How I Passed / Mock Exam Scores

Hi All,

Before I leave the Level II Forum and head on over to Level III, I figured I would share my study routine and mock exam scores from a variety of different sources which led to my pass. There are a few threads on recommended studying and there truly is no size fits all answer, but everyone has these questions when they start studying, as well as when they start taking mocks.


For Level 1 this is what I used: Studied Mid-September through December. Probably ~150-175 hours

-Schweser Videos (did not touch the books) and wrote my own notes

-Schweser concept checkers

-CFAI EOC (no blue boxes)

-3 Schweser Mocks (~70s score)

-1 CFAI Mock (~70s score)

~1000 Q Bank Questions

~120 flash cards

For Level II, I switched to Wiley because I heard great things for the Peter Olinto videos: My estimate is ~300-350 hours

-Wiley Videos (which basically cover all CFAI blue boxes and walk you through their text book) and wrote my own notes

  • ~200 Wiley Q Bank for concept reinforcement

  • Attended a couple of Wiley’s live on-line Saturday classes with Mr Magician

~ 200 flash cards

~ Read through Wiley 11th Hour, adding my own notes

~ Memorized Wiley Formula Sheet

~ Most of CFAI EOC

~ Topic Tests about 1.5 times. First pass was maybe a 65%, second pass an 86%.

~ 10 Mock Exams, average score of a 75%. I only did my final 3 mocks fully timed. Low score was 65 (first mock), high score was 80 (last mock)

Scores below

My final thoughts:

You will notice not all of the mocks add up to 120 questions. That is because some of the mocks had questions from completely revamped sections (including the 2016 Wiley mocks,)

Wiley Mocks were harder than the real thing, and I was not a fan of their vignette format. Schweser was closer in terms of difficulty, but there was also some weird wording in the vignettes. CFAI Mocks of course were the best, and were also a tad harder than the real thing. If I could do it again I probably would skip the Wiley mocks (found quite a few errors).

Also, I have proven that you do not need to use the CFAI Texts besides the EOC questions. Those that say 3rd party material isn’t enough, I say rubbish!

Finally, I recommend writing your own notes. Highlighting does nothing for me, and I wrote huge binders worth of notes for both levels and excelled.

I hope this post helps.

What an effort you made to pass the first two exams. Finally, CFA is all about hard work and dedication.

thansk for this, I will probably use Schweser to study L2. I used it for L1, and have heard Wiley has a lot of mistakes a few times now. That’s not going to be good for their rep. Of course, they are newer than Schweser. Wiley, as it appears, is also more expensive than Schweser.

Their mock exams had mistakes. Their text books and videos were phenomenal. I am not saying Schweser is not good, but I preferred Wiley’s teaching method for Level II.

Wiley vids were also more entertaining! The website did have bugs but was usable.