AUG 2023 Level 2 CFA® Exam in 5 Months with Reliable Study Plan

CFA exam / Study plans / Level 2 AUG 2023, 5-month


5-Month Level 2 CFA Exam Study Plan: Intro

If you’re about to take your level 2 CFA exam in AUG 2023, it’s a perfect time to take up your preparation. 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 level 2 exam can be a real tough one.

Below, you will find how to prepare for the level 2 exam using a reliable 5-month level 2 CFA exam study plan. Our preparation is divided into 5 Study Blocks, each ending with some topics revision. Spaced revision sessions allow to overcome the forgetting curve, which can be quite steep for such a voluminous study content.

Before you go to the details of this study plan, however, take your time to learn a few key issues about the level 2 preparation.

What Should I Know About Level 2 CFA Exam?

First of all – as of 2021 – level 2 CFA exam is transitioned to computer-based testing. It means that the exam will be delivered on computers in proctored test centers around the world.

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

An item set consists of a vignette (approximately one-page long description) + 4 multiple-choice questions (related to the vignette). Every exam session includes 44 multiple-choice questions grouped into item sets (read about our prediction about the number of item sets in the level 2 exam). You'll have around 12 minutes per one item set. It’s not much when you think of quite lengthy vignettes you must read in order to answer the questions. The vignettes will include tons of data, some of which may prove totally irrelevant.

Another unique thing about level 2 CFA exam prep is topics. There are still 10 topics for level 2 (like for level 1) but the topic weights ranges change. Equity, Fixed Income, Financial Statement Analysis (aka. Financial Reporting & Analysis), Portfolio Management, and Ethics have the greatest weight. For all level 2 topic weights, see the table further below.

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

Because of the detailed nature of level 2 exam, it is believed that the CFA Program 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 Program 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 retention. 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 CFA Exam Study Planner. Inside you will find some free level 2 videos and item sets.

If you like them, you’ll be able to purchase as many as 40+ hours of to-the-point L2 videos and 50 item sets.

Our videos are short but exhaustive and let the knowledge sink in. The item sets, which are constructed like exam-type questions (vignette + 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 for the tests you do to have the right format.

How To Use CFA Program Curriculum?

CFA Program 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 the 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 Program Curriculum formulas and repeat them often. You can also use the shortcut way and get the ready-made level 2 formulas e-book. Also inside our CFA Exam Study Planner, you will find a special Formulas App to practice the formulas on an everyday basis.

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.

L1 vs L2:
Exam Prep Hints

You had your way of preparing for the level 1 CFA 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 studying strategy.

Level 2 CFA Exam Topic Characteristics

Level 2 CFA exam topic weights are given in ranges. The most important topics in the level 2 exam are Equity, Financial Statement Analysis, Fixed Income, Portfolio Management, and Ethics.

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

Number of pages in Curriculum Minimum topic weight Maximum topic weight No. of questions per topic* Topic efficiency
Quantitative Methods 365 5% 10% 4-8 1.6
Economics 195 5% 10% 4-8 3.0
Financial Statement Analysis 547 10% 15% 8-12 1.8
Corporate Issuers 216 5% 10% 4-8 2.7
Equity Investments 445 10% 15% 8-12 2.2
Fixed Income 309 10% 15% 8-12 3.2
Derivatives 153 5% 10% 4-8 3.9
Alternative Investments 202 5% 10% 4-8 2.9
Portfolio Management 424 10% 15% 8-12 2.4
Ethics 262 10% 15% 8-12 3.8

* estimated based on the minimum and maximus level 2 CFA exam topic weights and knowledge of exam format

The first four columns need no explanation. The last column concerns topic efficiency, which is defined as the number of questions in the exam per 100 pages of the CFA Program Curriculum:

\(\text{E}=\frac{\text{Q}}{\text{N}}\times\text{100 pages}\)


  • E – topic efficiency,
  • Q – estimated average number of questions for a topic,
  • N – number of pages on a topic in the CFA Program Curriculum.

For example, if the efficiency for Economics is 3, it means that in the exam you will find about 3 questions per every 100 pages on ECO in the Curriculum.

