I passed CFA Level 2 exam in the first attempt without doing a single topic test.

This post is just a mark of support to those who intend to give Level 2 next year and are not gonna have much time to prepare using topic tests. I used both Schweser and Wiley study guides and IFT Video Lectures and they all compensated for the other’s weaknesses. I did the 2 Schweser Practice Exam Volumes twice in May while timing myself and scored 70 on every mock I did.I also did the Schweser Online Mock and scored 70 on it.I also made sure to underline key points in the guides as I studied.

I did do all the EOCs in the curriculum once but didnt have time to do them all over again. My main focus area was on doing mocks while timing myself and it worked. I got over 70 in all topic areas in the real exam except Ethics which is in 51-70.

I did look at a few of the topic tests before the exam and I found them all absurdly difficult compared to the real thing and poorly written. They didnt seem indicative of how the exam actually was(especially in the FRA and Fixed Income part) contrary to popular opinion imo.

I will be honest that I found Schweser’s mocks and Wiley’s study material to be the best combination for the exam.They saved my life

Haha, I feel the same way too. The topical tests were unneccesarily difficult. Just focus on mocks and make sure to understand your mistakes and learn from them.

good for you…

Me too. I think I did only 2/3 of Topic tests.

As they say theres more than one way to skin a cat.

i did 5 blue boxes

I would recommend doing blue box and all EOC questions. If you want to have your confidence destroyed, go for the topic tests so you can be extremely discouraged. In all seriousness, the topic tests are kind of ridiculous and, while they’re another way to practice, they aren’t even comparable to the tests.

Fantastic. Your medal is in the mail.

Totally agree that topic tests are ridiculously tough. I lost all confidence the day before the exam when I started doing them. But if you have the time, I guess you can do them as it over-tests your knowledge of the material.

**** that. Start early & get it done. They’re written by the CFAI and are good practice. Sure if you run out of time you should re-evaluate where your time is best spent, but try to leave no stone unturned with regards to CFAI tools (BB, EOC, topic tests, mock). Everything helps your chances. **** off any 3rd party prep q-banks.

Topic tests were somewhat brutal and I ******* loved the practice. Don’t be a ******* *****.

Use (un)common sense.

If you have the time go right ahead. However my point was that its not an unspoken rule that you need to do them to pass. Honestly I found all 7 of Schweser’s mocks to replicate the exam most closely and thats all what I needed. The topic tests reminded me of Finquiz questions and I lost confidence just looking at them which would have been devastating in an exam like this whilst I was quite happy looking at the actual exam questions after doing Schweser. Quite a few of the topic tests also had errors in them and I firmly believe the rumour that they are rejected exam questions as the actual questions on the exam were much more to the point and high quality.

I tried your strategy. I am not happy with the results. Who can I sue?

Barely cracked a book, and always chose “B” if I had to guess.


I studied L1 material by mistake. Discovered this a week out from D-Day. Panic time!! Watched a few speed reading youtube lessons. Speed read the CFAI, glanced through the EOC and BB. The day before I worked all TT 3 times. Scoring between 30-40 on average. Slept maybe 2.5 hrs the night before. Just got results and failed band 1. Not sure what I could have done differently and honestly devastated at this point. Submitting for retab is my obvious next step.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I only did topic tests for ethics and did 2 or 3 more topic tests for other topics. I would have done it all if I had the time, but I didn’t need it in the end given I passed.

I did all topic tests twice.

very helpful for me.

First because indeed it is more complicated than the actual exam so better preparation.

Second, it sometimes focuses on very narrow concepts which are not covered by Schwezer… this made me aware of some items because I had the reference in the CFAI ebooks.

Is this serious or what? If you really managed to study level one material (again?) and only focused on level 2 for one week and failed band 1 I can’t necessarily say that I’m surprised? Not trying to be rude but considering the route you took to the exam I would suggest studying level 2 material from start to finish next year?

“Not sure what I could have done differently and honestly devastated at this point.”

I suggest starting earlier and double checking your study materials?

Thanks for starting this topic, came here to ask the same question.

My story is the opposite. Did 60-70% of the topic tests and did ZERO mocks instead. passed