Best CFA® Study Materials – Top 8 Courses

Best CFA Study MaterialsChoosing the right CFA exam prep course is an important first step towards earning a Chartered Financial Analyst certification. That’s because you need to choose a course that suits your learning style and reinforces your weaknesses. When you consider that typical CFA pass rates are between 40%-50%, you can see that it’s important to take advantage of any available resources to pass this notoriously difficult exam.

Here are the best CFA prep courses currently on the market. Each of them appeals to specific learning styles and has great features that make them stand out above the rest.

Read on to see which one will work best for you!



These are the Top 7 Best CFA® Prep Courses & Study Materials for August 2021 :

  1. AnalystPrep
  2. The Princeton Review CFA®
  3. Bloomberg CFA® Exam Prep
  4. Fitch Learning
  5. Kaplan Schweser
  6. Illumeo CFA® Review


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


#1 Analyst Prep CFA® Prep Course

Analyst Prep - Best CFA Prep Course

OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★

Course Details

Analyst Prep prepares you for the CFA exam by providing a wide range of materials to study. Mixing up your study materials with notes, videos, and practice questions helps to avoid burnout and keeps your mind fresh. Plus, their dedication to variety allows them to appeal to different learning styles— visual learners can benefit from their video lectures, and analytical minds can practice with their 3,500-plus practice questions.

You have 3 options when purchasing Analyst Prep’s CFA review course. The $149 Practice package grants you access to the test based content and progress tracking. Beyond that is the $249 Learn + Practice course, which adds in video lessons, study notes, and essential review summaries. Last is the $449 Unlimited package, which grants you lifetime access to the site and materials for all 3 parts of the CFA exam.

Analyst Prep CFA Course Features

  • Video Lessons
  • Study Notes
  • 3,500+ Practice Questions
  • Performance Tracking
  • Computer Based Testing Exams

Analyst Prep Pros & Cons

Progress Tracking: Every step you make when studying for the CFA exam is tracked on Analyst Prep’s stat tracking component. This lets you chart your progress and gauge when you’ll be ready to pass the CFA exam. Plus, it’s a good way to see what parts of the exam you need to study more, and which ones you already understand well enough to earn a passing score.

Created by Professionals: All Analyst Prep content has been designed by certified CFA charter holders. Each of them has firsthand experience of the exam and can leverage that into better study methods for you. Their experience informs every aspect of this course’s content and will help you understand how these lessons can apply to your future career after passing the exam.

Video Lessons: Video lessons are the main study resource provided by Analyst Prep. Each of these lectures are given by a PhD holder, with a curriculum that covers important CFA concepts in a clear and concise manner. These videos also keep learning interesting by employing a visual teaching style— ensuring lessons don’t become dry and boring.

Bottom Line: Analyst Prep is an excellent all-around study course. They appeal to a wide range of students thanks to their professional instructors and materials.

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#2 The Princeton Review CFA® Study Materials

Best CFA Study Materials - The Princeton Review CFA

OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★

The Princeton Review offers a traditional self-study course for level 1 of the CFA exam. You’ll learn everything you need to know through well designed study notes, practice exams, and video lectures.

Course Details

The Princeton Review has designed their course to be as efficient as possible. They’ve streamlined learning so you can learn all the essential aspects of the CFA exam in 120 study hours. By contrast, most other courses take 300 hours or more. As a result, you’ll be able to easily fit each lesson into your busy schedule. Plus, Princeton Review allows you to access your course for a full year, which makes it a cinch to schedule your study sessions if you’ve got a lot of time commitments.

The Princeton Review offers 2 course options for each part of the exam. The Essentials course grants you access to video lessons, study notes, and flashcards for $699; alternatively, you could choose the Ultimate course, which adds practice tests and live instruction for the price of $999.

The Princeton Review CFA Course Features

  • 3,150+ Practice Questions
  • 50+ Hours of Video Lectures
  • 900 Slides of Study Notes
  • 50 Key Definitions Flashcards
  • 4 Mock CFA Exams

Princeton Review Pros & Cons

Efficient Learning: Princeton Review doesn’t want to waste your time. That’s why they’ve streamlined their course to be as efficient as possible, which ensures that you can learn the essential aspects of the CFA exam without being bogged down with any superfluous information.

Mock Exams: One of the best aspects of this course is the mock exams. Each one perfectly mimics the CFA exam in content, format, and test conditions. This enables you to grow comfortable with the test ahead of time and work on strategies specific to the CFA exam.

No Level 3: Unfortunately, the Princeton Review only offers courses for levels 1 and 2 of the CFA exam. Anyone hoping to complete all 3 parts will need to look somewhere else for part 3. Still, these materials are a good way to ensure you pass the first few levels of the exam!

Bottom Line:  The Princeton Review’s CFA course is an excellent way to start preparing for the CFA exam. They’ll give you a solid baseline that you can use when moving on to other levels of the exam— but you may want to try Analyst Prep when preparing for Level 3.

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#3 Bloomberg CFA® Study Materials

Bloomberg CFA Prep Courses

 

OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★

Much like Analyst Prep’s progress tracking component, Bloomberg uses an adaptive learning platform to ensure that you’re always working on the areas of the exam curriculum that you need to. Their course changes on the fly based on your performance on simulation exams, practice exams, or study sessions. That data is also given to your instructors for your 1-on-1 tutoring sessions. Doing so ensures that they can leverage their personal experience to help you excel in areas you may have been struggling in before.

Bloomberg offers 3 CFA prep courses. The first is the Essential package; it costs $699 for each level of the exam and includes all course content and features. However, it limits the number of exams and “Ask a Tutor” sessions to 7 and 20 respectively. By contrast, the Premium package costs $1,199 per level and increases them to 9 and 80 each. Lastly, the Ultimate package costs $1,999 per level and grants unlimited ask a tutor sessions and 11 full exams.

Bloomberg Exam Prep CFA Course Features

  • Private Tutoring Sessions
  • 11 Full Length Practice Exams
  • Pass Guarantee
  • Adaptive Learning
  • 10,000+ Practice Questions

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

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® course is a little pricey, but they’re well worth the cost of admission.

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#4 Fitch Learning CFA® Review Course

Fitch Learning Study Material

OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★

Fitch Learning’s platform is targeted at those who have busy schedules, such as students or working professionals. All of their lessons are bite sized and don’t take very long to complete. However, that can lead to lessons becoming repetitive; you’ll have to complete many lessons on a single subject to gain a complete understanding of it. Still, that repetition can help reinforce what you know and make it easier to remember.

Fitch prices their online courses based on how many lessons you’re interested in. Online classes cost $475 and consist of a 4 day virtual classroom course. Alternatively, you can book the 16 day course for $995, which comes with an additional 4 days of review for no extra cost.

Fitch Learning CFA Course Features

  • Weekday Virtual Classes
  • Live and On Demand Webinars
  • Reading Notes
  • Mobile App
  • Mind Maps

Online Learning: 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.

No

Limited 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 is a solid option if you’re short on time and need to prepare for the CFA exam. But if you struggle with paying attention to repetitive content, you can get a more engaging experience with Analyst Prep instead.

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#5 Kaplan Schweser CFA® Review Course

Kaplan Schweser CFA Study Material and Prep Course

OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★

Kaplan Schweser relies heavily on test based content. They want you to be familiar with the test taking experience long before you step foot in a testing center. To do so, they offer checkpoint exams after every course milestone in addition to 4 full length practice exams. Plus, they also encourage you to use their test bank to create your own practice exams and study on your own time.

