Daren E. Miller, CFA®, a leading global authority in CFA exam preparation with 15+ years of financial training experience, shares the key things to know about why the Level II CFA exam is so much more difficult and treacherous for candidates than the Level I exam.
Reason #1: Past Performance Is No Indicator of Future Success
Many Level II candidates make the mistake of approaching the exam with a false sense of security simply because they passed Level I. But, the time to celebrate passing Level I has come and gone. You need to come to grips with the fact you’re facing an all-new CFA exam that will have little relation to what you have already learned.
Reason #2: MCQs Require Much More Attention & Focus
Level I questions are stand-alone multiple choice questions (MCQs) with a planned completion time of 90 seconds per question. At Level II, the testing format is more challenging. The item set consists of a multi-page vignette (or mini-case study) followed by six MCQs that require information from the vignette. Each item set of six MCQs now require a time budget of 18 minutes to complete, which requires more concentration and the ability to recall relevant parts from the item set.
Reason #3: You Can’t Hide From Your Weaknesses Any More
Many of the Level II topics build on your knowledge from Level I. So, if you were weak in Level I hypothesis testing (or skipped it altogether), then you will find Quantitative Methods much more difficult at Level II. Weak areas or skipping topics outright will come back to haunt you this time around.
Want to know what else makes to look out for in Level II?