3 Best CFA Prep Course in 2018 (and Our Recommendation)


Here is my analysis on the pros and cons of CFA prep course based on readers’ experience and comments from financial analyst forums. Disclosure: The I Pass Team may earn a small amount of compensation if you purchase from our links; our team uses these revenues to maintain the site and produce awesome free content just for you!

Let Me Find the Best CFA Prep Course for You!

I don’t believe in people who say their study materials are the absolute best, because different courses suit candidates with different background and learning style. I am however confident that you will find one that suit you the best here.

CFA Prep CourseWiley best cfa prep course(Elan CFA)schweser cfa prep coursefitch cfa study materials
PackagePlatinumPremiumPlusCompleteClassroom Learning
# hours of Video Instruction110+49103120
Qbank Quality5-star5-star4-star4-star
# Practice Questions5,500+ (L1)
2,300+ (L2)
1,500+ (L3)
4,000 (L1)
Unknown for L2 and L3
2,500+ (L1)
1,000+ (L2)
600+ (L3)
# Mock Exams3 (L1)
2 (L2)
1 (L3)
6 (L1)
6 (L2)
6 (L3)
Candidate-generated2-3 for each level
Customer ServiceLive online virtual classesInstructor helpStudy forumInstructor help desk
Performance Trackingticktick(practice exam only)Limited analyticstick
Pass Guaranteetickcrosstick(One reset only)tick
Free Trialticktickticktick
Access until you passsmalltickcrossticktick(w/ restrictions)
Pricing (per level)$1,095-1,295 (save $300 with this link)$1,499$299-599$1,395
and Analysis

Detailed CFA Prep Course Comparison

Wiley CFA Review

Wiley acquired Elan Guides in 2012 and integrates Elan’s celebrated content in its state-of-the-art learning platform.


  • Best videos with star instructors (Peter Olinto and Basit Shajani)
  • Tougher practice questions that are closer to the real deal
  • Free trial, pass guarantee and access until you pass
  • Least expensive


  • Some students may find the detailed instruction an overkill (may not be suitable for those who know finance very well)


  • Excellent choice for candidates who need more guidance and great instructor who teach from scratch, with reassurance from free trials and unlimited access.
  • Check out my Wiley CFA evaluation>>

Schweser CFA

The most established and biggest brand in the market.


  • Fully integrated offer with notes, Qbank (practice questions), videos, mock exams and access to lecturers
  • Clear and concise notes that summarize the CFAI text book
  • Most number of mock exams


  • Most expensive
  • Notes and especially videos comparatively not detailed enough to explain concepts
  • No free trial, no pass guarantee, no extended access for retakers


  • Great for busy candidates who have a decent knowledge in finance and prefer a more concise, summarized notes for review.
  • Check out my Schweser CFA evaluation>>

AdaptPrep CFA

A relative newcomer that packs a lot into its affordable courses


  • Large Qbank (CFA practice questions)
  • Very affordable
  • Includes formula sheets
  • Adaptive technology in the course


  • Lacks detailed and helpful analytics
  • Lectures can be a bit dry
  • Doesn’t come with all the bells-and-whistles that Wiley CFA does


  • Great for CFA candidates who have a decent knowledge in finance and prefer a more automated & adaptive study process.
  • Because of it’s great price point, it’s likely best for someone supplementing the CFAI study materials.

Fitch CFA

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


  • Videos tend to be more instructive than that from Schweser
  • No Pass No Pay — they cut you a check if you don’t pass (conditions apply)


  • Notes may not be detailed enough
  • There have been occasions of last-minute cancelled classes due to low enrollment


  • Can’t really think of a particularly good reason to recommend Fitch to be honest, but they are decent in everything.
  • Check out my Fitch CFA evaluation>>

Our General Recommendation

wiley-cfa-prep-courseGiven that this is one of the most (if not the most) daunting professional exams, and how the knowledge builds up from Level 1 to Level 3, candidates have to make sure they understand all concepts.

I believe most candidates would agree that Wiley CFA has the best videos, the notes and practice questions are great, together with access to lecturers, free trial, access until you pass… all in one nice package. The brand is not as big as Schweser, but hey, that’s why it is more affordable (at least for now).

Discount code (until July 31):

Save $300 with Promo Code PASSREADY

  • 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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