If you’re interested, you have 2 CFA packages to choose from with Kaplan Schweser. The first is the Essentials plan, which gives you all of the test based content. If you want more, you can also pay for the Premium package which adds a series of on demand class sessions.

Kaplan Schweser CFA Course Features

  • Checkpoint Exams
  • Instructor Link
  • Schweser Notes
  • Instructor Link
  • Activity Feed

Practice Test: 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: Kaplan Schweser is a reliable name in test prep and a decent choice if you just want to practice your exam taking skills.

LEARN MORE ABOUT KAPLAN SCHWESER


#6 Illumeo CFA® Prep Course

Illumeo Prep Course

OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★

Extra Credit: When you pay for one of Illumeo’s courses, you pay for them all. This means you can get a lot more content when you sign up for their CFA® Level 1 course. In fact, it’s a great continuing education tool for this exact reason.

Simple Structure: The majority of this course’s content is made up of video lectures recorded by its single instructor. These videos are simply organized and easy to follow— but you can also follow up with the instructor via email at any point. This structure is stress-free and won’t waste any of your valuable time.

Affordable: This is the least expensive course on our list, which can be helpful if you’re on a tight study budget. While it means you’re not getting the same experience as a more expensive course, it’s still fully capable of preparing you for Level 1 of the CFA® exam.

No

Limited Content: As I previously mentioned, there’s a reason this is the most affordable option on this list. You’ll only have materials that cover Level 1 of the exam— bad news if you’re planning to take the next two levels after. Also, they don’t offer nearly as much content as AnalystPrep’s course.

Bottom Line:  Kaplan Schweser is a reliable name in test prep and a decent choice if you just want to practice your exam taking skills.

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!

What is a CFA passing score?

A: The passing score changes every test, but the CFA Institute has never set it higher than 70%, so this is a good score to aim for when taking your CFA mock exams.

Which level of CFA is hardest?

A: Most people consider level 2 to be the hardest part of the exam. Memorization isn’t enough to pass this level— you also need to demonstrate real problem solving skills related to financial analysis.

Do CFA exam results expire?

A: According to the CFA Institute, there is no expiration date for the results of any part of the CFA exam. You can take as long as you need to complete the CFA program.

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!

Compare other professional finance and accounting certifications below:

CFA® vs. CPA

Enrolled Agent

Certified Public Accountant

Certified Internal Auditor

Why should I become a CFA?

Although you don’t need to become CFA certified to work as a financial analyst, there are several benefits to certification that make it worthwhile. For example, you can make significantly more money— CFAs earn around $90,000 a year on average2, whereas ordinary financial analysts have an average annual salary of $60,000.3

Crush the CFA® Exam requires writers support their work by using primary sources.  These include the exam’s governing body, white papers, government data, and interviews with leading experts in the field. You can learn more about the standards we follow by checking out our editorial guidelines.

  1. https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/research/multimedia/2019/cfa-institute-compensation-study-exploring-industry-trends
  2. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Certification=Chartered_Financial_Analyst_(CFA)/Salary
  3. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Financial_Analyst/Salary

AnalystPrep FRM & CFA Review

AnalystPrep:

It seems that there’s always some additional task or certification for Financial professionals. Whether you have to pass a certification exam or pursue courses to continue your professional education, finding a place to prepare you for these career milestones can be just as much work as the job you’re trying to pursue.

But where do you start your search? How do you know that you’ve found the best options available to you? Don’t worry, we’ve got a shortcut for you:

Keep reading to learn more about AnalystPrep and their treasure trove of review content.

CFA Practice Questions

Here's a few practice questions, courtesy of Analyst Prep, to give you a better sense of the exam. This will also give you a better sense of the quality of preparation you'll get using Analyst Prep.

Overview of AnalystPrep

AnalystPrep is an educational company that strikes a difficult balance of information and accessibility. They do this through technological refinement by creating a high-tech online dashboard, as well as a focus on providing in-depth study materials for different finance-related certifications.

AnalystPrep’s Courses have these features:

  • Dashboard for Tracking Progress
  • Question Bank with Practice Questions
  • Mock Exams
  • Customizable Practice Quizzes
  • Downloadable Notes and Lessons
  • Video Library

What’s Included With AnalystPrep

Personal Dashboard

Log into your user account with AnalystPrep and you’ll see a ton of useful sections and tools to help you succeed. Let’s start with the Dashboard, since it’s essential for accessing the rest of this course.

The Dashboard section of your account clearly displays your current lesson progress and the lessons that you still have to complete. There’s also a breakdown of each subject and a progress bar that updates as you complete materials like lectures and practice tests.

Keep in mind that this dashboard is used for both Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Financial Risk Manager (FRM) exam study materials. Whether you’re enrolled in one, the other, or both, you’ll interact with this exact course dashboard— although it will only display info for one course at a time in order to prevent confusion.

Question Bank with Practice Questions

Looking past your personal Dashboard within your AnalystPrep account, you’ll see a section that’s filled with all the different subjects pertaining to your exam. Click one of these subjects and you’ll see a practice question to help prepare you for the real test.

AnalystPrep pulls these practice questions from a qBank of over 3,000 test questions. When answering them, you also have the choice of rating each question if you “loved” or “hated” it. This helps other students too, since the question bank is updated regularly to replace unpopular questions.

Mock Exams

Once you’re ready to move onto the next step in your CFA or FRM study schedule, you can click on the Mock Exams section of your dashboard. By practicing in this way, aspiring financial professionals can adjust to the format and structure of the exam before test day, relieving any pre-exam jitters.

There are a couple of specific features worth mentioning when it comes to AnalystPrep’s Mock Exams. First, you’re allowed to print out the full exam and/or its answers— allowing you to even more accurately set up conditions at home to simulate your actual test day. Second is that you can compare your results with other students after completing your tests online. This means you’ll know exactly where you stand when compared to your fellow CFA Level 1 or FRM Part 2 test takers.

Customizable Practice Quizzes

You may be thinking, “Aren’t mock exams and practice quizzes essentially the same thing?”

Not exactly. Here’s what makes AnalystPrep’s practice quizzes different: 

AnalystPrep provides you with a section in your login titled Practice. After specifying your chapter and subject of study, you also have the option to filter down the content that you want to review even further with more descriptors. Once you do, this platform will generate a unique practice quiz based on your parameters.

Do you want to include questions you haven’t answered yet? What about questions that you’ve previously answered incorrectly? You can select these criteria, in addition to specifying the amount of questions on each quiz. This is a source of endless review and improvement of trouble areas— an incredibly helpful resource for you to pass your exams.

Downloadable Content

Mobile access is important to many students who like to study on their smartphone or tablet. But what about offline access?

AnalystPrep easily meets the first criteria by supporting mobile devices without the need of a dedicated app. But here’s how it approaches the second criteria:

AnalystPrep’s Notes section has several downloadable files that can be taken with you anywhere. Much like the practice quizzes mentioned earlier, you can even print these items out should you need to take your review somewhere without a solid internet connection. Essentially, this allows you to maximize your studying anytime and anywhere— no more excuses!

