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CFA® Level II Questions & Exam Format

CFA Level II Exam Structure and Duration

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

Duration: The Level II computer-based 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.

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.

  • The average successful candidate reported spending 328 hours studying for the CFA Level II exam offered in June 2019.
  • Since studying for the CFA Level II exam is self-paced, candidates will spend varying amounts of time preparing for the exam depending on how long they have until their exam date. For example, if a candidate spent a year preparing for the CFA Level II exam, the candidate would have needed to study about 27 hours per month.

CFA Level II Exam Question Format

CFA Exam Item Set Format

Each item set on the CFA exam consists of a vignette followed by either 4 or 6 multiple-choice questions. There will be 44 multiple-choice questions in each of the two sessions, for a total of 88 for the entire exam, each worth 3 points.

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 back 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:

Example CFA Level II Exam Questions

See some examples of the CFA Level II exam questions. Note that some of these example questions are based on outdated curriculum. 

When Are CFA Level II Exam Results Released?

CFA Level II exam results are available within 60 days following your exam.

CFA Level II Exam Tips

Exam questions referring to Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA) are based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) unless otherwise specified. When a question is based on US GAAP, it will be stated in the question.

Take a CFA Level II mock exam to practice answering exam questions. This experience is designed to mimic the actual exam-day.

Learn how hardware/software at the test centers may impact your exam-day experience.

Be sure to review the CFA exam calendar for key dates and to meet pre-exam deadlines.