As January draws to an end, December level 1 exam results are always being published.
Many of you are waiting for the exam score with bated breath. Because it tells you whether you need to retake your level 1 exam or if it's the CFA level 2 examination that's ahead of you. For all those starting their CFA level 2 exam prep, here comes our advice on the optimal 4-month L2 study plan.
Interested in CFA level 1 study plan? Go to:
CFA Level 2 Exam – Why Is It Different
& What Are The Consequences?
Before we proceed with the study plan itself, first let us name 3 key issues that distinguish level 2 from level 1 examination:
1. FORM OF THE EXAM
The form of CFA level 2 exam is different compared to CFA level 1 exam. No longer will you get a standard multiple choice test. Level 2 exam consists of the so-called item sets (mini-cases). An item set includes a case statement (like a short story description) and 6 multiple choice questions to match the description. What stays the same is that for every question 3 answers are provided and only one is correct.
What's the consequence of the change in level 2 exam form?
You get more time per question.
Approximately, it's 3 minutes to cope with one multiple choice question i.e. about 18 minutes per one item set which leads us to 10 item sets for each of the two exam sessions.
2. CONTENTS OF THE EXAM
The problems you will have to solve when taking your CFA level 2 exam are highly detailed problems. Based on the opinions of those who took the exam, you can expect practically anything from your CFA Curriculum.
It means that you need to be more scrupulous and analytical while studying.
3. TOPIC WEIGHTS
In comparison with level 1 exam, different weights are given to CFA level 2 topics. The most important topics for CFA level 2 candidates are Equity (15-25%), then FRA (15-20%) followed by Fixed Income (10-20%), Ethics (10-15%), Derivatives (5-15%) and Corporate Finance (5-15%). At the end come: Quantitative Methods, Economics, Alternative Investments and Portfolio Management with the same weight of 5-10%.
As a result, Equity gets more important than ever and you need to allow for this when planning your CFA exam prep.
Managing CFA Level 2 Exam Prep
Because of the crucial differences in both the FORM and the CONTENTS of level 2 vs. level 1 exam, you should arrange your level 2 exam preparation accordingly.
First of all, you have to solve as many mini-cases as possible to get thoroughly familiar with the form of the exam.
Secondly, to get acquainted with all the required study content, we recommend that you generally use the CFA Curriculum. To facilitate your studying process, however, you might want to use some complementary study materials like video lectures, tests or FREE formulas app. They can definitely be helpful in revising the study content and gaining the necessary practice.
Thirdly, our advice is that you take Equity seriously. We think that's the right way to go when you know you can expect the greatest number of questions on that topic.
That's why we allowed for lots of Equity in our CFA Study Planner for level 2 candidates.
If you go for the paid version, you will also get access to 50 exam-type item sets and tons of videos, tests, and formulas:
CFA Level 2 Study Plan: Assumptions & Timing
We begin our 4-month level 2 study plan on 12 February and end it on 22 June, i.e. the day before the exam. The last three weeks are devoted to Final Revision, when you should try to do as many mock exams as possible.
The study plan is divided into topics (5 Study Blocks) and we believe that the sequence is just optimal as it gives you a great portion of Equity. The time scheduled for each topic depends on its difficulty, the number of pages in the Curriculum and the number of questions devoted to the topic on the exam.
START on 12 February
1st Study Block (12 Feb – 11 March)
1st Study Block (12 Feb – 11 March)
- Equity Investments
- EI Review
2nd Study Block (12 March – 1 Apr)
- Fixed Income
- Derivative Investments
- FI+DI Review
- EI Review
3rd Study Block (2 – 22 Apr)
- Financial Reporting & Analysis
- Corporate Finance
- FRA+CF Review
- EI+FI+DI Review
4th Study Block (23 Apr – 20 May)
- Quantitative Methods
- Portfolio Management
- QM+PM Review
- EI+FI+DI+FRA+CF Review
5th Study Block (21 May – 3 June)
- Alternative Investments
- ECO+AI Review
- Ethics Review
FINAL REVIEW (3 – 22 June)
END on 22 June
CFA Level 2 4-Month Schedule
This is a sample 4-month level 2 study plan. But you can have your own personalized study schedule, available in both free and paid version:
AVAILABLE FOR ALL LEVELS
Below you can see both global and weekly view of your 4-month study plan:
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.
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).