Video Content

The last piece that really rounds out this CFA/FRM prep company is their library of video lectures. These are broken down by topics in each chapter and are a great supplement for those who prefer to learn in this way. They’re all taught by Prof. James Forjan, a charismatic and knowledgeable CFA with a PhD level education. Since he’s written several instructional materials relating to financial markets and risk management, you’ll be in the best possible hands when learning from one of his lectures!

AnalystPrep Pricing

Now that you know what AnalystPrep provides, we’re sure you’ll want to know the price. Luckily for you and countless other students, this company provides these quality bundles at prices that are lower than the rest of the industry.

Your price will vary depending on which exam you want to study— as well as which part (or parts) of these multi-part exams you want to cover.

AnalystPrep has a more limited package option for those on a tight budget, but you’re far better off paying a bit more for the higher-priced packages. If you enroll in the middle or top tier package for CFA or FRM, you’re guaranteed access to the question banks, practice tools, video library and study notes for less than a couple hundred dollars. 

Here’s the best part:

Signing up for a premium package will give you unlimited lifetime access to your account. This is a steal considering that AnalystPrep will continue to update your materials with new and relevant information. Ultimately, the total cost is fairly priced at less than $500, and we recommend you choose this option for that reason.

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Pros & Cons

Time to break down the good and the bad with this prep course provider:

  • Pro – Personal Dashboard: Although a simple aspect that most students overlook, AnalystPrep’s personal dashboard feature is extremely impressive. This dashboard will keep you on track with your studies and help guide you along the path to success on exam day.
  • Pro – Question Bank: The Question Bank is a fantastic tool for quick reviews of specific subjects. These sets of over 3,000 questions are great for on the go review in between practice exams.
  • Pro – Practice Exams: AnalystPrep takes Practice Exams to the next level with their mock exams. Within your user account you’ll have the ability to view or print out practice exams as well as their full sets of answers. This is a great review tool for gauging exam readiness and identifying trouble areas.
  • Con – Lack of Personal Instruction: There’s something to be said about things that are classic. For some, there’s no better learning experience than the traditional in-classroom experience. If you’re one of these people, you might want to look elsewhere for your CFA or FRM exam prep.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Let’s get you some answers:

When is the next CFA Exam?

The next CFA Exam has been delayed to December of 2021. There will also be a test in February of 2021.

Does AnalystPrep have enrollment qualifications?

In order to enroll with AnalystPrep, you must either be in your last year of college, already have your college degree, or have a total of 4 years of professional working experience.

How long does it take to study for the CFA exam?

According to AnalystPrep’s website, students spend approximately 308 hours preparing for each exam.

Ideal Customer

Here’s our analysis of who would be a good fit with AnalystPrep:

  • If you prefer to work with companies that make the most of modern technology, this is the course for you.
  • If you like customizable practice quizzes, this is the course for you.
  • If you like having the option to print out mock exams and other study materials, this is the course for you.
  • If you’re looking for a more traditional classroom setting, this isn’t the course for you.

Analyst Prep Discounts & Promo Codes

Final Recommendation

AnalystPrep’s tech-focused approach to exam review really stands out among other FRM and CFA providers. For the student who wants to take full control of their studying, have up-to-date tracking of their progress, and not have to pay an arm and a leg, there really is no better choice than AnalystPrep!

TAKE ME TO ANALYSTPREP TODAY

Analyst Prep

Website: Link

Physical Location: Montreal, QC

Year Founded: 2015

Exams Covered: CFA, FRM

Continuing Education: No

BBB Grade: None

Trustpilot Rating: 4.7

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube

Contact Page: Link

Wiley vs Kaplan Schweser CFA® Review

Which CFA® prep course is better, Wiley or Kaplan Schweser CFA Review? To help you decide, I’ll evaluate the software, practice tests, cost, and other important features of each course to help you decide which is a better fit for you.

I have used both of these courses and through my experience found there are some stark differences between the two.

(You can also read my full, individual breakdown of both Wiley CFA® & Kaplan Schweser CFA® to further understand which course best suits your needs)

Wiley vs Kaplan CFA - Which course is better?


Value

Wiley offers different options for courses that range in price. However, their Platinum course is the most popular and the easiest to use for the sake of comparison. The cost of the Wiley CFA® Platinum Review Course for Levels 1 and 2 is $1,295, and Level 3 is $995.

Kaplan, on the other hand, is more expensive, as Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 courses are all priced at $1,499. This isn’t a huge increase in cost, and you get a lot out of the minor bump in price. However, the fact remains that Wiley offers the better deal– especially if you’re only interested in the bare essentials.

Winner: Wiley CFA Review


Course Expiration and Access

All content updates and software upgrades for Wiley CFA® are free, and students get unlimited access after the purchasing date. This can be helpful if you’re short on free time and can’t fit your study schedule into a small length of time.

On the other hand, Kaplan’s courses expire at the end of the year, which also means you’ll need to re-up if you want to receive updated materials. Their pass guarantee does allow you a free subscription if you fail, but the better deal is ultimately with Wiley.

Winner: Wiley CFA Review


CFA® Exam Practice Questions

Both of these courses have well-sourced practice questions to prepare professionals who are studying for the CFA® exam. Wiley and Kaplan both offer over 3,000 practice questions covering all levels of the exam in their highest-priced courses.

The quality of the questions is pretty similar, but Kaplan has one key difference. The seamless integration of SchweserNotes with every question makes them a much more potent study tool than Wiley’s offerings. Essentially, you’re going to want to choose Kaplan if you’re primarily interested in studying with practice questions.

Winner: Kaplan CFA Review


Student-Instructor Support

Wiley has a support system in place to help you with any course issues. Additionally, you can connect with fellow peers and join a community for even more collaborative assistance. These tools are directly built into the course, but not every question will get answered in a short period of time. Since this type of service could make or break certain study sessions, it can be frustrating when dealing with Wiley.

On the other hand, Kaplan offers a much more helpful support team. Not only do they have multiple contact methods you can use to make your voice heard– they also have dedicated support channels for both studying and technical issues. This is a huge benefit over Wiley, since they often have technical issues that frustrate students. (more on that later!)

Winner: Kaplan CFA Review


Course Formats

Wiley understands the challenges that CFA® candidates face with regard to staying engaged while studying. That is why it designed its course with brevity in mind—the bite-sized lessons are easy to get through and won’t seem clunky or overbearing. There is a significant amount of material you need to cover before test day, so the smaller lesson sizes may help with understanding difficult concepts. Thanks to the 30-minute lessons, you’ll make it through the lengthy studying periods without wanting to quit or pack it in for good.

Kaplan also has a great course with many similar benefits to Wiley, but there’s one killer app that puts it over the edge. Premium and PremiumPlus students can attend live, in-person classes on a weekly basis for additional instruction. There’s no point of comparison with Wiley’s digital course and print supplements– so the winner is clear!

Winner: Kaplan CFA Review


Wiley vs Kaplan Pass Guarantee

Wiley has a pass guarantee for all three levels of the CFA® Exam– full course access until you pass! By eschewing the chance to earn extra money from customers, this “pay only once until you pass” guarantee is evidence of Wiley’s confidence in their products.

Fortunately, Kaplan also offers students a guarantee if they fail to pass their exams. Much like Wiley, you can receive full access to next year’s course with all updates included. This means you’re guaranteed to be in good hands no matter which course you choose.

