CFA Program Level II and III Exam Format Changes


Historically, at Level II, the exam had 20 item sets with 6 multiple-choice questions attached to each item set. The Level III afternoon exam had 10 item sets with 6 multiple-choice questions (the Level III AM portion is essay with varying numbers of questions).

 

Item sets will no longer be uniformly set at 6 multiple-choice questions per item set, and we are introducing some 4-question item sets at both levels. The point values of the multiple-choice questions will not change, but there will be more item sets on each exam. We are introducing a few 4-question item sets at both levels. Here is a comparison of the item set format for last year versus this year:


Level II

  • 2018: 20 item sets with 6 multiple-choice questions
  • 2019: 18 item sets with 6 multiple-choice questions + 3 item sets with 4 multiple-choice questions

Level III

  • 2018: 10 item sets with 6 multiple-choice questions
  • 2019: 8 item sets with 6 multiple-choice questions + 3 item sets with 4 multiple-choice questions
 

Item sets will have either 4 or 6 multiple-choice questions attached to them. Point values for each multiple-choice question in an item set remain unchanged at 3 points, and the exam length remains unchanged.

 

In designing the questions, the cognitive load has been proportionally reduced for the item sets with 4 multiple-choice questions, compared to those with 6 multiple-choice questions. The vignette preceding a 4-question item set will be shorter and the fact patterns can be absorbed in the allotted time. Over the years, the essay portion of the exam has had varying numbers of questions; item set will now also vary.

 

No. Although, this change results in one additional item set on the exam, the basic item set structure remains unchanged, and the total number of multiple-choice questions will be the same as last year. The existing mock exams and study materials are still appropriate to prepare for the exam experience.