Compare the Top 5 Best CFA Study Materials & Review Courses of 2018

Compare Best CFA Study MaterialsPicking out the best CFA study materials to help you pass the chartered financial analyst exam isn’t as easy as it seems. There are lots of different test prep companies that all claim to be the greatest at helping you prepare for the exam, but how can you know for sure which is the best CFA review course for you? There’s only one way to find out. You have to check out each one and see how well they will work for you.

Despite the claims of each company, there is no greatest CFA prep course. There are a number of different study guides out there that all have their pros and cons and work well for some people and not so great for others. It’s important to read through the sales pitch and the hype of each course and see if it matches your learning style, study schedule, and budget.

It’s pretty common that most CFA study guides recommend that you study at least 300 hours to pass all three exam levels. This statistic assumes that you are efficient with your study time and your review course actually helps. If you have a set of boring CFA books that don’t help you stay focused on the material, you might waste a lot of time studying things that don’t sink in. This could add tens of hours of excess studying for each level. The main thing you need to think about is getting a course that works for you, keeps your focus, and actually prepares you for your exam day.

I know how hard it is to decide which course is right for you with the limited information out there, so I tested all of the top-rated CFA study materials on the market and reviewed them below. I walk through some of the benefits and disadvantages of each platform along with their unique characteristics, so you don’t have to rack your brain about which course to use and start focusing on taking the exam.

Here is a ranking of the top CFA exam prep materials on the market right now. Check it out and see which one will work for you the best.

Quick Look at CFA Course Reviews and Rankings

Top CFA Exam Prep Courses and Study Materials in 2018 Below:

Here are the best CFA study materials to help you pass the exam on your first try and become a chartered financial analyst.

Wiley CFA Review


Wiley has been producing review courses for the test prep industry for decades. They are one of the biggest companies in the industry and the most respected by far. This is for one reason and one reason alone. They make great products.

The Wiley CFA study materials are broken down into bite-sized lessons that can easily be completed in 10-20 minutes each. This means that you will be able to fly through several lessons in the same amount of time that it would take you to go through one lesson of another company’s course.

Wiley comes with over 110 hours of video lectures, 4,000 multiple choice questions, and 3 full mock exams. This is why they are the best. They also offer review materials for all three level exams and give you access to your study materials until you pass. This means there are no extra fees down the road.

It also offers a final review cram course that you can use to make sure you go over all of the important facts one more time the week before your exam day. Wiley also offers a free trial of this study guide, so you can test it out before you buy it.

AdaptPrep CFA


AdaptPrep has taken a page out of Wiley’s book and created their own bite-sized learning approach. Each lesson is short, so you don’t have to sit through long lectures to get to the information you need to know.

Along with more than 40 hours of video lectures and 3,000 multiple-choice questions, AdaptPrep also offers some great analytics, so you can target your weak topics more effectively. They call this their topic mastery feedback system.

This affordable study guide is great for self-studiers and offers course options for all three levels. This course has plenty of materials to ensure you are prepared on exam day, but it’s not as comprehensive as Wiley’s course is since it only has one-third the amount of video lectures. It’s an amazing deal for the price through.

Apptuto CFA Review


Apptuto is a relatively new company, but don’t let that fool you. They have developed a pretty comprehensive and sophisticated course in a short period of time. This set of materials is a steal at this price!

Their CFA test bank includes more than 3,000 multiple-choice practice questions and gives you the options of taking their preset quizzes or making your own custom quizzes from selected topics. This custom quiz option couples with Apptuto’s advanced analytics makes this course a pretty powerful study tool.

Apptuto also offers live-online training for level I and level II exams. They are still working on their level III materials, so they aren’t available just yet. The premium course includes 18 weeks of live classes online totaling 54 hours of classroom teaching. They also offer an option that includes 100 hours of live instructor lead training.



AnalystPrep offers a full set of review materials for an affordable price. Their base course is only $129! That’s a crazy deal. Although I wouldn’t recommend relying on this small course to prepare you for the exam exclusively, it is a great supplement for another course.

AnalystPrep also offers a full coaching package that includes 3,000 practice questions, 4 full mock exams, over 40 hours of video lectures, and last but not least 5 hours of 1-on-1 coaching.

That’s right! You will have access to a personal coach who will be available to answer questions you have about the course, the materials, or even your study habits. They might even push you along and help you get into a study routine. Let’s face it. If you are like me, you probably need a little encouragement to get back in the books.

This is a great course option and it comes with their pass guarantee!

Bloomberg CFA Exam Prep


Bloomberg CFA exam prep offers training and instruction from some of the most respected and knowledgeable people in the industry. You can rest assured that if you decide to go with Bloomberg CFA, you will be getting instructions from the best out there.

This course utilizes an advanced adaptive learning software that actually learns what you know and what you don’t know as you go through the course. It sounds kind of creepy, but it’s actually pretty cool. As you answer questions, the program keeps track of your wrong answers and retests you on the topics you struggle with most. This way you aren’t constantly studying the same information that you already know and understand. You only focus on the stuff you don’t know.

As with any adaptive course, it comes with awesome analytics and a sweet dashboard that displays all the features and functions of the course. This course also includes the biggest CFA test bank in the industry with more than 8,000 practice questions and 8 full-length mock exams. That’s plenty of stuff to practice. The one big downside to this course is that there are no video lectures, so if you are someone who learns best by watching lectures, this one might not be right for you.

Otherwise, it’s an extremely comprehensive course. You should take it for a test drive with their free trial option to see it for yourself.

What are the best CFA review courses on the market?

Compare the top 5 Best CFA Prep Courses of 2018 

CFA Study MaterialsBest for:
Wiley CFA ReviewMost Videos Lectures
Adapt Prep CFABite-Sized Lessons
Apptuto CFA ReviewMost Affordable
Analyst Prep CFA1 on 1 Support
Bloomberg CFA PrepBiggest Test Bank
CPA Exam Product Review - Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Best CFA Study Materials
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Kenneth W. Boyd is a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the author of several of the popular "For Dummies" books published by John Wiley & Sons including 'CPA Exam for Dummies' and 'Cost Accounting for Dummies'.

Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer and College Professor. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.