CFA® Level 2 Study Guide

Free Study Plans

Transform your CFA Level 2 preparation into a seamless experience with our complimentary study plans for six months, two months, and one month. Nothing is more satisfying than a study plan that caters to a candidate’s individual preferences at no cost. Select the study plan that best aligns with your needs and requirements.

CFA Candidates planning for their Level 2 exam

CFA Level 2 Study Schedule and Preparation Plan

Our platform is designed to help you pass Level 2 on your first try. Our content is written by subject matter experts at exam-level difficulty, allowing students to practice challenging questions and improve their readiness. By simulating the real test, students build confidence and stamina while familiarizing themselves with exam conditions. For best results, we recommend using our UWorld in conjunction with CFA Institute materials, as follows:

Pictorial representation of a proposed study planner for the CFA exam, for 6,4, and 2-month prep

We've outlined various study scenarios based on when you start studying. But, we do align with the CFA Institute's recommendation of 300 hours per level and starting 6 months prior to the exam. However, if life intervenes and you begin closer to the exam, we provide guidance on where to concentrate your efforts.

6 Months Study Plan

To give yourself enough time to prepare, begin with a 6-month CFA Level 2 study plan. Review the CFA Institute's material and corresponding UWorld content and tools. Some students will ease into their studies after completing the L1 exam but plan accordingly for the suggested minimum of 300 study hours. As we mapped out in detail in this article, 300 hours, stretched over six months (25 weeks), allows you to study about 12 hours per week. You could compress the study plan, but this also allows time for mock exams, revisiting tough topics, and things not going entirely according to plan.

2 Months Study Plan

(Not Optimal)
With two months until exam day, prioritize your schedule using the provided planner to allocate a realistic number of hours. Use the steps listed here to manage the flow of your activities, again based on the time you have available. If running behind in the last month, move to the UWorld QBank as a higher priority to get through all 10 topics. Take as many mocks as you can, but complete 2-3 minimum.

1 Month Study Plan

(Not Recommended)

With 30 until exam day, prioritize your schedule using the provided planner to allocate a realistic number of hours. You will have to make compromises, but don’t make them in Ethics. Use the steps listed here to manage the flow of your activities, again based on the time you have available. If running behind in the last month, move to the Mock exams. Take as many mocks as you can, but complete 1-2 minimum.

Understanding the CFA Level 2 Exam Question Types

The CFA Level 2 exam introduces item sets that, unlike the L1 exam, delve more into the practicality of the course. You will be tested for real-world situations represented by vignettes, tables, financial statements, and data sets, demanding a thorough knowledge of the curriculum.

The Level 2 exam format allows for 12 minutes per item set, which includes answering the four questions and reading the vignette. The item set's case-study format of L2 also means that candidates must be more familiar with every concept that may appear on the exam. Remember, starting early, staying consistent, and practicing regularly are all keys to success. In more detail, these are our CFA Level 2 preparation tips designed to help you stay on track during your studies.

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CFA Level 2 Study and Preparation Tips

Now that you know what to study, we'll focus on how to study it. When it comes to the CFA Level 2 exam, knowing the content is half the battle. The other half is learning how to best prepare for the exam format. Here are our CFA Level 2 study tips:

Because of the natural delay in receiving your L1 results, there are sometimes only a handful of months remaining before taking or preparing for your L2 exam. Your Level 1 CFA exam prep should begin about six-to-nine months before your exam day and be finished at max one month before your exam date, given that you are already well-practiced with mock exams and question banks. Starting your preparation early and staying at it consistently until the last lap is a MUST.
While it’s important to begin early, it’s also essential to avoid burnout. Studying for the CFA Level 2 exam is a marathon, and many choose to take a short breather after the Level 1 exam. When you start back up again, remember to make a plan and pace yourself. One of the best ways to ensure you don’t have burnout is by preparing in intervals and breaking your curriculum down into smaller bits that are easier for you to study and prepare.
A mistake many candidates make is that they think they can skip certain materials and topics. If past exams are evidence, one should be ready to expect anything on the Level 2 exam. Just because certain topics were thin on one exam doesn’t mean they will be on the next. Finishing all the topics in the CFA curriculum keeps you prepared not just for the Level 2 exam but will also build the foundation for the next level.
It’s one thing to understand what a term or formula means, but it’s entirely another to know why it exists and when to use it. Retaining everything before your exam day is very cumbersome for any topic heavy on formulas. Understanding the concept behind the formula helps you understand its implications. Moreover, CFA Level 2 exam actively tests your understanding of the “why” behind the content.
For any exam, practice yields great results. With the CFA exam, practicing a lot of mock exams well before the exam day helps you retain a lot of information and increases your confidence for the actual exam day. Also, the format change from CFA Level 1 to CFA Level 2 cannot be understated. The case-study style of the CFA Level 2 exam is an adjustment that should be practiced multiple times and not only at the last minute.
The amount of practice needed to pass Level 2 demands a third-party CFA prep provider. Even though CFAI provides practice materials and sample questions that one can leverage during the exam prep, it might not be enough to understand the concepts fully. UWorld’s all-digital approach uses data from former charterholders in providing updated question banks, interactive study tools, mock exams, and more.

UWorld's CFA Level 2 Study Tools

Here's How We Help You

When you choose UWorld for your CFA Level 2 study guide and planner, you leverage the knowledge of CFA charterholders with decades of experience in CFA-specific teaching, content creation, and financial training. Some of our professionals even have exam-development experience with the CFA Institute. We can help you understand what to expect from the CFA Level 2 exam and what you need to do to achieve success.

All UWorld products are built on the core concepts of Active Learning, thus making it easy to retain concepts.

We understand that each candidate is unique. Our CFA exam prep tools are designed to work for all learning styles.

Our smart flashcards "hack your brain" by repeating complicated topics at strategically timed intervals using spaced repetition.

Our CFA mocks feature new questions outside our Question Banks, and mirror the format of your exam.

All of our problems reflect the latest CFAI LOS to ensure you review what candidates are expected to know.

Our SimpleSheets contain the basic formulas for all disciplines where formula-based questions are expected.

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