CFA Level 2

6 minute read
CFA Level 2

It takes months of hard work and dedication to clear the CFA Level 1 exam. But clearing the second level of the Chartered Financial Analyst program is an uphill battle that requires backbreaking work. At this level, the students are tested on their abilities to apply their knowledge in various real-life situations related to assets and investment valuation. Since this level is one of the most important components of becoming a certified CFA, we, in this blog, will discuss all the details pertaining to the CFA Level 2 exam. 

CFA Level 2 2021 Exam Dates 

Here are the exam dates for the upcoming CFA Level 2 examinations- 

23th May- 27th May 2023
29th August- 2nd September 2023
18th- 22nd November 2023

CFA Level 2: Eligibility Criteria

It is important for applicants to fulfil certain eligibility criteria to sit for the exam. Listed below are the prerequisites to appear for the CFA Level 2 exam:

  • The candidates must hold a Bachelors’s degree or equivalent from a recognized university or Institute. 
  • The applicant should also have at least 4 years of work experience or a combination of both university and work experience which totals at least 4 years.

Exam Pattern

To ace any exam, it is important to be fully aware of the structure and pattern followed. Tabulated below is the framework of the CFA Level 2 exam 2021:

Mode of ExamOnline(Computer based)
Medium of ExamEnglish
Number of Questions44-45 item set questions/ session (Tentative)
Number of Sessions2 sessions (2.25 hours each)
Type of QuestionsVignette-based multiple-choice questions

CFA Level 2 Exam Details

If you want to appear and complete the CFA level 2 exam, you need to ensure you have a bachelor’s degree or any other type of relevant education. Without passing the CFA level 1 exam, you cannot appear in the level 2 exam. The candidates also need to have at least three years of work experience before appearing in the exam.

Candidates will have six hours to complete the CFA level 2 exam. The cost of enrolment usually varies from one year to another. The results will be available 60 days after the exam.

CFA Level Question Format

The exam format of CFA level 2 includes a vignette followed by either 6 or 4 multiple-choice questions. There will be 44 multiple-choice questions in 2 sets making a total of 88 questions for the entire exam. Each question would be of three points. To answer every question, it would be necessary for the applicants to refer to the given vignette before selecting the right answer. 

CFA Level 2: Topics

At the CFA level 2 exam, the topics are primarily focused on investment tools, where the focus is less on portfolio management and asset valuation. However, when you’re planning to appear in the CFA level 2 exam, the focused topic will be shifted more towards the different types of asset classes, despite the fact the investment tools will still have a higher weightage. The CFA level 2 exam is more focused on the application and analysis of the concepts.

The topics of the curriculum can be grouped into four different parts:

  • Asset Classes
  • Professional and Ethical Standards
  • Investment Tools
  • Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning

The syllabus of the CFA course is vast and in order to ace the exam, it is important to be well-versed in the topics that form an integral part of this exam. Given below are some of the topics and their weight in the CFA Level 2 exam:

Ethical and Professional Standards10-15%
Quantitative Methods5-10%
Financial and Reporting Analysis10-15%
Corporate Finance5-10%
Equity Investments10-15%
Fixed Income10-15%
Derivative Investments5-10%
Alternative Investments5-10%
Portfolio Management5-15%

Also Read: courses for Commerce students 

CFA Level 2 Exam Fees and Registration

Prepare for the CFA level 2 examination, applicants will be required to pay a specific amount of registration fee for each registration that they make. The amount of the registration fee deposit is as per the dates you pick up for the exam. Stated below is the registration fee for CFA level 2 2021- 

May 2023-

Early Fee: $700 (INR 52,800)Standard Fee: $1000 (INR 72,000)
Registration Begins: 9 August 2022Registration Begins: 4th November 2020
Registration Ends: 9 November 2022Registration Ends: 23rd November 2020

August 2023-

Early Fee: $700 (INR 52,800)Standard Fee: $1000 (INR 72,000)
Registration Begins: 20th August 2022Registration Begins: 2nd February 2023
Registration Ends: 2nd February 2023Registration Ends: 4th May 2023

