Is Passing CFA Level 2 Really Worth It?

As a financial expert and a CFA charterholder, I share my insights on the value of passing the CFA level II exam and its impact on one's career. Find out if it is truly worth it.

Is Passing CFA Level 2 Really Worth It?

As a financial expert and a CFA charterholder, I am often asked about the value of passing the CFA level II exam. Many aspiring finance professionals wonder if it is truly a big deal and if it is worth the time, effort, and money. Having gone through the process myself, I can confidently say that passing the CFA level II exam is indeed a significant achievement and can open doors to greater opportunities in your professional life. Before becoming a CFA charterholder, one must pass three exams, with the level II test being the second one. This means that once you pass it, you only have one more exam left to take.

This not only shows your dedication to your career and continuous learning but also sets you apart from other finance professionals. So, is it possible to pass the CFA level II exam? Absolutely. In fact, all you need to do is answer 33 questions correctly in each exam session. This may seem like a daunting task, but it is definitely achievable with proper preparation and dedication. Some may argue that the return on investment for obtaining a CFA charter is higher at the junior or middle levels of one's career. However, it is important to consider if there are alternative options available to achieve your career goals without the CFA qualification.

While being a second-level candidate alone may not significantly change your career prospects, passing the exam can give you an edge and provide access to unique opportunities through local societies affiliated with CFA. Now, let's talk about the actual exam. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to know the answer to all 66 questions in order to pass. In fact, based on my personal experience, there is an optimal time in your life and professional career to take on the challenge of the CFA exams. For me, it was after 1 to 2 years of initial work experience in finance, rather than during or just after college. The CFA charter is highly valued in the asset management, stock research, investment strategy, and buying sectors.

This is because it demonstrates a strong understanding of financial concepts and principles, as well as a commitment to ethical standards. However, passing the exam is not just about having the knowledge and skills. It also requires proper time management and test-taking strategies. One of the most frustrating parts of the level II exam is when you feel confident about a certain topic, only to have that information disappear from your brain during the actual exam. This is why it is crucial to dedicate enough time for review and practice questions.

In my experience, dedicating between 300 and 350 hours of study per level is necessary to pass the CFA exams, depending on your stage of life. Another important factor to consider is the prevailing mentality among CFA candidates. Many believe that if you can pass level II, you will eventually pass level III. While this may be true for some, it is not a guarantee. Each level of the CFA exam requires a different set of skills and knowledge, so it is important to not underestimate any level. In conclusion, passing the CFA level II exam is definitely a big deal and can have a positive impact on your career.

However, it is important to carefully evaluate if it aligns with your career goals and if you are willing to put in the time and effort required. With proper preparation and dedication, I believe that anyone can pass this exam and become a CFA charterholder.