Winner: Tie


Wiley vs Kaplan Mobile App

The modern student doesn’t just learn in a classroom– and they don’t just learn on their computer at home, either! Mobile is the new frontier for education, and most students like being able to access their materials on a tablet or other smart device. Both Wiley and Kaplan recognize this, but only one offers a truly intuitive mobile experience.

With Kaplan’s CFA prep course, you can access their complete 3,000+ QBank no matter where you are. Additionally, they provide supplementary features to help you with time management and to track your performance. Wiley attempted to offer something similarly impressive, but the unfortunate result is a buggy, frustrating mess. So stick to Kaplan if you want to learn on your phone!

Winner: Kaplan CFA Review


My Suggestion

Kaplan CFA Logo

So which course is better? Wiley has some real benefits, like their video content and lower cost. However, they’re hopelessly out of their depth when compared to the excellent benefits provided by Kaplan.

Hopefully you’ve got a clear enough idea of both CFA review courses to make the right decision. But if you’re still on the fence, I suggest checking out both of their free demos to see which course fits your learning style. After all, everyone is different. Best of luck!

GO TO KAPLAN CFA® REVIEW

Wiley CFA® Review

Wiley CFA ReviewCRUSH RATING:  

Wiley CFA Review has combined forces with Elan Guides in an attempt to offer one of the best CFA® courses on the market. Their comprehensive CFA® review course comes with unlimited access to all their study materials, but is it really worthwhile?

This course is decent if you want to save time on video lectures and just focus on drilling with practice questions. However, it has some serious issues when it comes to studying on the go from various mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. Keep reading and see for yourself what makes this course both good and bad:

PROS

1. Unlimited Course Access

Wiley CFA® Exam Review course materials come with unlimited access, so you never have to worry about expiration dates. You have access to the course until you pass the exam and all course content updates and software upgrades are free. These are great features for a CFA® course; most competitors restrict use to a specific time frame.

2. Bite-Sized Lessons

There is a huge amount of material to cover for the CFA® Exam. Fortunately, Wiley has organized it all into clear and concise lessons. Shorter lessons allow you to stay more engaged, retain more information, and monitor your progress. Wiley allows you to cover most lessons in approximately 30 minutes, so you can easily fit short study sessions into your schedule.

3. Exam Study Planner

With Wiley’s adaptable Exam Planner, you can enter the date of your exam and it will provide you with a customized study plan so you know exactly what to study each day. This takes the guesswork out of how much time you should spend studying for the exam.

4. Free Trial

You can go to Wiley’s website and try the online study materials for 24 hours for free. Your email and password will give you access to the exam planner, short lessons and video lectures, the study text, practice exams, practice questions, and performance metrics, so you can try it before you buy it. A free pop quiz and eBook on how to pass the CFA® exam are also available under the CFA® Exam Program Resources tab.

CONS

1. Extensive Number of Course Options

Wiley CFA CoursesAlthough it is nice to be able to customize the exact study plan that works best for you, the website offers 5 different courses (platinum, gold, silver, self study, and 11th hour) for the level 1 and level II CFA® exams, along with a series of optional supplements and add-ons that may be bought separately for an additional fee. You will have to consider price, your schedule, and how much preparation you think you need in order to determine which course is best for you.

2. Mobile Device Unfriendly

wiley cfa mobileWiley CFA® Exam Review is supposedly optimized for tablet use for studying on the go. The idea is to work through lessons on various mobile devices that are synced so you can switch between them and pick up exactly where you left off each time you log in. In reality, the actual user experience is far from ideal. According to angry reviews left by disappointed students, these apps are prone to disconnections and limit your access to Wiley’s full course material.

Ideal User

Wiley’s CFA® exam prep materials are aimed at busy working professionals. These courses are ideal for audio visual learners who are looking for a comprehensive yet flexible course. The lessons are taught by experienced instructors and are designed to make studying efficient and effective.

The idea is that you should be able to complete a short lesson that consists of a video, reading a study text, and answering a few assessment questions on your lunch break or in a 30-45 minute study session whenever you can squeeze it into your day.

With that being said, you’ll only have satisfactory results if you study on a laptop or desktop. Any other device will require their notoriously unreliable app, which can be aggravating and stressful to manage. If you like to study on an iPad or smartphone, this is definitely not the right course for you!

My Suggestion

Wiley CFA® offers a comprehensive and portable way to prepare for the CFA exam on your own terms. The bite-sized lessons fit into even the busiest of schedules, and the ability to use the course as long as you need it is a nice bonus. Having over 3,000 questions is nice, but it would be even nicer if you could reliably access them no matter where you are.

Honestly, you’re probably better off trying a different CFA review course. For instance, take a look at the way Wiley compares to Kaplan’s CFA review courses in our side-by-side comparison.

AdaptPrep CFA® Review

CRUSH RATING:
AdaptPrep CFA Review is quickly gaining popularity as a time efficient and tech-savvy way to study for the CFA® exam. The company has completely redesigned its prep materials and platform to focus on speed and efficiency.

You can choose from “Complete,” “Practice,” or “Learn” for Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.

Their adaptive learning technology and Progress Tracker keeps you focused on the essentials, and the new platform was designed to load quickly, especially during the busy weeks before the CFA® exam when many students are trying to study at the same time.

AdaptPrep’s affordable prices are well below the industry average and make it even more attractive if you are on a tight budget.

 AdaptPrep Strengths

1. Streamlined and User-Friendly Platform

This course cuts right to the chase because there are no distractions on the course dashboard. You can choose from three options: “Learn,” “Review,” or “Practice” for Level I, Level 2 and Level 3 of the CFA® exam.

Readings that accompany the video lectures are located in the same module as the videos and can be downloaded and printed as a PDF. You can click on the reading from the electronic manual and then watch the related videos from one central location.

Readings and lectures are grouped by topic area so that you can easily target those areas that need the most review. The mobile version is even easier to navigate, which brings us to our next pro:

2. Fully Compatible With Mobile Devices

AdaptPrep CFA® is designed to accommodate mobile users. There is no need for an app because you can upload the course right from your browser. The mobile version is perfect for busy professionals as the interface works very well on smartphones, the audio is crystal clear, and the graphics are relevant and memorable.

Customizable quizzes are easy to access from your mobile device or smartphone as well. Just select the sections you want to test yourself on and the quiz will contain practice questions that apply to those topics. Score your exam and find out which answer was the correct choice and why.

3. Course is Designed to Load Quickly

AdaptPrep has worked hard to make the site faster in terms of response time. By adding additional databases and servers to create redundancy, Adapt Prep ensures that you won’t be slowed down by the sudden spike in users in the last few weeks before your exam.

The videos we watched loaded and played without slowdowns or buffering and exams were scored quickly. You can take advantage of the offline mode if you have already started watching the videos or taking an exam, however, you’ll have to reconnect to the internet in order to have it graded.

4. Very Short Video Tutorials

cfa videoMike Carmody’s short and to-the-point instructional videos only last 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.

Carmody is an experienced and engaging instructor who focuses on the most essential material.  With his instruction you’ll be able to gain a solid understanding while still having enough time to tackle a large number of practice questions in the test bank.

A split screen with his lecture on the left allows for graphics and animations on the right that emphasize the most important information to remember. Questions are worked out by the instructor in the videos on an easy-to-read, typed screen. Many practice questions are accompanied by video explanations of the correct answer.

