CFA Level II: How To Bring Your A-Game A Second Time

17 Jun 2020

Congrats, you’ve got the first one in the bag. We can’t promise you that it’ll be much easier hereon, but now that you’ve got a glimpse of the rigour involved, we’re confident that you’ll be able to take this in your stride. Deep-diving into fixed income and portfolio management, we help you break down how to tackle these 21 item set questions in three hours, and how to best prepare yourself to ace this, a second round.    

Curriculum Weightage:

The curriculum weightage is the key for anyone preparing for the CFA exams! In addition to  the topics on “Ethical & Professional Standard” and “Financial Reporting & Analysis”, topics “Equity” , “Fixed Income” and “Portfolio management and Wealth Management” are set to weigh the most in the coming CFA Level II paper, students are advised to spend more study time on the concepts and tools on the above topics.


Costs Incurred:

We are certain you would be able to find countless of articles about how much it costs financially to take the CFA Level II paper but here we summarised a whole list of costs (financially, effort, time, etc) that you would have to pay for as you attempt your paper:

Exam Duration & Question Format

You can expect a total of 21 item set questions – 10 item set in the morning session and another 11 item set in the afternoon session. Each item set consists of :

  1. 1 Case Study
  2. 4 – 6 multiple choice questions 

Assuming there are 500 words per A4 page, each case study is typically around 2 pages (or longer!); with an average reading rate of a person is 300 words per minute and each session is 3 hours long; and each session consists of 60 multiple choice questions with 10 to 15 case studies – This gives you an average of 33.3 minute to 50 minute (or more!) to read the case studies per session and approximately 2.1 minute to answer each question. 


See sample of the format below:

Questions 1 to 6 relate to Ethical and Professional Standards. 

XXX Case Scenario

1.5 to 2 pages later…

In which of the following actions does XXX most likely comply with the requirements and recommendations of the CFA Institute Standards of Professional Conduct? When XXX:



  • References the CFA program and designation.
  • Provides performance information on the advisor’s website.References the enhanced portfolio management skills of his teams

Which of the company’s policies regarding public appearances is least likely consistent with both the requirements and recommendations of the CFA Institute Research Objectivity Standards?

  • Statement 1
  • Statement 2
  • Statement 3

So on and forth for Question 3 to 6. Or have a look at CFA’s official sample questions here.

Release of Results 

The most anxious part of this examination only occurs 60 days after completing the exams : Release of the Exam Results. The minimum passing score for the CFA Level II paper is never disclosed, says CFA institute (we are assuming it is based on the intake’s bell curve!) but we encourage candidates to aim minimally 70% of the points by topic to try to be amongst the right hand side of the bell-curve!


Read more on the above quote here. If you need any help in understanding how to read your topic area performance summary then read the official release by CFA Institute here.


Last but not least, Funds Partnership Asia wishes all candidates taking their CFA Level II paper good luck! That said, always remember: Exams are always going to happen. You are either going to pass or fail but that one sheet won’t decide your future!