Level 2 retakers

Everyone who saw the dreadful word fail when they got their results for level 2, when are you starting to study again for level 2 and what will you do different?

I failed Band 8 with about 175 hours of study. I did not keep to my original study plan at all. I ended up studying around 80 hours in the final week before the exam and only completed the CFAI mock two days before exam day. Bad idea. I never truly nailed down FRA and I paid for it dearly. I plan on getting back on the horse sometime in early 2011 (Late Jan/Early Feb) and hitting the 250-300 hour mark by Mid-April at the latest. I want to get in at least 4 or 5 practice exams this time around. What will I do differently? *Study exclusively from CFA books. If you have the time why spend the extra $$$ *Complete every CFAI EOC question possible several times over. *Stick to my study plan and finish studying at least 3 weeks prior to exam day *Concentrate on the areas I bombed this year (FRA, Quant, and Ethics???) *Skim the Secret Sauce frequently to keep the material fresh in my head. I’ve already felt the affects of L2 atrophy and the material already feels like swiss cheese in my head.

I used both CFA texts and Schewser…Didn’t pass…But, I think pratice is what I lacked…I should have done EOC’s multiple times…should have done several mocks… This time…hopefully will me more focused…study CFA texts- as a major source, use Schewser notes- as a refresher tool …Practice, Practice, Practice is the game plan…

  • Review often - Understand everything “fully” before moving on to other sections. I thought I could “fully” understand everything during review time (last 4 weeks), but it did not happen. - Memorized formulas from the beginning. - Do a couple practice exams 8 weeks prior to exam I understand that some people do not think some of the steps above are necessary and you can acomplish them the last 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately that approach did not work for me, so now I have to regroup. Hopefully the above adjustments will make the difference. I read most of the curriculum and Schweser. This year I will read the curriculum again. Not sure if I will get new study guides. If I do, it will probably be Stalla just for the change as I still have all my Schweser (it does not seen the LOS have changed much)

I will be doing many more questions and practice exams this second time around, with a particular focus on the CFAI EOC. And do them quite a bit earlier than the final month. The exam itself was reminiscent of the CFAI texts in look and feel, but overall at a whole different level. Hard to explain unless you’ve actually taken it, but the bottom line is that you need to know this stuff intimately and be able to knock out the answers quickly and accurately. My downfall was probably doing too much passive reading, not doing the questions immediately after finishing a reading, and mistaking quantity for quality. The problem is that there is just soooo much material - it takes forever just to wrap your head around it, much less reach a point where you have gotten decent at it, or mastered it. I wanted to read everything first and only then jump into the nitty-gritty of the questions. Obviously, that was a bad strategy. I failed on my first try (band 7). Going into the exam I thought I had a decent chance, but deep down inside knew it would be an uphill battle. The exam itself had some absolutely ball-busting moments that got me flustered, especially in the AM session. Very calc intensive at times, which forced you to get the answer right the first time, as there was hardly any time to go back and try to figure out where you went wrong. Sometimes, I was convinced I had done nothing wrong, but still didn’t see the answer in the choices given. Another couple of times, I drew a blank on a formula that I had known just a few days earlier. Having this happen in rapid succession knocked me off course, and I had to scramble to regain my composure. It was a horrible, awful feeling at times during the AM session… Had the exam been a bit more qualitative, I probably would have done better. And I did put in the hours (as many as I could with a full-time job, a wife and four kids to deal with), so hardly blaming my effort at all. I took this thing seriously from the time I began studying in mid-September, but in the end, it proved to be simply too much material to master. The second time around will be a lot easier, for sure. In retrospect, I feel that you almost need a full study-exam cycle simply to get a grip of the material and know what you’re up against on exam day. Now I know why most fail the first time and the pass rate is only around 40%. Passing the exam requires you to MASTER the material. Do not underestimate exactly what that means!