5. Topic Mastery Feedback

AdaptPrep’s Topic Mastery report provides feedback assessing your preparation for your next CFA® Level I exam. Predicted Scores range between 0%-100% for each topic, consistent with the CFA® Institute grading. Scores above 70% are presented in green, scores between 50%-70% in yellow, and scores below 50% in red.

Topic Mastery estimates your score Prediction Range on a topic once you’ve answered 10 practice questions on that topic, and then after each quiz you take on that topic. Once you’ve completed at least one quiz in all 10 topics, we calculate a Prediction Range for your score on the entire exam.

Topic Mastery serves as a guide to your preparation. The CFA® exams are broad in scope, and understanding the concepts in the syllabus thoroughly is essential. We encourage you to dedicate more time to topics that need more improvement. With Topic Mastery, you can study more efficiently and master the CFA® exam.

6. Ongoing Development and Features

AdaptPrep has many more innovations in the pipeline too. The company is constantly adding new features like study tips and video explanations.

We hope to see more features like the “Level I in 60 minutes” for their Level II and III courses as well.  This is a great video series which gives you a quick overview on the major Level 1 topics likely to be tested on.

7. Free Trial and Free Formula Sheet

cfa formula sheetPull out your smartphone right now and try the course for FREE! The free trial gives you access to their CFA® Formula Sheets (downloadable PDF) which contain all of the key formulas found on the exam. You literally have nothing to lose so even if you don’t intend on purchasing their course, I highly recommend that you take advantage of this.

No credit card is required to access to the trial version, simply enter your email address and you’ll be setup within a matter of seconds. Also included in the free trial are sample video lessons, practice problems and quizzes, and a study schedule planner.

8. Discounts

AdaptPrep is now offering Crush readers an exclusive CFA® discount. Just type in the Adapt Prep coupon code and get a great deal! 

AdaptPrep CONS

1. Recently Released Material

Some of the AdaptPrep products are recently updated and released, which means there isn’t as much user feedback. From all reviews so far, however, the updated materials are great and in line with the rest of the company’s great course components.

Ideal User

pass the cfa examThis course is a great find if you prefer to study from your smartphone or tablet. The user-friendly mobile site and the high definition videos and direct links to pertinent readings make this a very organized and efficient way to study for the three levels of the CFA® exams.

AdaptPrep will appeal to self-motivated learners because its topic mastery feedback system promotes efficient studying for the CFA® exam. If you are on a tight budget and are a good self-studier, AdaptPrep would definitely be an excellent choice.

My Suggestion

AdaptPrep offers a great product for a relatively low price. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about an app crashing while you study because the platform was developed especially for mobile devices and smartphones. You will definitely appreciate that the videos are short (10 minutes) and that you can always turn to the 490+ page electronic manual for additional information as necessary.

AdaptPrep offers the best bang for your buck study materials on the market and costs less than half as much as the average CFA® review course. Regardless of which CFA® exam course you decide on, I highly suggest that you at least check out their free trial.

GO TO ADAPTPREP


Pricing

Choose from products for either the December 2017 or June 2018 exam

Complete CFA® Level I Course

Price: $299
Includes:

  • Learn, Review, and Practice products
  • 41+ Hours of Video Lessons and Related Study Notes
  • Formula Sheet
  • Video Lessons
  • Electronic Manual/Readings
  • Calculator Guide Video
  • 2,500+ Practice Questions in Exam Engine
  • Unlimited Quizzes and Exams (based on Exam Engine)
  • Adaptive Technology Adjusts Exam Questions to Your Skill Level
  • Detailed Written or Video Solutions to Practice Questions
  • Progress Tracker
Level I Learn Only

Price: $199
Includes:

  • 180 Days of Access to Video Lessons and Study Notes.
Level I  Practice Only

Price starts at: $149
Includes:

  • 2,500+ Practice Questions in Adapt Exam Engine
  • Unlimited, Customizable Quizzes and Exams
  • Written and/or Video Solutions
  • Formula Sheet
  • Calculator Guide
Complete Level II CFA® Course

Price: $449
Includes: Learn and Practice products

  • 40+ Exam Review Video Lessons
  • Unlimited Renewals (Study Until You Pass)
  • Progress Tracker
  • Practice Question Bank
  • Unlimited, Customizable Quizzes and Exams
  • Electronic Manual
Level II Learn Only

Price: $299
Includes:

  • 180 Days of Access to Video Lessons and Study Notes
  • Electronic Manual
Level II Practice Only

Price starts at: $249
Includes:

  • Earned Level (EL) Skill Level Assessment
  • Section Review
  • Question Bank with 750+ Practice Questions
  • Adaptive Learning – Exams Increase in Difficulty
  • Customizable Quizzes
  • Discussion of Questions with Students and Coaches
Complete Level III Course

Price: $599
Includes:

  • Progress Tracking
  • Dynamic Difficulty Exams
  • Exam-Quality Question Banks
  • Concise Segments
  • Adaptive Feedback
  • Video Lesson Bank
Level III Learn Only

Price: $399
Includes:

  • Progress Tracking
  • Concise Segments
  • Adaptive Feedback
  • Video Lesson Bank
  • Electronic Manual
  • Discussion With Coaches and Students
Level III Practice Only

Price starts at: $249
Includes:

  • Customizable Quizzes
  • Dynamic Difficulty
  • Progress Tracking
  • Access Anywhere
  • Adaptive Question Bank
  • Time Tracker

GO TO ADAPTPREP

 

Wiley CFA® Review vs Fitch Learning

Wiley vs Fitch Learning CFA ReviewWhich CFA exam prep course is better, Wiley CFA Review or Fitch Learning CFA Review? In this head-to-head comparison, I rate its software, practice tests, cost, and other important features to help you decide which review course is a better fit for you.

I have used both of these courses and found some very significant differences that every CFA® candidate should know about when considering both of these options.

(You can also read our full, individual breakdown of both Wiley CFA® & Fitch Learning CFA® to further understand which course best suits your needs)

Wiley CFA® vs. Fitch Learning Value

Wiley offers different options for courses that range in price, but the platinum course is the most inclusive and most popular. The Wiley CFA® Platinum Review Course for Levels 1 and 2 is $1,295 and $995 for Level 3. Fitch, on the other hand, is slightly cheaper at $995 per level. However, the value that Wiley offers is tough to match—paying a little more for a better course makes sense if you want to pass the exam the first time around!

Winner: Wiley CFA® Review


Course Expiration and Access

All content updates and software upgrades for Wiley CFA® are not only free, but also provide unlimited access to users after purchase. Most other courses are not so generous and they usually expire on your exam day.

Fitch Learning is like other courses and provides you with full access until your exam date. This could end up costing you more if you fail and need to take the course again, even if it is offered for a discounted price to re-enroll. Both courses do offer a pass or refund guarantee, but make sure to read the fine print to make sure that you can qualify.

Winner: Wiley CFA® Review


CFA® Exam Practice Questions

Both Wiley and Fitch have comparable practice questions. Wiley comes with 4,000 practice questions while Fitch has 3,000. Though it’s only 1,000 questions, that’s quite the difference maker when it comes time to study. 

The quality of the questions is pretty similar, so the sheer number that Wiley provides really adds to the value of the course overall. 

Winner: Wiley CFA® Review


Student-Instructor Support

Fitch has a unique student support system that you may find helpful. You will have 24/7 access to the help desk, where you can get in touch with more than 20 qualified instructors all over the world. Also, you will receive periodic calls from mentors to talk about your progress or any questions you may have. This can be annoying if you like to study on your own and reach out only when you’re confused. You may like the extra support Fitch offers because it will keep you motivated.    

