CFA® Level II Exam

The CFA Level 2 exam is comprised of item sets or mini case studies (called vignettes) that cover 88 multiple-choice questions. These are divided into two sections – 44 questions each lasting about 2 hours and 15 minutes each. On average, there are 4 to 6 questions per vignette.

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Setting Expectations

Set aside the time

According to the CFA Institute, the 10-year average pass rate for the CFA Level II exam is 45%. In total, candidates report investing more than 300 hours into their studies for each level of the CFA exam.

  • Important Dates

    Registration Opens: Nov 14, 2023
    Registration Closes: Jan 23, 2024
    Exam Dates: Aug 27 - 31, 2024
    Results are provided 6-8 weeks after exam

  • Exam Format

    88 multiple choice questions
    Evenly divided into 2 sessions
    Approx. 132 minutes per session
    Computer-based testing

  • Enrollment Information

    Requirements for the Level II exam

    Enroll at the CFA Institute website

  • Question Format

    Each question will have up to 3 answer choices to select from

Level II 2023 Curriculum

Topics, Weights, and Content Offerings

Quantitative Methods

5% - 10%

Examine linear regression with independent variables and time-series analysis. Explore machine learning techniques and their application. Discuss big data projects.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 26,900+ Words in manuals
  • 240+ Minutes of video
  • 40+ Assignments questions
  • 140+ Quiz and Exam questions

Economics

5% - 10%

A discussion of currency exchange rates. Explore international parity conditions and the carry trade. Consider direct/indirect exchange rate influencers; theories of economic growth and its relationship to investment returns; and economic regulations.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 14,800+ Words in manuals
  • 170+ Minutes of video
  • 20+ Assignments questions
  • 90+ Quiz and Exam questions

Financial Statement Analysis

10% - 15%

A discussion of financial reporting and analysis for company investments, post-employment benefits, and foreign currency transactions. Learn to evaluate financial institutions and financial reports. Conclude with case studies and financial statement modeling.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 27,200+ Words in manuals
  • 275+ Minutes of video
  • 50+ Assignments questions
  • 220+ Quiz and Exam questions

Corporate Issuers

5% - 10%

Discuss dividend and share repurchases policies. Discuss ESG considerations in investment analysis as well as mergers and acquisitions. Learn to estimate the cost of capital. Conclude with the corporate restructuring process.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 19,800+ Words in manuals
  • 145+ Minutes of video
  • 20+ Assignments questions
  • 50+ Quiz and Exam questions

Equity Valuation

10% - 15%

A discussion of value and equity valuation techniques, covering key return measures. Learn to forecast model inputs and consider discounted cash flow valuation models, focused on the dividend discount model. Conclude with company valuation.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 22,900+ Words in manuals
  • 295+ Minutes of video
  • 45+ Assignments questions
  • 165+ Quiz and Exam questions

Fixed Income

10% - 15%

An introduction to the yield curve and an arbitrage-free framework for valuing bonds. Use the binomial valuation method for bonds with embedded options, consider credit analysis models, and conclude by discussing credit default swaps.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 26,400+ Words in manuals
  • 280+ Minutes of video
  • 40+ Assignments questions
  • 175+ Quiz and Exam questions

Derivatives

5% - 10%

An introduction to valuation concepts and models for forward commitments (forwards, futures, swaps) and contingent claims (options). Discuss option Greeks, which measure sensitivity to a change in valuation inputs. Conclude with option strategies.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 12,700+ Words in manuals
  • 165+ Minutes of video
  • 15+ Assignments questions
  • 55+ Quiz and Exam questions

Alternative Investments

5% - 10%

An examination of methods for analysis and evaluation of private and public real estate investments, as well as private equity valuation, commodities, and commodity derivatives.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 20,300+ Words in manuals
  • 170+ Minutes of video
  • 30+ Assignments questions
  • 75+ Quiz and Exam questions

