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I just took the Level I exam. Should I start preparing for Level II?

By Arif Irfanullah, CFA

Posted on 11-12-18 at 12:30 pm

If you recently took the Level I exam in December, and are reasonably confident that you’ll pass, and want to take the Level II exam in June, this blog is for you.

Let’s start with a quick Level II introduction. The ten topics are the same as Level I, but the weights are different.

Ethics: 10 – 15%, Quant: 5 – 10%, Econ: 5 – 10%, CF: 5 – 10%, FRA: 10 – 15%, Equity: 10 – 15%, Alt: 5 – 10%, FI: 10 – 15%, Der: 5 – 10%, PM: 5 – 15%.

At Level I, you were tested on basic concepts.  Level II, however, “emphasizes the application of investment tools and concepts with a focus on the valuation of all types of assets”.  Most candidates find Level II significantly harder than Level I and hence requires more preparation time.

In terms of exam format, we have two three-hour sessions.  The questions are in MCQ format, but based on case studies (vignettes).  A case study generally spans one or two readings from a particular topic.  Each three-hour session has ten case studies with six questions which means a total of 60 questions. You’ll have an average of 18 minutes per case study and 3 minutes per question.  This is twice the time you had at Level I but now you must read and understand the case which takes time; in addition, some questions involve a fair amount of calculation.

Coming now to study advice.  I’ve already pointed out that Level II is generally considered harder than Level I and hence requires more study time. I’d therefor suggest that you start your studies as soon as possible. The best topic to start with is Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA) followed by Equity.  These topics are relatively easy and represent a significant percentage of the Level II curriculum.

IFT offers a full set of products to help you crack the Level II exam. Please visit this link to view the options available. You can either choose a prep package or individual topic videos. If you purchase before the Level I results are out and then find out that you have not passed, then IFT can adjust your purchase to an equivalent Level I offering.

Also, as a special offer till the results are out in January, if you buy a Level II topic video we will provide the IFT Study Notes and IFT Topic Exam for that topic for free.

Good luck on the upcoming results!

Arif Irfanullah, CFA


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