We’re using cookies, but you can turn them off in Privacy Settings. Otherwise, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.


CFA Level II Questions & Exam Format

CFA Level II Exam Structure and Duration

Structure: The CFA Level II exam consists of 22 item sets comprised of vignettes with 88 accompanying multiple-choice questions.

Duration: The Level II exam will be 4 hours and 24 minutes, split into two equal sessions of 2 hours and 12 minutes, with an optional break in-between.

During the normal course of the exam, candidates may find they need assistance from proctors. Proctors will come to workstations as quickly as possible to assist. If able, we encourage candidates to continue working on their exam until a proctor has assisted. Our exam writers have designed the exam to account for minor disruptions or pauses in order for candidates to still have adequate time to respond to all questions.

How Many Hours Does It Take to Study for the CFA Level II Exam?

The CFA® Program enables candidates to customize their preparation to match their individual needs and circumstances. Following are some numbers to consider in planning a study strategy for the CFA Level II exam.

  • Successful candidates report studying on average over 300 hours for each level of the CFA Exam.
  • About half of successful candidates passing the LIII exam passed each exam on the first attempt (i.e. sat a total of three exams) while about a quarter sat a total of four exams.

CFA Level II Exam Question Format

CFA Exam Item Set Format

The Level II exam is standardized with 11 item sets for each session, for a total of 22 on the exam. Twenty are scored, and two are questions we are trialing that will not be scored.

Multiple-choice questions in each item set must be answered based on the information in the vignette. Hence, the items are not free-standing, as in the CFA Level I exam. You will need to refer to the vignette before answering each item. 

The CFA® Program curriculum topic areas for Level II will  be randomly placed on the exam. All topics may be covered in either the first and second sessions, or possibly both sessions. Each item set vignette will begin with a statement of the topic and total point value. For example:

CFA Level II Exam Tips

Example CFA Level II Exam Questions