I Disagree with this. If you are determined keep going.
I will pipe in with one comment based on what I read from you. If on exam day or when you are doing mocks you get fatigued or lose concentration you haven’t built up enough physical and mental endurance. I did a ton of mocks so when I wrote the exam its no big deal. I went out after and my brain wasn’t even mentally tired. I could write a third and fourth session if need be. The point that I am trying to make is two three hour tests should be no big deal.
The other posters made some good points about studying, which I would follow if it was me.
OP you can do it again, just keep yourself motivated and dedicated. Here’s what I did (passed level 2 first attempt, only ethics <70%).
-Read CFAI Curriculum twice. You need to make sure you understand every concept, so that you can make inference in addition to memorizing which makes you more flexible in dealing with concept variations.
-Crashed question bank like crazy: save mock and practice exams for last 2 weeks before the exam. I did 100% of question bank in level 1 and 70% of question bank in level 2. IMPORTANT: pay strict attention to the question you did wrong. I always skip the question that I answer correctly as long as I did it instead of guessing. But I pay detailed attention to ones that I did wrong to understand why I did wrong, and then review the related concept in the curriculum if necessary.
-Took last week off from work to do mock & practice exams. Dig into the questions I did wrong.
I agree with aymane07. i failed last year at band 4 because I didn’t understand the material, I just focused on the test taking part. I passed this year and made sure I understand every little part, and it the reason why I used CFAI notes.
Given the effort you have put in, I don’t think there is an obvious thing you are lacking. T. I feel if you replicate your effort and do the blue boxes + EOC+ problem sets from finquiz or another provider, you will pass. I mean you have done a ridiculous amount of mocks, eocs etc. It’s obvious that you understand the material and the concepts. Try to figure out whether the tension from the exam makes you miss traps etc. I failed level 2 this and last year with band 7s as well and I did really confident after the exam. I also freaking failed derivatives, and no idea how !? I know people who got below 50% in mocks and studied only shweser and still passed ( annoyingly ) . End story is, we are in this for the long run. Sometimes, the subjects we felt strong about aren’t tested, and sometimes people who make less silly mistakes on a certain day for an easy test win. We gotta go with the flow and keep fighting
Seems this year, many Shweser-only takers passed, I know one who only did one mock and passed. I failed Band 5 twice using CFAI only and doing all EOC and 3 mocks. I think it varies year to year, based on the question sample.
THere are definitely traps on the exam but there are also sufficient “doable” questions for you to pass.
After reading everything you wrote, i think the problem is you are not understanding the concepts behind the questions. Meaning, you did the mock and hope that hte same patterns appear on the exam.
While it is true that sometimes the mocks can be similar to the actual exam questions, you still need to be able to intuitively understand the concepts behind them. The CFAI mocks are only a starting point - but Schweser has pretty good practice exams.
I also encourage you, if you do re-take it, spend more time re-doing the questions. It’s very possible that you have forgotten the mock questions you did by the time you write the actual exam. Try to purchase as many q-bank questions as possible, make sure you practice HOW the questions are asked.
If everything failed, you may want to focus on larger sections and at least nail those sections - perhaps you can get through?
You are probably right. There might me no easy solution. Especially, when you read this thread and see how different people nailed this exam in so many different ways, we gotta find our own. EOCs+mocks works for most people. However, there might be no easy recipe for everyone.
Personally, I seriously have to think about my mental endurance and abilities. Put so much work in this exam, still can’t believe the outcome.
try once more and do much less reading and just do questions, not so much Q bank, but actual questions in the exam format which is EOC questions from both CFAI and Schweser and practice exams. Also try to take a review course I found those can be helpful to drill the concepts into your brain and for practice.
You need to nail the big sections like Accounting/Equity and definitely Ethics - read CFAI material for Ethics and the do the EOC problems.
