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What would you do differently?

If you retook or were to retake the exam, what did/would you do differently to your studying & revision for the L2 exam?

"Wiley's prep material was a huge part of my success... really keeps me motivated and charging ahead." - Lindsey G., USA

Do all CFAI EOCs (and at least twice on targeted sections, like FRA, FI, and derivatives). Otherwise would follow exactly what I did - read Schweser (better to read condensed material so you can move onto practice questions quicker), take Schweser mocks, do CFAI TT’s, and wrap with CFAI mocks.

but…I don’t know how I did, so take all of that with a grain of salt.

As someone who was retaking the test I can give a few insights, but just my situation and one in which I was much more confident walking out of the test this year, particularly after the PM session. 

Schweser Questions

I did the Qbank this year and I walked away with mixed feelings here. I think the reps are helpful, but the degree of difficulty in the questions vs. the CFA end of book examples/mocks can lull you into a false sense of security. The way that they present the questions also doesn’t do the format of level 2 justice re vignette style. The true value I got from these was being able to analyze and drill down very precisely which sub-sections I needed to spend more time on/glaring holes. I can “feel” good about a section, but without the valid set of data points to back it up it means nothing. Schwesee gives you the drill down tools and the reps as a first building block. 

Do the end of chapter questions multiple times and make sure it imprints!

Take a page from Memrise/Duolingo here. In order to imprint these topics in our long-term memory we need to “water” them even after we think we have them mastered. The test has an insane amount of materially that you need to be ready to go a mile deep and a mile wide with. When you are moving from topic to topic think of it like you are playing iphone dj at a party. You don’t just go to the next song, you transition out. By this I mean if you think you nailed derivs studying, move on to econ, but keep doing derivs problems for the next few days to imprint it into your mind. 

Push it to the last day!

Don’t get comfortable that last week. When I took the test the first time everyone told me “relax there isn’t anything you can learn the last few days that will make a huge difference”. This is absolutely false and any of us that have taken it know that every minute counts and staying fresh/keeping the mind acute is wildly important. Think of it like an NBA team resting players into a rust belt vs. the team that fights its way in with momo behind then. I went as far as studying till 2am the prior morning mastering a topic like derivs that you need to keep reps fresh in. I wouldn’t recommend this late of a night, BUT I can say with confidence some of the ridiculously obscure formulas I studied that night that I would not have had fresh in my brain the next day helped me pick up at least 3-5 questions on the test.

Last but not least put yourself first!

If you are working in a city like New York, London, Hong Kong, et cetera you know the life we have to live. Work is ridiculously busy and you’ll be pushed to the limit if you are trying to juggle everything. The biggest thing you need if you are in a role that isn’t 8-6 is the ability to say no to others! Yes you may miss a birthday party, or St. Pats day binges, or the pretty girl from Bumble that just messaged you, but what gets you through this test is fortitude, commitment, and discipline. Say no, put yourself first, and those that truly are behind you will still be there when you are done. 

Cheers fellas!

FOHF493110 wrote:

As someone who was retaking the test I can give a few insights, but just my situation and one in which I was much more confident walking out of the test this year, particularly after the PM session. 

Schweser Questions

I did the Qbank this year and I walked away with mixed feelings here. I think the reps are helpful, but the degree of difficulty in the questions vs. the CFA end of book examples/mocks can lull you into a false sense of security. The way that they present the questions also doesn’t do the format of level 2 justice re vignette style. The true value I got from these was being able to analyze and drill down very precisely which sub-sections I needed to spend more time on/glaring holes. I can “feel” good about a section, but without the valid set of data points to back it up it means nothing. Schwese gives you the drilldown tools and the reps as a first building block. 

Do the end of chapter questions multiple times and make sure it imprints!

Take a page from Memrise/Duolingo here. In order to imprint these topics in our long-term memory we need to “water” them even after we think we have them mastered. The test has an insane amount of materially that you need to be ready to go a mile deep and a mile wide with. When you are moving from topic to topic think of it like you are playing iphone dj at a party. You don’t just go to the next song, you transition out. By this I mean if you think you nailed derivs studying, move on to econ, but keep doing derivs problems for the next few days to imprint it into your mind. 

Push it to the last day!

Don’t get comfortable that last week. When I took the test the first time everyone told me “relax there isn’t anything you can learn the last few days that will make a huge difference”. This is absolutely false and any of us that have taken it know that every minute counts and staying fresh/keeping the mind acute is wildly important. Think of it like an NBA team resting players into a rust belt vs. the team that fights its way in with momo behind then. I went as far as studying till 2am the prior morning mastering a topic like derivs that you need to keep reps fresh in. I wouldn’t recommend this late of a night, BUT I can say with confidence some of the ridiculously obscure formulas I studied that night that I would not have had fresh in my brain the next day helped me pick up at least 3-5 questions on the test.

Last but not least put yourself first!

If you are working in a city like New York, London, Hong Kong, et cetera you know the life we have to life. Work is ridiculously busy and you’ll be pushed to the limit if you are trying to juggle everything. The biggest thing you need if you are in a role that isn’t 8-6 is the ability to say no to others! Yes you may miss a birthday party, or St. Pats day binges, or the pretty girl from Bumble that just messaged you, but what gets you through this test is fortitude, commitment, and discipline. Say no, put yourself first, and those that truly are behind you will still be there when you are done. 

Cheers fellas!

Awesome advice - thanks

no! not missing the pretty girl from Bumble! that’s too much of a sacrifice for CFA L2 text books.

I would study more of the obscure and qualitative material. This is based on what I saw on exam day. I felt like I still knew a good amount of what was tested, but there were things that came up which were stuff that only people would know if they really studied everything, 

Iprofit4sure wrote:

I would study more of the obscure and qualitative material. This is based on what I saw on exam day. I felt like I still knew a good amount of what was tested, but there were things that came up which were stuff that only people would know if they really studied everything, 

Think you nailed it this time around dude? Hope all has been well :) 

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." -Viktor Frankl

Definitions, and random obscure qualitative non-core stuff.

It can take a long time to understand concepts like triangular arbitrage, or accounting Equity vs Temporal in high inflation, but you’ll probably only get 1-2 questions on these, if at all. The return on effort on average is low.

It doesn’t take as long to memorize/familiarize all the definitions. Make a master list of all definitions and terms, and review them every day before bed.