CFA CFA Level 2 First of Many Practice Exams

First of Many Practice Exams

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    • Avatar of FranzFranz
      Participant
        • CFA Level 3
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        I just finished (and debriefed) my first practice exam with 50% total marks. A few lessons learned:
        – I forgot simple concepts just because there are too many things to remember.. How do you study to remember 6 textbooks?
        – There are so many areas I have to re-study! I underestimated the time it takes to debrief. It took me the whole day to debrief a 3 hour exam..
        – Look for answers in the vignette, don’t ‘memorize’ the freaking thing.
        – In this one, it seems like each question has it’s own area (or paragraphs) in the vignette. And, it’s usually chronological (question 1 = paragraph 2-3, Question 2, = paragraph 4, etc).
        – Each question matter. In 1 vignette I screwed up the first question and i got the next 2 questions wrong just because it was related to the first question
        – Don’t eat salty food before exam, it made me thirsty.
        – Don’t drink too much water/coffee/tea for breakfast, it made me wanna piss.

        How’s everyone else doing?

      • Avatar of vincenttvincentt
        Participant
          • CFA Level 3
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          @diya yes same here, though i can’t say much as I’ve only completed & reviewed 1.5 schweser’s practice exams.

          But i’m a little worried as some topics are not even covered in the 1.5 mocks i’ve done. For example, there should be on average 4 equity item sets, so 1.5 mocks should cover around 6, but in those 6 they are mostly to do with FCFF/FCFE and there’s only 1 item set that covers residual income (which is one of my weakest area i think with all that economic income vs economic profit, EVA vs MVA, etc).

          How many did you manage to do thus far?

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          @diya, @vincentt – deep breaths, calm down šŸ™‚ It does take quite some practice hence I recommend to try other providers’ paper as well to make sure one doesn’t get ‘used’ to Schweser’s style which is a little different to CFAI’s.

          My score started to inch up only after the 3rd/4th paper… just keep doing what you’re doing!

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          @Franz, @vincentt, @Diya – I recalled digging out some value-for-money practice paper/question providers, listed in detail in this post by @shantala.

          FinanceTrain, Analyst Notes are cheaper ones, Elan is slightly more expensive. But all 3 are good quality and brings a different perspective to Schweser style, and there’s extra 300Hours offers for them for our readers.

        • Avatar of vincenttvincentt
          Participant
            • CFA Level 3
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            @franz regarding your statement “- In this one, it seems like each question has it’s own area (or paragraphs) in the vignette. And, it’s usually chronological (question 1 = paragraph 2-3, Question 2, = paragraph 4, etc).”

            I generally find it to be true, however, there are exception at times where you need certain information from some paragraph before that.

            A few good example that I could remember now are:

            Fixed Income – the callable bond could be called at any time. Those 3 bold words will change the price of your callable bond entirely.

            FRA – a table showing you the amount of shares they have bought along with the price at date of purchase and price at the end of the year. The table would show the different share prices for a couple of years and ask to calculate the P & L of the investment in the income statement at the end of the year.

            If you missed the part where it talks about dividend paid in the paragraph earlier (which i carelessly did) you’ll never get the right answer.

            Just my 2 cents.

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            I’m hating the vignette style. My marks fluctuate so much that I’m not sure what to make of it. Basically I’ve concluded that every section needs work.


            @vincentt
            are you having the same problem? I tend to do either really well on a item set of just bomb it.

          • Avatar of vincenttvincentt
            Participant
              • CFA Level 3
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              @sophie how many providers do you use, out of the 5-7 practice exams?

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              Definitely not 1.5 min per question like Level 1!

              Yea it is closer to 1.75 min per question…

            • Avatar of ReenaReena
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                • CFA Charterholder
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                @alta12 – it’s ok to freak out, hopefully that feeling is numb by exams as you’d need full concentration and confidence!

                harder or not is really subjective and personal. In general Schweser is quite calculation focused compared to the rest which tend to more conceptual.

