Level 2 CFA® Exam Study Plan for AUG 2023 Candidates

CFA exam / Study plans / Level 2 AUG 2023, 4-month


Level 2 CFA Exam Planner

For all level 2 candidates who want to start their CFA exam prep in late April or early May 2023, here's our advice on the optimal 4-month level 2 CFA exam study plan and preparation.

CFA Exam: Level 2 is Different than Level 1


Before we proceed with the CFA exam study plan for level 2 candidates, first let us name 3 key issues that distinguish level 2 CFA exam from level 1 CFA exam:


The format of level 2 CFA exam is different compared to 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 called a vignette (it's like a short story description) followed by 4 multiple-choice questions to match the description. What stays the same is that for every multiple-choice question 3 answers are provided and only one is correct.

What's the consequence of such a change in level 2 compared to level 1 exam format?

It's more difficult owing to the item set format but you have more time per question.

Approximately, it's 3 minutes to cope with one multiple-choice question (it was 1.5 minutes in your level 1 exam) it's about 12 minutes per one item set (recall: one vignette supports 4 multiple-choice questions) you can expect 44 multiple-choice per exam session, i.e. 88 multiple-choice choice questions overall (find our prediction about the number of item sets in the level 2 exam).

Have a look at sample level 2 questions here


Even though you will be tested in the same 10 topics you studied during your level 1 exam, you need to be prepared to apply your knowledge more deeply this time.

The problems you will have to solve when taking your level 2 CFA exam are highly detailed problems. Based on the opinions of those who took the exam, you can expect practically anything from your level 2 Curriculum.

It means that you need to be more analytical while studying and pay more attention to detail.


In comparison with the level 1 exam, level 2 CFA exam topics have different weights. The topics with the highest weights are Equity, Financial Statement Analysis (aka. Financial Reporting & Analysis), Fixed Income, Ethics, and Portfolio Management: all with the topic weight of 10-15%. The other 5 topics, namely Derivatives, Corporate Issuers (aka. Corporate Finance), Quantitative Methods, Economics, and Alternative Investments, are given a weight of 5-10%.

As you can see, all the topic weights for level 2 are given in ranges, which means that the exact number of questions per topic is less predictable and may vary from exam to exam (to see our prediction, go here ).

Also, as of June 2019 exam, there's a change in topic weights. In the past, Equity was the most important topic with a weight of 15-25%, which had to be taken into account when planning the CFA exam prep. Now, as many as 5 topics are given the same importance ranging from 10 to 15%. This means you should devote a similar effort to all these topics because you may expect a similar number of questions for these 5 topics. However, the Equity topic in your level 2 Curriculum hasn't changed much, which makes it still quite lengthy and important.

Managing Level 2 CFA Exam Prep

Because of the crucial differences in both the FORMAT 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 your level 2 Curriculum. To facilitate your studying process, however, you might want to use some complementary study materials like video lectures, tests, or formulas app. They can definitely be helpful in getting the big picture, revising the study content, and getting the necessary practice.

Thirdly, our advice is that you take the 4 most important level 2 topics seriously. We think that's the right way to go when you know you can expect the greatest number of questions on these 4 topics.

That's why we allowed for lots of Equity, Ethics, FSA, and FI in our free CFA Exam 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!

Level 2 CFA Exam Study Plan: Assumptions & Timing

We begin our 4-month level 2 CFA exam study plan on 24 Apr 2023 and end it on 28 Aug 2023. 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 optimal because it starts with Equity and pairs the 15-10% and 10-5% topics together. 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 (here possible number of level 2 questions ).

START: 24 APR 2023

1st Study Block (24/Apr – 13/May)

  • Equity Investments
  • Corporate Issuers
  • EI+CI Review

2nd Study Block (14/May – 4/June)

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

3rd Study Block (5/June – 26/June)

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

4th Study Block (27/June – 23/July)

  • Quantitative Methods
  • Portfolio Management
  • QM+PM Review

5th Study Block (24/July – 6/Aug)

  • Alternative Investments
  • Ethics
  • AI+ETH Review

FINAL REVIEW (7 – 28 Aug 2023)

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 3 to 4 weeks of – what we call – Final Review. Basically that's when you should do as many mock exams as possible!

Level 2 CFA Exam Study Schedule in 4 Months

Level 2 Topics AUG 2023 Exam Deadlines
Equity Investments 6 May 2023
Corporate Issuers 13 May 2023
EI+CI Review 14 May 2023
Fixed Income 25 May 2023
Derivatives 1 June 2023
FI+DER Review 4 June 2023
EI+CI Review 4 June 2023
Financial Statement Analysis 16 June 2023
Economics 23 June 2023
FSA+ECO Review 26 June 2023
EI+CI+FI+DER Review 26 June 2023
Quantitative Methods 6 July 2023
Portfolio Management 16 July 2023
QM+PM Review 23 July 2023
EI+CI+FI+DER+FSA+ECO Review 23 July 2023
Alternative Investments 30 July 2023
Ethics 5 Aug 2023
AI+ETH Review 6 Aug 2023
Final Review 28 Aug 2023

This is a sample 4-month level 2 CFA exam study plan. But you can have your own personalized study schedule, available at pay-what-you-can prices:

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

Last Update: Feb 17, 2023

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