Frequently Asked Questions on the CFA® Level II Exam

Frequently Asked Questions on the CFA® Level II Exam

Congratulations on passing the CFA® level I exam. As you work on the next milestone towards becoming a CFA charter holder, has various study and exam preparation materials to help you pass your CFA level II exam.

This article answers the most common questions candidates have about the CFA level II exam and gives you the information to pass your exam.

What are the differences between CFA level I and CFA level II exams?

One of the most common questions that CFA candidates have is the differences between the three levels of the course. If you have completed the CFA level I and preparing for the next level, let us explore what to expect on your exam day.

The level I exam consists of individual questions, while level II includes vignettes. Vignettes are brief descriptions of business scenarios containing tables, texts, and sometimes financial statements. Vignettes have several questions that require the candidate to answer using information from the case study. As a CFA level II candidate, you should develop the skill to identify which information is relevant for each question.

In addition, the CFA level I exam has 80 individual multiple-choice questions unrelated to each other. On the other hand, level II exams consist of four to six questions set up in sets based on a vignette. Each set of questions is based on a common topic making it essential to have in-depth knowledge of critical concepts. As a result, you should be more thorough when studying for CFA level II exams.

When are the CFA level II exam windows?

As a result of the postponed 2020 exam postponements, the CFA Institute announced that CFA level II exams are available three times in 202. However, the exams are available twice a year.

The new CFA level II exam windows are;

  • May exam window dates are May 25th to June 1st, 2021
  • August exam window dates are August 31st to September 4th, 2021.
  • The CFA Institute will announce the November exam window dates soon

Is it possible to postpone the CFA level II exam after registration?

You need to fulfill specific criteria and appeal directly to the CFA Institute to postpone your level II CFA exam. Postponing an individual exam is referred to as a deferral and is only allowed in specific circumstances.

You should submit a deferral request to the CFA Institute before or within ten U.S. business days after the exam window. The CFA Institute reviews your deferral request, and they decide on a case-to-case basis.

The exceptional circumstances that may allow a deferral include;

  • Your government, employer, or university impose travel restrictions that prevent you from accessing the testing center.
  • You or an immediate member of your family have a very serious or life-threatening disease.
  • You are pregnant.
  • There is a sudden death of one of your immediate family members.
  • You are obligated to mandatory military service on the date of the test.
  • There is a natural disaster affecting your local area.

You should notify the CFA Institute through email about your request to defer your examination. If your case meets the criteria, you will get a qualified deferral, but you will forfeit the paid payments. However, the CFA Institute will defer your enrollment to the next scheduled sitting.

If you fail to qualify for a deferral, you can withdraw from the CFA exam. If the CFA Institute rejected your deferral request, you could choose to withdraw from the CFA exam up to five days before the set test date. You will not have to take the exam, but you will have to register to take it at the next sitting.

According to the CFA Institute policies on exam withdrawal, you will get a full refund of your registration and exam fees if you withdraw within the first three days after you registered. If more than three days have passed after you registered, you will have to forfeit all the fees paid.

What are the subjects and exam weights and pass rates for the CFA level II exam?

There are ten core topics you should master in the CFA level II. However, the exam weights for each topic are subject to change each year. The exam topics and weights for CFA level II in 2022 are;

  • Derivative investments – 5-10%
  • Financial reporting and analysis – 10-15%
  • Equity investments – 10-15%
  • Alternative investments – 5-10%
  • Ethics – 10 -15%
  • Economics – 5-10%
  • Quantitative methods – 5-10%
  • Corporate finance – 5-10%
  • Fixed income – 10-15%
  • Portfolio management 10 -15%

According to the CFA Institute, the Level II pass rate was 44% in 2019.

How many hours should I study for the CFA level II exam?

The CFA level II exam tests your mastery of financial knowledge. Consequently, you should dedicate at least 300 study hours and practice taking the exam to pass.

How much is CFA level II registration?

If you enroll for early registration, you will pay $700, and on the other hand, standard registration is $1,000.

Early registration for the exam gives you enough time to study and prepare for your exam. Enroll in study packages and gain access to additional revision materials. Our vast library of practice questions will help you practice for the exam and pass it on the first try.

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