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L2 Study Strategy

JimJim St Petersburg FLPosts: 15 Sr Associate
Hi all,

Just looking to compare notes about how people are tackling this beast at Level 2. From looking around here, it seems are are many strategies, but I find myself gravitating toward one specifically and I am unsure it what worked at L1 will be sufficient to pass L2. In L1 (and so far in L2), I am mirroring Schweser's model (leave Ethics till last, do everything else in the same order as the CFAI books). But I find it really hard to move on to the next topic/study session until I master the one I am on. And as of right now, I am just finishing corporate finance with only 86 days to go. I am scoring consistently in the 80-90% range in quant and 70% in econ/fra/corp finance, but I am worried I am running out of time. Like many others, I didn't really start until I learned I passed L1, which was practically Feb.

I've seen some suggestions that one ought to go through the materials once first, THEN go back and do the "deep dive." I realize there is more than one way people learn, but I am curious to learn what other strategies at this particular level worked for others. I am tempted to aim for 65-70 range in practice quizzes then move on, then revisit the weak areas to try to squeeze some more points out. Alternatively, I could just stick with what I am doing now.



  • That worked for me too - the once-over and deep dive. Time should be the governing factor to move from chapter to chapter.
  • Hi @Jim‌ - you're certainly right, L2 is a beast compared to L1.

    I'd recommend finishing studying the material 1 month before the exams as your primary focus, leaving the last month for practice exams. I'm not sure if there's time to go through the material lightly once, and go back for a deep dive. Make the first time your deep-ish dive (if there's such a thing), and move on to do whatever it takes to finish reading all materials 1 month before. I personally didn't take the practice quizzes or end of chapter questions too seriously (in terms of score), except that it's an indicator for which topic I'm weaker in as a note to myself for the last month where I tackle practice exams. I will then, as expected, get more questions in those topics wrong and revisit them in the books to make sure I don't repeat them again.
  • I'm kinda following the above, going as deep as possible in my first pass-through of each chapter and not looking back much for now, and my sole goal is to be done by beginning of May, which means I have to do 3 readings a week and nothing less. Because of a number of reasons I can't cram too many hours in a given week, so I had to start as early as December, betting on my L1 pass. I'm making good progress and feeling pretty good, having covered a little under 2/3 of the material (now tackling Fixed Income, and still have Alternatives, Derivatives, Portfolio Management and Economics left for the next 1.5 months or so). I'm using CFAI and Schweser, making notes directly into the Schweser flash cards which I plan to use for flash reviews, alternating with Q-bank and mock exams, during the last month.
  • fireflyfirefly IndiaPosts: 8 Associate
    @Sophie , so you think it's possible to go through the material without mastering the questions? I am having a tough time trying to cover all the questions for all the chapters from the Q-Bank actually, but I fear that if I only study and move on, I might not remember much when I come back :(. Personally, this time I'm pretty scared..there's so much to do: I've finished (studying only once) portfolio management, fixed income, economics, half of equities, and bits and pieces of these: FRA, Alternative Investment, Corp Finance and Quant. Still, have a LOT to cover :'(
  • Hey @firefly, I think @Sophie‌ meant exactly that. You should aim to cover all materials as priority, doing some practice questions at the end of each chapter (end of chapter questions, and some Q bank if you'd like). But the objective is to FINISH reading the materials at least once. Then you'll face those questions in the last month where you prioritise Practice questions exclusively and you should know when/where you need to brush up.

    I'm a L2 candidate too, indeed there's so many things to cover but hey, at least we have multiple choice questions still :)
  • Definitely agree with the comments above! Aim to complete the entire syllabus as quickly as you can (ignoring EOC Q as that will slow you down), but of course you should only move on if you have completely understand the concept in that reading otherwise you will have the same issue again when you come to the EOC Q.

    When you start working on the EOC Q or practice exams, all you're doing is just refreshing what you have learned and correcting any misconception that you have. That worked pretty well for me thus far, hope it still works for L3.
  • My only comment with regards to @vincentt's remarks is that it can be very helpful to do a few EOC Q after each reading, if at all possible. Doing a problem set or two will not take too long and it will help solidify the concepts a bit.
  • fireflyfirefly IndiaPosts: 8 Associate
    @maroon5, @Vincentt, and @Edulima thanks for the suggestions..I guess I'll try and strike a balance here and try to finish as much as I can by end of April, and will do a few questions (esp for harder concepts), just to make sure I've grasped it. It was really helpful of you guys to pitch in, as I was feeling a bit lost :)..
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