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What's the Best CFA®Prep?

By: Kaplan Schweser
October 12, 2022
Best CFA Prep according to candidates
Looking for more prep materials than the CFA Institute provides? Recent CFA pass rates indicate just how seriously candidates should take exam prep and look for free and paid resources to help them pass all three exams.


What CFA Candidates Are Using To Prep & Why

CFA candidates want high-quality, comprehensive support when preparing for an exam. Prep packages should contain performance trackers and activity feeds to help them stay on track. Questions are bound to come up and most candidates spend about 3-6 months preparing, so access to CFA experts who have already taken and passed the exam is crucial.

Before beginning to prep consider

  • When would you like to take an exam?
  • What type of studying works best for you?
  • Will you have enough time during the week to prepare or will you spend most of your time studying over the weekend?
  • How long do you intend to spend studying?

Once you’ve determined your prep needs and developed a timeline for when you plan to take the exam, you can begin to weigh different prep options.

CFA Exam Dates >>

Best CFA Prep Classes

These CFA prep classes and workshops have helped thousands of candidates become CFA charterholders. Each prep option is designed to provide the structure candidates need to stay on track and learn the CFA curriculum. 

“In the U.S., Kaplan Schweser is the brand most likely to be used to prep for Level I.”*

CFA Self-Paced OnDemand Classes

Studying at home with OnDemand classes gives candidates the ability to learn new things on their own and at their own pace. OnDemand classes are great for self-study candidates who work full-time and need to supplement their existing study tools. 

Kaplan Schweser’s CFA Level I OnDemand Classes provide access to 50+ hours of in-depth video lectures from CFA experts. The OnDemand classes also contain workbooks to help you review problem examples and practice answering exam-like questions.

CFA Live Online Classes

Preparing for a CFA exam with live online classes allows candidates to benefit from a traditional classroom at home. Studying with an expert CFA instructor in a live virtual classroom will give you the ability to ask questions in real-time and focus on weak areas.  

Kaplan Schweser’s CFA Live Online Classes provide access to highly reputable expert CFA instructors in 15 weeks of online classes, totaling 45 hours of classroom study time. 

CFA Review Workshops

The CFA curriculum is extensive and candidates are expected to demonstrate that knowledge efficiently throughout the 4+ hours of each exam. Getting ‘exam ready’ with a CFA review workshop is perfect for practicing exam-taking skills and speed.

Kaplan Schweser offers CFA Review Workshops Live and OnDemand. Depending on study preferences, OnDemand students have access to 55 hours of question review, and Live Online students get together with expert instructors for 3 full days of intensive review. 

Best CFA Prep Study Tools

If you’re looking to piece together your own CFA prep rather than taking a course or using traditional study books, consider using these self-study tools. 

Mock Exams

The CFA exam is computer-based and you should be familiar with how to use test-taking software like the official exam software. CFA candidates should look for mock exams that simulate the actual Prometric interface. We suggest beginning to take mock exams a few weeks before sitting for the exam to solidify your mastery of the curriculum and compare your scores with other candidates. 

Kaplan Schweser offers CFA Mock Exams for candidates to practice the computer-based test before exam day. Users get personalized performance assessments broken out by curriculum topic and comparisons from fellow CFA candidates.

How to Use a Mock CFA Exam to Sharpen Your Testing Skills

Question Banks

CFA Qbanks are databases of exam-like problems that candidates can use to practice anywhere, anytime. Not all question banks are created equal and candidates highly value ones that actually mimic the real exam. Candidates use Qbanks to keep exam topics top of mind and dig deep into answer explanations as they work through issues.

Kaplan Schweser’s Level I QBank provides CFA candidates with thousands of practice questions that reflect the actual exam so you don’t get surprised or overwhelmed on exam day.  

“U.S. CFA Level I and Level II candidates consider Kaplan Schweser to be among the highest quality, most comprehensive, and easiest to use CFA exam prep providers in the industry.”*


CFA flashcards give candidates the ability to quickly practice key exam topics to sharpen their skills ahead of exam day.

Kaplan Schweser level I flashcards help candidates memorize CFA exam-specific content and prioritize curriculum topics based on their proficiency levels.

Try Some Free CFA Flashcards to Study on-the-go

Best Free CFA Prep Resources

CFA candidates care about cost and free CFA prep materials get used often. Low-quality free resources should be avoided and instead, candidates should look for materials that enhance their existing study tools. Using a trusted prep provider ensures each free resource was developed by a CFA expert.

