The CFA test is no small undertaking. It requires extensive study and preparation. Each CFA test requires 300 to 400 hours of study, so it’s best to aim to spread that out over a six month period, although some people do budget longer and aim to study part-time.
Using the best CFA study materials that you can get your hands on will help you to have the best possible chances of passing the test. There are plenty of courses and structured online learning materials that you can use, and there are free services that are a good option for augmenting your learning.
Which are the Best CFA Study Materials?
The market is saturated with CFA prep courses, and while it is true that some can vary in quality, it’s also true that there is no one ‘best’ course. All of the top providers offer quality material and which course is the best for your needs comes down to whether you want face to face tuition, Skype, ebooks, paper books, video content or some mixture of the above. Some courses are online only, some have mobile apps for learning in short bursts and some offer textbooks for those who like to study the traditional way. It can all help.
Let’s have a look at some of the best CFA study materials on the market today.
Apptuto CFA Review
If you learn best from a person, then Apptuto is probably the course for you. They offer online test banks, quizzes, and videos, and they also have the option of live classes and instructor-led training as a part of their premium course.
The Apptuto courses are quite affordable and they are a good choice for people who have a fixed timeline for when they want to take the exam, with 18 weeks of live courses on offer. They offer training for Level I and Level II. At the time of writing, they do not have a Level II program available. However, if you are just starting your path to CFA today then by the time you are ready to be thinking about the Level III they may have the certification available.
There’s a no-obligation free trial, so you can take a look at the program, and the Android/iOS apps, to see whether it’s going to be a good fit for you.
Wiley’s CFA Review
Wiley are perhaps the most well-known brand when it comes to study materials for major certifications. They have a lot of experience in the industry, and they are hugely respected. They are known to make good products, and their course materials are broken down into bite-szed lessons that are perfect for doing on the train home, or for half an hour before you go to bed.
These short lessons are a great motivator. Since you get the sense of pride of having finished one lesson you’re likely to want to move on and do another. The lessons are not time consuming, and this means it’s easier to find the drive to start one even if you don’t have a lot of time to spare.
Wiley’s courses tend to be more expensive than some others, but they are well worth it for the quality and the reliability of the updates.
AdaptPrep is another good choice if you are looking for short, simple lessons that you can pick up at any time. There are plenty of practice questions, and you can hone in on your weak areas and devote more time to them. This makes AdaptPrep a good choice for people who are looking for simple, focused lessons and bite-sized learning.
The course costs less than Wiley’s, but a part of that is because it has less content overall. The content is still high quality, but if you need in-depth coverage and a lot of handholding you might prefer either Wiley’s courses or something that includes live instructor training in the price.
There are many other options for CFA prep. You don’t have to limit yourself to premium programs. The programs that are mentioned above are some of the most well-known and reputable ones, and they offer something for every learning style, whether you prefer face to face tuition, mobile-based learning ore more traditional study.
Remember that studying for the CFA takes a lot of time, and you should treat it as if you were taking a full academic course. Doing a little bit every day will give you a better chance of passing than if you were to cram study in the weeks leading up to the exam.
Try regular sample tests, use analytics, if available, to identify your weak areas, and kee revising until you are confident. You can pass your CFA exams first try if you do the hard work in the months leading up to the test.