Portfolio Management

10% - 15%

A discussion of portfolio management, multifactor models, value at risk, and risk measurement and management. Analyze active portfolio management. Consider ties between the economy and financial markets. Conclude with algorithmic and high-frequency trading.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 28,100+ Words in manuals
  • 300+ Minutes of video
  • 55+ Assignments questions
  • 160+ Quiz and Exam questions

Ethical and Professional Standards

10% - 15%

An exploration of ethics in the investment profession. Through case studies, we illustrate practical application of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. Conclude with real-world violations with resulting regulatory actions.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 17,300+ Words in manuals
  • 190+ Minutes of video
  • 5+ Assignments questions
  • 50+ Quiz and Exam questions

Level II 2024 Curriculum

Topics, Weights, and Content Offerings

Quantitative Methods

5% - 10%

Examine linear regression with independent variables and time-series analysis. Explore machine learning techniques and their application. Discuss big data projects.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 26,900+ Words in manuals
  • 240+ Minutes of video
  • 40+ Assignments questions
  • 140+ Quiz and Exam questions

Economics

5% - 10%

A discussion of currency exchange rates. Explore international parity conditions and the carry trade. Consider direct/indirect exchange rate influencers; theories of economic growth and its relationship to investment returns; and economic regulations.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 14,800+ Words in manuals
  • 170+ Minutes of video
  • 20+ Assignments questions
  • 90+ Quiz and Exam questions

Financial Statement Analysis

10% - 15%

A discussion of financial reporting and analysis for company investments, post-employment benefits, and foreign currency transactions. Learn to evaluate financial institutions and financial reports. Conclude with case studies and financial statement modeling.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 29,600+ Words in manuals
  • 280+ Minutes of video
  • 50+ Assignments questions
  • 230+ Quiz and Exam questions

Corporate Issuers

5% - 10%

Discuss dividend and share repurchases policies. Discuss ESG considerations in investment analysis as well as mergers and acquisitions. Learn to estimate the cost of capital. Conclude with the corporate restructuring process.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 19,800+ Words in manuals
  • 145+ Minutes of video
  • 20+ Assignments questions
  • 50+ Quiz and Exam questions

Equity Valuation

10% - 15%

A discussion of value and equity valuation techniques, covering key return measures. Learn to forecast model inputs and consider discounted cash flow valuation models, focused on the dividend discount model. Conclude with private company valuation.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 25,300+ Words in manuals
  • 285+ Minutes of video
  • 45+ Assignments questions
  • 180+ Quiz and Exam questions

Fixed Income

10% - 15%

An introduction to the yield curve and an arbitrage-free framework for valuing bonds. Use the binomial valuation method for bonds with embedded options, consider credit analysis models, and conclude by discussing credit default swaps.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 26,400+ Words in manuals
  • 280+ Minutes of video
  • 40+ Assignments questions
  • 175+ Quiz and Exam questions

Derivatives

5% - 10%

An introduction to valuation concepts and models for forward commitments (forwards, futures, swaps) and contingent claims (options). Discuss option Greeks, which measure sensitivity to a change in valuation inputs. Conclude with option strategies.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 12,700+ Words in manuals
  • 165+ Minutes of video
  • 15+ Assignments questions
  • 55+ Quiz and Exam questions

Alternative Investments

5% - 10%

An examination of commodities and commodity derivatives. Explore the methods for analysis and evaluation of real estate investments, as well as hedge fund strategies.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 23,200+ Words in manuals
  • 180+ Minutes of video
  • 30+ Assignments questions
  • 85+ Quiz and Exam questions

Portfolio Management

10% - 15%

A discussion of portfolio management, multifactor models, value at risk, and risk measurement and management. Analyze active portfolio management. Consider ties between the economy and financial markets. Conclude with algorithmic and high-frequency trading.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 23,000+ Words in manuals
  • 250+ Minutes of video
  • 45+ Assignments questions
  • 135+ Quiz and Exam questions

Ethical and Professional Standards

10% - 15%

An exploration of ethics in the investment profession. Through case studies, we illustrate practical application of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. Conclude with real-world violations with resulting regulatory actions.

