Best advise to save time in the exam...

Hi everyone,

I made several examples and mock exams but I feel that sometimes that I took a lot of time reading all the case, thereafter when I read the question go back to the case and read again to get the answer…

What do you thing would be the best way to answer questions and save time in the exam?

  • Reading all the case and thereafter read again to answer the question OR read the question first and look out the answer in the case reading???

I had the same difficulty. I find my time efficiency improves when I first scan the questions to see what “hot button” items I should keep an eye out for in the vignette. Then I begin reading the vignette and circle any of the hot button items, answer the appropriate question, then continue reading the passage.

This strategy has helped for me, but my advice is to keep up with the practice exams and see what process works best for you.


When doing mocks, I start with those topics on which I’ve noticed I require the most attention to detail to get right. I’ve been doing mocks in the following order, which seems to be working well: FRA --> Derivs --> FI --> everything else --> Ethics.

I used a similar approach for L1 - started with FRA and ended with Ethics.

For a particular vigentte: I’ll always read the opening paragraph first (to get context, understand names of firms/people that will be referenced, etc.) --> then read the first question --> then read enough of the vignette to answer first question --> then read second question, etc.

I’ve noticed that once you’ve reached a certain level of familiarity with the material, time stops being a factor in L2 (like L1 and unlike other standardized tests, e.g., GMAT, where time will always be an issue).

Also, if I come across a problem where I haven’t settled on an answer after 5 minutes, I leave it blank for the time being and come back to it later. I’ve found that a second look at the question 30 minutes or so later can be very helpful.

I agree with this statement. In addition, I also tend to skip out long calculation questions on my first run (price of a bond using binomial tree is a great example). They are worth one point, just as any other questions, and take longer to solve. Once I am done with my first run, my flow is usually: calculation question --> those that I have eliminated one choice --> those that I cannot eliminate any

Generally, I would recommend you read the questions first and then read the case. The cases aren’t short and I don’t think most folks can retain much of the info (of which there is a lot) from a quick read through.

But you should have noticed two general patterns with the vignettes. The first is that typically the 1st paragraph is mostly inconsequential. Usually it’s along the lines of Person A works for Company B and they’re advising Customer C, blah, blah, blah… The other is the the info in the case is presented in the order of the questions.

So normally what I do for these is read the 1st question, go and scan the 1st paragraph to see if there is any relevant info and then go read the 2nd paragraph and start working out the solution for Q1. Then read Q2 and go to the next paragraph to solve for that and so on.

Now that’s what works for me, that may not work for everyone. Good luck, level 2 was no fun but look forward to no more FRA after that!