The path to becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst is much smoother when you have the right CFA study material, like AnalystPrep CFA Review. With a CFA course, you can make studying more efficient and potentially reduce your study time. Plus, with the right CFA prep, you can increase your chances of passing the exam on the first try.
If you’re looking for quality but affordable CFA exam study materials, consider AnalystPrep. The biggest CFA bundle has 5,000 questions and 40+ video hours. Many candidates have found that with AnalystPrep CFA review and their modern CFA curriculum, their path to becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst was a little easier.
In this article, I’ll give my review of AnalystPrep CFA. In the end, you’ll find links to other articles about becoming a CFA and how to sign up for my free CFA newsletter.
You probably already know that the CFA Institute, or CFAI, grants the CFA certification. If you want to become a CFA, you’ll have to jump through a few hoops. First, you must become a member of the CFAI and pay your annual fees.
Next, you need to fulfill the requirements to take the CFA exam, which are lower than other accounting credentials like the CPA. You just need a bachelor’s degree in any subject. And if you don’t have that, you need at least 4 years of experience.
But don’t let that low barrier fool you. The CFA exam has a reputation for being a challenging exam. Just how hard? Well, only about 27% of candidates passed the Level I exam in the last testing window, and the pass rate typically hovers between 40-43%. And according to the CFA Institute, successful candidates usually study at least 300 hours for each part of the CFA exam. Since there are three parts, that means an incredible 900 hours of study time. So be prepared to devote a fair amount of time to passing the CFA exam.
Thankfully, there’s a wide range of study materials available. After reading my review of AnalystPrep, you might decide that this is the right review provider to help you pass the exam and become a Chartered Financial Analyst.
I know that the mention of 900 hours of study time can be intimidating. Even with the best CFA study materials, studying for the CFA exam is a major commitment. But still, if you want to build a career in investment and portfolio management, you should consider it. Check out my post, Is the CFA worth it: The surprising answer with 5 reasons to get more insight.
AnalystPrep has only been around since 2014. In addition to CFA resources, Analyst Prep Review also has reviews for other exams for the FRM® and SOA® credentials.
But even though they haven’t been in the market for decades, Analyst Prep has already proven themselves through their students’ success. They started with a question bank that covered Level 1 of the 3-part CFA exam. It was such a hit that they developed even more CFA study materials full courses for the CFA exam. Over time, they’ve added AnalystPrep review for FRM and actuarial exam candidates.
AnalystPrep takes a user-driven approach to online self-study exam prep. They combine modern technology with the expertise of their instructors to create high-quality study products. But they also believe that CFA study materials should be affordable, so they strive to keep their costs below the rest of the market.
The AnalystPrep packages offer several CFA review products:
However, not all packages include all learning tools. Check out the chart below to pick the package with everything you need. Also, note that the AnalystPrep platform is entirely online.
AnalystPrep has developed video lessons that go over each CFA Level 1 exam LOS, or Learning Outcome Statements as outlined by the CFA Institute. The AnalystPrep CFA videos include professionals like Professor James Forjan, who has both a CFA and a Ph.D. When viewing the lessons, students see a split-screen. One side displays a video of the instructor speaking on various topics. The other side displays slides with written text that accompanies the instructor’s lectures. In this way, students both see and hear information, which helps reinforce content.
AnalystPrep revises the videos to reflect new exam content from time to time. In addition, these updates feature new examples explaining the most challenging concepts.
The study notes are like textbooks, in a sense. They go over each LOS on the CFA exam, but they break it down into manageable chunks. For example, in the Level 1 packages, you could use the study notes as a CFA Level 1 study guide. Plus, a handy function in the study notes lets you create your own flashcards as you go.
AnalystPrep claims that its question bank is the highest-rated question bank among CFA candidates. They use high-quality questions that are similar in difficulty to the ones on the CFA Exam. AnalystPrep’s team writes the questions, and everyone on the team has a CFA, FRM, Ph.D., or is pursuing a Ph.D.
The platform includes the option to customize your quizzes. So you can quiz yourself on multiple topics at once. Or, you can focus on the content that you still find challenging.
AnalystPrep has 8 mock exams, each with 120 questions. Explanations are given for the correct answers. Plus, you can print the exam and answer explanations so you can study offline, too. Therefore, if you’re looking for a CFA level 1 mock exam, the AnalystPrep bundles have several for you to practice.
The AnalystPrep platform includes a performance analyzer that compares your performance on quizzes and mock exams against other students. For instance, let’s say that on Level 1, you’ve been doing 90% better than the other students using AnalystPrep. If the CFA Level 1 pass rate hovers around 40% or less, there is a good chance that you’re ready to take that level of the real exam.
All of the AnalystPrep bundles come with access to personalized help via “Ask-a-Tutor” sessions. Depending on your package, you get as few as 5 sessions or unlimited support. All tutors are CFA holders, and you can trust their advice.
AnalystPrep study packages start as low as $149 per year, but the costs increase depending on the access level you need. All packages include the CFA Question Bank, printable mock exams, and performance tracking tools. However, you should note that some of the features that make AnalystPrep a strong review provider are not included in all packages. So if you want materials like video lessons and their detailed CFA study notes, make sure you select the right bundle.
