Format Changes to 2019 Level II CFA Program Exam

By Arif Irfanullah, CFA


Posted on 25-02-19 at 4:54 pm


If you are registered for the 2019 Level II exam, you must have received an email from CFA Institute about changes to the item-set format starting June 2019. Here are some key points to note about the change:

  • There is no change to the length of the exams. You will still have AM and PM sessions of 3 hours each.
  • There is no change to the total number of MCQs. Both AM and PM sessions still have a total of 60 MCQs each.
  • There is no change to the points per questions. Each question is still worth 3 points.
  • There is no change to the topic area weights. For example, Equity will still have a weight of 10-15% on the exam.
  • The number of questions per item-set has changed. Instead of 6 questions per item set, now an item-set can have any number of questions (i.e. more than, less than or equal to 6 questions).
  • This also means that the total number of item-sets has changed and as indicated in the email you are likely to see more than 10 item sets per session.

Our thoughts:

  • This is a minor update and it should not affect your study plan in any way. Continue to focus on all topics and prepare well by solving enough questions.
  • As mentioned in the email, the exam will likely have more than 10 item-sets per session, and to keep the total number of MCQs constant at 60, there will be less questions per item-set. This means that you are likely to see shorter item-sets. This can actually be viewed as a positive point.
  • This change will give CFA institute the flexibility to test more topics. So you are likely to see exams with wider coverage of topics. For example, previously some topics were too shallow to write a full 6 question items set on. But such topics can now be tested by creating say a 3 question item set.

Best of luck in your studies!