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Once you know you passed the Level I CFA exam, plan your Level II CFA exam date. You will have to schedule your Level II exam for at least 6 months after your Level I exam and you want to make sure you have enough time to adequately prepare.
The 2022 Level II CFA exam is offered in February, August, and November.
Learn more about the current CFA exam dates.
Level II CFA exam registration can be completed in two steps. First, register for the exam and pay the Level II CFA exam fee ($700 for early registration or $1,000 for standard registration). Second, self-schedule your exam date and location via your CFA Program tile.
You will need to study even longer for Level II than you did for Level I. Recommended study time for Level II is at least 328 hours (compared to 303 hours for Level I). Make sure to spread out your studying so you don’t burn yourself out.
Wiley offers numerous CFA Level II Study Supplements to keep your study schedule on track.
Level II is harder than Level I (and some contend that it’s the hardest CFA exam). Don’t take any chances with passing the exam; invest in a CFA review course that will help you understand the exam material and pass the first time.
Wiley CFA review courses reliably prepare you for the Level II CFA exam with features like video lessons presented by expert instructors, 30-45-minute bite-sized lessons, expert mentors, practice exams, a Score Predictor, and more!
A positive mindset can go a long way in helping you prepare for the exam. If you study for over 328 hours, use Wiley CFA study materials, and pace yourself, you should feel confident going into exam day and expect to pass. You’ve got this!
In August 2021, the Level II CFA exam pass rate hit a historic low of 29%, but that is likely due to test schedule disruptions resulting from COVID-19, and pass rates are expected to recover. Regardless, if you make the time to study for over 328 hours and use the right test prep service, you can be part of the percentage that passes.
According to CFA Institute, candidates who passed Level II in 2019 spent an average of 328 hours studying. Make the most of those 328 hours (or more) by reviewing the CFA program curriculum and/or investing in a CFA exam test prep service.
Learn more about the current CFA exam weights by topic.
Level II CFA Exam Weights:
|CFA Exam Topic Area|
Level III Topic Weight (%)
|Ethical & Professional Standards||10-15|
|Financial Statement Analysis||10-15|
|Portfolio Management & Wealth Planning||10-15|
Instead of focusing on the Level II CFA exam MPS, make sure to get in at least 328 hours of study time and aim to score 70% or higher on mock exams.
The Level II exam tests all topic areas to some degree but focuses on ethical and professional standards, financial statement analysis, equity and fixed income investments, and portfolio management and wealth planning. The exam questions require candidates to apply learned information to investment situations, analyze assets and their value, and synthesize information to develop new approaches to solve investment-related problems.
Ethics and Professional Standards make up 10-15% of the Level II CFA exam. Candidates will be tested on their ability to recall how ethics and professional standards relate to the investment industry.
Quantitative Methods makes up 5-10% of the Level II CFA exam. This topic covers concepts and techniques related to financial analysis and investment decision-making.
Economics makes up 5-10% of the Level II CFA exam. This area tests the ability to analyze and apply concepts related to basic supply and demand (as it relates to individual consumers and firms).
Financial Reporting and Analysis make up 10-15% of the Level II CFA exam. Candidates will be tested on their ability to apply and analyze information related to financial reporting procedures and financial reporting disclosure standards.
Corporate Issuers make up 5-10% of the Level II CFA exam. This area tests the ability to apply and analyze information related to corporate governance and investing and financial decision-making.
Equity Investments makes up 10-15% of the Level II CFA exam. Candidates will need to apply and analyze information related to equity investments, security markets, indexes, and basic equity valuation models.
Fixed Income makes up 10-15% of the Level II CFA exam. This section tests the ability to apply and analyze information related to fixed income securities, yield measures, risk factors, and valuation measurements and drivers.
Derivatives make up 5-10% of the Level II CFA exam. Candidates must be able to apply and analyze information related to derivatives and derivative markets.
Alternative Investments makes up 5-10% of the Level II CFA exam. The alternate investments tested in this area include hedge funds, private equity, real estate, commodities, and infrastructure
Portfolio Management makes up 10-15% of the Level II CFA exam. Candidates must apply and analyze basic concepts related to portfolio and risk management.
With all CFA exams having transitioned to computer-based testing in 2021, there are some new rules affecting the exam. Instead of the Level II exam being offered once per year on one day/time, it is now offered 3 times per year and can be taken during an exam window (up to 10 days). Because of this, there is now a rule that candidates can only take 2 CFA exams per year, and they must be at least 6 months apart.
The night before the exam is the perfect time to pay extra attention to your self-care. Make sure your brain and body are ready for the big day by planning to relax, eat healthy meals, and get plenty of sleep.
Learn more about last-minute CFA exam tips.
As with the Level I CFA exam, you are only allowed to bring a few items into the CFA exam testing center like your approved calculator, glasses, passport, and necessary medical devices.
You will be required to leave all other items in your car or in lockers, if provided, at the testing center. For more information on what you can bring to the CFA exam, see CFA Institute’s CFA Exam Personal Belongings Policy.
Your exam results for the Level II CFA exam will be delivered to you via email within approximately 60 days of your exam date. Results are typically released 8-10 weeks after the exam window has closed.
If you don’t pass the Level II CFA exam, you’ll want to retake it as soon as possible. CFA Institute only allows candidates to take 1 exam every 6 months, so the earliest you’ll be able to retake it is 6 months after your original Level II exam date.
First, you’ll need to register to retake the exam and pay the exam registration fee again ($700 for early registration or $1,000 for standard registration). Then you’ll self-schedule the exam.
Once your retake exam is scheduled, you should resume studying immediately and focus on practice questions and mock exams to evaluate your preparedness.
If you pass the Level II CFA exam (congratulations!), your next step is preparing for the Level III CFA exam. The soonest you can schedule your Level III exam is 6 months after your Level II exam date. This is to adhere to CFA Institute’s policy of only allowing candidates to take 2 exams per year at least 6 months apart.
According to CFA Institute, candidates that passed Level III in 2019 spent an average of 344 hours studying, so sign up for your Level III Wiley CFA Review Course and start studying!
Here are quick answers to some frequently asked questions about the Level II CFA exam.