Some say that, of the three CFA exams, Level II is the hardest to pass. In any case, Level II should be taken very seriously. Whereas Level 1 focuses on basic financial concepts and formulas, Level II emphasizes the application of investment tools and concepts, with a particular focus on valuation, for all types of assets.
Candidates may be lucky enough to pass the Level 1 exam by relying on certain test skills; however, such a method does not work for the Level II exam. This is because Level II links all the learning contents of the first and second levels, requiring the candidates to apply all the cumulative knowledge.
The John Molson MBA in Investment Management
The John Molson MBA in Investment is the only MBA in Canada specializing in investment management. Offered in Montreal and Toronto (I am studying at John Molson’s campus in downtown Montreal), the program offers students the opportunity to earn both the MBA and CFA designations simultaneously. By integrating the Program Candidate Body of Knowledge into this three-year, full-time MBA curriculum, we prepare to pass one CFA Level at the end of each year. This is a very convenient and efficient way to gain a solid foundation in investment management and boost your career prospects after graduating.
Make a breakthrough
So Level II is an extension of Level 1 Since most John Molson MBA in Investment Management students are busy with both work and their classes, there is limited time to prepare for the CFA exams. These students should focus on the most important elements and the ones they understand the least in order to make learning breakthroughs.
Furthermore, many exam components such as Ethics, Financial Statement Analysis, Fixed Income and Derivatives are difficult to master for students who have not covered them at the undergraduate level. I recommend that students take a lot of time to read the official CFA textbooks and practice the supporting exercises immediately after finishing each module in order to consolidate the relevant knowledge in a timely manner.
Key parts of the Level II exam
CFA Level II involves a lot of details on Financial Statement Analysis. Additionally, exam questions in the Equity section tend to change the most from year to year, with the examination content being more application-oriented. For example, in recent years, the exam content has shifted emphasis from the traditional Dividend Discount Model (DDM) and the Free Cash Flow Discount Model (FCF Discount Model) to the application of RI (Residual Income Model) and EVA (Economic Value Added Model). This shift in emphasis greatly increasing the difficulty of the exam.
The trick about memory
Students who take CFA exams should not rely on memorizing alone. Studying in this way will definitely make the experience very painful! There are too many knowledge points in the exam and the content is too broad. You won't be able to finish the exam. The golden rule of memorizing is based on understanding the material first. You must first understand the material and then try to memorize it.
If you want to know one of my study habits; every time I finish a chapter (e.g. Chapter 3), I review the things I studied in the previous chapter (e.g. Chapter 2) to ensure that I deepen my understanding and memory of the content. This ‘two-chapter review’ strategy will further commit the content to memory and the material reviewed in earlier chapters will remain fresh in the mind. I have used this study habit throughout my student life, allowing me to review and pass exams efficiently.
Yizhou has passed all 3 CFA exams. In addition to currently being a John Molson MBA in Investment Management candidate, he has two bachelor degrees; a BBA from Kedge Business School in France and a Bachelor of Economics from the Renmin University of China.
For more information on the John Molson MBA in Investment Management, visit our website. Then, feel free to connect with a recruiter to arrange a one-to-one meeting or participate in one of our many online information sessions.