We Prepare You With Over

  • 17,300+ Words in manuals
  • 190+ Minutes of video
  • 5+ Assignments questions
  • 50+ Quiz and Exam questions

Learn From CFA Experts

Study Tips From Our Instructors

Mike Carmody
Mike Carmody CFA, FSA, MAAA Lead Instructor

Just Keep Moving

The vignettes will likely have a lot of extraneous information. Don't let that slow you down. Read the question first, so you know what you are looking for in the passage. That can save you time on the exam, and make it more likely you'll answer the questions correctly.

Marc Coward
Marc Coward CFA, MBA, MPhil Lead Content Manager

Answer the Right Question

Be sure to answer the question that has actually been asked. Read the questions carefully all the way through. Don't just read a few words and assume that you know what's being asked because you answered a similar question when you were studying. The correct answer to a question that wasn't asked is an incorrect answer to the question that was asked.

Tong Teh
Tong Teh CFA, FSA President

Invest the Time

Level II is a more computationally intensive CFA exam than Level I. The material is also more complex and requires more in-depth analysis than Level I. Thus, make sure to invest sufficient time learning, practicing, and reviewing the material. Be proficient with your calculator.

Exam Features

CFA Level II

  • The Level 1 exam tested basic knowledge and understanding of concepts and tools pertaining to investment valuation. The CFA Level 2 exam deals with the application of the knowledge learned from Level 1. The Level 2 study material covers in greater depth investment portfolio and management. This material tests your ability to employ these concepts in real-life conditions.

  • Level 2 is similar to Level 1 with respect to the number of sessions on exam day and the time provided, but it differs in the number of questions and how much weight is assigned to each topic. The Level 2 exam includes 11 items per session, making a total of 22. Each item set includes a case statement with 4 to 6 multiple-choice questions following.

  • The answers in the vignette must be used to answer the multiple-choice questions in each item. Unlike in the Level 1 exam, the items in Level 2 are not free-standing. Prior to answering each of the items, you will need to refer to the vignettes.

Get Started on Level II Today

If you’re reading this, you’re ready to earn your CFA charter. And our team of educators is here to support you along the way. Begin your journey with a Salt Solutions account.

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Frequrenty Asked Questions

CFA Level 2 Exam Prep with Salt Solutions

How Do I Pass the CFA Level II Exam?

Passing the CFA Level II exam requires a deep understanding of complex investment concepts, rigorous study, and a lot of practice. Focus on mastering the curriculum, especially areas you find challenging, and make use of CFA Level 2 mock exams to familiarize yourself with the test format.

How Does the Level II Complete Access Work?

The Level II Complete Access provides comprehensive resources for exam preparation, including CFA Level 2 practice exams. It includes study materials, practice questions, mock exams, and access to instructors for guidance. You can study at your own pace, with resources available online 24/7, and take mock exams for CFA Level 2.

What Is the Significance of Item Sets in Level II?

Item sets, or mini cases, are significant in Level II, as they test your ability to apply learned concepts to real-world scenarios. Each item set consists of a vignette followed by multiple-choice questions, requiring you to analyze and interpret the provided information.

Can I Track My Progress in CFA Level II Preparation?

Yes, with Level II Complete Access, you can track your progress through various key performance metrics, including your performance on each CFA Level 2 mock exam. This helps identify areas of strength and continued focus, allowing you to adjust your study plan accordingly, to maximize your time.

Explain CFA Level II Structure with Item Sets and Vignettes.

The CFA Level II exam is divided into morning and afternoon sessions, each consisting of item sets. Each item set includes a vignette and six multiple-choice questions. The vignettes provide information that you will need to answer the questions, testing your ability to apply investment concepts in practical scenarios.

Learn More About Our CFA Level II Prep Resources

For more information about the CFA Level 2 exam prep resources and support we offer, including CFA Level 2 practice exams and more, reach us through our contact form. Or, start by creating your Level 2 Trial account.