CFA Level 2 Exam in 5 Months With Reliable CFA Study Plan

CFA exam / Study plans / Level 2 June 2018, 5-month


5-Month CFA Level 2 Study Plan: Intro

New Year is the time of new beginning. If you’re about to face your CFA level 2 exam this year, it’s perfect time to take up your preparation now. Tempted to wait just a little bit longer, a week or a month perhaps? Naaah... Better pull up your sleeves and start right away. Especially that the CFA level 2 exam can be a real tough one.

Below, you will find a detailed 5-month CFA level 2 study plan, beginning on Monday, 15 January, and ending on Friday, 22 June, the day before the exam. Our preparation is divided into 5 Study Blocks, each ending with some topics revision. Spaced revision sessions allow overcoming the forgetting curve, which can be quite steep for such a voluminous study content.

Before you get down to the details of this study plan, however, take your time to learn a few key issues about the CFA level 2 exam itself, as well as the whole studying process.

What Should I Know About CFA Level 2 Exam?

First of all, in some aspects level 2 of the CFA exam is more difficult compared to level 1. CFA level 2 exam pays great attention to detail and requires analytical skills. Additionally, the format of the exam changes. Now, traditional multiple choice questions are composed into the so-called item sets.

An item set consists of a mini-case (approximately one-page long description) + 6 multiple choice questions (related to the mini-case). Every exam session contains 10 item sets, which means you have no more than 18 minutes per one item set on average. It’s not much, especially that the mini-cases are often quite lengthy and include a mass of data, some of which may prove totally irrelevant.

Another thing is topics. Although there are still 10 topics for level 2 (like for level 1), the weights of the topics change. This time Equity is given the greatest weight. For all level 2 topic weights, see the table further below.

What study materials should I use to prepare
for my CFA level 2 exam?

Because of the detailed nature of level 2 exam, it is believed that the CFA Curriculum is the best source of knowledge for level 2 candidates.

We also believe so, and this is why we encourage you to use your CFA Curriculum as much as possible, especially since you’re a 5-month study plan user and still have much preparation time at your disposal.

Still: though the curriculum is the best source of knowledge, it doesn’t mean it’s best for knowledge absorption. Particularly during the revision sessions you should also depend on reliable complementary materials. Choose those presenting the curriculum in the most digestive and user-friendly way.

Will I find any interesting
level 2 study materials at Soleadea?

Sure you will, both free and paid.

First, check our new & advanced Free Study Planner. Inside you will find some free videos and item sets.

If you like it, you’ll be able to purchase as many as 50 hours of level 2 videos and 50 item sets.

Our videos are short but exhaustive and let knowledge sink in. And the item sets, which are constructed like exam-type questions (mini-case + 6 multiple choice questions), make a perfect practice tool. We strongly believe that doing exam-type questions is a key to success. That’s why it’s important that the tests you do have the right format.

Free Videos & Questions Inside Free Study Planner
Free Study Planner & Tools

How To Use CFA Curriculum?

CFA Curriculum presents the study material in diversified ways. Apart from the plain subject-related text, after most of the readings you will also find the so-called end-of-reading questions. Moreover, you can find numerous examples throughout readings. These are perfect for practice and they should be duly analyzed.

Pay attention particularly to those questions that are constructed into item sets to get used to the exam format from the very beginning.

Learn formulas systematically. You can write down the CFA Curriculum formulas and repeat them often. Also inside our new and advanced free CFA Study Planner you will find a Free Formulas App to help you study more efficiently.

Like for level 1, follow the LOSes enumerated before every chapter. Also, make use of the bolded terms and concepts that indicate what you should know after each reading.

Free Formulas App Inside Free Study Planner
Free Formulas App

Exam preparation hints

You had your way of preparing for CFA level 1 exam. If you feel it worked, follow the route.

First, however, apply some constructive criticism to your level 1 preparation. If after thorough analysis you find things you could do better, improve your current studying process.

CFA Level 2 Topics: Characteristics

For level 2 topics, weights are given in ranges. The most important topics in the exam are Equity, FRA, and Fixed Income. For Equity, you can expect even up to 5 item sets altogether, which is huge when you consider that the whole exam includes 20 item sets.

