What CFA Level II Entails

The Ultimate Choice

The CFA certification is a prestigious accreditation in the finance and investment sectors. This certification opens various career doors, including portfolio management, research analysis, consultancy, financial analysis, and relationship management. Yet, it involves significant input before you can attain the top cader of accreditation.

CFA level II is an intermediate certification in the CFA program, coming immediately after the CFA level I. Understanding what this CFA level brings to the table could help you make better decisions and even prepare for your exams. Here are a few insights to keep in mind.

What CFA Level II Entails

CFA level II is an intermediate-level exam that offers more in-depth and detailed insights into finance and investment topics. In addition, this exam tests a candidate on the various applications of investment valuation concepts. You’ll find this exam in the form of multiple-choice questions, each grouped into item sets.

You can only sit for CFA level II exams if you have passed CFA I. Passing CFA level I requires you to get more than 51% in most of the subjects tested. However, if you cannot attain this pass-mark in some subjects, you’ll need to counterbalance it with at least 70% in at least three other topics.

You’ll need about 300 hours to study and prepare for the CFA II exam. Yet, some students take up to over 328 hours to get ready for the same exam.


Its curriculum entails ten topics put into four major categories: ethical and professional standards, investment tools, asset classes, and portfolio management and wealth planning. Here are a few insights into the ten topics you’ll study under CFA level II.

i. Ethics and Professional Standards

This unit covers professional standards, global investment performance standards, and the code of ethics.

ii. Quantitative Methods

This topic examines your data analysis and regression skills. You’ll have to calculate various key metrics per the information provided.

iii. Economics

This unit tests you on the various basic economic concepts. It would be best to have comprehensive knowledge on foreign exchange under this subject.

iv. Financial Analysis and Reporting

This subject takes a significant part of your CFA II exam. It focuses on various accounting concepts, including leases, long-lived assets, inventories, and variable interest entities.

v. Corporate Finance

The topics under this subject are relatively similar to financial reporting and analysis. Some of its vital elements include capital structure, budgeting, policy issues, and corporate governance.

vi. Portfolio Management

Portfolio management forms yet another huge chunk of the exam. It tests market efficiency, portfolio theory, and asset pricing.

vii. Derivatives

This section tests your knowledge of currency forwards, forward rate agreements, and interest rate futures.

viii. Fixed Income

This section focuses on credit analysis, mortgage-backed securities, bonds, and term structure.

ix. Equity Investments

This topic is all about valuation methods and equity analysis. Remember, you’ll need to master various heavy formulas.

x. Alternative Investments

This topic covers private equity, hedge funds, and real estate. It is a relatively easy section, meaning you can rely on it to boost your scores.

In conclusion, adequate preparation is inevitable when undertaking CFA II exams. Ensure that you do your best right from the onset.

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