Here’s a summary of their packages. In the chart below, you should note that AnalystPrep also offers bundles with just CFA Level 1 material, Level II + Level III material, or an unlimited bundle that gives you access to all of their best CFA study material. And some of them have lifetime access, but others only have access for 12 months.
Although this is the most basic and affordable package, it still gives you what you need to pass the CFA Exam. It includes a CFA Level 1 Question Bank, printable mock exams, performance tools, and 5 ask-a-tutor sessions. Note that this package does not include the CFA Level 1 videos, study notes, or the Level I essential review summary.
If you’re looking for a package with CFA level 1 video lessons, you’ll want to step up to the Learn + Practice Package. It includes everything from the Practice Package plus videos and study notes. The CFA Level 1 study material also comes with printable AnalystPrep CFA level 1 formulas and ratios sheets.
And, you get the Level 1 “essential review summary,” which is a CFA Level 1 study plan that goes over the most essential content. You can also use this summary as a last-minute cram review before your test date.
If you only need review material for Level II, you could consider one of the Level II packages. The Level II question bank includes 200 sample cases, each with 6 practice questions. The Practice Package consists of the test bank, several CFA Level 2 mock exams, performance tools, and 5 ask-a-tutor sessions.
The content in the CFA Level 3 packages focuses on wealth planning and the skills needed to help clients make sound financial decisions. The Practice Package for Level III includes a question bank, sample essay questions, mock CFA exams, and 5 ask-a-tutor sessions.
If you only need a CFA study guide for Levels II and III, AnalystPrep has a bundle for that. With an unlimited package, you get access to all of the Levels II and III material. (To clarify, you don’t have to pay for CFA Level 1 exam prep if you’ve already passed your Level 1 tests.) Plus, you can have an unlimited number of ask-a-tutor sessions. And you can even log into the platform for life.
The CFA Exam Unlimited Package is definitely the best buy. You’ll get all of the AnalystPrep study tools (question bank, CFA mock exams, performance tools, video lessons, Essential Review Summaries, and study notes) for all three levels of the CFA Exam. So really, this package is the most comprehensive CFA online course. And even better, you have lifetime access to your CFA material. So if it takes you longer than planned to pass the exam, you don’t have to worry about purchasing another review package. Plus, with the lifetime package, you’ll always have access to an updated curriculum. And you get unlimited ask-a-tutor questions, too.
The cost is $549 for a lifetime of access. In my opinion, this price is below the industry standard for this amount of study material and personal support. And it’s definitely the most cost-effective to purchase the 3-level bundle instead of one level at a time.
If you pick one of the Practice or Learn + Practice packages, you can use the ask-a-tutor function 5 times. That is, 5 times during your 12-month access, a tutor will help you with a question or problem via live chat or email. But for an extra $79, you can bump that up to unlimited ask-a-tutor questions.
Adding unlimited access to tutors is the easiest way to upgrade your CFA exam preparation. If this additional charge fits your budget, I would definitely consider it. You don’t want to add obstacles when you don’t have someone to help you with a problem.
I’ve already mentioned that the Practice and Learn + Practice packages only have 12-months of access. However, for an extra $99, you can get unlimited access. And your curriculum will be updated whenever the CFA exam changes. Again, this is an add-on that I would recommend. There’s no sense in adding the extra pressure of squeezing in all of your studying in 12 months if you can fit this fee in your budget.
|Level I Practice||Level I Learn + Practice||Level II Practice||Level III Practice||Unlimited – Levels II & III||Unlimited – Levels I, II, & III|
|Level I Question Bank|
|Level I Mock Exams|
|Level I Video Lessons|
|Level I Study Notes|
|Level I Essential Review Summary|
|Level II Question Bank|
|Level II Mock Exams|
|Level III Question Bank|
|Level III Essay Questions|
|Level III Mock Exams|
|5 Ask-a-Tutor Questions|
|Unlimited Ask-a-Tutor Questions|
|Lifetime Access + Curriculum Updates|
If you choose AnalystPrep as your CFA review provider, I would start by reading all of the study notes and creating your own flashcards as you go. Watch the videos and work through the problems in the question bank. Follow up with quizzes and go back to the study notes to re-learn the concepts you missed.
Finally, take the mock exams and compare your progress to other AnalystPrep students. Your AnalystPrep package will include several CFA sample tests, and you should definitely take them. After all, you don’t really know if you’re ready for the Chartered Financial Analyst exam until you sit down and take a sample test. Plus, as you work through a CFA exam example, take note of the pacing you have to maintain to complete the entire test on time.
AnalystPrep doesn’t publicly announce their pass rate. However, they claim that 84% of their students don’t request their pass guarantee. This claim implies that about 84% of their students pass the CFA Exam. Of course, we don’t know how many of their candidates failed the exam and didn’t request the guarantee.
Yes! The AnalystPrep CFA prep trial is free, but the trial is limited to the test bank. You get access to 150 “exam-style” questions. If you like what you see, you can upgrade to a full membership.
