Best CFA® Study Materials – Top 8 Courses

Best CFA Study MaterialsChoosing the best CFA® exam study material is the single most important decision you will make on your journey towards becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst.

You will be spending hundreds of hours studying, so it’s crucial to find the CFA prep course that best fits your learning style and background.

So here’s the good news – we have researched and reviewed every major online CFA exam prep course on the market so you don’t have to! The comparison chart below will help you determine which course best fits your needs.

These are the Top 7 Best CFA® Prep Courses & Study Materials for 2020 (September):

  1. AnalystPrep
  2. AdaptPrep CFA
  3. The Princeton Review CFA
  4. Apptuto
  5. Bloomberg CFA Exam Prep
  6. Fitch Learning
  7. Kaplan Schweser

This chart reflects the features from the CFA Level 1 online course offerings from each company.

Analyst Prep CFA® Prep Course


Easy To Use: In order to provide CFA candidates with an efficient and stress-free online experience, AnalystPrep added several quality of life features to their course dashboard. This includes being able to login with one click through your Google or Facebook account, and being able to access their video lectures outside of your dashboard through YouTube playlists.
Tracks Your Progress: AnalystPrep also incorporates some handy features that ensure you stay on track to pass your exams. This includes a stat tracking component that helps you compare progress with other students while working on your practice exams and questions. Additionally, this is synchronized with a calendar to help you stay organized.
Continuous Updates: The top priority for AnalystPrep is improving and updating their educational content. That’s why all their practice questions, simulated exams, and video lectures are continually updated to match developments in the industry and changes to the exam structure and/or content.

Multitasking: Although AnalystPrep offers an intuitive and calming interface, it does come with some limitations. The most notable of these is the inability to multitask— you can’t play videos next to text passages or compare community forum posts to practice tests.

Bottom Line: There are so many reasons to choose AnalystPrep as your CFA review course. Whether you’re trying to relieve pre-exam anxiety or you just want the most up-to-date learning materials possible, this is the best possible choice!


How do you rate AdaptPrep CFA® Review?


AdaptPrep CFA® Review Course

adapt prep cfa study material logo 


Bite-Sized Video Lectures: The instructors short and to-the-point video lectures only average about 10 minutes each! You’ll have access to 40+ hours of instruction per level that have been broken down into more manageable chunks of time so you can learn and retain information more efficiently.
Topic Mastery Feedback: Our Topic Mastery report provides feedback assessing your preparation for your next CFA Level I exam.  Topic Mastery serves as a guide to your preparation.  We encourage candidates to dedicate more time to topics that need more improvement.  With Topic Mastery, you can study more efficiently.
Fast Loading Speed: Adapt Prep has worked hard to make the their course software and videos load faster in terms of response time. They’ve added additional databases and servers to ensure that you won’t be bogged down due to video buffering or lag time.  As we tested out their course we were amazed at how quickly the software performs.
Affordable Price: AdaptPrep CFA is the best bang for your buck prep course on the market. Their Complete course package costs less than half as much as the industry average making them the most affordable comprehensive CFA prep materials you will find anywhere.

Bottom Line: AdaptPrep manages to pull off the impressive feat of providing an intuitive and well-performing online study program with an affordable price. Fast load times and fast-paced video content ensure students stay on schedule.


AdaptPrep CFA® Review Discounts & Promo Codes

The Princeton Review CFA® Study Materials

Best CFA Study Materials - The Princeton Review CFA 


Versatility: Any well-made self-study course is going to need a variety of materials for students to learn from in order to keep them motivated. Fortunately, The Princeton Review provides this versatility to all their CFA Level I candidates. With study note-filled slideshows, several hours of video lectures, and some mock exams, there’s enough for students to work with that they won’t feel bored.

Teachers With Experience: The Princeton Review has always prided themselves for having excellent instructors who really grasp the material they teach. With their CFA Level I exam prep course, this is no exception. The six instructors highlighted on their course page are all professionally certified and experienced CFAs; in fact, many of them actually have several finance-related certifications under their belts!

Fantastic Price: With a name as prestigious as The Princeton Review, you’re probably expecting their services to have price tags in the range of thousands. However, that’s far from the case, especially when it comes to their CFA prep course! Candidates will only need to pay a fraction of the cost that they otherwise would have to in order to enroll in most other courses on this list.