November 2023-

Early Fee: $700 (INR 52,800)Standard Fee: $1000 (INR 72,000)
Registration Begins: 19th January 2023Registration Begins: 5th May 2023
Registration Ends: 4th May 2023Registration Ends: 10th May 2023

Hours Required to Complete CFA level 2

candidates are allowed to customise their profession and match their potential as per their own needs. To complete the CFA level 2 examination, stated below are recommended number of hours that one must put in-

  • On average, candidates are advised to put in at least 328 hours of studying for this level.
  • Since the CFA level 2 exam is self-paced, the time spent on preparation can vary. However, candidates would have to spend about 27 hours per month if they are spending a year on preparation.

What to Bring to CFA Exam 2023?

Keep in mind that not all materials are allowed to be used during the CFA exam 2023. If you don’t know much about the list of approved and non-approved materials, you might face problems during the exam.

Materials You Can Bring to CFA Exam 2023

Here is the list of materials that you need to bring to your CFA exam 2023. Failing to produce these materials or documents might make you disqualified for the exam.

  • International Passport: The most important document you need to carry during your CFA exam 2023. The passport will work as your identification.
  • CFA Admission Ticket: The CFA institute will inform you when the ticket is available. You need to download a copy and make a printout of the ticket.
  • An Approved Calculator: Calculators are allowed to the CFA exam but it has to be either Hewlett Packard 12C or TI BAII Plus. Make sure you carry an extra pair of batteries.
  • Pencils: Use #2 and sharp pencils. You also need to carry a sharper as well as an eraser.
  • Wristwatch: Wristwatches are allowed. But it has to be analogue and not digital. Smartwatches might disqualify you immediately.
  • Jacket: It might get cold in the room so make sure you carry a jacket.
  • Earplugs: Consider bringing a pair of earplugs to avoid distractions.

Materials You Should Not Bring

Now that you know the list of materials you need to bring to the CFA exam 2023, you also need to know the materials that you must not bring to the exam room. Such items are banned and the exam invigilator might cause problems.

  • Food
  • Phone
  • Drinks
  • Unapproved calculators
  • Smartwatches
  • Tablets
  • Highlighters
  • Computers
  • Scratch paper
  • Rulers

Tips and Tricks

The CFA Level 2 is considered one of the toughest levels of the certification program. The study plans used for the first level of CFA have to be revamped and have to align with the requirements of the second level. Listed below are some of the tips and tricks you can follow to ace the exam:

  • Since the difficulty level of the examination is different from CFA Level 1, it is important to practice the difficult questions first. 
  • Speedy reading is essential. The case studies can be 1 or 2 pages long. So you might not get enough time to read the whole passage and sort the relevant points out.
  • Double the time you devoted to clearing your CFA Level 1 examination. For example, if you used to study 2 to 3 hours a day, double your study time to at least 4 to 6 hours a day. 
  • Know the weight of each topic/subject for the second level. Focus on the topics having more weight.
  • Practice mock papers to increase speed and accuracy. 

CFA Level 2 Exam Day Insights 

Plenty of changes are made in the exam details of CFA Level 2 including the reduction of exam duration to approximately 4.5 hours.  For those who are looking forward to appearing for the CFA level 2 examination, here are some of the essential insights of the exam day- 

Duration for Pledge, Tutorial and Survey30 mins
Session 1135 mins
Optional Break 30 mins
Session 2 135 mins 
Total Duration4.5 hours
Whole Exam Day Duration5.5 hours average


Is CFA lvel 2 exam hardest?

As the exam pattern is different, unfortunately, CFA level 2 is one of the hardest exams.

How long do you need to study?

You need to study for six to nine months to score great in the CHA level 2 exam.

How much a CFA level 2 earn?

The salary structure can be more than 10 lakhs per annum.

Hopefully, you are now familiar with the CFA Level 2 exam. If you are preparing for competitive exams but are not sure about how to get started with it then the experts at Leverage Edu will guide you in devising the strategy that can help you ace the exam with flying colors. You can also book a free 30 minutes career counseling session with our mentors. Hurry up, book your slot now!

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