However, the free trial doesn’t give you access to all of AnalystPrep’s CFA exam prep materials. On their website, though, they have also posted some sample study notes. The notes include sample questions, too, with explanations for the correct answers.
Instead of textbooks, AnalystPrep has study notes that serve as a CFA Level 1 study guide. The content is similar to a textbook, but the topics are broken down into small, digestible chunks of information. I prefer this parceled approach, as with so much material to study, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Approaching the CFA study material for Level 1 step-by-step is a better way to learn the content.
Honestly, because their prices are so much less than other competitors, I would go ahead and get the CFA Exam Unlimited package. It comes with all of the great tools like the study notes, videos, CFA mock exams, and unlimited ask-a-tutor sessions. Plus, you get lifetime access to the content. That means that even after you pass the CFA exam, you can go back to AnalystPrep when you need to brush up on your skills.
Bloomberg Prep CFA Review is another provider of study materials for the CFA exam. And like Analyst Prep, Bloomberg also offers a CFA exam study guide, practice questions, mock exams, and access to experts via private tutoring sessions and an ask-a-tutor messaging system. However, at $499 to $1,999 per CFA level, Bloomberg Prep has a much higher price point than Analyst Prep.
Wiley Efficient Learning has Chartered Financial Analyst study materials, too. Users get access to everything they need to pass the CFA exam, including video lessons, a CFA question bank, CFA practice tests, live online classes, and textbooks. But at $645 to $1,395 per level, it’s much more expensive than AnalystPrep. So if you’re looking for quality CFA test prep that won’t break the bank, give AnalystPrep a try.
The CFA Institute keeps a list of “Approved Prep Providers,” but AnalystPrep isn’t included. But don’t put too much emphasis on that fact. Instead, I suggest reading AnalystPrep reviews, signing up for the free trial, and making your own evaluation of their CFA resources.
To be honest, the best CFA study materials depend on your individual learning style. So if you’re someone who enjoyed your college lectures, look for a course with CFA Level 1 videos. Conversely, if you learn by doing—like working through questions—use a course with lots of high-quality CFA sample questions for Level 1. In addition, be sure that your course includes at least one CFA Level 1 practice exam to rehearse the timing of the real exam.
You might be tempted to find free CFA study materials online. Although we all like to save a few bucks, you might be doing yourself a disservice if you use free CPA study material. After all, the CFA exam content changes from time to time. So you might find part of a CFA Level 1 qbank online, for instance, but you have no way of knowing that the questions are current. So save yourself some headaches and use a trusted and reputable CFA exam review.
Although I’m sure a small number of CFAs managed to pass the exam by only practicing questions, I strongly advise against it. When you register for the CFA exam, the CFA Institute sends you curriculum readings. So before you sit for the Level 1 test, definitely take advantage of this CFA Level 1 free study material.
However, I wouldn’t rely on this curriculum alone. Most candidates find it boring and overwhelming to digest on their own. At the very minimum, I suggest reading hard-copy or online Chartered Financial Analyst notes to review the exam content. Plus, before you start with the Level 1 test, take at least one CFA Level 1 practice exam to better understand the format and intensity.
Based on my experience, yes—you should study with a review course. After all, the CFA pass rates for Level 1 are only about 40-43%. That means that over half of the candidates who think they are prepared for the exam aren’t. In fact, the CFA Level 1 pass rate for the November 2021 exam was particularly low at only 27%. Don’t get stuck with the group that fails their first attempt.
Plus, the average number of CFA hours of study needed to pass the exam is high. According to the CFA Institute, successful candidates study for at least 300 hours. Therefore, make the most of your study time and review with a course like AnalystPrep.
The format of the CFA exam is different than other credential exams. Specifically, the CFA exam format includes three parts, each with different questions and/or essays. The CFA exam parts are referred to as “levels,” and you must pass the first level before moving on to the second.
Yes, I believe that if you read all study notes, actively watch the video lessons, take the quizzes and CFA practice exams, and follow up with the tutors when you have a question, you could pass the CFA exam.
If you’re looking for an online self-study CFA prep course at an affordable price, AnalystPrep could be right for you. The course emphasizes the test bank, customizable quizzes, and mock exams, which could be a significant benefit for CFA candidates who learn best by drilling questions. And if you go with a package with unlimited ask-a-tutor sessions, professionals are just a click away when you need help. If you’re diligent with your studies and take full advantage of their products, AnalystPrep could help you pass the CFA exam on your first try.Best Price on AnalystPrep CFA!
Are you looking for more information about how to pass the CFA exam, becoming a CFA, or even CMA jobs? Check out these articles:
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I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley), and I also passed all 4 sections of the CPA Exam on my first try. Additionally, I have led webinars, such as for the Institute of Management Accountants, authored featured articles on websites like Going Concern and AccountingWeb, and I'm also the CFO for the charity New Sight. Finally, I have created other accounting certification websites to help mentor non-CPA candidates. I have already mentored thousands of CPA, CMA, CIA, EA, and CFA candidates, and I can help you too!