Limited Curriculum: With so much to love about this prep course, there’s one major omission that’s cause for concern. The Princeton Review currently only offers review materials for students looking to pass Level I of their CFA exams. This means that any students looking to take their education and financial expertise to higher levels will need to supplement with additional courses from other companies.

Bottom Line:  If you have the discipline and motivation to complete a self-study course and want to save as much time and money as possible without sacrificing quality, The Princeton Review is an excellent choice. They may not offer all the bells and whistles that other courses do, but they’re still a fantastic option and will only get better as they add updates to their test prep library!


Apptuto CFA® Prep Course

apptuto cfa study material logo


Extensive Question Bank: Apptuto gives you access to 3,000+ questions and detailed explanations. All questions are written by CFA qualification holders. Their unique Similar Question Generator allows you to work on exactly those questions you need to practice the most.
Number of Customizable Practice Tests: Create as many practice tests as you want with questions chosen from specific readings, by question-type or difficulty level and then decide how they should be weighted on your practice exam. Check your performance on tests on the course dashboard while you track your progress in the course and see how you measure up against your peers.
Advanced Course Analytics: The course dashboard provides detailed feedback on your performance. Check your overall proficiency, progress points, leaderboard ranking, your medals or achievements, the number of questions you’ve attempted, and the percentage of questions you’ve answered correctly, all from one central location. Performance Graphs also chart your weekly test scores.
Live-Online Courses: Apptuto now offers Live-Online courses for CFA Level 1 and II exams and plan to release Level 3 in early 2017. Their Premium Course offers 54 hours of live-online CFA classes over an 18 week period and includes 1 on 1 coaching with the instructor as well as a 100% Pass Guarantee.  You also have the option to take the Intense course which includes over 100 hours of live instruction.

Level III: The good news is that AppTuto offers appealing and effective study materials for both Level I and Level II of the CFA exam. The bad news is that students who want to go the distance and pass Level III of the exam won’t be able to study through this company. However, this will most likely change in time as AppTuto rolls out updates to their courses.

Bottom Line: Whether you prefer live instruction or online self-study, AppTuto has you covered. Customizable practice tests and a substantial amount of practice questions make this course a fantastic value.


Bloomberg CFA® Study Materials

Bloomberg CFA study material logo 


Top-Rated Instructors: The instructors with this course are top-rated and extremely knowledgeable. Because of this expertise, everything you’re going to learn is in line with the latest tips and tricks that are available to anyone studying for the CFA. The tutoring services that Bloomberg provides are what puts this course over the top, as it’s something that many other companies do not offer.
Two-Week Trial: While some test prep companies pat themselves on the back for a one-week trial, or even just three days, Bloomberg CFA grants you two-week access to their course. This is an exceptionally long trial period, as you should be able to determine whether or not this content lines up with your learning type within that period.
Adaptive Learning Technology: Bloomberg uses state-of-the-art technology to give you a great learning experience. After an initial assessment period, the course will figure out which of the areas are troubling you, and adjust your study plan accordingly. While other courses may have adjustment mechanisms, Bloomberg’s is among the best in this regard.
Dashboard: Because Bloomberg has resources that aren’t available to many prep companies, its technology is above and beyond that of any of its competition. The dashboard in this CFA review course is unparalleled, as it comes with an aesthetically pleasing home page, great web design throughout, and easy-to-navigate headers and dropdown menus.

No Final Review: There are many excellent study tools available to students who enroll in one of Bloomberg’s CFA exam review courses. However, something that is conspicuously absent from all of them is a final review cram course. Although you can definitely live without it, the lack of any cram materials can leave some Bloomberg students with pre-exam anxiety.

Bottom Line: Bloomberg’s CFA prep course provides an intuitive dashboard and adaptive learning technology.


Fitch Learning CFA® Review Course

Fitch Learning Study Material Logo


Online Learning Portal: With Fitch Learning CFA, you get access to a great learning portal that features more than 120 hours of recorded video lessons, progress tests, and progress tracking that determines strengths and weaknesses. A study planner helps guide you through the course. Practice questions for Levels 1,2,3 are 3,800+, 3,700+, 2,200+, respectively.
Instructor Support: International faculty around the globe and 24/7 access to the help desk guarantees that you will receive prompt answers to your questions, regardless of time zone. Mentors also regularly check in with you to ask how the course is going.
Money-Back Guarantee: Fitch Learning offers a 100% money back guarantee if you do not pass the exam after meeting certain milestones. Only CFA Level I students are eligible for the guarantee, so be sure to check out the full list of requirements on their website.
Mobile App: A mobile app allows you to access key course features on the go. It is available in both the iTunes and Google Play stores. Course content can be searched and downloaded in advance for offline studying. This allows busy professionals to study for the CFA® exam anywhere they go from their smartphone or tablet, whenever they have a few minutes.

