Any ReTakers Out There?

Hi Everyone,

My question relates to whether the topics on the 2012 CFAI mock exam should become the main focus when studying. If you are a retaker, I would like to know if you felt the mock exam in the year you took the actual exam was a good rough draft (topic wise) for preparing for that year’s actual exam. Did you see topics that were not covered on the mock? Any suggestions on how to narrow one’s attention onto particular topic areas would be greatly appreciated.


double posting…

I’m a level 3 retaker, not level 2.

The exam will cover portions of the entire curriculum just like the mock test. They will be very different. You can expect there to be plenty of overlap but plenty of stuff on the mock will not be on the exam and plenty of the stuff on the exam is not on the mock.

For level 2 you can be certain that you will have to do something with things like valuation. FCF, and its many forms, will come up in an item set either in equity or any of the other places it is mentioned. You’ll also probably have do some sort of dividend or residual income type valuation. You’ll have to price something: maybe a swap, maybe a Fra, maybe an option, maybe an fx thing. There is simply no way that valuation doesn’t play a role on the exam so you’ll have to know all that stuff. Can’t say one way or the other which techniques they will ask you to use but they will be on it.

The accounting that underlies all this stuff will rear its ugly head directly and indirectly. The former in the FINRA item sets and the latter in the Equity, Alts, Corp Fin, FI, item sets. No way around not knowing the accounting.

Pretty much everything else is a coin flip and might be tested or might not be. You can expect at least one fairly obscure item set from some curriculum B side for example: balance of payments, or calculating carried interest in P.E., something about some form of CDS or CDO That stuff is hard to be prepared for and you would probably be better served making sure that you first understand and are fluent in 1) accounting and 2) valuation pricing down cold then getting lost in the minutiae.

Time can be a constraint if you aren’t fluent in those things.

L2 is a BEAST. Looking back, I’m glad I made it over, but damn it was brutal.

Thanks for your insights, ChickenTikka!