Best CFA Review Course and Study Materials [Compare 2019 Courses]

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Let Me Find the Right CFA Course for You!

I want to help you find the best CFA prep course for you, so I've provided my analysis of popular CFA study material. I've also incorporated into this comparison the experience of my readers and comments from financial analyst forums. 

Best CFA Review Courses Content

CFA Review Course Comparison Disclosure 

Let Me Find the Best CFA Study Material for You!

I don’t agree with people who say their CFA study material is the absolute best because different courses suit different candidates according to their backgrounds and learning styles. However, I am confident that you will find the right CFA prep course for you on this page.

CFA Review Courses

Wiley CFA Review 

(Elan CFA)

Schweser CFA Review 

AdaptPrep CFA Review 

Fitch CFA Review 

Package

Platinum

Premium Plus

Complete

Classroom Learning

Pricing

$1,095-$1,295

$1,499

$299-$599

$1,395

CFA Discount

No discount

No discount

# of Video Instruction

110+

49

103

120

QBank Quality

# of Practice Questions

5,500+ (L1)

2,300+ (L2)

1,500+ (L3)

4,000+ (L1)

Unknown for L2 and L3

2,500+ (L1)

1,000+ (L2)

600+ (L3)

3,000+

# of Mock Exams

3 (L1)

2 (L2)

1 (L3)

6 (L1)

6 (L2)

6 (L3)

Candidate-generated

2-3 for each level

Customer Service

Live online virtual classes

Instructor help

Study forum

Instructor help desk

Perform​ance Tracking

(Practice exam only)

Limited analytics

Pass Guarantee

(One reset only)

Free Trial

Access Until You Pass

(W/ restrictions)

Recommendation & Analysis

Detailed CFA Prep Course Comparison

Wiley CFA Review

In 2012, Wiley acquired Elan Guides. Wiley then integrated Elan's celebrated content into Wiley's state-of-the-art learning platform.

Strengths

Best videos

The Wiley videos are very well done. They also feature star instructors Peter Olinto and Basit Shajani.

Challenging questions

The Wiley practice questions are pretty tough. Therefore, they represent the real exam questions well.

Convenient policies

Before you buy, you can explore the course by signing up for a free trial. And once you've purchased the course, you don't have to worry about your materials expiring while you study thanks to the access until you pass guarantee. Also, you only have to pay for the course once, no matter how many times you have to retake the exam.

Least expensive

With so many exceptional features for such an economical price, the Wiley course truly is an awesome value.

Weaknesses

Excessive coverage

Some students may consider the thorough instructions and intense information to be overkill. For candidates who already know finance very well, it probably is.

Recommendation

Wiley CFA Review is an excellent choice for candidates who need more guidance from their CFA study material, professional instructors who teach the basics, and reassurance from free trials and unlimited access.

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Schweser CFA Review

Schweser CFA is the biggest and most established brand in the industry.

Strengths

Comprehensive course

Schweser's CFA study material is fully integrated with notes, Qbank (practice questions), videos, mock exams, and access to lecturers.

Easy-to-understand materials

The notes are clear and concise. Their summary of the CFAI textbook is just the right length and depth.

Most mock exams

This course includes more practice exams than any other. With so many mock exams available, you can get comfortable with the format and functionality of the exam before you sit for it. 

Weaknesses

Most expensive

While the Schweser course has a lot going for it, it also has the highest price on the market. As this course also doesn't have the best policies or guarantees, justifying such a great expense can be tricky. 

Shallow content

Notes and especially videos comparatively not detailed enough to explain concepts.

Inconvenient policies

The Schweser course isn't the most gracious. There is no free trial, no pass guarantee, and no extended access for retakers.

Recommendation

Schweser CFA is ideal for busy candidates who have a decent knowledge of finance and prefer to study with more concise, summarized notes.

AdaptPrep CFA Review

AdaptPrep CFA is a relative newcomer who packs a lot of value into its affordable courses.

Strengths

Large Qbank (CFA practice questions)

Though not the biggest bank of questions available, the AdaptPrep CFA study material has more than enough questions for you to build your confidence with.

Very affordable

The AdaptPrep course has one of the lowest price points around. Because the course is good quality, this means you're getting a real deal, not sub-par prep.

Includes formula sheets

This useful study tool contains all the formulas you'll need to memorize.

Adaptive technology in the course

As you answer practice questions, the course adapts to your performance and becomes more challenging so you can increase your skills.

Weaknesses

Lacks detailed and helpful analytics

The information the course provides about your progress isn't always as specific and insightful as it could be.

Dry lectures

If you need entertaining and engaging lectures to stay focused, these lectures probably won't cut it for you.

Fewer features

Despite the advanced technology, this course doesn't come with all the bells-and-whistles that Wiley CFA does.

Recommendation

AdaptPrep CFA is good for CFA candidates who have a decent knowledge in finance and prefer a more automated and adaptive study process.

Because of its superb price point, AdaptPrep is most likely best for someone supplementing the CFAI study materials.

Fitch CFA / 7City Learning

Fitch CFA Review

Formerly 7City Learning, Fitch CFA offers both classroom and online learning.

Strengths

Enlightening videos

The Fitch videos tend to be more instructive than those from Schweser.

No Pass, No Pay

With this one-of-a-kind guarantee, Fitch will cut you a check if you don't pass (conditions apply).

Weaknesses

Lack of in-depth materials

If you need more explanation to truly understand a topic, you might not find the notes to be detailed enough.

Fluctuating class schedule

There have been instances in which classes are canceled last-minute due to low enrollment.

Recommendation

To be honest, I can't really think of one particularly good reason to recommend Fitch. But they are decent at everything, so they might appeal to you.

My General CFA Study Material Recommendation

wiley-cfa-prep-courseThe CFA is one of the most (if not the most) daunting professional exams. On top of that, the knowledge required builds from Level 1 to Level 3, so candidates have to make sure they understand all concepts.

I believe most candidates would agree that Wiley CFA has the best videos, notes, and practice questions. The Wiley CFA study material combines these top-notch resources together with access to lecturers, a free trial, and an access until you pass guarantee, all in one nice, neat package. The Wiley brand isn't as big as Schweser, but hey, that's why it is more affordable, for now at least.

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Aggregate Rating
5 based on 1 votes
  • Paul says:

    It appears you work for (or with) Wiley and Sons, which owns Wiley Efficient Learning. As a result, your recommendation of Wiley CFA prep course is suspect. In fact, what you have done seem to be in direct violation of what I have studied in the initial ethics section.

    Am I mistaken? (Apologies if so)

    • Matthieu says:

      Hi Paul,

      seeking for information around CFA support providers, what is your opinion?

      thanks, Matt.

      • John / Stephanie says:

        I guess most people go for Schweser becaues it’s been around for ages, but our personal preference is Wiley.

    • John / Stephanie says:

      I guess if I write more about Schweser then I will be working for Schweser? 😉
      Nah, I don’t. Wiley did publish a book with me on the CPA exam but it has nothing to do with CFA. I just think Wiley’s CFA platform is more nimble. If you can check out my other sites, e.g. CMA and CIA exams, Wiley is not my first choice.
      People have different opinions. These blogs are my way to express my own opinion. Stephanie

  • Ben says:

    Great comparison! Wiley seems promising!

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