CAIA Level 2 September 2017

I also passed today. Relieved! For those of you who didn’t pass…keep going and get it done in March. Best of luck to you all!

CAIA, Level 1 CFA Candidate

Save 20% on a Schweser CAIA Premium Package when you order by December 14, 2017.

Congrats to all who passed. For those who did not, don’t give up. 

Have you guys received your breakdowns?? Please post if possible

CAIA Charterholder

Wow 58 that is very impressive well done. I am 31, and over the course of my studying was questioning whether or not my brain was going soft.

Congrats again.

And to those who failed I know it sounds cliche but you can turn this around. I did horrible in March, and did very well this time round. Questions, Questions Questions and more Questions.

58 years is very impressive as said SuperLamps008… I dont know what i will do at that age but it’s difficult to think about doing this kind of exam. I am 27 and I passed both levels in march and september but now my brain works fine… I dont know if my brain will work on the same manner with 58 -.-

Congrats to everyone and to those who failed…keep trying and practice a lot of questions.

Here is my breakdown.  This is a pass.

Asset Allocation/Institutional Investors: Comparable

Commodities: Lower

Hedge Funds/Managed Futures: Higher

Other Constructed Response: Stronger

Private Equity: Comparable

Ethics: Higher

Real Assets: Lower

Structured Products: Comparable

CAIA Charterholder
Pay close attention to the people who don't clap when you win.

Congrats - MrNoFear.  Good luck with CFA level III.

Failed. I knew it would be close but I’m a little surprised I didn’t pass. I scored 76 on the practice exam and did about 1,000 practice questions. If I’m being honest with myself, I didn’t know calculations that well and definitely didn’t memorize most of them. And I bombed one of the essays. Still, I put  in more than 200 hours. Does anyone know if the CAIA workbook is a valuable study tool? I didn’t use it and wondering if it’s a difference maker. Either that or maybe I just needed to study for two more weeks. 

I’d say the workbook is handy, but would not be the difference maker for you. You mention a score of 76 on the practice test. Did you only take 1 throughout your studies? I’d suggest at the very least 3-4 practice exams.

For example. I used both Kaplan and Uppermark. Kaplan for the readings and QBank, Uppermark for the QBank. I also used CAIA’s free sample exam issued to candidates. I took 3 exams with Kaplan, 1 with Uppermark, and the free CAIA exam. ALL were varying in scores. I found I scored lower, much much lower, with Uppermark than with Kaplan and the CAIA exam. Nonetheless, the scores showed me one major thing that I find to be the most important during my studies. My weakness areas. I focused on the weak areas as I went along taking practice exams and practice questions. I think with that, it helped secure a base foundation on how questions would be asked, and what they were looking for. I didn’t specifically try and remember every formula, just focused on the ones that I would consistently give wrong answers to.

The essays are indeed tough and do require you to have and understanding of each. It can certainly weed those out that haven’t prepared well. I treated these like I treated ethics. I read them both at the beginning and end of my studies. I followed up with Kaplans QBank questions the last week before exam day.

Don’t be discouraged. If you put in 200 hours this time, then you shouldn’t be to far away from passing the next go around. Focus on your weak areas, and crush it next time!

Berchtesgaden wrote:

Congrats - MrNoFear.  Good luck with CFA level III.

Thanks Berch.

For everyone who did not pass, sorry to hear the news.  I agree with everything that has been said so far.  Please don’t give up; if I can make it through, anyone can.  Additionally, I used Schweser exclusively.  I re-read all of the integrated topics and ethics about a week before the exam knowing that material needed to be fresh in my head.  I took 3 mock exams (through Schweser), the official CAIA mock exam, and did all the End of Chapter questions through Schweser.  On my final day or two of prep, I spend some time going through the “Key Terms” given by CAIA as well.  I found that to be helpful in my prep.  I probably did close to the recommended 200 hours of prep outside of all the time I had put in for the CFA exams.

Good luck. Stay persistent.

CAIA Charterholder
Pay close attention to the people who don't clap when you win.

Thanks for the suggestions. Ethics and Integrated Topics generally were among my strengths. One specific calculation hurt me pretty bad. And I’ll make sure I know it next time around. Two areas I scored well on in practice questions (Real Assets and Private Equity) somehow came out weaker than expected. I think I’m going to try the UpperMark questions this time around in addition to Schweser. And instead of doing half of the online classes, I’ll make time for all of them. I’m also going to start studying two weeks earlier to leave time for more practice tests. I took two practice exams this time. I got a 58 three weeks before the test and then a 76 a few days before the test. For the March exam, I’m going to take 5 practice exams. For me the biggest letdown is putting my wife and kids through my studying regimen again. I’m going to pass in March. That much I know. 

For me my big let down was ethics, I got weaker although i thought that i did very well, i am very surprised and did not know how this happened. What do you guys recommend for me to do for the essay parts, i only answered on very short sentences, I am not sure if I should write alot of paragraphs or not

i am very disappointed, hope i pass in March

congrats for people who pass 

Aziz44 wrote:

For me my big let down was ethics, I got weaker although i thought that i did very well, i am very surprised and did not know how this happened. What do you guys recommend for me to do for the essay parts, i only answered on very short sentences, I am not sure if I should write alot of paragraphs or not

i am very disappointed, hope i pass in March

congrats for people who pass 

For Ethics, I would read the CFA standards at the beginning of my prep and do a handful practice problems every week through your prep.  The key here is familiarity and developing an instinct on how the CFA standards would apply to various scenarios.  I would re-read the ethics portion again the week before the exam as well so everything is nice and fresh for the exam.  The more scenarios you can see and practice, the better.