Also don’t assume that the actual exam will mirror the practice exam questions. You may master an item set on say Alternatives in a practice exam and then they test on the same exact thing in a totally different way on the actual exam so you really need to know the concepts and not just assume they will test you on the information in the same exact way. L2 is a bitch I know, but you can do it and band 7 is not bad - keep at it.
May I suggest something maybe will get me in trouble on this forum, but here goes:
Forget about the CFAI books and EOC questions, just focus on something like a Schweser. the CFA books are just too much information, what good is it to read it and not fully understand it. Something like a Schweser condenses things (although still an overwhelming amount) and makes it more palatable. Then take really good notes along the way, and go back and read your notes over and over again as you do practice questions. Everytime you get a question wrong, go back to your notes and find where you had it and try to understand why you got it wrong. A lot of times your notes might miss the particular point but then you can add things in to make it more complete. The most important part is to understand things, so whenever there’s a debate over a point on this forum that ppl are perplexed over, try to solve it for yourself, like being a detective or something. Try to explain to yourself in plain English why equations are a certain way, like why FCFE is this equation but FCFF is different. Even derivatives can be understood in plain english. Then in the last week really memorize all the equations, but that should be easy at this point because you understand why equations are the way they are.
Saying don’t bother with CFA books might be heresy here, but I never even bothered to download the books. Just looked at Schweser. I followed the method I listed above, passed L2 on my first try, everything over 70% except for ethics.
Btw, my point about taking good notes is to further condense the material. your brain can only handle so much, so let it handle the most important ones. After going through the Schweser books, I have 3 notebook full of notes. Only 3 notebooks, single sides, written in big bold letters. That’s it, not 10 thick books. But you’ve got to take your own notes and not rely on secret sauce (which i find to be useless). Then I pretty much never even opened the Schweser books again (except to check questions I got wrong to see if I missed something). Those 3 notebooks are well thumbed through, but that was all the brain can take and all that’s needed to pass.
My point on understanding everything in plain english is that on the test there will be questions that makes you go “oh sh*t I didn’t read this or practice this,” this actually happened to me in derivatives, PM, and Quant, but then I understand the underlying reason so I can extrapolate what I do know to fit the question at hand. I had a really hard time with Derivatives because I just don’t have that background. So I spent a few hours with a coworker who is really good and had him explain the logic to me in words and not equations. then all pieces of the puzzle fit.
I know everyone had different study methods, but this is the quickest, not to mention cheapest (no classes, no videos, no extra money) way I can find.
Look, your situation is a little complex coz you seem to have really gone through all the material and understood what the whole thing is all about. My suugestion is that you make minor tweaks in your revision technique, particularly for the mock exam. What you need to be monitoring is your intuition whenever you see a question. That very first thing that comes to your head whenever you see a qstn is basically how you understood the question and how your brain has been wired. One way you can test your intuition goes like this:
When you doing mocks, never treat them as a barometer of your actual exam perfomance, instead, mocks are a golden opportunity to learn many more new things and to consolidate all those areas you probably overlooked. After completing one vignette, go straight to the answers. This will help cause you are still very much in touch with your thought process that got you to that answer so you are basically comparing your intuition to the way the CFAI would want you to view a question. Waiting to check answers until mock is finished will bring fatigue and contamination of thought process by the numerous topics you need to navigate through.Also, it is human nature that we would want to see a tick even if you clearly guessed on a question, which is essentially a missed opportunity to learn something. Feel free to visit your CFAI books during the mock session to really cement your intution, then move to the next qstn. The good news CFAI will never repeat a qstn in mocks, so nomatter how hard or easy the mock is, treat it as an opportunity to learn and milk every little detail you can. DONT GIVE UP! ALL THE BEST IN THE NEXT ONE!
