Study method for Level 2

I am starting to lose hope completely.

I am putting in a significant amount of hours. However, I feel like I am not preparing for the exam.

It feels almost like endless readings that take up too much time.

Most of the reasoning seems counter-intuitive and this is very confusing. Also, it makes it harder to retain concepts.

I am really curious to hear how others are coping/have coped with this problem.

It’s a psychological thing, could happen during the exam as well; You come across a tough vignette and you feel you did not prepare for this one and start worrying. But if you move on with the rest of the questions and come back, though you have not gained any new knowledge suddenly that tough question seems very straightforward.

Same with studying. Leave difficult topics/concepts behind and make notes to come back later once you cover easier ones. That way when you have the big picture in front, you get this extra drive to study.

When you see the coastline in the horizon you can always make it there no matter how far you have to swim.

I realised that there is no easy way to do this. After a month and a half of wrestling with the curriculum I have realised that these things work for me

  1. Pink Noise on my earphones

  2. Read through a sub topic and make points out of the main headings. (This works especially well for something like FRA where the wordy-ness can be compressed into just a few important points)

  3. Make the points as consice as possible, use arrows and diagrams/flow charts more than sentences.

These work especially well for me. Although its time consuming, I think its worth the effort because it makes revising a lot faster and effecient. Also helps to create a map of the entire topic. It doesnt need to be fancy just effective enough to make sure that all the possible points are covered.

Oh and also make sure that the small nuances in the topics are highlighted especially things like exceptions, because its easy to remember the core parts, but what screws you over is usually that last sentence of that small topic that you thought would never come on the exam. And as someone once mentioned, you can never be too prepared.

Good luck

(I havent touched a prep provider yet, no condensed notes, no videos, just the curriculum)

dont get discouraged. It’s part of the process

this article is helpful to a certain degree:

this one helps with the order of things so you’re not going all over the place. I’ve been using it and it works well for me

there is still more than enough time if you focus. for that, i break my study sessions into 25 minute chunks, with a 5 min break in between. After a 2 hours session, i take an hour break. I listen to study music (alpha waves - tons of stuff on youtube) and track the time i spend on each reading with toggl.

i find the material interesting, so focusing isn’t a problem (expcept in FRA - that put me to sleep). get everything done and read by mid to late april and then just hit practice questions like a champ. good luck

I 100% agree with the idea of moving on from a subject if it is compleely going over your head…sometimes you move on to the next subject, and a concept in that new subject makes the old one much more clear…jus make sure you leave enought time to go back over what you need to go back over…

(I’m struggling too though so take my advice with a grain of salt…)

I read a book called How We Learn and some of the methods I found quite useful, for example change your study environment (study at different places at different times of the day), go back to an old topic after some time, alternate the chapters and don’t finish a chapter in one go…these are the tips I’m using on myself and so far it’s useful and less tiring.

Also it’s a good tip to come back to the difficult section insteading getting too hang up on it. It also help you to wake up the part of the memory on that difficult section after taking a break, and help you remember it better once you understood it.

Good luck!

I understand you and feel same at some moments.

I just work and study each and every day and sleep no more than 5-6 hours each night.

I have made about 200 pages handwriting notes and this fact as well as endless doing CFAI EOCs and portal tests started give me confidence. This is still far away from target level but things are going in right direction. As TheBigCheese says there is still more than enough time to get well prepared. My target is over 75 % on average last taken 3 CFA L2 full mocks at least 5 days before real exam.

Don’t loose hope. If you build it, they will come…

Thanks for the motivation guys. I am putting in a good deal of hours. I think I have already went past the 300 mark.

That is not what bothers me though.

It is the sheer amount of detail.

It is hard to determine what to focus more on.

