Why is Level II so hard?

It is obviously the consensus that Level II is signifigantly tougher than Level I. I have tried to read into this more but haven’t found a lot of specific awnsers… I was curious what your thoughts are based on the following breakdowns.

Is there just that much more material?

Is the material harder to understand?

Do candidates struggle to adjust to the item set methodology? (Does this make the exam more time pressured? or less?)

Do candidates just look at the Pass rate and assume it is eaisier than the first test?

I am curious as to what the real land mine is with this test, so I can avoid it…

I think it was the sheer volume of information you need to know. I didn’t find the vignette format that difficult to adjust to. So much material to keep in your head for testing day!

Hi fourfourtwo,

I’m currently studying for L2 in June. I’ve also been wondering why exactly is this exam so much more difficult. I might be wrong here, so please anyone feel free to correct me. I had a look at the practice exams I got with Schweser, I do see the vignette style questions as being a lot more difficult. They require you to actually understand the material instead of just being good at plugging and chugging data available into formulas you know but don’t really understand.

For example, for L1, a question would just give you stuff you need in the question, and based on what they gave you could guess what formula you needed. You’re given B, C, k, g, Beta, etc. Calculate A. And you know you have a formula which is A = B + Beta * ( C) / (k- g). In the vignette, they throw craploads of irrelenvant data at you (just like you would have in real life). I think the purpose is to really make you start thinking like an analyst, not just being someone who is good at memorising formulas and working with them under pressure.

Besides the depth and breadth of the Level 2 content, one more reason I feel that sets it apart from Level 1 - is the number of questions on the exam.

Level 1 has 120 x 2 =240, whereas level 2 has exactly half - 60 x 2=120, largely reducing your margin of error. For level 2, every band change is just about 3-4 questions.

I know that I was always worried about this even with 240 questions. You can’t cover the whole curriculum with that many questions so there will always be a sampling error in the actual exam. You are at the mercy of the construction of the test and then the item sets compound the issue and make the exam less of a “normal distrobution”

Thus even a well prepared candidate could get quite un-lucky on the test day. I know even on level I there were multitude of questions just pulled “out of no where”. I assume getting an item set like that would steal 5% of the exam from you instead of .4%.

@ Clever I found when writing a GMAT that the vinette style questions are tricky as first but you get used to them. I would suggest looking at a resource on GMAT Reading Comprehension questions to give you a primer.

Theres no where to hide on level 2. You just can’t “fake it till you make it.” Theres a difference between memorizing something, and having to apply it, which I feel is the hard part.

IMHO, the key here is the depth of understanding required. Along with that:

  1. More quantitative (so chances of making calculative mistakes are more)

  2. Different question format and your reading skills are a bit tested here.

  3. You need to have that big picture, just stand alone (SILO) view is not going to help.