After a week or so of self reflection, I felt I should throw my opinion about the level II exam out there.
I’m obviously disappointed, but the truth is I probably didn’t deserve to pass, and the exam did what it should have in terms of showing areas of weakness.
If I had one piece of advice to share with incoming level 2 candidates or people re-writing, I would suggest being very careful of the advice and the perception about the level II exam. I unfortunately failed from both perspectives in my opinion. The reason why the bulk of people mock till they drop for level II is because it pays off. I ignored advice in this respect and read the books over and over again and entered the exam with one mock done, and was exposed for it on exam day.
The most important piece of advice though, at least for me is to block out a lot of the negativity surrounding the level II exam. As soon as I registered for the exam, the attitude and advice from almost everyone around me was that level II is insanely hard, and it’s common to have trouble with it. Level II is hard, no question about it, but the single worst moment of level II for me was the second I put the pencil down and realized that I just failed an exam that was very passable, that I let the narrative that this exam destroys people the first time around decrease my ambitions for passing it on the first try. This is the biggest disappointment of the exam and CFA journey for me thus far. Level II is very passable, keep the passion and put in the work and it’ll happen.
Also, make sure to sweat the smaller areas. I focused extremely heaving on FRA, Equity and Ethics and let the rest go by the wayside. Exam reflected exactly that as I did well in those areas and did poor in pretty much everything else.
Just my $0.02.
On to June 2018, best of luck to all new and returning exam writers!