How To Choose The Best CFA Exam Prep

How To Choose The Best CFA Exam Prep

CFA exams are renowned to be one of the hardest exams to pass. A candidate is usually required to dedicate at least 300 hours to study using the correct study materials. Selecting a good exam prep is the first step to ensuring that you get a CFA certification. There are many prep courses currently online. However, you must select one that suits your needs and enables you to strengthen your weak areas. Each course has a different learning style and features that make it unique from all the others. These courses are usually used to supplement content provided by the CFA Institute for better results.

What should I consider when selecting a Prep course?

There are major things that you should look at when scouting for prep courses online. These are usually tell-tale signs that the course provides up-to-standard content. Here are a few things to have in mind when choosing a certain prep course.

Is the exam prep written according to the curriculum?

Examiners always adhere to the CFA Institute curriculum and Learning Outcomes when setting exam questions. A prep course should therefore be in line with the provided curriculum. This ensures that it supplements the rather voluminous content provided by the institute to increase your passing rate.

For how long have they been in the market?

Some providers have been around for quite some time, while others have recently joined the market. You do not want to be the first candidate to use a provider’s exam prep notes and question banks. They may lack experience in creating prep courses that meet examinations standard. Some have been producing prep courses for decades. They have a better understanding of what is expected of a candidate by an examiner. Their material is usually solid. However, always check that they have updated content.

Recommendations from friends and family

This applies to friends and family who successfully took the CFA exams. If you are not sure of what to pick, ask them what study material worked for them and how it influenced their level of preparedness. In case you lack any, you can alternatively visit your local CFA society to seek advice from any of the members who are willing to share their personal experiences.

Do they provide multiple learning options?

Different people have different studying methods that work for them. A good exam prep course should provide a variety of options that you can choose from. Some of the learning options include:

Live online course training – These are scheduled live online classes carried out by an instructor. The instructor is usually a CFA charter holder. You are allowed to ask the instructor questions and further explanations where you need clarity. It is usually carried out. The sessions take place at the same speed as classroom sessions. Its advantage is you can schedule other activities around your online sessions.

On-demand courses – These offer a great amount of flexibility. You can access the material at any place at any time using any electronic device. The instructor is usually available via chat or email if you have any questions. It is a personalized approach to studying hence enabling you to retain information easily.

Q-Bank practice questions – A Q-Bank contains a collection of exam-style questions that reflect the CFA Institute curriculum and exam standard. They are a good supplement used to test a candidate’s understanding of the curriculum and how to apply concepts. A good prep course should have a question bank that you can use to carry out a self-test.

Select from the list of CFA-provided prep providers

There are some prep providers listed on the CFA website. These are vetted CFA charterholders that provide good prep courses. They offer study assistance to improve a candidate’s readiness for the exam. Always check their reviews to gauge the accuracy and overall pass rate of their previous candidates.

The best CFA exam prep providers

Now that we have a criterion to use when selecting a prep provider let us look at those available in the market and the contents of their prep courses.


Think of a comprehensive prep course that’s designed to make passing CFA as easy as any finance exam you’ve come across; that’s AnalystPrep for you. AnalystPrep offers one of the most affordable CFA study packages out there that any aspiring charterholder will find useful. It combines all learning tools in one place to make studying comfortable for all types of students. With just $399, you get 12-month access to a question bank with thousands of questions, CBT mock exams, video lessons, study notes, and one-one-interaction with a tutor for questions and answers. Practice makes perfect, and that’s basically what AnalystPrep aims at – giving you access to thousands of exam-grade questions to help you test your skills before the actual exams. Moreover, you can get expert answers to these questions just to ensure you’re on track. Learn more about AnalystPrep’s CFA packages here

Kaplan Schweser

Kaplan Schweser is one of the leading CFA prep providers. It has been providing courses for over three decades hence a good choice. Its products are provided in packages with varying prices. The cheapest package(self-study package) contains notes, practice exam questions, and planning tools. A more advanced option has an addition of on-demand courses and reviews workshops.

The Princeton Review 

This is also a well-established exam prep provider. It offers courses for candidates who want to ace the challenging CFA exams. It offers prep courses for all the 3 levels of exams. A candidate gets a free 7-day trial before paying for the full course. Princeton review provides a candidate with the practice exam score almost immediately after completing a practice test. This comes with score analytics pointing out weak areas that they need to improve on.

Students can ask Princeton teachers questions. The teachers also provide private tutoring at an additional cost.

Salt Solutions

This is one of the newest prep providers in the market, introduced in 2020. It offers study materials for all levels of the CFA examination. The course is designed to improve a candidate’s learning process by outlining crucial steps. It comes with a scheduler that enables you to set your weekly goals and track your progress. Its platform has a user-friendly layout to improve a student’s experience to accommodate long study hours. In addition, it contains assignment questions and downloadable videos. It is a good option for those who prefer using digital devices to study as opposed to textbooks.

Bloomberg Exam Prep CFA

This is an AI study platform that enables a student to identify and focus on their weak areas. It has a self-study package that consists of micro-lessons of the whole curriculum. This package also comes with practice questions and instructors to answer a student’s questions. An improved, more expensive package contains more than 10000 questions, seven exams, and the ability to ask an instructor 20 questions. The best package consists of an additional 4 exams, unlimited messaging, and 5 private tutoring sessions.

It is a good option for students who can cram content quicker and over a short period as it offers such packages too.

These tips and options will enable you to pass all levels of the CFA exams. Becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst improves your position in the job market. It also opens you up to new roles and positions. It is an exam that is worth taking with a guaranteed pass rate if you dedicate enough time and materials to study.

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