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Level II

The 2014 Level II CFA® exam emphasizes asset valuation while testing your ability to apply concepts at Level I relating to investment analysis, valuation, and ethical and professional conduct. The focus here is on analysis and application.

The Level II exam consists of 120 questions formatted as item sets, which are essentially cases or vignettes (between one and two pages long) followed by six multiple-choice questions relating to the vignette. Each session consists of ten item sets for a total of 60 multiple-choice questions. The broad topic areas covered in the afternoon session will generally be the same ones covered in the morning, with one or two item set exceptions. At Level II, you will have approximately three minutes on average to answer each multiple-choice question, including reading the vignette.  As with Level I, you will be required to have a firm grasp of how to apply the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct in organizations, and you should also know how to apply the concepts you learned at Level 1.

The minimum score required to pass the Level II CFA Exam is set every year by the CFA Institute Board of Governors. The standards used by the Board to determine this minimum passing score are not fully disclosed. However, the percentage of candidates who pass or fail in a given year is not the primary factor in making this determination. Rather, the difficulty of the exam questions and the importance of subjects to the work of investment professionals are believed to be most critical in setting the minimum passing score for any given exam.

Keep in mind no candidate scoring above 70 percent on a CFA Exam has ever failed. Therefore, answering 84 out of 120 correctly is typically enough to pass. Stated another way, you can afford to miss as many as 36 questions and still be well within the historical minimum passing score!

Download a sample item set provided by CFA Institute