Last updated: November 02, 2022

CFA exam / Level 2

Level 2 CFA Exam

Level 2 exam is the second of the three levels of CFA exam, a prestigious financial certification introduced and held worldwide by CFA Institute. With the CFA exam moving to computer-based testing, the level 2 exam will be organized 3 times a year. In 2022, it's going to be Feb, Aug, and Nov and as of 2023 – May, Aug, and Nov. To take your level 2 exam, first you need to pass your level 1 exam.



2022 Level 2 CFA Exam Dates

In 2022, level 2 CFA exam dates (windows) are available in February, August, and November. The Feb 2022 level 2 CFA exam dates were from 22 to 26 February 2022 and the August 2022 level 2 CFA exam dates were from 30 Aug to 3 September 2022. The dates for the Nov 2022 level 2 exam window are from 22 to 26 November 2022 a this is a new level 2 CFA exam window available in the 2022 CFA exam calendar.

22-26 Feb*


22-26 Feb*


30 Aug-3 Sept*


30 Aug-3 Sept*


22-26 Nov*


0 days until the exam

22-26 Nov*


0 days until the exam

IMPORTANT!

* The dates indicate the exam window when you can self-schedule your level 2 exam. You can read here about computer-based exams.



2023 Level 2 CFA Exam Dates

In 2023, level 2 CFA exam dates (windows) will be available in May, August, and November. The May 2023 level 2 CFA exam registration opened on 9 August 2022 & the August 2023 level 2 CFA exam registration opens on 14 November 2022:

23-27 May*


169 days until the exam

23-27 May*


169 days until the exam

29 Aug-2 Sept*


267 days until the exam

29 Aug-2 Sept*


267 days until the exam

NOVEMBER


NOVEMBER


IMPORTANT!

* The dates indicate the exam window when you can self-schedule your level 2 exam. You can read here about computer-based exams.


2022 Level 2
CFA Exam Fees
& Registration Deadlines

Each time you register to take and retake your level 2 exam, you'll have to pay a specific exam registration fee. The amount of the fee depends on when you choose to register for the exam. Before you register, check if you're eligible for any of CFA Institute scholarships. They can reduce your exam cost substantially.

Importantly, the 2023 level 2 CFA exam fees increased by USD 200 for both early registration and standard registration. The early fee for 2023 level 2 CFA exam is now USD 900 and the standard fee is as high as USD 1200.


November 2022 FEES
$700
early
fee

begins: 1 Feb | ends:
3
MAY 2022
$1,000
standard
fee

begins: 4 May | ends:
9
AUG 2022

Read more about November level 2 exam


May 2023 FEES
$900
early
fee

begins: 9 Aug | ends:
2
NOV 2022
$1,200
standard
fee

begins: 3 Nov | ends:
31
JAN 2023

Read more about May level 2 exam

August 2023 FEES
$700
early
fee

begins: 14 Nov | ends:
1
FEB 2023
$1,000
standard
fee

begins: 2 Feb | ends:
9
MAY 2023

Read more about August level 2 exam

Note: The deadlines end at 11:59 p.m. ET.


Higher Level 2 CFA Exam
Pass Rates?

For years, level 2 CFA exam pass rates were fixed at around 45%, which was higher than for the level 1 exam with the average pass rate of 43% over the last decade. The higher 2020 pass rate was an effect of longer exam prep that level 2 candidates had due to their June 2020 exam postponement.

PREVIOUS LEVEL 2 PASS RATES
2020 55%
2019 44%
2018 45%
2017 47%

As of 2021, CFA exams are computer-based and are held more frequently. At the beginning, the pass rates for the computer-based level 2 CFA exams were lower than in the past several years. However, both the NOV 2021 CFA exam pass rate of 46% and the FEB 2022 CFA exam pass rate of 44% were back to normal. Now, the most recent Aug 2022 level 2 pass rate is again lower with no more than 40%:

COMPUTER-BASED LEVEL 2 EXAM PASS RATES
May 2021 40%
Aug 2021 29%
Nov 2021 46%
Feb 2022 44%
Aug 2022 40%

Level 2 CFA Exam Topics
& Their Weights

Level 2 CFA exam topics = level 1 topics but with different exam weights and exam focus, which moves from the general knowledge of investment tools to asset valuation.

In other words, level 2 candidates are tested in the same 10 topics they studied during their level 1 exam. However, you need to be prepared to apply the knowledge more deeply. In your CFA exam curriculum, you will find 49 readings and the topics will be covered in more detail compared to level 1 curriculum.

