How numerical is CFA 2?

Hi everyone.

I have a problem. I am terrible with numbers. I know it sounds funny for someone working in finance, but honestly my goals is investor relations so I just need to survive the studies and then forget about maths (well more or less)

How numerical is CFA2? CFA1 is like 25% numerical.

Thank you!

Not numerical enough. I wish it was more! that’s my strength :slight_smile:

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Many Level II candidates remark at how little they used their calculators on the exam.

really? i thought you have to solve for the answers first then interpret them. is it not the case?

All I can tell you is what I’ve heard from candidates. I don’t get to see the exams, and, of course, the candidates never discuss the details (because that would be an ethics violation).

Numerical is an understatement. Prepare for it.

The exam is more qualitative than quantitative. Learning the different model assumptions, strengths and weaknesses (both absolute and relative to other models), knowing when to use which model, qualitative definitions (e.g. philosophical definitions in corporate finance) are more important than being able to plug in a bunch of numbers in the H-model. Level 1 was more quantitative (and infinitely easier as a result). Level 2 really tests whether you studied everything diligently.

No, Level 2 is the most quantitative among 3 levels IMO.

I’m praying you’re right :slight_smile:

Haven’t gone to level 3 yet so can’t tell, but my level 2 exam experience was less quantitative than my level 1 exam.

I just passed Level II in June 2017. My experience is that the calculations on the CFA exams are rarely lengthy. Usually, calculation questions can be solved in one or two step.

It feels like the CFA exam writers structure each calculation question to test one or two key ideas. The purpose of each question is to see whether you understand a key concept or two (like Gordon growth with multiple periods, or residual income valuation) rather than to make you do tedious calculations.

If you find yourself doing complex calculations, you are almost certainly doing a problem incorrectly.

It is quantitative of course, but does not expect quite complicated calculations. Most calculations on the exam can be done easily if you understand what you are doing. Sometimes you can do the math straightforward and the concept behind being the challenge indeed.