You also need to know that some item sets may contain questions from different topics, which means that some mixed item sets are possible. Still, the majority will relate to specific topics.

The table below presents the most crucial information on level 2 topics:

The first three columns need no explanation. You can find a short comment on the other three below.

If we analyze the minimum and maximum topic weights, we get the total of either 16 item sets (assuming the minimum weights) or 30 item sets (if we assume the maximum weights). And we know that the CFA level 2 exam includes 20 item sets.

Thus, assuming that no topic is given priority, we can estimate the average number of item sets for a topic using the following equation:

\(\text{mean}=\text{min}+\frac{20-16}{30-16}\times\text{(max - min)}\)

\(\text{mean}=\text{min}+\frac{20-16}{30-16}\times\text{(max - min)}\)

This way, we get the values from the column 4.

Taking into account the column 4 values and 6 questions per every item set, we get the column 5 values, i.e. estimated average number of questions for a topic. Note that, like we said, some mixed topics are possible. Ethics is the only exception here – it’s rather difficult to mix some Ethics questions into other item sets, though probably not impossible at all. Still, what you should most likely expect in your exam is either 2 or 3 Ethics item sets (i.e. 12 or 18 questions).

The last column concerns topic efficiency, which is defined as the number of questions in the exam per 100 pages of the CFA Curriculum. Taking this criterion into consideration, we can divide the topics into 3 groups:

  • High topic efficiency: FRA, FI, DI, ETH
  • Moderate topic efficiency: EI, ECO
  • Low topic efficiency: QM, CF, PM

The topic efficiency criterion may come in handy if you run out of time and need to reconsider how much you’re going to spend for each topic. Of course, some other variables need to be accounted for then, as well.

5-Month CFA Level 2 Study Plan Detailed

We divide the whole preparation period into 5 Study Blocks, each ending with some topics revision sessions:

START on 15 January

1st Study Block (15 Jan – 11 Feb)

1st Study Block (15 Jan – 11 Feb)

  • Ethics
  • Equity Investments
  • EI Review

2nd Study Block (12 Feb–11 March)

  • Fixed Income
  • Derivative Investments
  • FI+DI Review
  • EI Review

3rd Study Block (12 March – 1 Apr)

  • Financial Reporting & Analysis
  • Corporate Finance
  • FRA+CF Review
  • EI+FI+DI Review

suggested dates: 2 – 8 April

4th Study Block (9 Apr – 6 May)

  • Quantitative Methods
  • Portfolio Management
  • QM+PM Review
  • EI+FI+DI+FRA+CF Review

5th Study Block (7 May – 27 May)

  • Economics
  • Alternative Investments
  • ECO+AI Review
  • Ethics Review

FINAL REVIEW (28 May – 22 June)

END on 22 June

Equity Investments and Ethics are treated exceptionally. You get to revise EI after 4 out of 5 Study Blocks and you read Ethics as the first topic and review it as the last one. Moreover, our Study Planner urges you to review Ethics regularly, which is definitely a good idea with the ethics adjustment being in force

With 5 months to your exam, we think you can surely afford 1 week off studying (when exactly is your choice!). Such a break has 2 functions. On the one hand, it allows you to recharge batteries in the middle of your exam preparation. On the other hand, it motivates you to work hard on the first 6 topics. It’s like an award for those who follow the plan!

We wrap up with 4 weeks of Final Revision to let you really prepare for your CFA test. This should be an intensive month of filling in knowledge gaps and doing lots of mock exams!

5-Month CFA Calendar: Deadlines

CFA level 2 exam in 5 months + 1 week off studying:

Create Study Plan Now


NOTE: If you create your study plan as of 15 January 2018, your deadlines will be as stated in the table. If you set up a study plan at a later date, the deadlines will get adjusted.

Below you can see both global and weekly view of your 5-month study plan:

Study Plan: Global View

Study Plan: Global View That’s where you can view all the weeks of your CFA exam prep to see how much you’ve done and how much is still ahead of you.

Study Plan: Week View

Your Current Week View You will be asked to focus on your current week of studying. You will know what to study, when to study, and how much to study. At the end of the week, your hard work will be evaluated (hit the ‘Summarize’ button).

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