How To Choose the Best CFA Exam Prep Course and Study Materials

A finance professional trying to choose from different CFA study materials and prep courses

Anyone hoping to earn the Chartered Financial Analyst designation must pass three rigorous exams covering a wide range of financial topics. Fewer than 50 percent of CFA Charter candidates pass each exam the first time they take it. However, preparing with a CFA exam prep provider can increase candidates’ chances of success.

What makes the CFA Exam difficult?

Candidates must pass each level in succession, and each exam requires approximately 300 hours of preparation. The exam will not test candidates on every portion of the curriculum; there is a vast amount of material that candidates are responsible for mastering. No notes are allowed in any part of the exam.

The volume of material that needs to be digested can be daunting, but a CFA exam prep course can provide candidates with the skills to help them pass each level. However, choosing a prep provider that is best for you is critical since they differ significantly in how they approach the study process.

How should candidates choose a prep course?

Choosing a course to help prepare for the multi-level CFA exam is challenging, but considering the following features can facilitate the selection.

1. Recommendations

One of the best ways to evaluate a program is to get feedback from friends and colleagues who have taken it. They may be willing to share the pros and cons of a prep course based on personal experience.

2. Instructor Backgrounds

Although anyone who has taken a CFA exam prep course may provide meaningful feedback, instructors can offer valuable insight into the exam’s format and curriculum and advise candidates on the best way to prepare. Candidates should also look for course educators who apply teaching strategies that help students learn large volumes of material thoroughly and efficiently.

3. Provider History

Experience goes a long way when establishing a workable prep course. Prep providers should have an extensive history of success in guiding candidates through the process. Developers with a strong background and knowledge of exam history can prepare the most effective CFA exam prep course that focuses on teaching pertinent materials to help students achieve passing scores.

4. Practice Questions and Exams

Studies show that answering mock questions is highly effective for retaining information. Although studying helps students memorize information for the short term, the mock exams administered during a prep course will help you practice retrieving data from your memory and ultimately help you recall the information on exam day.

5. Learning and Materials Formats

A long commute to an in-person class may waste valuable time that can be better allocated for studying. A CFA exam prep course that offers flexible learning, including live streaming or self-paced modules with digital materials, significantly benefits busy professionals.

Discover how UWorld’s CFA prep course can expand your career opportunities and secure your place among the world’s 170,000 active charterholders who make up the most accomplished leaders in finance.

Prepare for the CFA Exam With UWorld Finance – click here for a FREE trial of our Level 1 Learning Platform.

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