatives, and FRA.

I think with Level 2, the material has the potential to be very, very difficult. Having said this, my experience was that CFAI isn’t out there to kill you - they seem to be reasonable people (trying not to refer to exams for obvious reasons). The biggest challenge I faced for Level 2 was letting the material get on top of me - I assumed that I would be tested on the worst-case-scenario stuff, which, for Level 2, could potentially be brutal - this was not necessarily a reality.

reddyna wrote:

Interesting. By that math, 4/6=67% and 5/6=83%. Do you think the MPS is around a 70 or higher on L2?

No way.  Not from some of the passing matrices I saw posted here on results day.  It’s likely a little lower than L1’s.

Level II is certainly more difficult than Level I. If you take it seriously and put in the hours practicing problems, it won’t seem so difficult, though.

I studied maybe 225 hours for Level I and probably twice as much for Level II and I got nearly exactly the same 40/60/80 score on both exams.

I suggest starting with the Equity seciton when you begin Level II. It’s the easiest section with a lot of Level I stuff carrying over (transition into studying should therefore be smooth) and is also a heavily weighted topic. Derivatives is intimidating but it’s really just discouting future cash flows and practicing problems is essential.

Level 2 requires more depth knowledge than Level 1, but if you practise enough you can get rid of it.

R

ltj wrote:

reddyna wrote:

Interesting. By that math, 4/6=67% and 5/6=83%. Do you think the MPS is around a 70 or higher on L2?

No way.  Not from some of the passing matrices I saw posted here on results day.  It’s likely a little lower than L1’s.

Now that’s encouraging! I’ll make a plan like I did for L1 and start studying in about a month. Thanks man.

hhcave wrote:

The MPS is believed to be about what you would expect for Level 1: 65%-70%.

I found Level 2 less stressful for me because as others have noted - less broad than Level 1. My university degree was in Econ & Stats so no finance for me, but very quantitative. I am currently in real estate finance so again, very little overlap with large topic areas like Equity, FI, Derivatives, and FRA.

I think with Level 2, the material has the potential to be very, very difficult. Having said this, my experience was that CFAI isn’t out there to kill you - they seem to be reasonable people (trying not to refer to exams for obvious reasons). The biggest challenge I faced for Level 2 was letting the material get on top of me - I assumed that I would be tested on the worst-case-scenario stuff, which, for Level 2, could potentially be brutal - this was not necessarily a reality.

Thanks for the feedback!

Tommy83 wrote:

Level II is certainly more difficult than Level I. If you take it seriously and put in the hours practicing problems, it won’t seem so difficult, though.

I studied maybe 225 hours for Level I and probably twice as much for Level II and I got nearly exactly the same 40/60/80 score on both exams.

I suggest starting with the Equity seciton when you begin Level II. It’s the easiest section with a lot of Level I stuff carrying over (transition into studying should therefore be smooth) and is also a heavily weighted topic. Derivatives is intimidating but it’s really just discouting future cash flows and practicing problems is essential.

Thanks Tommy. It’s clear to me now that L2 is beatable, just like L1, although more studying and practicing is involved. Did you pass all 3 levels first try?

^ I did but I think mainly b/c I was diligent studying.

Level II will be a challenge but hard work pays off in most cases. Some topics are materially more challenging than Level I and you’ll go through stages of nailing down certain topics only to forget how to solve the problems a few weeks later which is frustrating but normal. Practicing problems the last few months of studying is key. Do all EOC and Blue Box examples in CFAI text and, of course, mocks exams. If you can do the EOC and Blue Box questions and truly understand why you got the challenging questions wrong, you should be in OK shape for the exam. Don’t sleep on Ethics.

Level II curriculum is very good for asset valuation. Don’t view it so much as a beast that’ll ruin your life but rather an opportunity to learn. Good luck!

I would be very surprised if the MPS was over 65%. My 40/60/80 score was higher than 90% (iirc) of other people’s 40/60/80 scores, and there were people who scored higher than only 25% of other candidates (who submitted their marks, so obviously heavy selection bias here) and still passed…their 40/60/80 score was low 60’s. I really don’t think the MPS for the two tests I’ve taken has been over 65%, judging by some of the score matrices that passed.

Tommy83 wrote:

^ I did but I think mainly b/c I was diligent studying.

Level II will be a challenge but hard work pays off in most cases. Some topics are materially more challenging than Level I and you’ll go through stages of nailing down certain topics only to forget how to solve the problems a few weeks later which is frustrating but normal. Practicing problems the last few months of studying is key. Do all EOC and Blue Box examples in CFAI text and, of course, mocks exams. If you can do the EOC and Blue Box questions and truly understand why you got the challenging questions wrong, you should be in OK shape for the exam. Don’t sleep on Ethics.

Level II curriculum is very good for asset valuation. Don’t view it so much as a beast that’ll ruin your life but rather an opportunity to learn. Good luck!

Great advice. Thank you sir!