to rewrite or not to rewrite

i need some advice and am wondering if this forum can help. i wrote level 2 for the second time this year and didn’t make it through. i am just so discouraged and don’t know if it is worth rewriting. i thought i would seek some advice on here. i have read a lot of different threads on here and have spoken to a lot of people i know and it just seems to be a crapshoot. the exam in my opinion is not fair, we never see it again and i don’t know where i went wrong. when i try to explain that to people they find it unbelievable that you don’t get to see your exam. there is some magical mps that we don’t know about and i’ve heard of wacky things like ethics adjustment factors. i am performing where it is relevant to my profession i.e. accounting, corp finance and equities but then i fail something like ethics. in terms of what i do, i have been working in the industry, in ER for several years now and opportunities are arising to move on to bigger and better things. my goal is not to be a PM in the future. both years i have seen people pass either on this forum or people i know who claim to do so with minimal effort or much less than i put into it anyway - i.e. lucky guesses or using second hand material like the schweser secret sauce. furthermore i have seen people pass that are not in the industry or can’t even comprehend simple financial concepts where you just think did you seriously just ask me that? i don’t think i am the smartest person by any means and i just feel super dumb right now. i have to face my colleagues, family, friends and even though you get the kind words that everything is ok you know somewhere inside you are being judged. first attempt i used only the schweser books just like i did for level 1, and failed band 6. this time i used the cfa books for most of it, did all the eoc questions and got band 9. ethics was pure guessing, even if it was open book there is no way to know the answer for sure. quant this year was tough i.e. dummy variables?, economics was even tricky. anyway sorry i just had to do some venting. any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. i really wish they offered level 2 twice a year as well, that would be a big help.

I’d say try again. Some people can get by with minimal effort because they are smarter than you. They can read over things and comprehend it much more quickly than you can. I went to top schools my whole life, and know these kind of people. I also hate these kinds of people, while they are out drinking, I’m busy studying my ass off. Guess who got the higher grade? Hint it wasn’t me. But that’s life, you’ve got to determine what the cfa means to you. I’m in AM so I need it. But if you don’t want to be a PM I don’t see why you should continue. It is a cash cow, and they can just arbitrarily fail whoever they want with the MPS, you are right. If you’re already in ER I’d say f it, and quit. honestly.

Nice to see MissCleo giving advice when she was crying about killing herself and had a gun to her head last Tuesday… Amwal, I did the same on level 2 the first time I tried. Failed Band 6 using Schweser. The second time I started earlier, used Schweser (again), but also did all the CFAI EOC questions several times, and looked through the LOS in the CFAI books to make sure I had everything nailed. Also, notecards are huge. I wrote many of the major formulas on about 150 notecards and that was HUGE in memory retention. I forgot how useful they are, hadn’t used them in decades. Schweser practice tests I scored 76%-78%. CFAI Mock I scored 68%AM, 80%PM. So I wasn’t a rock star. On the exam I was >70% on 7 sections and 50-70% on 3 sections (including FRA) and passed. Anyway, just keep at it. Band 9 is very close. Obviously you are getting it.

I have to disagree with MissCleo. It is not that others are necessarily smarter than you. It’s because others are better at standardized testing than you. The L2 exam is a difficult exam - full of tricks and ambiguous language. The content itself isn’t rocket science. How many times did you do the EOCQ? How many practice exams did you take? Band 9 is only a handful of questions away from a pass. From your matrix, you know the weak areas where you need to put extra effort to defeat this bastard of an exam. If you decide that you don’t want the CFA designation and that studying is a poor use of your time then you should quit. Otherwise you should set a goal of passing this exam and make all the sacrifices you need to achieve it. All the best with this decision.

i did all the EOC questions, all once through, then i believe (trying to remember here) i re-did ones i thought were really important like FSA for example. i did the free cfa mock, and also the one you have to pay for. i just remember seeing questions where i was totally baffled, because nothing like that came across in my readings or practice. a couple of the quant questions is a good example of that this year. ethics is what really destroyed me. if i got >70 on that, it may have just got me through …

Perserverance pays off! keep rewriting… How many threads/posts in the last couple of week are from candidates who said this is the 3rd and 4th times they have taken L2, and have finally passed. Keep at it…you have gone too far and are too much invested to stop now For myself - This was the 4th time I have taking L2, and felt pretty good post exam. However, I got a violation notice (total B.S.) for write past time called. I am awaiting the results of their investigation. My results for L2 are as follows. 2008: band 4 2009: band 7 2010: band 10 2011: Resulting pending due to PCP investigation re: exam violation As you can see I am more than angry, frustrated, etc. However, good things comes to those who wait. I have my MBA and have worked as a buy-side credit analyst for 6 years. However, I feel I need the CFA to not only be on par with other candidates on a job interview, but also to be fully respected internally as many of the other analysts on my team have the designation. Keep Fighting Bottom Line: There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something. .

Id say keep at it as long as its something you really want and are ready to sacrifice free time for. However, as far as saying youve come too far and invested too much into it, i disagree with - think of it as a sunk cost. You should ignore that in your decision to move forward. Its really about what you want going forward and how much future time youre willing to spend on this, not how much you already have. Best of luck.

Remember too that even if you pass level 2, you still have level 3 to navigate which is by no means a cake walk and some say harder than level 2. It may take you another 2 or 3 times to pass level 3. Is it worth it to spend 6 - 8 years studying for these exams?

appreciate all the feedback here so far, some encouraging words, other not so encouraging. lots of people i personally know (friends, colleagues) are in this program which is what made me join in the first place. a friend of mine just got through level 2 on his fifth try this time, another i know smoked all three levels first attempt. another friend last year literally had to guess half the exam (or at least a solid chunk of it) and somehow lucked his way to a pass, and that is after writing level 1 two or three times. this year a guy i work with used the schweser super high level secret sauce for majority of his studying and somehow passed. all i know is i put serious time in, understood the material (agreed this is not rocket science) and somehow it wasn’t enough. i am doing the designation for myself. do i need it for my career? the answer is most likely no. the letters are nice to have on a business card and its a self accomplishment or earning the respect kind of thing for me. so personal goal really.

amwal, dont take no for an answer… you have the money,you are in the profession and are obviously intelligent enough to complete the programme…if you are worried about the judgement of others when you got band 9, imagine your idea of their judgement when you give up…I have no job and perhaps i will never set foot in a relevent role…although i passed the L2 on good fortune and hard work I dont want to imagine others judgement upon me either…focus on Equity,Ethics,FRSA and you’ll be fine.

I don’t put much weight into people who claim L2 was a total cakewalk and they didn’t study or guessed their way through it. And I know one guy who passed all 3 levels, that I would NEVER trust to touch my portfolio or run any sort of business because he is utterly incompetent at decision making. But he’s great at test-taking, so aced all 3 levels (although he did feel very unsure about L2)

Hi Amwal, Don’t give up. Start your studying in september and slowly chug along. Starting in April you need to be a pig, eat as much as you can and eat some more. Eat all those EOC questions and practice exmas. No one is stopping you but yourself. It’s not about how smart or gifted they are, it’s about how much quality time you put in. You only fail when you quit.