Wiley also has a support system in place because it knows you’re not alone on your CFA® journey. You can connect with fellow peers and join a community that understands the brutal commitment you made to become a CFA® because it is in the same boat as you. Wiley has tools directly built into the content that will allow you to interact with subject matter experts 24/7. This makes it extremely easy to ask questions while studying the material.

Winner: Wiley CFA® Review


Course Formats

Wiley understands how difficult it is to stay engaged with CFA® topics. That is why it has formatted its course into bite-sized lessons. There is a huge amount of material you need to cover before test day, so why not have it organized into small short lessons that aren’t as intimidating to take on. You will be able to retain more information and stay engaged with the 30 minute lessons that can easily fit into your schedule.

Fitch Learning is also formatted for those with a busy schedule. It has lessons that range in length with some that are only a couple minutes long, making it easy to sneak in a quick study session. There is also a live classroom option that is available in only a few select cities. The limited locations make the live class option less than ideal for many, but the overall course format is similar to Wiley’s reputable course.

Winner: Wiley CFA


Pass Guarantee

Fitch has put more than 31,000 CFA® Exam candidates through since 2000. It offers a “No Pass No Pay” guarantee because it is so confident in its course and wants to show how committed it is to you and your CFA® journey. However, the guarantee is only available for the Level 1 course, not Level 2 or 3.

Wiley has a pass guarantee for all three levels of the CFA® Exam and will give you access to its up-to-date course until you pass. Wiley has been in Test Prep game since 1974 and has helped thousands of finance pros pass their CFA® certification exams. Its “pay only once until you pass” guarantee is evidence of Wiley’s years of excelling as a top ranked CFA® prep course.

Winner: Wiley CFA Review


My Suggestion

So which course is better? Wiley beats Fitch Learning in almost every category except two: amount of practice questions and cost. I would say Wiley is the better CFA® test prep course because Wiley still provides an ample amount of practice questions that are not too much more expensive than Fitch (especially with the discounts available for Wiley).

Wiley is the best course out there for the price. Its clear format, bite-sized lectures, and incredible reputation makes it Crush’s number one recommended course. I suggest checking out the the free demos to see which course fits your learning style before deciding because everyone is different. Best of luck!

GO TO WILEY CFA® REVIEW

Bloomberg CFA® Exam Prep Review

Bloomberg CFA Exam Prep Review

CRUSH RATING:

Bloomberg CFA Exam Prep has delved deep into its bank of financial and technical resources to produce one of the top CFA® review courses on the market. Their coursecomes with one-on-one tutoring and targeted micro-lessons.

This course is so optimized for potential CFA exam passage that Bloomberg offers an unmatched pass insurance. This is a decent course for you if you want to save time, guarantee success, and use the best available test-prep technology and tools that the industry has to offer.

Screen Shot 2016-09-20 at 2.44.21 PMPROS

1. Dashboard

Visually speaking, you’re not going to find a more well designed layout than the Bloomberg Dashboard. The main page is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also it’s extremely well-crafted to keep you focused on the important components of the exam prep plan. You’re going to see your progress tracker (broken down by section and percentage of completion), a breakdown of the courses in which you’re excelling or failing, a topical layout, and an overall analysis of your performance.

2. Non-Traditional Layout Options

If you’re not someone who is looking for the standard test prep course layout, this tool has another option for you: the Knowledge Map. Using this tool, you can see a breakdown of each section within a non-traditional mapping system. If this unique look scares you, revert back to the standard layout, but it’s definitely a great option for you if you want to look at the overall test content in a different manner.

3. Adaptive Learning

Bloomberg’s AI software analyzes your performance and really caters the course to focus on the areas in which you didn’t excel. The more hours that you put in, the more customized the program becomes. So, don’t worry if you’re not crushing a certain section early on in studying – this tool will ensure that you circle back to this topic in due time. Other tools may have similar options, but the level to which this AI operates isn’t likely to be reached.

4. Time-Saving Studying

The ability to save time also means that you’re going to save money, as any future CFA® will tell you. Therefore, by using the Bloomberg CFA Exam Prep tool, you’re going to be able to put plenty of study hours back into the bank – students who complete the course spend only 185 hours on average studying, which is well below the 287 hours that is the industry average.

5. Trial Period

Some test prep tools give you a couple of days or up to a week to see if you like the style and layout of the course. Bloomberg doubles the high end of that range, as it gives you a full 14 days to determine whether or not it is the exam preparation platform that fits your needs.

6. Tutoring

While other courses may offer some type of tutoring services, the qualifications of the Bloomberg CFA® sages is unmatched. You can even check out their credentials before signing up for the trial, which is a testament to their level of expertise.

CONS

Complexity

While many users appreciate the extensive layout and multitude of features available in this tool, others may find the sheer number of clickable areas to be daunting. There are so many different tools that you could use, and ways in which you can track/see your progress, that people who are looking for a simple test prep tool may not prefer this platform. It’s not going to be the best option for you if you like to simply go to the home page, click into their lesson, and dip out once finishing.

Ideal User

Bloomberg Exam CFA As briefly mentioned above, the ideal user for this course isn’t going to be someone who considers themselves tech-averse or simple with regard to online tools. This course is designed to give you the best of what the web has to offer, and it’s not going to shy away from potential clicks.

Bloomberg’s CFA® exam prep materials are aimed at busy working professionals who like to see their progress tracked in an efficient way. There are the basic metrics and layouts that provide an encompassing look at your CFA® journey, but there’s also in-depth tools to really delve into a high-level analysis of how you’ve done.

Another time-saving tool is the ample amount of tutor help that’s included in the tool. If you have a question that’s really delaying your progress, don’t think too hard on it. Ask one of the highly respected tutors that Bloomberg has on staff and quickly find out where you’re going wrong. There’s no point in hitting a snag in your studying just because you don’t know one methodology.

COMPARE THE BEST CFA COURSES


Summary of Course Features

  • The Learning Bar
  • Top Rated CFA® Tutors
  • 10 Full-Length Practice Exams
  • Well-Designed Dashboard
  • Adaptive Exam Planner & Personalized Study Schedule
  • Guarantee and Pass Insurance
  • Unlimited Tutor Questions
  • Knowledge Map
  • Dashboard & Performance Metrics
  • Initial Baseline Assessment
  • Long-Term Strategy Tips
  • 2-Week Trial Period
  • Thousands of Practice Questions
  • Success Rate Mapping

Pricing

Essentials Package
Price: $599
Includes:

  • Unique Adaptive Learning Platform
  • Micro-Lessons for Each Section
  • 6 Full-Length Practice Exams
  • 20 Ask-A-Tutor Questions
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • Thousands of Practice Questions
  • Personal Support from Experts
  • Customized Lesson Plans
  • 2-Week Trial Program
  • Strategy Tips from Bloomberg Experts
Premium Package
Price: $999
Includes:

  • Unique Adaptive Learning Platform
  • Micro-Lessons for Each Section
  • 8 Full-Length Practice Exams
  • 80 Ask-A-Tutor Questions
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • Thousands of Practice Questions
  • Personal Support from Experts
  • Customized Lesson Plans
  • 2-Week Trial Program
  • Strategy Tips from Bloomberg Experts

Ultimate Package
Price: $1,599
Includes:

  • Unique Adaptive Learning Platform
  • Micro-Lessons for Each Section
  • 10 Full-Length Practice Exams
  • Unlimited Ask-A-Tutor Questions
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • Thousands of Practice Questions
  • Personal Support from Experts
  • Customized Lesson Plans
  • 2-Week Trial Program
  • Strategy Tips from Bloomberg Experts

COMPARE THE BEST CFA COURSES


Bloomberg CFA® Breakdown

Bloomberg CFA® Review
Strengths 
1. Unlimited Help Questions
2. Excellent Dashboard
3. Knowledge Map
4. Progress Tracking
5. Expert Tutors
6. 2-Week Trial
 
 

Fitch Learning CFA® Review

Fitch Learning CFA Review

CRUSH RATING:  

Fitch Learning CFA Exam Review offers a comprehensive prep course for all 3 levels of the CFA® exam. Choose from multiple learning packages to customize your learning experience and study more effectively. Various options include classroom learning, e-learning, and video courses, in addition to stellar user support and 24-7 help desk access.