Also, the last reading in every topic is downright boring with complete theory and nothing to relate to.

focus on it all and just practice

if you want to relate it to something, then pick a stock (or stocks) and do an analysis on it. You can incorporate equity, fra, econ, corp fin and quant just on that. you can make it as simple or as detailed as you like. doing the questions helps with that.

if that doesn’t work, ask yourself why you’re even writing the exam. you should be seeing the big picture in terms of analysis with the level 2 material. the last reading is what ties everything from the study session together.

Don’t loose hope. If you build it, they will come…

Well said my friend.

yeah, analysis is something I have been hearing a lot.

Honestly though, I really dont see where we actually analyse in the (EOC or question bank) questions.

It is more like spot the error said by 3 people statements.

Fixed Income final reading is terrible because it doesnt go into full detail with the equations. The interpretation which is given for other readings in Fixed Income looks/feels incomplete as well

FRA final reading consists of 80 pages in the Wiley guide. All of it comprising of bullet points which is grouped into different sections. I am hoping these questions wont come as a memory test in the actual exam.

I dont think anybody can manage to analyse every single aspect of the Curriculum/Guides. It feels like more of a memory test and putting in decent amount of effort than analysing it.

Thanks! Each year approximately 45% of those who attend the exam pass the exam. It’s hard to believe that all of those have paranormal abilities.

All you need is to invest an additional unit of time and increase the efficiency of studying materials. In my case, this ratio is double compared to the first level.

I think of it as first building trees, then hanging things on their branches. I don’t aim to understand enough to pass the exam, initially. Just enough to build “sturdy oak” or whatever in the core topic. It’s like trying to understand “ERA” before understanding baseball. By watching just 3-4 games, it would take 90 seconds to understand the concept of ERA. My tips:

  • Distill the EOC PP to a small group that represents only the most essential concepts. E.g., for Free Cash Flow, maybe it’s 3, 7, 9, 18 (multiple parts to each). If you repeat those a couple of times, you can’t not know FCF. You can branch out later, but first lock in that core.
  • Quant is way outside my “baseball knowledge”. About two weeks before studying it, I made extremely basic flashcards in Quizlet – mostly just definitions. Again, probably won’t get me any exam points, but when I got into R9 and R10, the vocabulary was less terrifying. I was anticipating some things.
  • For some readings I’ve made a set of 25+ flash cards. This is too many for passive review. Quizlet lets you “star” key flashcards and study only those. I’ve dropped all my flashcards to maybe 6 or 7 most essential ones, and then I go through the full folder of maybe 40 sets every couple of days to keep the basics fresh. Whenever I return to a topic, I see it with new eyes on account of fully internatizing these 6-7 essential things.

I think the key to breaking through a wall is just focus. Go over a tiny fraction of a thing again and again till it makes sense. (Leave the minutiae to May). Then, go over the next thing. Once you break through on some things, you’re likely to get others more quickly. It will start to snowball.

Thanks for the advice/motivation guys.

Really helpful input from all of you.

Very interesting study methods mentioned as well.

Hope we can all slay the beast of an exam together cheeky

This is really strong advice. I read that you should re-phrase things in your own words. Even if not 100% accurate, it helps you own the basic principle.

For some reason, I decided that football and sandwiches were the perfect metaphor for derivatives.

I wonder if some people may reach great results on sport events using doping (what is not allowed there), may we also use steroids and doping for studying? I cannot find anything related to this in CFAI Code of Ethics.

Wow, that is something.

Perhaps, they should make some amendments to explicity mention this.

I havent reached the ethics portion as of now.

But isnt this (being under the infulence of drugs) a violation of the law (within the country) and hence against the code of ethics?

I belive there was some example from the Curriculum on some one being under the influence and appearing for work and failing to carry out their responsibilities well.

Not really sure of how it would apply in the context of studying.

I am not talking about drugs on list of WHO. I am talking about legal substances but also forbidden on sport competitions. Some steroids, legal forms of stimulators etc.

You could run the risk of answering all answers correctly and thereby raising a few eyebrows…

I want to reach paranormal ability as well…:slight_smile: