Wiley vs Kaplan Schweser CFA® Review

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?


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 their CFA Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 prep 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 CFA 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 CFA 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!


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