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                @vincentt yea I’ve noticed the same thing and I have the same problem. I think I’ve also done the residual income question you are talking about. I don’t even get the solution for some of the questions -.-

                I’ve been teetering around a 60% though if I’m not sure of the answer I don’t guess. This just makes it easier to identify which area within a topic I am having problems with.

              • Avatar of vincenttvincentt
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                  • CFA Level 3
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                  @diya 1st full mock i only managed around 50%, the 2nd morning paper, i managed 68.3%, and I definitely know it’s because the topics they have in that paper isn’t my weaker readings.

                  Which is why I personally think L2 seems to be rather uneven.

                  What are your thoughts on this @sophie @zee?

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                  @Sophie thanks! I have been considering it but I think first I should get through all the Schweser stuff. Next I’d probably buy Elan since I really like their “11th hour” study guide. I use the secret sauce now as scrap paper (I like printing my material single side…damn what a waste….).

                • Avatar of FranzFranz
                  Participant
                    • CFA Level 3
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                    @vincentt you’re right, I gotta be careful answering with just reading a portion of the vignette. Actually, in this practice exam, there was a short sentence at the end of one vignette that said “XYZ believes beta is mean reverting”. well, you know how it impacts your factor models.

                    @Diya what a good point! I never realized that. I just found out that in 1 vignette i would do great and the a few others I would got only 2-3 out of 6! Good way to find out which topic to re-study. And, I think it emphasize how important each question is in Level 2. And, that’s probably why there isn’t as much time constraint? I feel that too, I finished mine in about 2 hours.. considering 30mins to circle those things, I still had a lot of time.


                    @Sophie
                    thanks for the links. But, after 6 schwesser practice exams and 1 mock CFA exam…. Maan, I hate May 2013..

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                    I know @Franz, been there done that – hang in there!
                    Just a few more weeks to FREEDOM!

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                    @ykilstein only for level 3

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                    @diya Mother.

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                    Is Schweser mock harder or easier than the rest?

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                    Also on a slightly unrelated note I finish my session exams for level II much faster than level I. Anybody that can relate? The bright side of vignette questions so far is that they take less time.

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                    Definitely not 1.5 min per question like Level 1!

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                    Did my first practice exam today and now freaking out! šŸ™

                  • Avatar of Zee TanZee Tan
                    Keymaster
                      • CFA Charterholder
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                      @vincentt it’s definitely more uneven, as there are 50% less questions, and all bound into vignette questions of 6. Level 3 AM is very similar as well. Unfortunately there is no way to conquer this easily (that I know of) apart from simply knowing the material as best you can.

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                      @vincentt – in my days I only had 6 x Schweser and CFAI mock, as there weren’t many alternatives. Don’t worry about uneven topics, they really give you the opportunity to spot your weaker ones, so you know what areas to revise for and not make the same mistakes next time.

                      The repeating cycle is as follows:
                      Do practice paper –> Review, spot and note weak areas/topics –> Revise those weak topics & try EOC questions in those area –> do practice paper

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                      Does CFAI offer practice exams/mocks/samples from prior years?

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                      @Franz, thanks so much for sharing your experience and lessons learned with us! The food stuff is particularly funny, but true!

                      Fear not, it’s your first, and it could only get better after lots more practice (and you’ll have time for that). Imagine if you had 5x the notes you have, you’ll know where to focus on improving and would have already got used to the questions. Level 2 has the most material to grasp after all so keep it up!

                    • Avatar of Zee TanZee Tan
                      Keymaster
                        • CFA Charterholder
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                        agree with @vincentt. There are many ‘small details’, usually at the start or end of the vignette, such as where the investor/investment/firm is located, or a unique trait of the financial instrument etc, that changes your assumptions dramatically.

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                        I checked the distribution of topics within Schweser’s practice exams and they are as recommended by CFAI BUT Schweser seems to favour some topics over others and is heavily tilted towards calculations, so I’m worried how ready I’ll be for exam day. I’ve put my job hunting aside and spend one study session each day studying and one session to work through one session of a practice exam.

                        I plan to work through the 2012 practice exams too since there hasn’t been massive LOS changes.

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