CAIA Charterholder
Pay close attention to the people who don't clap when you win.

I did only read the ethics for both level 1 and 2 from the kaplan Schweser notes, and yet got lower in level 1 and weaker in level 2. This time I will read the CFA standards itself and hope it helps.

Thank you for the insight and good luck to u in your CFA test.

One thing I learned From level 1, is to be smart in what to study, Some subjects are too complicated to understand so it is better to skip it. because even if u get a question in the exam, you should not answer it,  it will take too much time. 

During my study for level 2, I study less than better level 1 and yet, I got a better score in almost every subjects. 

For those who passed level 2, what  should be done after payment for membership? are they going to send us a certificate?  

Passed! Stress reliever :) Congrats to those who passed, and for those who unfortunately didn’t, hope you don’t give up and give it another shot next March! I studied with Uppermark, and went through the bible textbook in great detail.  I feel QBank was a big help.  

Had about an hour left on MCQ section after finishing all questions, so luckily I had time to review each question. Was surprised I scored only Higher on Structured Products as I don’t recall seeing any difficult questions from that chapter on the exam. Ethics was the hardest for me lol.  Here’s my breakdown -

Asset Allocation/Institutional Investors: Stronger

Commodities: Stronger

Hedge Funds/Managed Futures: Stronger

Other Constructed Response: Stronger

Private Equity: Higher

Ethics: Higher

Real Assets: Stronger

Structured Products: Higher

Hi everyone, i really hope you can give me some advice concerning my retake preparation!

I am a CAIA Level 2 candidate and failed the september exam. Level 1 was not a big deal and so i started the same preparation for Level2. It took me 4 months of prep. I started with the uppermark books followed by an intensive use of the QuestionBank (i did ALL questions..in the end a had a level of 80-85% through all topics), flash cards etc. After all i honestly have to say - i really put a lot of effort in Level 2 and i felt good. I scored between 68 and 75% in the final mock exams. My results:

Asset Allocation….weaker


Structured Products …weaker

Real Assets….lower

HF ..higher

Commodities ..higher

Ethics & constructed response both….comparable

Being a bit sad about the results is one thing, i guess i am over it and i want to focus on the retake. The thing is: what do i have to change? i really don´t know it. Sure “focus on your weakness” might be a reasonable advice but i would´t consider Asset Allocation, Real Assets or PE as a weak topic..i did well in the QBank. So what do i have to do now? put in 200 hours or more again? Read through all the books again? make all the 1200 QBank Questions again? I am thankful for every kind of advice that may help me to set up a really effective study plan. Cheers

my personal experience
my study method was to go through uppermark powerpoint notes (the video lectures were not very useful becoz basically, they were just reading the notes lol), go through the notes for a few times, make sure you understand the concepts (you don’t need to read the textbooks at all, at least I didn’t) and then kill the qbank and constructed responses for a few times (finish all the questions! and of coz, understand the answers).  For level 1, i killed qbank for 2 times and ended up straight stronger, for level 2, i could only made 2 kills on qbanks and 3 kills on constructed response set, so i end up with 2 higher and 1 comparable. 

come on, i dont think pe, structured products, hf are that hard, go read the ppt notes, digest them well, and kill the qbanks, u will sure pass! good luck, bud :)

Rosso - I’m sorry to hear this. 200 hours over the course of 120 days can be stretched in many ways so I’m curious as to how you planned yours. How many hours a day would you study during the week or on the weekends? How much time did you have when you started with the intensive use of the Qbank? Anything less than two weeks would be hardly enough. If you think the study regiment is not the issue, I would consider using a different provider if that’s the case. I used Uppermark only for the Qbank and still didn’t find it as relevant to the subjects as I did with Schweser.

Also, focusing on the weak topics doesn’t mean that since you averaged 85% correct on PE that you should ommit focusing on that area. In means to drill down into the areas that you consistantly got wrong, in all areas, and understand why you got them wrong. Also, its important to review the questions you responsed correctly to as well, so to understand the same.

I hope that you give this another whirl. My suggestion: try Schweser, review questions always.

NNZZ…you crushed it! Congrats! My Passing breakdown is below:

Asset Allocation and Institutional Investors: Higher

Commodities: Stronger

Hedge Funds: Comparable

Other Constructed Responses: Comparable

PE: Comparable
Ethics: Comparable

Real Assets: Stronger

Structured Products: Weaker

CAIA, Level 1 CFA Candidate

My recommendation to Rosso is to nail down the calculation part, which is a sure way to earn many points (typically, 25 points or so). I created some handwritten test sheets to memorize all formulas except for Black-Scholes and Altman’s z score.

On the front page of a sheet, for instance, I put: σ = volatility / μ = average return / What is the VaR?

On the back of the page, I put: Answer: μ – 1.645 x σ

My breakdown is:

Asset Allocation and Institutional Investors: Comparable

Commodities: Stronger

Hedge Funds and Managed Futures: Comparable

Other Constructed-Response Questions: Stronger

Private Equity: Comparable

Ethics: Comparable

Real Assets: Higher

Structured Products: Stronger

Thanks for your advice everyone. My retake exam is in march 2018 - 12 weeks to go. Would you go through the uppermark books again or directly start with online questions and mock exams?  i still can´t find motivation to go through this whole stuff again but i hope i ll get back on track real soon :-)