Hardest part of level 2

I’m studying level 1 now and so far it’s “hard but doable”. I want to know what I’m going to be up against when I face 2.

What is the toughest part of the exam? I don’t mean which part requires the most hours to study or has the most volume, but which section requires the highest IQ?


It would help if, in your responses, you would label yourself as

  1. PASSED or

  2. FAILED or


i think it is not about IQ, but about commitment, hard work, dedication, sacrifice, to many coffee…

all part seem to dificult, at beginning studying L2 the hardest part for me was quantative, FCA and derivatives, now there is no area that is so hard. what I want to say it is personal journey and it is worth it, because I use to use material learned on L1 and L2 in practice, that is some kind of satisfaction for now.

Agreed. you will get material if you dedicate your time to it.

L2: 1st attempt in June, 2014 L1: Cleared on 1st attempt in Dec, 2013. >70% in all sections

Second him. The CFA material (for any level) is not rocket science. Anybody with an average IQ can do GIVEN ENOUGH TIME.

Now, it definitely helps if you have an IQ of 140+. It would require you less time to understand things than a person who has an IQ of 100 (Average IQ).

IQ is also very difficult thing to define. It would not be right if we judge everyone by the same IQ measure. For example, I have generally observed that men are more inclined towards Maths/Science/Finance oriented subjects whereas women are more inclined towards arts/social sciences/languages.

Btw, I never took any IQ test except for one which I took in 8th grade for a school admission requiremnt. I scored 120 but now I would put myself somewhere in 105-115 iq range. It has depreciated with age. wink

My IQ is less than 70. I find all sections of Level 2 hard. Looks like I have to spend more time than L1.

I passed L1 in Dec 2013.

Derivatives (specifically swaptions) were hardest for me. Even when I finally felt I understood it conceptually, I could never seem to consistently get the correct answer due to the countless possible scenarios.

I am faced with a annoying little glitch in CFAI system (if it is that at all). I am writing CFA level 2 exam AGAIN this year (2nd time) and I subscribed to their ebook package. However, when I try to access the material through the link they sent me in the mail, it is opening books from which I studied last year and NOT the updated material (I was trying to access the new reading on commodity investment in Alts)

can anyone tell me how can i access the updated material. Oh yes i’ve double checked that I am using the new link (which I got when I registered for June 14 exam and not the older link for 2013 exam)

^perhaps give email to CFAI???

I don’t think IQ has that much to do with it; maybe a tiny bit. I have a 135 IQ, degree in Econ/Finance and failed L2 last year while studying about 300 hours. I think my downfall was just my lack of review. IMHO, L2 requires about three times as much review as L1. Also, I BREEZED through L1. I found it slightly easier than most of the courses I was taking in univeristy.

Depends on what you find interesting or hard I suppose. For me, PM was most mind boggling but that’s probably because I felt it was very theory-heavy. Others say Accounting, which I found to be simple. The hard part about L2 is that you could easly need years to master each subject and even if you do there’s still a good chance that the one item you miss is the one that shows up on the exam and you’re back again in the same seat next year

I’ve not sat for L2 yet…but I think IQ (or your general apptitude at problem solving/intelligence) has very much to do with success on the CFA. Understanding and retaining information for someone with high intelligence is easier than it is for someone with lower intelligence. Not to mention the test taking aspect of it in terms of using decuctive reasoning to find answers. Not that someone with average intelligence can’t do it, but they may have to study twice as much as someone with higher intelligence.