What Should I Do?

Hello Good Folks of AF,

First off, thank you for the support throughout my CFA studies. I passed L1 in 2017 and lurking on this forum back then really helped. Since then, I made this account, but unfortunately I didn’t pass L2 in June of this year. My results are posted below.

I would like some insight into if I should try again next year or try in 2020. The reason I ask is because I’m starting a new job this month. Also, I am finishing my degree part-time (6 courses left), which should be done by next summer. Therefore there is definitely a tradeoff here between writing the exam in 2020 or 2019, in that the previous will allow me to purely dedicate my time off from work to CFA studies and the latter would allow me to possibly pass using my retained knowledge over the months of studies and possibly allow me to write L3 in 2020.

My life situation is as follows: Early 30s, no kids, not married, no gf - no distractions.

What would you do?

Any insight is appreciated.



  1. Alt/Deriv: < 50, closest to 10th percentile

  2. CF: @50

  3. Econ: 50-70, closer to 70

  4. Equity: > 70, closest to 70

  5. Ethics: 50-70, closest to 70

  6. FI: same as ethics

  7. FRA: @50

  8. PM: same as ethics

  9. Quant: same as ethics

Final Result: well below MPS, with band touching MPS.

What band could this be? Probably 8 or 9?

well i remember you. you were the one who posted that it was your first time to open the books a few weeks before the exam…if that was true and you got those scores above then if you had studies earlier then you couldve gotten a higher score. id suggest that you start studying early when you decide to sign up again (whatever year it might be)…

I am flattered you remember me. I was obviously joking. We were all in hysterics as the exam date approached. I started studying from January onwards and spent about 400-500 hours. Can I please get some constructive feedback? Much appreciated.

Take it from someone who studied for the CPA during wedding planning and now the CFA while their children are toddlers. Work hard on this stuff now before you have a family and other distractions. Life only becomes more difficult to manage in terms of responsibilities, so I’d advise getting the CFA done sooner rather than later.

Another thing. I took Level II twice. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you’ve retained from your studies the first go around. Start early, make your strength areas stronger and really work hard on the areas you didn’t do well on. Good luck

Thanks man. So what you’re saying is that I should try again in 2019, given that I will be swamped with a new job and 2 undergraduate courses?

If it were me I’d carve some time out to study for the CFA this year and see how it goes. My concern is that by not continuing you’d lose anything you’ve retained by taking this past June’s test.

did you actually time your hours, or are you just ball parking it because you studied x number of hours over y amount of time, and are multiplying the two?

Dude, stop being such a fucking baby and man the fuck up. Noone, literally noone, will exactly know your situation (or care about it for that matter). I’d for fucking sure give another go in 2019 even I’d be swamped with courses and what-not. Noone knows it better than you. However, what I know is that EVERYONE makes sacrifices for this shit. If you want someone to baby you and feel bad for you, please take a hike. The gods honest truth is that…NO ONE CARES. Either you do it or you don’t. If you’re swamped with a job…no one cares. 2 courses…no one cares. Your one-night-stand gives birth to triplets…NO ONE CARES. That’s the real world, buddy. You think that when you’re sitting across a guy with 20 yrs of experience in finance that she/he cares if you had hard time studying because you were “ill” or “you’re gf is pregnant”, you might as well as take a long hike and give up. Work and life, whether it’s challenging or not, not only in finance, is not some sort of charity work.

cc_1983: Thanks man. Yeah that’s my top concern actually - by not continuing my studies, I will forget the majority of what I’ve already learned. Did you pass L2 on your first shot with a F/T job and kids?! If so, how???

takkun: I kept pretty decent track of my hours, but it’s a rough measurement, not really ball parking it. Maybe I need to study less, but more focused. Especially in regards to the the topics I bombed. Maybe I should start with FRA/Derivatives(which I thought I did well)/Alts/CF. I knew Equity very well. The rest were pretty decent: Ethics/Econ/FI/PM/Quant.

Given that the weights for the harder topics are smaller for 2019, I should stand a better chance right?

Thanks. I probably needed that dude. Been pretty messed up lately (mentally). But yeah you’re right, only I know my situation and it’s up to me. It’s just nice to talk it out that’s all. Thanks again for your input.

You’re welcome but please remember that I’m not trying to be mean. I’m telling you the truth. As here it is: while doing your CFA exams, you’re competing against people who work in the most self-centered, narcistic and egoistic industry known to world (so far). And most of these people are pretty smart, at least smarter than the average Joe. And even they’re not trying to explicitly fuck you over, it is in their general interest. So, if you decide to enter this industry or field, please go for it with 100% (aka big dick energy) or just give up. No one cares for a guy (or girl for that matter) who asks for big-time life advice on some fucking petty-ass forum.

no, took it twice. Band 8 first go around and passed this one with flying colors. Like I said, I retained a lot from the first go around and put in even MORE hours than I did the first time. Just worked harder and smarter. I got into a strict routine and started early in the fall. I’d start around 5:15 in the am to get an 1-2 hours in before kids woke up, an hour at lunch if no meeting, and then another 2 hours at night before bed. Did this 5-6 days a week. Last two months did twice that and more on weekends. If you start in the fall, can pick up an average of 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Well…you can do the math on the hours available to study. Just need to make them quality hours. Good luck with your decision.

Your situation is very similar to a friend of mine who did CFA together with me this year, he has a full time job, doing part time MBA and CFA all at the same time. And he nailed the exam with 90 percentile. So its def doable with your 6 courses left, but be prepared to spend a lot of time on study, no one can do all 3 together while still enjoying life. So set your expectation straight. And as for me, I did it with 2 young children and a fulltime job, I also had no life for that first half of 2018. I personally think having children is much harder to deal with than doing school, but with God’s grace, i made it. My boss asked me how i made it, i told him i dont even know. I guess i just tried not to think about it too much , and kept on going at it everyday. Whenever i had a down day and wanted to quit, i would go on youtube search for “why do we fall”. Honest to god, i must have listened that shit for more than 1000 times.

Thank you all. I needed to hear all that. I will decide before the early registration date ends in October. Love ya’ll.

Quick question, what sources did you guys use to study? e.g. official curriculum, wiley, schweser, etc.

Also, if I choose to go ahead and study for the 2019 exam, I think I will solely use the official books from CFAI.

With that said, how long do you think it will take an average person to read all 6 books?


Wiley videos at L2 are great

If you share the screen shot of your results: Both the pages, then I can approximate your score.

I’m preparing for level 2. I am using Kaplan and Mark Meldrum videos. Mark meldrum also provides pdf notes on each topic. To which you could add your own points if you feel that anything is missing. Give as many mocks as you can. That is what I plan to do. Maybe you could try this approach. I’ve heard konvexity is really good. Hope this helps :slight_smile:

Willey Videos are good.

Thanks all. I have given it a lot of though and I’m most likely going to write the exam next June.

In regards to the Wiley videos, can be they be purchased separately? I read on their website that they are an add-on to the self study option. Nonetheless, they honor a 50% discount for retakers who used competitor providers, therefore 50% off the silver option would be cheaper anyway.

For the people who suggested Wiley, does this study schedule work? See below:

  1. October - Dec: Read Wiley books, amend my notes from my last attempt.

  2. Jan - Apr: Wiley video’s w/ BB & EOC’s.

  3. May: 10 mocks minimum

  4. June: Reinforce most weighted topics.