Read on anyway to see the (fake) article in its full glory. ;)
Before we delve into what is huge news, I'd like to announce the winners of last week's Community Giveaway:
300 Hours Community today!
Now on to the big news. We've just spoken with CFA Institute's Avril Narr, and she has informed us that the CFA Institute has just announced that they are introducing a second Level II exam per year, to be taken concurrently with the December Level I exams. Read on for full details.
"When we launched the December exam for Level I in 2003, many questioned whether we should have included Levels II and III as well. The answer at the time was clear - the added cost of 2 sets of exams per year did not add up with the volume of candidates we were experiencing at the time.
11 years later, we are really happy to announce that we are indeed seeing sizable volume for Level II, enough to add it to the December schedule. This will take place for the first time in December 2014, and we are working with all partners to ensure a smooth adjustment to this new addition."
We asked Anna a few more questions - her answers are below.
Why Level II? Why now?
Avril Narr: The number of CFA candidates for Level II has more than doubled since 2003. Together with the June Level I and Level III candidates, the exam becomes a very complex operation to run. To this end, we introduced the December Level I exam in 2003 to provide a better experience for our candidates.
However, we are still seeing significantly more June Level I candidates compared to December Level I candidates - June candidates consistently outnumber December candidates 2 to 1. We conducted a thorough analysis of the causes of this, and the leading reason is that many candidates feel that the December exam is 'off the cycle', i.e. they may not have as much time to prepare for the June exam as they would like.
It's also much easier to offer Level II in December now as we can combine with Level I exam logistics, procedures and schedules. As the numbers for Level II now more than justify the added effort, we are therefore very happy to be able to offer a December session for our Level II candidates.
Why not Level III as well?
Avril Narr: Because of the nature of the Level III exam, it is a significantly more complicated exercise to structure and grade 2 sets of Level III exams. Combined with the further lower volume of CFA Level III candidates, we decided not to offer Level III in December at this time.
Of course, we will continue to monitor this and evolve the format as necessary.
Did you survey any candidates before making this decision?
Avril Narr: We are aware of a desire to keep the CFA exams more 'exclusive' - we encountered similar sentiments when we launched Level I December in 2003. Candidates are not the only ones that feel that way! However, we did survey a significant sample of charterholders and current candidates last year. When presented with the full picture, result was overwhelmingly positive: most agreed that having a Level II December session was a change that was beneficial to the CFA Program and its members.
This is fresh off the presses, so we haven't managed to get any further reactions from other parties such as prep providers. You can view the full press release here.
In case you haven't caught on - Happy April Fool's Day! Did you catch the clues we put in the article? Let us know in the comments below!