Finding the best CFA study materials that will prepare you to pass the CFA exam and become a chartered financial analyst can be confusing. With a few different prep course providers, it’s hard to understand which CFA study guide you should go with.
A great way to help narrow down your decision is to look at the core features of each course to see if that work with your study style. After all, everyone learns and retains information in different ways, so why would everyone get the same CFA exam review course?
The CFA Institute estimates that candidates will need to study for approximately 300 hours to pass the full exam, so you want to get the right CFA review materials that will work with your learning style to decrease your hours of study time. No one wants to study longer than they need to.
That’s why we developed this comparison guide. We review all of the top-rated CFA prep courses and compare their course features, benefits, drawbacks, and study materials, so you can find the guide that will help you pass the CFA exam the fastest.
Let’s check them out!
Top 5 Best CFA Prep Courses Ranked in 2023
Here are the best CFA study materials and exam prep courses to help you pass the CFA exam and become a chartered financial analyst in 2023.
- Best Overall Course: Analyst Prep CFA Review
- Best Innovative Course: Salt Solutions CFA
- Best CFA Course Software: The Princeton Review CFA Prep
- Best Value Course: Wiley CFA Prep Course
- Best CFA Test Bank: Bloomberg CFA Exam Review
Best CFA Exam Prep Courses & CFA Study Materials Compared in 2023
|Company||Analyst Prep CFA||Salt Solutions CFA||Wiley CFA||The Princeton Review CFA||Bloomberg CFA|
|Price||$249 - $699||$599||$895||$999||$1,599|
|Video Lectures||40 Lessons||60 hours||90 hours||50 hours||N/A|
|Unlimited Access||Yes!||Yes!||Yes!||12 Month Access||Yes!|
|Get Started!||Get Started!||Get Started!||Get Started!||Get Started!||Get Started!|
Complete List of CFA Prep Course Providers:
- Analyst Prep CFA Review Course
- Salt Solutions CFA Study Materials
- The Princeton Review CFA Study Guide
- Wiley CFA Prep Course
- Bloomberg CFA Exam Prep
- Kaplan Schweser CFA Review
- Fitch Learning CFA Study Course
- Illumeo CFA Exam Guide
- Apptuto CFA Study Prep
Analyst Prep CFA Review
AnalystPrep CFA review has been one of the most trusted learning platforms when it comes to portfolio management and risk management. The best part of their CFA course is that their questions banks only include qualitative questions that thoroughly mimic the difficulty of the actual exam.
They offer CFA courses for level-1, level-2, and level-3 exams. Their most popular CFA course package is the ‘Unlimited package’. The price of this package is $499. Once enrolled in this package, you will get access to questions banks and printable mock exams for all three levels of the CFA exam.
People interested in customizable quizzes, printable mock exams, and community discussions will find Analyst Prep’s CFA course interesting and useful.
- 40 hours of video lectures
- 3,000 practice exam questions
- 8 full mock exams
- Unlimited access
The AnalystPrep CFA course package includes an interactive community forum. In this forum, you can get your questions or doubts cleared.
In addition, AnalystPrep follows comparative analytics technology. You can compare their progress to their fellow students that will help in evaluating their progress. You can also rate the practice questions based on their level of difficulty.
- AnalystPrep’s CFA course offers printable mock exams that mimic the actual CFA exam experience.
- Whenever the CFA exam curriculum changes, your app will get the updates reflecting new course materials and sample questions.
- Analyst Prep offers a trial period during which you can explore the CFA course curriculum and view the practice questions.
- The cost of the CFA course package is on the higher side for the number of features provided. There are no discounts offered to interested users.
- Some of the modules in their CFA course lack real-time examples and detailed explanations.
Salt Solutions CFA Exam Study Guide
Salt Solutions CFA purchased the popular Adaptprep CFA study guide for its well-known concise, clear, and simple lecture videos. They offer courses for CFA level-1, level-2, and level-3 exams. AdaptPrep is popular for its illustrative course materials offered for all 3 levels of the CFA exam.
There are two packages offered for every CFA exam level. One is the ‘Basic package’ whose price is $199 and the other is ‘Complete package’ priced at $299. With the ‘Complete’ package, you can get access to more than 225 detailed lecture videos and 50+ video solutions to the problems. The price of the basic package for the level-2 exam and level-3 exam is $299 and $399 respectively. The price of the complete package for the level-2 and level-3 exam is $449 and $599 respectively.
People who are planning to attend level-1,2 and 3 CFA exams will find AdaptPreps CFA courses extremely useful and innovative.
- 60 hours of video lectures
- 3,000 practice exam questions
- 3 full mock exams
- Access until you pass
AdaptPrep’s quiz builder feature follows a ‘Dynamic difficulty’ mechanism while getting the questions for your mock exam. Timed exams ensure you get exposed to actual-exam situations.
All the mock exams utilize predictive analysis, creating customized exam questions for you.
There are three progress tracking features namely history, section reports, and discussion questions. These sections help in evaluating your progress throughout the course.
- The formulae sheet offered by AdaptPrep will be very useful as it holds a comprehensive list of all formulas for fast review.
