AuthorTopic: Level II Exam Experience
@2010-06-06 21:11:36
Anybody else think the level II exam was insanely difficult? I passed level I this past Dec. and while I knew it would be tough to try and pass back to back I really made a go at it. I studied twice as hard in 4 months as I did for level I in 6 months. I felt I really had a shot going into the exam on Saturday. Well.. that was short lived. About 15 or so questions in and I knew I was in trouble. Left the first half pretty dejected, but was able to regroup during the afternoon break. Second half started out much better. I was doing really well I thought until about midway through and BAM! It was like the morning session all over again. Maybe its just me and I wasn't really as prepared as I thought I was, so was curious as to others thoughts/experiences. I would say with a 99% degree of confidence that I failed to reject the null and my performance was NOT significantly different than zero. I'm pretty bummed right now:(
@2010-06-07 00:04:36
well... this is my second shot on L2 exam, and i can pretty confidently tell you, the exam was very very tricky... they were using vague language, too many calculations on the 1st session, and on top of that, they had one question with no correct answer (justified leading PE, morning session) and couple of questions with concepts i never came across (futures, afternoon session)..

although some questions were deceptively easy, i think the exam was not structued in a balanced nature.

would like to hear from other candidates as well.
@2010-06-07 00:11:41
Indeed Level 2 was far more difficult than level 1. It took me four hours to complete the level 1 papers and got most over 70%, but the level 2 was another thing. Can only wait for results and see what`s the outcome.
@2010-06-07 02:25:51
Had my second shot at the exam, surely better than my first last year but could be better.
Tricky questions tough exam. lets hope for the best
@2010-06-07 02:27:11
I agree it was very tricky - it seemed that even the "obvious" questions had some sort of side trick to it. Also, some of the "minor" topics they picked were non standard (but I guess in the LOSs, so fair game)
I had the same experience in terms of not being able to get to one of the answers given in the morning (I had time to spare to try and re-try)and in the end gave up and put it down to finding the closest one.
It definitely seemed an exam where you needed to think on your feet a lot vs do a lot of time pressured number crunching - a lot of people in my area were done early. It also favoured those who had the time to study even the less mainstream stuff and not tried to second guess the LOSs. I definitely wish that while studing I had paid attention through even the last couple of pages of each reading section (you know the ones where you are starting to switch off coz you think its just ancillary stuff).
@2010-06-07 03:47:29
Ok, my thoughts: I thought the exam was "fair". That is, compared to Level 1 June 09 which I thought was very basic, I found this to be challenging for some questions, but no real unexpectant surprises. Yes, they tested very small parts of the curriculum, but I guess that was to have a "normal distribution" of marks. And yes, there were lots of tricky questions which I have no idea whether I answered correctly. Having said all that, do I feel confident in having passed? No. But at the same time will feel really bummed if i fail because I dont think I honestly could have studied more that what i did.
To AWR83, I hear you with the justified leading PE question. I came out of it thinking exactly the same and was/am tempted to write to CFA about it. Just to check before going ahead: in the exam I tried a couple of different ways of calculating it and always got closest to the 7.5 answer as opposed to the other 10 something answers. However, what i didnt do (thinking back), was calculate the payout using the forecast dividend given in the previous table and grow the current earnings given by the growth rate to find the new payout ratio. (ie calculate D1/E1). Did you do that? Would that have worked? And if yes, did you still find no answer? Let me know so I dont make a fool of myself when writing to CFA!!
@2010-06-07 04:38:00
This was my first time at L2. I'd done the free mock off the cfai site and got 66%. I'd say I found the actual exam about the same difficulty and my performance similar. I'm guessing I've more likely passed that failed but not sure - time will tell. Fingers crossed.

I've genrally been a bit shocked how tough L2 is though. I did L1 6 years ago and studied maybe 200-250 hours and was getting 80% on the mocks. This time I must have put in about twice that and am only getting 65-70.
@2010-06-07 06:36:22
this was the hardest of all exam ,i have ever taken. i cleared the level I with over 70% in all subjects but for the this level i will be very fortunate if i clear half of them. and yes indeed , there was no correct answer provided for the justified leading p/e calculation so i just chose the one closer to (1-b)/r-g. i will hate to retake this exam especially the FX portion. If the passing rate stays around 46% then i stand a chance of nailing this bad boy.
@2010-06-07 07:33:06
even i am retaker, this year Level 2 was tough, especially the morning session.
@2010-06-07 08:14:53
I agree with AWR83 that for several questions there were no close answers ...I mean closent answer was usually off huge... and they were tricky as well..specifically ethics. I did not find the questions that hard both AM and PM..but in the AM I did not get much time to finish all I had to take a random guess for last 10 questions :=(...

keeping my fingers tightly crossed..
@2010-06-07 09:01:06
Yeah, the L2 exam was damn tricky! I really studied alot, calculated thousands of questions but there were a couple of models and words in the exam I never have heard before. And the futures question in the afternoon was unbelievable... spend min 15min on it ending with pure guessing.
@2010-06-07 09:16:19
totally agree. the 1st exam was amazingly difficult. Even the soft dollar questions were pretty awkward, then onto the economic regulation. I must have done 30 different mock exams and not once did i ever see this. Can somebody tell me the correct answer. I put B - eco regs with lemons problem. Best guess i could make. I felt like the first exam they made as awkward as possible with something quirky and agree was not well balanced. The 2nd exam was a walk in the park in comparison. Struggled for time in the 1st yet had over an hour to spare in the 2nd. I cannot see how the pass mark will be 70% for this. reckon it will be substantially lower.
@2010-06-07 11:42:38
economic regulation is req'd for market failure such as externalities. an example of an externality includes car pollution where a decision imposes costs on others. lemons relates to asymmetric information (seller knows more than buyer)
@2010-06-07 11:44:08
i wonder if anyone actually calculated the portfolio management question on volatility of portfolios E, D, F, G. i guessed on that
@2010-06-07 21:10:31
The calculation on volatility was quite easy since the formula was considerably reduced due to the fact that many correlations were zero. The correct answer is B, if I still recall.
@2010-06-08 01:29:06
may someone please remind me with the volatility question in portfolio? i dont recall doing calculations in portfolio..

also, if anyone recalls the answers, what was the translation gain/loss? and what was the value of the bond portfolio calculated as HTM?


CFA Discussion Topic: Level II Exam Experience

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You have a wonderful website and definitely should take some credit for your members' outstanding grades.
Colin Sampaleanu

Colin Sampaleanu