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An Inside Look at Kaplan Schweser’s CFA® Program Curriculum Update Process

By: Kaplan Schweser
January 11, 2021
Graphic portraying a group of business professionals looking at Schweser’s CFA® Program Curriculum Update Process

Every year, CFA Institute makes changes to the curriculum tested on the CFA® exam. To keep up with those changes and ensure we are providing candidates with exactly what they need to pass, Kaplan Schweser enlists an in-house team of skilled MBAs, PhDs, and 18 CFA charterholders. Together, they work to fully update our study materials and get them to you as soon as possible.

For each season, that process begins when CFA Institute holds a prep provider conference call to discuss planned curriculum changes. This forum allows CFA Institute to walk through initial plans and address our concerns. Later that year, CFA Institute releases a more comprehensive exam curriculum for the next year to prep providers. Schweser then kicks off our annual update process with a goal of ensuring key products, including the SchweserNotes™, are ready to ship on time.

Each year, we get questions from candidates regarding how much the exam content changes each year and how we reflect those changes in our curriculum. We would like to take this opportunity to show candidates the process we go through each year to evaluate and revise specific products. This process ensures that we provide a comprehensive study solution completely tailored to the exam you’ll be taking.

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Here’s an overview of some of the specific product updates we make each year to get you ready for the latest CFA exam.

SchweserNotes™, Audio SchweserNotes™, Secret Sauce®, Quicksheet, Flashcards

  • Schweser’s team of CFA charterholders analyzes all the new curriculum readings to understand and communicate which skills and knowledge an exam taker is expected to gain from studying the material.
  • Our in-house experts in specific topic areas, such as accounting, tackle the new readings.
  • Our team compares the new curriculum books from CFA Institute word-for-word against the previous year to identify new reading, reading removals, new Learning Outcome Statements (LOS), and changes in LOS wording.
  • We evaluate all changes to existing LOS and update our study materials to ensure that they address any additional skills and knowledge that are required for the current season’s exams.
  • The team updates all of our study materials to reflect any other curriculum developments. For example, readings on Financial Reporting and Analysis are updated frequently for changes in IFRS and GAAP accounting standards.
  • We also use customer feedback to continuously improve our Schweser study materials. For example, if multiple candidates send us questions about a particular concept, the team expands and clarifies our explanations of that concept across our various products.

SchweserPro™ QBank and Mock Exams

  • The Schweser team updates these quizzes, and exams to reflect the new curriculum.
  • They overhaul existing tests to eliminate out-of-date questions.
  • Our team writes fresh questions for newly added curriculum readings and LOS and removes questions referring to deleted topics. They also remove any questions that are no longer relevant.
  • We review existing questions to ensure they reflect changes in the curriculum, such as LOS numbering changes.
  • The Schweser team uses sophisticated psychometric analysis techniques to evaluate existing questions and ensure each is contributing to candidates’ exam preparedness.
  • We make adjustments to exam topic weights to match actual CFA Institute exam topic weights.
  • Video explanations are re-recorded to make sure all changes are addressed.

CFA Prep Classes (Live Online or OnDemand)

  • Our team updates all class slide decks according to the new curriculum.
  • We develop new slides for new readings and new LOS.
  • The team re-records all OnDemand Classes to reflect the changes.
  • They also update the slide workbooks for these products.
  • Finally, we educate our team of Kaplan Schweser instructors so that they fully understand the curriculum changes; once informed, the instructors are armed to build an instructional plan to prepare candidates for success on exam day.

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