- You can access the AdaptPrep’s manual and the lecture videos on any device.
- AdaptPrep provides a discussion platform where you can get your questions answered by the professional Chartered Financial Accountants.
- There is no face-to-face interaction. AdaptPrep does not provide options for live tutorials or personal strategic discussions with the tutors.
- AdaptPrep calculated the user’s readiness for the CFA exam by only evaluating quiz scores rather than a cumulative score.
The Princeton Review CFA Prep
The Princeton Review CFA preparation course is one of the most popular online courses helping people to crack the CFA exam with a good score. This course is to help the enrolled students pass the CFA exam easily in just 120 study hours. The best part of this course is the 2 mock exams that mimic the actual level-1 CFA exam to a great extent. These mock exams help people to know how well they are ready for the exam.
Prominent topics included in this course are corporate finance, equity investments, and quantitative methods. This course also offers 900 slides of qualitative study notes that will help people revise the contents during the exam time. The price to opt for Princeton Review’s level-1 CFA program is $349.
This course will be the right choice for people inclined to learn through illustrative videos.
- 50 hours of video lectures
- 1,500 practice exam questions
- 2 full mock exams
- Pass gaurantee
Princeton Review follows a money-back guarantee policy. This is a limited time offer where enrolled people can get their money back if they failed to pass the CFA exam.
This course also provides more than 50 hours of recorded video lectures on different course topics. Recorded video lectures make it easy for people to review lectures easily.
- The course contents are professionally designed by experts in renowned industries. Concepts are well explained with real-time examples.
- Once you enroll in this course, you get access to more than 1500 sample questions with solutions clearly explained.
- Currently, you can get a 25% discount on the course by using the coupon code CFA25.
- The flashcards provided have less number of key definitions.
- People interested in attending the CFA level-1 mock exam need to pay $40.
Wiley CFA Prep Course
The Wiley Efficient Learning CFA course has qualitative questions banks, precise sample answers, intuitive dashboard, progress tracker, and performance metrics. The video lectures by professional and dedicated instructors are clear, precise, informative, and are easy to understand. This CFA course comprises online self-study courses as well as live online classes. This course also offers live classes at regular intervals.
The price of the self-study course for the CFA exam is $645, the gold package at $995, and the platinum package at $1395.
People looking to pass all the levels of the CFA exam to become a Chartered Financial Analyst will find this course interesting and helpful.
- 90 hours of video lectures
- 2,000 practice exam questions
- 2 full mock exams
- Final review
The 11th-hour final CFA review course will be extremely useful as it offers extra prep other than the mock exams and practice questions. This final review course will be an additional 40 hours of lecture videos that help you during the final days of the exam. This price of this course is $445.
Wiley provides professional online mentoring. Enrolled users can post their questions or doubts. Professional CFAs (Chartered Financial Analysts) will reply to the questions posted within 2 days.
- Wiley follows the policy ‘Access until you pass’ allowing users to access the CFA course materials until they pass the CFA exam.
- Mock exams, practice questions are up to date ensuring users learn concepts based on the latest CFA curriculum.
- Wiley offers a brilliant number of small lecture videos. Lessons and modules in a bite-sized fashion make the course interactive and engaging.
- Though Wiley’s course may be very comprehensive, the platinum and gold CFA course packages are quite expensive.
- You need to purchase the test banks and formulae sheets. The actual course package will not include the formulae sheets
Bloomberg CFA Exam Review Course
Bloomberg CFA is one of the most popular and well-known financial exam test prep providers. Bloomberg’s course dashboard is definitely a highlight. The dashboard is aesthetically pleasing and also focuses on the prominent components of the CFA exam prep.
In addition, you can find the progress tracker for easy self-evaluation. Their three CFA courses are essential, premium and ultimate, whose prices are $699, $1199, and $1999 respectively. People enrolling in the ultimate package will get access to 10 mock exams. After you enroll for Bloomberg’s CFA course, you will get access to more than 1300+ sample questions with detailed explanations.
Those who love micro-sized lectures will find this course very useful.
- 8,000 practice exam questions
- 8 full mock exams
- Access until you pass
- Modern online app
Bloomberg follows an adaptive learning mechanism. Their Artificial Intelligence software helps in analyzing your progress, performance helping you to focus on the target areas.
You can use the ‘Ask-a-tutor’ messaging feature to ask questions to a proficient CFA tutor to get a personal detailed explanation.
- With Bloomberg, you can get personal tutoring from a set of professional tutors. Enrolled users can get their questions cleared and get study tips from the tutors.
- Lessons are micro-sized making it easy for the enrolled users to interpret concepts easily.
- You can use the two-week free trial offer to view the course curriculum and sample practice questions.
- Only people enrolled for the ultimate CFA course package can access the five private tutoring sessions.
- Some previous learners of this course have felt course contents to be less engaging with less number of real-time examples.