Limited Live Classroom Availability: Fitch Learning’s live Classroom Review Courses are an excellent way to learn important CFA exam concepts and test-taking strategies. However, their availability is extremely limited to any students who don’t live near New York or Toronto. 

Bottom Line: Fitch Learning ensures students truly understand the material included in their program with the aid of expert instructors and over 120 hours of video content. And if you’re still not satisfied, they offer a forgiving return policy.


Kaplan Schweser CFA® Review Course

Kaplan Schweser CFA study material logo


Practice Tests: Kaplan Schweser offers 6 full practice exams and 4,000 practice questions that are very similar to those on the exam. Practice exams are great for gauging your progress and this course gives you numerous opportunities to put in a lot of practice before test day.
Updated Content: This course is updated every year as the CFA continues to evolve, which means that course materials will closely match what you see on the exam. You won’t waste your time on material or questions that may not appear on this year’s exams.
Instructor Support: Even with the Kaplan Schweser Self-Study package, you are not left to fend for yourself if you have questions about the material or need additional clarification. You can connect with a CFA instructor during specific office hours and receive guidance on more difficult concepts.
Price: Premium packages cost upwards of $1,799, which is considerably more than other CFA courses on the market. If you are on a tight budget, Kaplan is not going to cut it, even though this course comes with some pretty cool study tools, like the live person support.
No Free Trial:: Kaplan’s CFA review course comes with a hefty price tag, which can intimidate many students with tight budgets. And while their materials are worth the price, there’s no option to try them before making a purchase. The addition of a free trial would make it much easier for prospective students to come to a decision.

Bottom Line: With regular updates and instructor support, students who enroll in Kaplan Schweser’s CFA review course can rest assured that they will receive a comprehensive and up-to-date education.


Top 7 Best CFA® Exam Prep Courses – Full Breakdown!

CFA® Exam Review Courses Course Formats Discounted Price
Wiley CFA Review Online & Virtual Classes $1295
AdaptPrep Online Self-Study $299
Apptuto Live Online, App, Online $999
AnalystPrep Online Self Study $599
Bloomberg CFA App, Online $999
Fitch Learning CFA Live Online, App, Online $995
Kaplan CFA Review Self-Study & Online $1499

Which CFA Prep Course Is The Best?

Currently, the best review course for aspiring Chartered Financial Analysts can be found at AnalystPrep. This is because their team of highly qualified instructors provide a well-made and conveniently accessible curriculum of practice questions, video lectures, and mock exams.

What Is the Best Way To Prepare for CFA Level 1?

The answer to this question will depend on your preferred learning style. If you’re interested in live instruction, Kaplan’s CFA Level 1 study packages will be your best bet. But if you prefer learning independently through rigorous practice, AnalystPrep’s CFA Level One Mock Exams will be your most effective resource.

Can CFA Be Done By Self-Study?

Ultimately, you’re not going to be able to take the Chartered Financial Analyst exam on your own. You’ll need to have the test administered to you at a CFA Institute-approved testing center. However, you can certainly study for the exam on your own with extremely positive results; just check out our list of the best CFA exam prep courses!

Additional Resources to Get You On the Right Track

Still can’t decide which course is right for you? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! I’ve created some invaluable resources for selecting the best CFA review course. Check out my comparison articles:

Wiley vs. Kaplan CFA and Wiley vs. Fitch CFA.

For information on why you should become a CFA, click here.

And if you have any specific CFA questions, just drop a comment below and I’ll personally help you find the right course for you!

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What Is The Best CFA Prep Course?

Comparison: Top 5 Best CFA Exam Review Courses of 2020 – Learn More!

Best CFA Review Courses
Best Feature…
Discounted Price


Wiley’s CFA Prep Course

Bite-Sized Lectures $1,295


Analyst Prep CFA Review Course

Access Until You Pass $159


Bloomberg CFA Exam Prep

Most Multiple Choice $999


Adapt Prep CFA Video Lectures $399


Apptuto CFA Review

Analytics $199
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