Those who passed Level 2

Prolly a bit late to write on this, but still want to know.

Those who’ve passed L2, were you always confident and thought at all levels of the journey that you will pass? Or you did have some doubts?

Hard to really tell because from everything I heard about level 2, I was expecting it to be difficult. That in itself made me push myself.

Some things that worked for me were:

  • Writing things down.
  • Focusing on weaker areas (I made half a book’s worth of notes just about things that I got wrong in mocks and other questions.)
  • Go through the LOS because they probably won’t ask questions from outside the LOS. (Some things like Gamma risk I found only by going through the LOS. This is especially helpful during the final days because by that time you will probably have covered most of the major topics and the only ones that you may have missed might be the obsure ones in the LOS)
  • Give everything equal importance. ( I guess people get carried away by the quantitative questions and tend to neglect the ones that are more qualitative in nature. At least I know I was that way for Level 1.)
  • Dividing your notes into the major topics and minor topics. (I guess this is like reiterating the previous topics but this helped me because I was able to keep track of the major calculation/conceptual topics like FRA and Equity and at the same time not lose focus of things that seemed less conceptually heavy like some random variation of the FCFF formula.)
  • Focus on your mistakes during the mocks ( This especially helped me because by the last month, most of these topics were part of the major topic areas that I was more confident in. The number of weaker topic areas reduced and I was a bit more confident.)

All these steps only helped me gain confidence, however, at no point was I confident that I would pass because I guess its impossible to be, at least for someone like me. I guess this post went a bit off topic but I guess it sums up what really gave me confidence which was targetting my weaknesses while not forgetting my strengths.

I was confident after taken level 2 exam but not so confident after level 3 exam. Level 2 was the most easiest of 3 for me and I had the best matrix on L2 exam.

I fell asleep during pm

So asked God if he could lower MPS

When pass rate was released, I thanked God

I failed the first time because I didn’t take it seriously, and I knew that I failed. My second time, I studied A LOT and knew most subjects cold. I left the exam with a strong belief that I passed, and I did. My advice for anyone taking the level 2 examination is to put in the time and learn all of the topics very well. There are no shortcuts. Schweser is pretty good if you reinforce the readings with CFAI EOCs, blue boxes, TT’s.

Right after I took L1, my gut feeling was that I passed. I was actually pretty confident that I passed but given the CFA exams’ reputation for being one of the most difficult exams (not only in the industry, but the world) and my lack of self-confidence, I thought there was a chance of failure as results day neared.

For my first attempt at L2, I knew I failed because I didn’t study as much as I should’ve on the lower-weighted topics as well as guessing more than I should’ve been on the exam.

For my second attempt at L2, my initial gut feeling was that I passed. Turns out I did.

Overall, usually your gut feeling is indicative on whether or not you passed. However, with the difficulty and uncertainty of the CFA as a whole, you’re never really sure.

@benjamin thanks for the elaborate reply. It might get difficult to put in so much preparation, along with job perhaps. I was trying to gauge about how attitude matters. Looks like it does in marginal cases.

I’m seeing mixed replies here, as in the case of @castintosea positive attitude totally worked.

@nycet I agree. I got a gut feel in the after the first half that I’ll pass but after second half I was unsure. Couldn’t be positive after that.

Not sure about individual approach but I appeared (and passed) L2 this time while working full time. My typical work hours are 10-11 hours a day and i had started in February (cleared L1 in Dec), so time was indeed a factor.

I think the key was identifying the heavy weighed sections and making sure i killed it. For the sections i was uncomfortable, i did 2-3 times readings and questions solving.

Yes by the end of March, i began doubting if i would make it but then it boiled down to last two months grind when i would study 2-3 hours every day and 8-10 hours on weekend. I had taken only 3-4 days off and that too were staggered.

Post AM session i was sure that i would have to mess up big time to flunk. PM session was tricky and only ethics kept me unsure. Strongly feel it is very much possible with sustained study schedule.

throughout the whole four month journey after dec 16 level 1 i had mood swings about whether or not i had enough time to learn the material and end up passing. the key to me is keeping your head down and continuing to push forward even when you feel discouraged. eventually i did with scores that made me really happy, but maintaining a strong work ethic and doing my best not to stay positive helped. i also always try and spin bad feelings, i.e. instead of “i suck im going to fail” I tried to look at it from the perspective of “i’ll give it my best shot and either way it’s not the end of the world”

@target18months how did you find time to practice questions? I missed it cause I was more into reading rather than practising, since I had to choose one.

Like i said, logging ~25-30 hours in a week was key… Moreover, Equities/CF/FRA (comprising half of syllabus) was something that i was naturally comfortable given my work background of Equity Research.

I can strongly suggest you to maintain a momentum of a meaningful study hours a week at least for 3 months. That should suffice. Make your own notes as you study. I realised i could skim through my notes in the last 2 days and it helped.

this seems similar to the approach I have taken this year. I was curious where you found yourself about 5.5 weeks out from the exam?

Up to a couple of weeks ago, my approach was generally broad in scope to learn as much as possible from all Topics (that said, had a focus on Equity and FRA for sure, given their weighting in exam). I have 2 binders with broad notes written out from all topics.

i am at the point where I am ~60% on Schweser exams (which I’ve historically found harder for L1 at least), and I am now doing a second run-through of all EOCs for All Topics after each EOC, I’m keeping a log of only those LOSs that I have no clue on (I’ll be done this process by end of this week)

This will give me 5 solid weeks to finish the remainder of my mocks (which I have about a dozen more) and hone in on learning the material I don’t know.

My thoughts are that I have more than enough time to get my score up to a pass with this approach, assuming I stick to a great schedule and really drove it home for the last month

any thoughts based on past experience would be appreciated

My first attempt at level 2 I failed band 7__I was consistently scoring low 60s on mocks.

My second attempt at level 2 I passed comfortably____I was consistently scoring 80-85 on mocks. Let your mock scores be your guide. Low 60s won’t cut it.

sounds fair. If I can get consistently over 70 on last 3-4 mock exams, I’ll consider myself having a chance with a good test-day performance and some good luck. Thanks for the feedback.

I thought I wouldn’t pass the exam because of the time constraint. Was nervous and 50% confident. The actual day was relaxed, talked with friends and new people. The exam is totally doable if you study well.

Have fun :slight_smile:

Exactly. Hit your peak performance on exam day.