Apptuto CFA Study Materials
Apptuto CFA offers two major choices. One is the ‘Self-study solution’ and the other is ‘study with a coach’ option. Prominent topics in this course include fixed income and derivative investments. The price of the Apptuto premium self-study package is $199. People enrolled in this package get access to an unlimited number of mock exams, more than 3,500 questions with detailed answers.
Apptuto also offers two packages under the ‘Study with a coach’ category. They are ‘Apptuto Bootcamp’ and ‘Apptuto live’ whose prices are $599 and $1499 respectively. The best part of these two packages is that you can access the recordings of sessions.
People looking forward to self-study online CFA courses will find Apptuto’s course interesting.
- 3,500 practice exam questions
- Unlimited access
The personalized study planner feature helps enrolled users to plan their study schedule, their weekly targets in a flexible way.
Apptuto also offers a 1-on-1 coaching feature. The users enrolled for the premium or live package can talk to professional tutors to get their doubts cleared.
- The Apptuto CFA course is simple and engaging for the learners. You can access the course through the web or from mobile.
- If you enroll for the Apptuto Bootcamp or Apptuto live package, you can access the course materials until you pass the CFA exam.
- With the Apptuto premium package, you can get access to more than 3500+ questions with well-explained answers.
- People who took this course felt that the explanations of concepts are insufficient, making it difficult to understand.
- The modules are not neatly coherently arranged making it difficult for users to correlate concepts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the CFA exam course providers.
What is the best study for CFA?
According to the CFA Institute, the most popular and established study guide for the CFA exam is Kaplan/Schewser CFA, but the most affordable prep course is Analyst Prep CFA.
Many CFA candidates view Kaplan as the best CFA prep course because it offers a comprehensive study guide with many different learning features including video lessons.
Is CFA study material good?
Although the CFA Institute study materials are good, other test prep providers offer more detailed prep courses. The CFA Institute doesn’t offer as many video lectures, mock exams, or practice questions as other test prep companies.
That’s why over 75% of CFA candidates purchase a third party CFA review course. The CFA Institute materials are good, but you shouldn’t use them as your sole study guide. You should think about getting another course as well.
What is the best book to study for CFA Level 1?
The best CFA Level 1 study book is the CFA Institute CFA Program Curriculum followed by Wiley’s CFA Level 1 Program study guide. The CFA Institute curriculum book explains all of the exam topics along with giving you multiple examples and mocks exams to practice.
The Wiley CFA study book is a close second because it offers the same level of detail as the CFA Institute books, but it also includes more practice problems.
Where to find CFA study materials?
There are many CFA study material providers that offer self-study courses online. Here’s a list of free CFA study materials that you can use to pass the exam:
- CFA Institute
- Salt Solutions
- Bloomberg Exam Prep
- Kaplan Schweser
Is 3 months enough to study for CFA?
The CFA Institute recommends that CFA candidates study for at least 300 hours in order to properly prepare for the exam.
Thus, three months would be enough time to study for the CFA exam if you studied for 3.33 hours per day. Although this is a strict study schedule, it is doable.
What is the best CFA prep provider?
Most candidates find that the best CFA prep provider is either Kaplan or The Princeton Review based on their learning style. It’s important to get a CFA course that offers features that fits in your learning personality.
Everyone studies differently, so the best course for one candidate may not be the best course for all candidates.
What to look for when in this type of course?
The most important thing to look for in a CFA exam prep is the course learning style and number of practice questions. You want to find a course that matches your learning style, so it will keep your attention and help you study faster.
Also, practice questions are extremely important when prepping for the test. There’s no better way to study different concepts than to test yourself on them. Get a course with a large number of practice questions.
What’s the best course for beginners?
The best CFA prep course for beginners is the Analyst Prep CFA study materials because it breaks down the complex exam topics into easy-to-understand lessons.
With over 3,500 practice questions and 8 mock exams, Analyst Prep is great for new CFA candidates who want to prepare for the exam.
What topics does the CFA exam cover?
CFA tests are normally multiple-choice questions and there are so many ways to prepare for the exam. The exam features three tests in three levels.
On Level I exam, the questions are mostly focused on basic knowledge around investment tools.
Level II entails complex valuing assets analysis and Level III is an application-based course that challenges you to think analytically about wealth planning and portfolio management.
Why take the CFA exam?
If you are looking at pursuing a career in chartered financial analysis as a CFA, then you will need to pass the CFA exam. The CFA exam is meant to measure and certify your integrity as well as competence before you become a financial analyst.
By passing the CFA exam, you gain important analytical skills and expertise in economics, quantitative methods, financial reporting, portfolio management, and investment analysis. The exam is meant to help you advance in your career or land a new job as a CFA.
Luckily, there are so many CFA review courses that you can take to prepare you for the actual exam and it all begins with finding the right course.
What is a CFA prep course?
Most of the CFA online courses provide a test bank consisting of sample solved questions with detailed explanations. The courses usually consist of lecture videos, assessments, quiz, study planners, progress tracker, and live class.
Many online courses offer trial periods that you can use to explore the course curriculum, sample practice questions, mock exams, and other prep materials. Learning through the course lectures, practicing the sample questions, and attending mock exams will help you score well in the CFA exam.