Fitch Learning’s most attractive feature is the promise of up to 400 hours of student support. You can contact customer support by email and call your mentors as often as necessary during the course. More than 20 CFA® instructors worldwide are available to take your questions when you need them most.

PROS

1. Online Learning Portal

fitch online portalFitch Learning’s award-winning online learning portal features built-in analytics and recorded video lessons. The learning portal is accessible via app or computer, making it easy to study wherever you go. Learning options include recorded video lessons, live webcasts, teacher interaction, eBooks, questions and quizzes, and much more. You can try the online portal for free for a limited time before you buy. Free questions and videos are also available on the Fitch Learning website.

2. Consistent Contact and Support from Mentors

fitch learning mentorsOne of the best features of this course is the degree of personalized student support. You may receive periodic calls from mentors to discuss your progress. You will also have 24/7 access to the help desk, where you can get in touch with more than 20 qualified instructors in different parts of the world.

3. Practice Exams and Hurdles

fitch learningFitch’s Online Learning Portal integrates multiple practice exams and learning hurdles to gauge your progress, help you learn, and test your knowledge. These include over 3,000 relevant questions, 5 full practice quizzes of 6 hours each, as well as smaller tests to check your knowledge while you study. You will also receive a daily test question by email to keep your skills sharp and to help you identify areas that need improvement.

4. Analytics and Progress Tracking

The integrated analytics program automatically tracks and checks your progress to determine your strongest and weakest areas. In addition, mentors talk to you to gauge progress, and offer specific study advice to improve memory and performance. A personalized study plan based on your results allows you to tackle your weak spots so that you can take and pass the test as soon as possible.

5. Mobile App

fitch mobileThe mobile Exam Prep App allows you to access key course features on the go. It is available in the iTunes and Google Play stores and is compatible with iPhone, Android, tablets, and mini tablets. Course content can be searched and downloaded in advance for offline studying. Additional features include 3,800+ test questions, 90 hours of instruction videos, slides, and instructor-annotated notes. This is great because it allows you to take your CFA® prep anywhere you go on your mobile device.

6. Money Back Guarantee for Level I Exam

Fitch offers a “no pass, no pay” policy. If you do not pass the Level I CFA® exam the first time you take it after you follow their program and meet the prescribed milestones, you will receive a refund for the entire course. (Only available for the Level I CFA® exam and for first-time Fitch Learning candidates).

CONS

Limited Locations for Live Course Options

Live CFA® course options are available, but only in a limited number of cities. If you are interested in attending an in-person CFA® course, you have to be near one of the following cities: New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, Denver, or Washington, D.C., Boston, London, Hong Kong, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Edinburgh.

Ideal User

The online Fitch Learning course is intended for busy professionals who want to maximize their learning in the least number of hours. The app in particular is aimed at those with a demanding schedule, who are short on study time, and want the freedom of studying anywhere at anytime, both on and off-line. The app is updated every time you enter a wifi area, so the progress reports and study planner are always up-to-date. Some lessons are only a few minutes long, allowing you to take in a lesson during a break or while you are waiting for a bus or train.

The repetitive nature of going through practice questions reinforces learning, and the app retests knowledge until the required level is achieved. The online portal is accessible from tablets and mini tablets as well as other devices for maximum flexibility while studying. Classroom courses are available on nights and weekends if you are a traditional learner who is located near one of the cities that have live, in-person courses.

My Suggestion

Fitch Learning is a large international company that offers an extensive suite of online business courses and employs very well-regarded professors and instructors for its classes. The most unusual aspect of this course is the personal attention you get from mentors and instructors, even if they are enrolled in an online class. 24/7 access to instructors around the world and calls from instructors to check on your progress can be very helpful to keep you on track.

GO TO FITCH LEARNING REVIEW

Summary of Course Features

  • Online Portal Included In All Packages
  • More than 120+ Hours of Full Video Recordings
  • Live-streamed Classroom Courses (Live Webinars)
  • Extensive Question Bank and Email-a-day
  • Exam Practice via Progress and Hurdle Tests
  • Up to Five 6-hour Mock Exams
  • Performance-based Diagnostics Show Progress and Areas that Need More Work
  • Global Help Desk and Access to Full-time CFA® Faculty
  • Mobile App Facilitates On and Off-line Access to Portal Study Tools via Your Mobile Device
  • More Than 3,800+ Practice Questions Per Level
  • No Pass, No Pay Guarantee
  • Regular Calls From Instructors and Mentors
  • Annotated Notes and Slides
  • CFA® Review Guide
  • Re-sit Policy – 50% discount on a second course after failing a first exam.

Pricing

Question Bank Only
Price: $195
Includes: Qbank is a new feature that allows people to create customized quizzes on whatever topic, study sessions, or reading they like.

Proctored Mock Exam Only
Price: $79
Includes: Online mock exams, online review courses, review materials, proctored review courses. Online or proctored.

Live 2 Day Review Course
Price: $299
Includes: 2-Day in class review of the CFA® Level I curriculum with guided question practice.

2 Day Review + Proctored Mock Exam
Price: $349
Includes: 2-Day in class review of the CFA® Level I curriculum plus proctored mock exam (savings of $50).

Online Review Kit
Price: $300
Includes: Mock exam generator with unlimited mock exams, instructor recordings and webcasts, Final Countdown revision guide, revision mind maps, revision summaries and exam style questions.

Full Online Only Course
Price :$695-895 (depending on Level of CFA® exam)
Includes: Online study portal, instructor recordings, question bank, mock exam, global instructor help desk, online key point slide packs, mobile app, exam companion eBook, Final Countdown review guide.

Online + 2 Day Review Course
Price: $995-1195 (depending on Level of CFA® exam)
Includes: 2-day classroom review, online study portal, instructor recordings, live webcasts, question bank, mock exam, global instructor help desk, online key point slide packs, mobile app, exam companion eBook, Final Countdown review guide.

Full Classroom Course
Price: $1,395-$1,595 (depending on Level of CFA® exam)
Includes: 15 evenings or 8 days in class sessions, 2-day classroom review, online study portal, instructor recordings, live webcasts, question bank, mock exam, global instructor help desk, online key point slide packs, mobile app, exam companion eBook, Final Countdown review guide, Texas BA II plus calculator.