All 10 level 2 topics are as shown in the table below, with their exam weights given in ranges:


LEVEL 2 CFA EXAM TOPIC WEIGHTS

Min Topic Weight Max Topic Weight
Quantitative Methods 5% 10%
Economics 5% 10%
Financial Statement Analysis* 10% 15%
Corporate Issuers* 5% 10%
Equity Investments 10% 15%
Fixed Income 10% 15%
Derivatives 5% 10%
Alternative Investments 5% 10%
Portfolio Management 10% 15%
Ethics 10% 15%

* Before 2022, CFA Program curriculum referred to Financial Statement Analysis as Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA for short) and to Corporate Issuers as Corporate Finance.

IMPORTANT!

The topic sequence given in the table is the same as in your level 2 CFA exam curriculum. However, we propose a better level 2 topics order where the 5-10% and 10-15% topics are coupled together and the similarity of concepts between the topics is often taken into consideration. Also, you can personalize the topic sequence even further if you wish!



Is Level 2 CFA Exam Day Different?

Beginning in 2021, the length of the level 2 exam gets reduced to approx. 4.5 hours. Your exam will be divided into two sessions, 132 minutes each, with an optional break meanwhile. The overall exam day will also be shorter:

Paper-Based CFA Exam Day CBT CFA Exam Day
30 minutes of announcements 30 minutes allotted to pledge, tutorial, and survey
MORNING SESSION: 180 min SESSION 1: 132 min
BREAK: 120 min OPTIONAL BREAK: 30 min
AFTERNOON SESSION: 180 min SESSION 2: 132 min
TOTAL TESTING TIME: 6 hrs TOTAL TESTING TIME: ca. 4.5 hrs
WHOLE EXAM DAY: 8.5 hrs WHOLE EXAM DAY: MAX. 5.5 hrs

What we know about computer-based level 2 CFA exams is that:

  • there will be a total of 88 multiple-choice questions,
  • each exam session will have 44 multiple-choice questions, each worth 3 points,
  • multiple-choice questions will be formed into item sets topped by vignettes, i.e. case description to which the questions refer,
  • there will be 4 multiple-choice questions per an item set,
  • there will be 22 item sets altogether, 11 item sets per session.

IMPORTANT! 20 out of the 22 item sets are scored and the remaing two are expected to be trial questions. Topics may be placed randomly between the sessions. Also, each vignette will be topped with information about the TOPIC and the total number of points possible to score, e.g.:

  • TOPIC: QUANTITATIVE METHODS
  • TOTAL POINT VALUE OF THIS QUESTION SET IS 12 POINTS

Level 2 CFA Exam Study Plan

The majority of level 2 candidates start their CFA exam prep 5 or 4 months before the exam. That's why we prepared sample study schedules for level 2 candidates. You'll find there both level 2 topic deadlines timetabled and recommended study blocks presented. Here are the two most popular level 2 study plans:


5-month Level 2 CFA Exam Study Plan


4-month Level 2 CFA Exam Study Plan


Want to create your personalized level 2 study plan straight away? Here:


Free Level 2 CFA Exam Study Questions & Videos

If you're looking for some free level 2 questions to help you prepare for your CFA exam, we've got some item set samples for you. Check them out and practice the characteristic level 2 exam format:

Also, try our free videos. We suggest you use them twice. First – to get familiar with the most important concepts before you dive into your books. Then, after you study your books – to revise & make sure you finally know everything there is to know for the topic:


CFA Exam Rules

CFA Program policies are the same for level 1 and level 2 exams. However, as of 2021, there are many new rules due to the computer-based testing and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That's why we've prepared a summary of the most important exam rules.


Level 2 CFA Exam Results

CFA Institute has even 60 days for releasing level 2 CFA exam results. However, the AUG 2022 level 2 CFA exam results are to be made available approx. 5 weeks after the exam has ended:


AUG 22 LVL 2 EXAM
11 Oct 2022

NOV 22 LVL 2 EXAM
10 Jan* 2023

MAY 23 LVL 2 EXAM
18 July* 2023

* This is our educated guess based on the information that CFA Institute intends to release level 2 CFA exam results in 7 to 8 weeks after the close of the exam window. In the past, the usual pattern was: exam date + 7.5 weeks + it was Tuesday or Thursday. CFA Institute says that for future computer-based exams, the results are likely to be released even sooner than 7-8 weeks post-exam.

As always, you’ll get your PASS or DID NOT PASS result to your e-mail. For more detailed information, you should visit your CFA Institute website account. And if you want to read more about CFA exam format or what to do after you get your exam scores, go here





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