CFA CFA Level 2 When is a good time to start studying for Level 2 for June 2014?

When is a good time to start studying for Level 2 for June 2014?

  • This topic has 20 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated May-17 by edulima.
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    • jsaucedo
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      Hey guys, it has been a while since Ive studied for level 2. I plan to take it in 2014 but dont know when I should start studying. I passed Level 1 in 2009 and dont remember much of that material.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @Jsaucedo, welcome to 300HC!

      When you should start depends on your situation and mainly time availability in a week. Usually for a full time job (where you can spend c.15hours per week studying), 6 months before is a great start.

    • aliza_khan
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      My situation is same as yours. I passed level 1 in 2009 and am going to attempt level 2 in June 2014. Mean while I have attempted level 2 once before but didn’t succeed.

    • Dachen628
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      I’d suggest starting 8 to 9 months prior to the exam. If you start now you should not over do it. You have to try to avoid burnout.

    • Zee Tan
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      I usually start after Christmas, but that’s just one data point. We are conducting more thorough research through our Results Analysis and will have more data to report on this soon!

    • chhajedshrenik
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      Hello everyone, I cleared level 1 june 2013, I am working full time. I want to know when should I start preparing for L2 ?
      Do I need to revise L1 material before I start preparing L2 ?

    • Zee Tan
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      @chhajedshrenik – I don’t think you should bother with an extensive review. Schweser includes a L1 review book with their L2 material – I’d just use that, or review the L1 Secret Sauce / 11th Hour.

    • bceagles
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      @jsaucedo – I passed L1 and L2 on my first attempts studying around 4 months (300+ hours each). My thought process was that it can be very difficult to retain such a broad base of information for such an extended period (>4 months) of time unless you are constantly refreshing (even material that you come to really understand). I used Schweser exclusively for both levels (did not use CFAI at all) and felt more than adequately prepared during the exam. With that said, my recommendation to others would be to use Schweser (or another provider) for about 80% of your study but also focus on the end of chapter questions in the CFAI texts to drill down on the content and get a handle on the format.


      @chhajedshrenik
      – I took L1 in December so some of the information was still fresh by the June L2 exam but I found the Schweser material did a good job in its notes package of pointing out areas that required review and they often started with that L1 foundation in the texts before getting into the actual L2 content.

      My overall advice is as follows:

      – read each Schweser text 3 – 4 times
      – do the questions at the end of each chapter as you go along
      – take notes during your first pass and begin to create formula note cards
      – take at least 6 mock exams during the last 6-8 weeks to get a feel for the format, timing, content, weighting, etc. plus the official CFAI Mock
      – what I did not do but would have done with more time: reviewed CFAI end of chapter questions and read some of the chapters that I was weak in (Econ, QM, Der)

      Good luck.

    • mattyc
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      Thats very helpful @bceagles. I followed this exact strategy for L1 and it worked well for me. However I started in Feb (4 months) and was not able to hit 300 hours (approx. 260 by my guess). I dont think that will be adequate for L2 so I was planning on starting in Dec. at least to begin brushing up on L1 concepts. That will be the only way I can make it through Schweser 3 times.

      I couldn’t agree more with your statement on the importance of taking 6-7 mocks.

    • Zee Tan
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      We ask both questions (number of mocks) and study start date in our results analysis survey, so I’m excited to dive into the data and see what correlations with performance these metrics will show!

    • Anonymous
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      I started in feb, but I wouldn’t recommend it – studied like crazy to juuust pass. I’d say at the latest start in Jan or something.

    • Sophie Macon
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      @mattyc I think that sounds sensible. 6 months before for L2 is a good start, 4 months may be stressful (though I had to do it given the Dec L1 pass). It’s a beast

    • edulima
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      If you sit for the December Level 1 exam, and if you’re reasonably confident about passing, is it possible to sign up for the next June Level 2 before results are out? If not, how can one start studying early enough to try to hit the 6 month level?

    • Sophie Macon
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      @edulima, hence my comment to @mattyc above. If you can do it 6 months is better to have a sane existence 😉 I had to do it in 4 months, pretty much right after I got my L1 results. That said I had a good time relaxing between L1 and L2

      It is possible to sign up for L2 before you get your Dec L1 results, but you’re taking a risk there, and I don’t see the point since it’s time you should relax anyway and go full blast once you get the results.

    • mattyc
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      @Sophie, you are so gangster B-)

    • Zee Tan
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      @edulima @sophie it’s not possible to sign up for L2 before L1 (although you obviously can start prepping). The CFAI system won’t allow it.

    • stt00007
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      Different folks, different strokes I’m afraid. I know some people cannot study unless they feel the heat of the exam looming. I tried L2 on the bounce from Dec L1, went at it like a bat out of hell – burntout towards the end of April.

      In my opinion, unlike L1, L2 requires complete and well rounded knowledge of the CFA syllabus. I had some really strong areas, which I studied early on and some very (very) weak areas, those I covered approaching the exam. I think the most important thing when studying is that you can work at a pace where you enjoy the learning process. I certainly did not enjoy the month of May! I suffered exam stress and homesickness (working away from home) and it became a chore to study….this year I’ll be exercising all 10 months until my resit at a slow and enjoyable pace. Hey, I might even go to the cinema or something the night before the exam instead of worrying about whether they will test my blindspots.

    • Sophie Macon
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      @mattyc you mean gangsta? 😉

      Yes you’re right @Zee, gotta update my facts!

    • edulima
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      Excellent answers @stt00007 and @Sophie (with @Zee’s contribution). Thank you!

    • ultimatecontrarian
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      I had success on level 2 (passed on first try 2013) by starting with classes at the local society. It was monumental in opening my brain to topics that may have been too dense if I dove straight into CFAI texts. I assume the Schweser video series could have the same impact. So spending a month or two, say December and January, watching high quality instructors covering the high level concepts and taking light notes can lay a great foundation for using either set of texts. I passed level 1 primarily with 1 year old Schweser texts, but I don’t personally think they’re up to the task for levels 2 and 3. Plus the Q-bank becomes increasingly irrelevant as you move to problem sets. Also, there’s no substitute for doing as many CFAI generated item sets and mock exams as possible.

    • edulima
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      That’s a very interesting concept, @ultimatecontrarian: say after a week or two of full “brain chill out” after the level 1 exam, watch Schweser videos without stress for a month or so. Then register and let it build up quickly to get strong rithm and solidly cover the whole level 2 material so as to leave enough practice time (say a month) before the actual exam. It sounds doable; tough but doable…

      Of course, for it to be doable, level 1 exam needs to be passed in December… back to studying!

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