I think it’s different for everyone … I personally failed once using shw…, it condensed material, for l2 at least, sometimes in a way which I did’t understand, missed the logic, n just recommended to memorise… Cfa Books are wordy, but complete, n made me in a way comfortable, that I had not missed anything important…my recommendation would be to do the mocks, they are very very very very important… I sat overall 4 exams of cfa, now awaiting for level 3 results. N everytime during n after the exam I felt that imense gratitude to the mock exam, so never ignore them…n always go back to ur wrong answerss… Weak spots …n make them automatic
Hi Mission 2014, I really feel your pain. 2nd time failing, and a Band 7 like yourself, although was still a modest band improvement from my first attempt which I completely bombed due to insufficient practice.
And I was really prepared this time! If it weren’t for my appalling score in Equity, I would have pretty much been a borderline pass or band 10. And worst of all, I’m pretty confident in equity - generally feel it’s an easy area to pick up points in. Only felt dumbfounded by maybe 3 questions max of the 24 in that section on the day. There must have been a lot of tricky questions in Equity that I got fooled on (especially considering how tricky the q’s were in some other areas which I was well prepared for i.e. Econ, AI, and Derivatives). It’s really unfortunate that this happened given I left the exam feeling like pretty good – felt there was so too much I knew, and that probability was on my side in the few q’s I guessed. I even had it in my mind that if I failed, worst case scenario it would have been a band 9-10 (not that it makes much of a difference btw though, as the difference between a band 10 and 7 is probably approximately 6 q’s, and I guess I would be going even crazier right now if I knew I was just approximately 2 q’s off). And regarding your question as to what % score a band 7 is – it really depends on the MPS. Assuming the MSP was say 64%, I’d approximate a 58% or about 8 questions wrong too many. What drives me even crazier is that I know equity very well. On my first attempt at level 2 in 2012, I completely bombed the exam due to under preparation and yet still managed a 51-70 on Equity. I seriously feel perplexed.
Nevertheless, I’m not a quitter, and they say “the third times the charm”. I suggest you impose a similar mindset for yourself. We owe it to ourselves to nail this next year. I am going to live and breathe the material from mid Sep. until June 1st next year.
P.S. – I felt that even though the questions are less wordy (and generally deemed to be easier) on the exam vs. the mocks, but sometimes they aren’t as straightforward as they look on the surface and require you to draw upon multiple concepts and/or make an analytical judgment in a way you aren’t accustomed to to get to the answer.
@NANA Hachiko I was doing the mocks in a “exam-like” style in one sitting with a short lunch break. When I finished a session earlier, I even do not run over again for double check or so, making the outcome a bit more realistic concerning time pressure in the real exam. @ryohko Interesting point. I have to think about it. My summary-notes are at the moment: Secret Sauce supplemented with own notes. @TimeTravel Since mocks are limited, mocks feel “valuable” for me. I rather used than as “barometer” as you said. I did your technique for normal questions (and for QB its kind of standard). However, have to think about it. @CFAilure When I’m good in time, I’m also doing this, trying to calculate the other answer possibilities to understand whats the rationale behind them. This definitivly helps. @eshakoor I had a similar mindset before the release of the results. When failed, then Band 9 or 10. Band 7 again (or lets assume 58%) was just a kick in the nuts. I noticed that especially the equity cases sometimes are build like a huge minefield. Looks straigtforward, but lots of traps when you are not fully awake (g0 instead of g1, mixing up fcff to fcfe, …). Whereas FSA is often to know the exception of a certain rule (or the exception of the exception). I don’t know what to say about ethics. I did ~900 ethics questions for preparation and still failed in the exam. I must be really a immoral guy :< Anyways, I’m fully commited to take this thing a third time. Lets nail it!
I´m feeling bad too…I failed in band 7 as well. Like you I put too much effort on this exam… I was confident when I steped in the room…In my case I think I fell into the traps and I was also nervous because I didn´t want to do it again…I mean I really wanna pass considering that I failed 2 times Level 1 I know how hard is to study everything again…Anyway you are not alone let´s nail Level 2 in 2014…
If I could give you an advice I would buy Elan Guides material…I did it in my third attempt for Level 1 and I passed…I will do it again now…