Level II Builds on the Fundamentals You Mastered in Level I.

Level I was a test of your knowledge of the ethical and professional standards of sound financial analysis. In the Level II CFA® Program exam, you’ll be tested on your ability to use that knowledge in realistic situations that analysts face.

Previous Knowledge

The knowledge you need prior to preparing for Level II is the knowledge you were tested on during your Level I exam. Your exam prep process for Level II will arm you with the skills to apply that knowledge to some of the work financial analysts are expected to perform.

How Long it Takes to Study

The general recommendation is that you spend roughly 300 hours preparing for each level of the CFA Program exam. According to a 2019 survey, Level II candidates spent an average of 328 hours preparing for the exam.

How to Study

We suggest that candidates employ The Kaplan Way, a three-phase learning strategy: Prepare • Practice • Perform®. This methodology is the foundation upon which Schweser’s CFA Program exam prep products are built.

  • In-Person: Attend live classes in select cities, led by CFA charterholders.
  • Online: All the quality of a live class, with convenient online delivery.
  • Self-Study: Comprehensive, flexible, no-frills exam prep package.

Tips and Tools

Looking for additional tips to help you prepare for the Level II CFA Program exam?

Look no further.
  • Start your exam prep early. Develop a routine and stick to it.
  • The tools in your review package work best when used together as designed.
  • Check out these free resources specifically designed for Level II candidates.

Ready to Prepare for the Level II CFA® Exam?

CFA Level II Exam Details

Registration and Level II CFA® Exam Dates

May 2021

Level II May Computer Based Exam Dates:

  • May 25, 2021 - May 29, 2021

Registration opens:

  • August 20, 2020

Early registration deadline:

  • November 3, 2020

Registration closes:

  • February 23, 2021

Register for the CFA Exam »

Registration and Level II CFA® Exam Dates

August 2021

Level II August Computer Based Exam Dates:

  • August 31, 2021 - September 4, 2021

Registration opens:

  • August 20, 2020

Early registration deadline:

  • February 2, 2021

Registration closes:

  • May 4, 2021

Register for the CFA Exam »

Level II CFA Exam Body of Knowledge

The Learning Outcome Statements and core concepts in the CFA® Program are built on the Candidate Body of Knowledge™ (CBOK), a practice-based curriculum that is determined by thousands of CFA charterholders from around the world.

Level II
Candidates are expected to demonstrate a greater depth of understanding of the tools and techniques that were introduced in the Level I curriculum, in addition to applications in asset valuation within the context of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct

Master these concepts with a comprehensive Level II study package »

Level II CFA Exam Format

Level II

Beginning in 2021, there will be two Level II exam windows in each year; the first in May and the second in August. Additionally, all CFA® exams in 2021 and beyond will be offered in a computer-based format. The December 2020 CFA exam is the last to be offered in print format.

  • Format: item set or “mini cases” - Each item set contains a vignette (with an average length of 1.5 pages)
  • Questions:
    • 21 item sets or “mini cases”
    • Morning Session: 10 item sets; Afternoon Session: 11 item sets
    • 18 item sets will have 6 multiple-choice questions and 3 item sets will have 4 multiple-choice questions
    • Exam is graded for 360 points, corresponding to the number of minutes on the exam

Our Level II study packages are built to replicate the exam, leaving no surprises on exam day. Begin your preparation today »

Level II CFA Exam Topic Weights

Level II

  • Ethical and Professional Standards: 10-15%
  • Quantitative Methods: 5-10%
  • Economics: 5-10%
  • Financial Reporting Analysis: 10-15%
  • Corporate FInance: 5-10%
  • Equity Investments: 10-15%
  • Fixed Income: 10-15%
  • Derivatives: 5-10%
  • Alternative Investments: 5-10%
  • Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning: 10-15%

These topic weights were used to develop a Level II study plan you can follow to ensure complete coverage of the material. The study plan is included in all of our packages.

Level II CFA Exam results available:

December 2020 Exam:

  • January 2020

May 2021 Exam:

  • To be determined

August 2021 Exam:

  • To be determined

Level II CFA Exam Requirements

Candidate Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to enter the CFA® Program, you must:

  • Have a U.S. bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree
    • or be in the final year of your bachelor’s degree program at the time of registration
    • or have four years of qualified, professional work experience (does not have to be investment related)
    • or a combination of work and college experience that totals at least four years. Part-time positions do not qualify, and the four-year total must be accrued prior to enrollment
  • Meet the professional conduct admission criteria (during the application process, you will be asked to sign statements of Professional Conduct and Candidate Responsibility)
  • Be prepared to take the exams in English
  • Have a valid international travel passport (required for enrollment and exam registration)

Enrollment and Exam Fees

To enter into the CFA Program, candidates must pay a one-time registration fee in addition to the required enrollment fees for each Level. CFA Institute reference material and a partial mock exam are both included with candidate registration and enrollment.

CFA Program exam fees range from $620 to $1,610, depending on your CFA Program exam level and when you register.

How to Pass the 2021 Level II CFA® Exam