Taking this criterion into consideration, we can divide the topics into 3 groups:

  • High topic efficiency: DER, ETH, FI
  • Moderate topic efficiency: ECO, AI, CI, PM
  • Low topic efficiency: EI, FSA, QM

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 on each topic. Of course, some other variables, like e.g. topic weights, need to be accounted for then as well.

How to Prepare for Level 2 CFA Exam?
5-Month Study Plan Detailed

We begin this 5-month level 2 CFA exam preparation on 3 Apr 2023 and end on 28 Aug 2023. Meanwhile, there's a weekly pause in studying whose date you can personalize if you indeed opt for a short holiday. The whole preparation period is divided into 5 Study Blocks, each ending with some topic review sessions:

START on 3 APR 2023

1st Study Block (3/Apr – 24/Apr)

  • Equity Investments
  • Corporate Issuers
  • EI+CI Review

2nd Study Block (25/Apr – 14/May)

  • Fixed Income
  • Derivatives
  • FI+DER Review
  • EI+CI Review

3rd Study Block (15/May – 4/June)

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Economics
  • FSA+ECO Review
  • EI+CI+FI+DER Review

suggested dates: 5 – 11 June

4th Study Block (12/June – 9/July)

  • Quantitative Methods
  • Portfolio Management
  • QM+PM Review

5th Study Block (10/July – 23/July)

  • Alternative Investments
  • Ethics
  • AI+ETH Review

FINAL REVIEW (24 July – 28 Aug)

END on 28 AUG 2023

The AUG 2023 level 2 exam window lasts from 29 August to 2 September 2023. So, you can have from 5 to 6 weeks of – what we call – Final Review. Basically that's when you should do as many mock exams as possible!

Note that while using our CFA Exam Study Planner you can easily choose your own topics sequence – there's drag&drop for topics in your study plan options when you go to the PLAN view of your study schedule.

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 few topics. It’s like an award for those who follow the plan!

5-Month Level 2 CFA Exam Study Schedule: Topic Deadlines

Your level 2 CFA exam study schedule + 1 week off studying has been timetabled below. Deadlines are given for all 10 level 2 topics and your topic review sessions:

Level 2 Topics AUG 2023 Exam Deadlines
Equity Investments 15 Apr 2023
Corporate Issuers 22 Apr 2023
EI+CI Review 24 Apr 2023
Fixed Income 5 May 2023
Derivatives 10 May 2023
FI+DER Review 14 May 2023
EI+CI Review 14 May 2023
Financial Statement Analysis 25 May 2023
Economics 1 June 2023
FSA+ECO Review 4 June 2023
EI+CI+FI+DER Review 4 June 2023
*HOLIDAYS* 11 June 2023
Quantitative Methods 23 June 2023
Portfolio Management 2 July 2023
QM+PM Review 9 July 2023
EI+CI+FI+DER+FSA+ECO Review 9 July 2023
Alternative Investments 15 July 2023
Ethics 22 July 2023
AI+ETH Review 23 July 2023
Final Review 28 Aug 2023

*suggested dates*

NOTE: If you set up your personalized study plan,
the deadlines will get adjusted.

Here’s a sample CFA exam study schedule as displayed in our new Study Planner 4.0:

CFA Exam Study Planner: PLAN VIEW

FIND your Study Plan in the PLAN tab View all the weeks of your CFA exam prep, see how much you’ve done and how much is still ahead of you, as well as customize your schedule using your Study Plan personalization options and the DRAG & DROP for both topics and study weeks.

CFA Exam Study Planner: STUDY VIEW

CFA Exam Study Planner: STUDY View You will be asked to focus on your current week of studying. You will know what to study (left-hand menu) and how much to study (benchmark study times). Here, you'll also find your study lessons, including videos, tests, PDFs, etc. At the end of the week, your hard work will be evaluated (hit the SUM UP button).

CFA Exam Study Planner: PROGRESS View You will be able to see your progress by topics and weeks. Each week your Chance to Pass score will go up or down.

CFA Exam Study Planner: PROGRESS VIEW

CFA Exam Study Planner: REVIEW View To learn, you must review. Use the special view of your Study Planner to review your study lessons, rewatch videos, revise formulas, etc.

CFA Exam Study Planner: REVIEW VIEW

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

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