LAST UPDATED: Sept 14, 2020

Level 2 CFA® Exam

CFA exam / Level 2







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 twice a year. In 2021, it's going to be May and August. To take your level 2 exam, first you need to pass your level 1 exam.


Nearest Level 2 CFA Exam Date
(Just for June 2020 Candidates)

5/6* December 2020


77 days until the exam

5/6* December 2020


77 days until the exam


IMPORTANT!
June 2020 level 2 candidates may choose to take their postponed exam either in December 2020 or at any of 2021 level 2 exam dates. They need to decide before 20 October 2020 (free of charge). To accommodate all June 2020 candidates, the Dec exam may be held on Sat and Sun + religious alternate date is 6 Dec. You can read more about the postponed exam here


2021 Level 2 CFA Exam Dates

25 - 29 May


248 days until the exam

25 - 29 May


248 days until the exam

31 Aug - 4 Sept


346 days until the exam

31 Aug - 4 Sept


346 days until the exam


IMPORTANT!
The registration fees and deadlines given below, do not apply to June 2020 candidates who choose the exam date before 20 October 2020. New level 2 candidates need to make the relevant payments.


2021 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.

May 2021 FEES
$700
early
fee

begins: 20 Aug | ends:
3
NOVEMBER 2020
$1,000
standard
fee

begins: 4 Nov | ends:
23
FEBRUARY 2021
August 2021 FEES
$700
early
fee

begins: 20 Aug | ends:
2
FEBRUARY 2021
$1,000
standard
fee

begins: 3 Feb | ends:
4
MAY 2021

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

2021 level 2 exam registration opened on
20 August 2020
.


Higher Level 2 CFA Exam
Pass Rates?

It is safe to say that level 2 pass rates are fixed at around 45%, which is higher than for the level 1 exam with the average pass rate of 43% over the last years.

Level 2 PASS RATES
2019 44%
2018 45%
2017 47%

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 2020 CFA exam curriculum, you will find 48 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
Ethics 10% 15%
Quantitative Methods 5% 10%
Economics 5% 10%
Financial Reporting and Analysis 10% 15%
Corporate Finance 5% 10%
Equity Investments 10% 15%
Fixed Income Investments 10% 15%
Derivative Investments 5% 10%
Alternative Investments 5% 10%
Portfolio Management 10% 15%

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Is Level 2 CFA Exam Day Different?

Dec 2020 level 2 CFA exam will be the last paper-based exam. It will consist of two 3-hour sessions, morning and afternoon, each with 60 multiple-choice questions arranged into the so-called item sets topped with vignettes (i.e. short cases forming the basis for the multiple-choice questions). Different item sets may have different numbers of multiple-choice questions, most probably from 6 to 4, and you can expect a total of 20 to 30 item sets in your level 2 exam (10-15 per session).

Beginning in 2021, the length of the level 2 exam will get reduced to approx. 4.5 hours. Your exam will be divided into two sessions, 135 minutes each, with an optional break meanwhile. The overall exam day will also be shorter:

2020 CFA Exam Day 2021 CFA Exam Day
30 minutes of announcements 30 minutes allotted to pledge, tutorial, and survey
MORNING SESSION: 180 min SESSION 1: 135 min
BREAK: 120 min OPTIONAL BREAK: 30 min
AFTERNOON SESSION: 180 min SESSION 2: 135 min
TOTAL TESTING TIME: 6 hrs TOTAL TESTING TIME: 4.5 hrs
WHOLE EXAM DAY: 8.5 hrs WHOLE EXAM DAY: MAX. 5.5 hrs

We're still waiting for some more specific information about the new CBT level 2 exam. What we know now is that:

  • questions will still be formed into item sets (multiple-choice questions topped with vignettes, i.e. short description),
  • there will be six or four multiple-choice questions per an item set,
  • a four-question item set will have two-thirds of the number of points as a six-question item set.

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:


Level 2 CFA Exam Results

As a rule, level 2 results are released on the same day as the results for level 1 exam. Below, you can find our prediction for the nearest level 2 CFA exam held in December for postponed June 2020 candidates:


DEC 2020 L2 CFA EXAM
results expected on:
26* January 2021

2021 L2 CFA EXAMS
results expected on:

* This is our educated guess based on how CFA Institute released exam results in the past. The usual pattern: your exam date + 7.5 weeks + it’s almost always been Tuesday.

For computer-based exams – results could be available sooner than 7.5 weeks post-exam. Still, the exact date is not yet known even to CFA Institute emphasizing that the same MPS procedure will still be in place.

As always, you’ll get your PASSED 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