Free CFA Program Question of the Day

Receiving daily CFA practice questions in your inbox will allow you to practice solving new questions every day leading up to your exam.

Sign up for the CFA question of the day >>

Free CFA Program Free Trial

With Schweser’s Free Trial, you can experience how the core study tools complement each other, giving you concise and comprehensive coverage of the entire CFA Program curriculum.

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Free eBook: Before You Decide to Sit for the CFA Program Exam

Over 100 CFA charterholders who have successfully gone through the CFA Program, advise on what it takes to earn the charter and succeed in the investment industry.

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Free eBook: CFA Program Fundamentals

In-depth fundamental information about each CFA Program topic is included in this free eBook. Each chapter concludes with a sample of multiple-choice questions, complete with answers and explanations.

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Schweser’s Monthly Candidate Guide

Each month, Kaplan Schweser’s Candidate Guide provides fresh CFA content including industry updates and timely tips to help stay on track for exam day.

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Free CFA Program Webinars

Join Kaplan Schweser’s expert instructors for a series of free CFA webinars discussing the CFA Program, the process of earning the charter, how to effectively prepare for the exam, and the benefits to your career.

Best CFA Prep Books

Some candidates prefer to start studying with a prep book, which is a great tool for diving deep into the CFA program curriculum. High-quality books provide time for candidates to perform content reviews, practice questions, and read answer explanations.


SchweserNotes get delivered in bite-sized modules and include reviews and quizzes for each CFA exam topic. Available in print, online, and eBook formats, SchweserNotes helps candidates stay organized while studying.

Schweser's Secret Sauce® (eBook & Online)

Kaplan Schweser's Secret Sauce was designed for the final months of preparation. Available in print, online, and eBook formats, Schweser Secret Sauce helps candidates learn exam-day strategies and get prepared for the final review process. 

Highlights include

  • Tips and tricks to apply curriculum knowledge
  • Strategies and time management techniques 
  • Study plans for the last week before exam day
  • Topic-by-topic listings of high-probability exam topics
  • Analysis of level-specific question styles

Best CFA Prep Study Packages

It’s common for candidates to spend slightly over 300 hours on average preparing for Level I with most choosing to study with an exam prep provider, CFA prep packages are a great way to ensure candidates receive the highest quality and expertise available when attempting to pass each exam. Study packages are designed to optimize the exam preparation experience by combining training and study tools to improve your success on the exam.

“U.S. CFA Level I and Level II candidates consider Kaplan Schweser to be among the highest quality, most comprehensive, and easiest to use CFA exam prep providers in the industry.”*

CFA Essential Exam Prep Package

Kaplan Schweser’s Essential Exam Prep Package turns your self-study path into a guided tour with concise study notes to help you master each exam topic,  SchweserPro™ QBank to increase your content retention, and Mock Exams that gauge your readiness.

CFA Premium Exam Prep Package

Kaplan Schweser’s Premium Exam Prep Package contains everything you need to be successful on exam day. Along with access to all of our study tools, you will get access to convenient OnDemand Classes and Review Workshops. You will learn the entire curriculum directly from expert instructors who have the charter and know exactly what it takes to pass the exam the first time. You’ll start with a personalized Activity Feed that schedules weekly tasks based on your study time frame and exam date. Each task is strategically placed to follow our proven study plan that covers the entire curriculum.

In addition, formal instruction with an expert instructor in the form of OnDemand courses and review workshops are provided to help along the way. Once you’ve learned the material, you’ll be able to test your performance with our Mock Exams to measure your readiness for the actual CFA exam.

CFA Premium Plus Exam Prep Package

Kaplan Schweser’s PremiumPlus™ CFA Prep Package is an all-inclusive study package that contains the same tools found in the Premium Package but allows you to select a Live Online option for your Instruction and Review. Learn, ask questions, and engage with expert instructors in a live classroom environment with a set schedule to enhance the structure and guidance during your CFA prep.

Start a free trial and see how Kaplan Schweser’s core study tools will help you prepare for the CFA exam




* These are the findings of a quantitative survey conducted by Kaplan between June 30 and August 30, 2021. For this survey, a sample of 313 U.S. CFA Level I and Level II candidates was interviewed online. The survey was fielded to subscribers of and

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