GO TO FITCH LEARNING REVIEW


Fitch Learning CFA® Breakdown

Fitch Learning CFA® Review
Strengths 
1. Adaptive Online Learning w/ Integrated Mobile App
2. Consistent Contact and Support From Mentors
3. Practice Exams and Hurdles
4. Analytics and Progress Tracking
5. Money Back Guarantee

Kaplan Schweser CFA® Review

Kaplan Schweser CFA

CRUSH RATING:

Kaplan Schweser CFA® offers a comprehensive suite of prep courses for the CFA® exam. You can choose from various online or in-person options, or combine an online review course with a 3-day or 5-day live classroom review session (where available).

Kaplan’s longstanding success and reputation in test preparation will not disappoint those attempting to pass this challenging series of exams.

A full complement of study guides, workbooks, online materials, practice questions, explanations, study plans, a condensed version of the CFA® curriculum, actionable tips and pointers, and help from instructors result in a time-saving albeit pricey course.

PROS

1. Final Review

Many of Kaplan Schweser’s learning options come with a 3-day or 5-day exam review workshop immediately prior to the exam to give you focused practice and additional confidence. Live, in-class review sessions are the most expensive; however, an online exam review is also available.

2. Six Full Practice Tests

In addition to a question bank with more than 4,000 practice questions, you can take up to six full practice exams. These tests will help you gauge your progress and give you the confidence to succeed on the actual exam.

3. On-Demand Learning

In addition to any live course options, enjoy access to on-demand content, including classes and videos. The convenience of pre-recorded classes and video lessons allows you to study according to your own busy schedule from your home or office. Free CFA® study materials, exam review workshops, and CFA® classes are available on the Kaplan Schweser website along with a free CFA® assessment exam.

4. Availability of Instructors

You can email or chat with your instructors at any time to get help with a course, ask questions, or seek advice. Because Kaplan Schweser instructors are located around the world, mentors are available during most times of day to help with any questions or issues that arise.

5. Focused and Concise

Kaplan’s course is popular because it condenses the CFA® curriculum into a manageable body of information. The 5-volume study guide is considerably shorter than the official CFA® curriculum guide, but includes all the information you need to pass the exam.

6. Updated Content

Kaplan Schweser is one of the few CFA® prep courses to release a new version of products every year as the CFA® test changes, so that you can be confident that everything you study is up-to-date. When you buy one of these review courses, you won’t waste your time studying material from older exams or experience any surprises on exam day.

7. Discount

To get a great deal on the course, enter in a Kaplan Schweser CFA® promo code.

CONS

 

1. Price

Premium packages cost upwards of $1,799, which is considerably more expensive than most industry competitors. More affordable packages are available, but they are not as comprehensive and often do not include live or in-person components. If you are on a budget, you will have fewer opportunities to interact with instructors, fewer study materials and practice exams.

Ideal User

These courses will appeal to both online learners who want the convenience of studying whenever they have time from their home or office, and traditional learners who prefer a classroom setting. The popular 3-day exam workshops helps you separate yourself from your job and focus your study efforts while expert instructors teach you what you need to know to pass your CFA® exam.

If you are a traditional learner, you will appreciate the clear and concise 5-volume SchweserNotes and the detailed examples that highlight what you must know. The printed QuickSheet study aid provides a quick reference of key formulas, definitions, and concepts of the CFA® curriculum in a 6-page, laminated brochure. If you prefer pencil and paper, you can use the workbooks to go over material, examples, and questions in conjunction with live courses. Online access to thousands of multiple-choice questions in the question bank help you review critical concepts and Learning Outcome Statements (LOS) (also available offline).

Those who prefer to study online can build their own customized exam for specific topics and take advantage of the Online Resource Library, a collection of videos about the core concepts of the CFA® curriculum. The ever-popular “Schweser Secret Sauce” is a portable, compact book that offers a clear, concise review of the core elements of the CFA® curriculum and provides tips on how to apply your knowledge to the exam in the final weeks before the test.

My Suggestion

Kaplan offers numerous options for you, including live and online classes, seminars, mock exams, and self-directed study programs. You can mix and match online and live course options and review sessions, or choose an entirely online course.

The “Secret Sauce” books and SchweserNotes allow you to focus on the most important topics that are tested on the CFA® exam instead of becoming overwhelmed by the information in the CFA® curriculum. By choosing a Kaplan Schweser review course, you can adequately prepare yourself for the exam in less time than it would take to study the traditional CFA® curriculum.

SHOW ME THE BEST CFA® COURSES

Summary of Course Features

  • On-Demand Video Courses, Webinars, Recorded Lessons, and Digital Learning Materials
  • Live or Online Review Options
  • 3-Day or 5-Day Exam Review Workshops Available
  • 4,000 Practice Questions
  • 6 Practice Exams
  • 5-Volume SchweserNotes
  • “Secret Sauce” Compact & Portable Review Book
  • Study Calendar
  • Analytics (Online Scoring and Performance Tracking)
  • Workshop Workbooks and eBooks
  • Online Resource Library
  • QuickSheet Laminated Study Aid
  • Instructors Available to Answer Questions via Phone, Email, and Chat

Pricing

Online Mock Exam Only
Price: $100
Includes: Printable answer key, online scoring and performance tracking by topic area and comparison to other Mock Exam candidates, and explanations that include LOS and CFA® curriculum page references for every question.

SchweserNotes Package
Price: $379
Includes: SchweserNotes, 3 practice exams, QuickSheet, access to expert CFA® instructors and Study Calendar.

Essential Self-Study Package
Price: $649
Includes: Question bank, SchweserNotes, 6 practice exams, QuickSheet, access to instructor office hours and Study Calendar.

Premium Instruction Package (online weekly class)
Price: $1099 – $1,399
Includes: Online weekly class, additional video classes, Schweser’s Secret Sauce, question bank, SchweserNotes, 6 practice exams, workbooks, QuickSheet, Study Calendar, Ask Your Instructor, Online Resource Library, PassProtection (50% discount on next course if you do not pass).

Premium Plus Package (online weekly class plus online 3-day exam review)
Price: $1,399
Includes: Final Review Option (online review included in price, in-person review costs up to $400 more), online weekly class, additional video classes, Schweser’s Secret Sauce, question bank, SchweserNotes, 6 practice exams, workbooks, QuickSheet, Study Calendar, Ask Your Instructor, Online Resource Library, PassProtection.

(The Premium Plus Package is also available with live weekly classes and a live 3-day or 5-day Exam Review workshop, for a total price between $1799-$2099.)

Compare Kaplan Schweser to other CFA® prep courses by clicking the button below:

SHOW ME THE BEST CFA® COURSES


Kaplan Schweser CFA® Breakdown

Kaplan Schweser CFA® Review
Strengths 
1.Final Exam Review
2.6 Full Practice Tests
3.On-Demand Learning
4.Availability of Instructors
5.Focused and Concise

Kaplan Bar Review

Kaplan CFA Logo

Website: Link

Physical Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Year Founded: 1938

Exams Covered: CFA, FRM, ACT, SAT, LSAT, Bar

Continuing Education: Yes

BBB Grade: B-

Trustpilot Rating: 4.6

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter

Contact Page: Link

 

Apptuto CFA® Reviews

Apptuto CFA Review uses innovative technology and a seamless learning platform to offer a fresh new look and feel to preparing for the CFA exam. They offer CFA prep courses for both Level 1 and Level 2 exams with plans to rollout their level 3 course in late 2016.