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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.
Wiley offers different options for courses that range in price, but the 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—quite a big difference in cost! Given that the value of the courses is about equal, with Wiley offering a better overall package, it’s a no-brainer which course wins this category!
All content updates and software upgrades for Wiley CFA® are not only free, but also provide grant users unlimited access after the purchasing date. Other courses tend to lack this type of deal, as generosity isn’t overly common in the CFA® test prep space.
Kaplan’s offering is like other courses and provides you with full access until your exam date. If you fail the first time around, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny to re-up and take another stab at the exam with this course.
Both of these courses have well-sourced practice questions to prepare professionals who are studying for the CFA® exam. Wiley comes with 4,000 practice questions and Kaplan matches that number.
The quality of the questions is pretty similar, so the fact that you can get the Wiley package for at least $250 less than Kaplan makes it the clear winner. You’re not going to go wrong with either question bank, however.
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 level of dedication necessary to become a CFA®.
Wiley has tools directly built into the course that will allow you to interact with subject matter experts 24/7—this is an extremely helpful component of the course. Since this type of service could make or break certain study sessions, it’s hard to match this level of support.
While Kaplan doesn’t go as far as Wiley, it does have a decent offering in terms of support. The Ask Your Instructor function in the Kaplan course provides users with a solid option. If you ask exam or technical questions, you can expect to get an answer within 24 hours. It’s not immediate, but it’s certainly an okay timeline. Still, Wiley wins again.
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 has a great course, but there’s not a specific benefit that you’re going to see it offer that other companies haven’t included in the numerous CFA® test prep options. Although there are some great features, the lack of any real extra value makes the overall price tag way too high for anyone to actually consider. That’s really the difference between these two courses—there’s nothing special in the Kaplan course that justifies such a big gap in pricing.
Wiley has a pass guarantee for all three levels of the CFA® Exam and you’re going to get access to its full 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. This type of gravitas in the industry is tough to match, and it really shows. Its “pay only once until you pass” guarantee is evidence of its confidence in the products that it puts out.
Given that you’re going to pay such a high price for the Kaplan course, you’d really expect some awesome type of guarantee or lifetime access. However, in order to claim your refund from Kaplan in the case you don’t pass, you will have to meet a number of specific criteria.
So which course is better? Wiley beats Kaplan in…every single category. While Kaplan isn’t a horrible course, and it does have a few great features, there’s a lack of justification for such a high initial price.
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!