Best CFA Prep Courses + 2024 CFA® Exam Discounts

Let Me Find the Best CFA Prep Course for You!

I'm here to help you find the best CFA prep course for you. So, I've analyzed the most popular CFA review courses available and included their pros and cons here. I've also allowed the experiences of my readers and comments from financial analyst forums to inform my conclusions. 

Finding the Best CFA Prep Course for You!

I can't say that one CFA prep course is truly the best because different CFA review courses are more effective for different candidates based on their educational backgrounds and learning styles. But, because there are so many CFA study materials to choose from, I'm sure one of them will be the best CFA prep course for you! To learn more about your CFA prep course options, check out our summary below. 

CFA Prep Courses

Fitch CFA Review 


Premium Plus

CFA Exam Unlimited

Essential (self-paced)

Full Classroom Package


Level I: $1,299+;

Levels II & III: $1,499+


$799 per section

Level I: $585-$1,430; Level II: $585-$1,560; Level III: $585-$1,680 (in pounds sterling)

CFA Discount

No discount

# of Video Instruction Hours



Level I: 50+; Level II: 60+; Level III: 50+

120+ (unconfirmed)

# of Practice Questions

Level I: 3,500+

Level II: 3,000+

Level III: 1,700+


Level I: 1,650+; Level II: 1,500+; Level III: 800+


# of Mock Exams



2 per CFA exam level

Up to 5 (unconfirmed)

Customer Service

Instructor help


Professor Q&A

Instructor Helpdesk, live classes

Performance Tracking

Pass Guarantee

Access Until You Pass

(W/ restrictions)

Detailed Comparison of CFA Prep Courses 

kaplan cfa schweser

Kaplan Schweser CFA Review

One of the most well-known names in CFA test preparation is Kaplan Schweser CFA, which is a member of the Kaplan family of educational products. It is our best-rated CFA review course for several reasons!


Comprehensive course

The CFA study guide from Kaplan Schweser seamlessly combines SchweserNotes with video lectures (referred to as SchweserNotes Videos, naturally). The course also offers access to instructors via the InstructorLink feature, mock exams, a community forum, a performance tracker, and a highly acclaimed Qbank (or collection of CFA practice questions) library. Additionally, you can add a 3-day live CFA review session to your package to refresh your exam skills.

Easy-to-understand materials

The SchweserNotes are precise and easy to read. Moreover, regardless of your financial background, the summarized notes are the perfect length and depth for most applicants. Additionally, Kaplan Schweser CFA gives you tools that make it easier to keep on top of your CFA study schedule. For example, Schweser's Secret Sauce is a handy hardcopy or ebook with succinct reviews. Plus, you'll receive an activity feed from Kaplan Schweser, which serves as a reminder of your weekly study responsibilities.

The most mock exams available in CFA exam review

Of all the CFA prep courses we reviewed, Schweser's course contained the most practice exams. Having so many mock exams available is a real advantage because they enable you to grow completely comfortable with the format and functionality of the exam before you actually sit for it. 

Personal support

With Kaplan Schweser's Premium Plus package, you have access to an experienced CFA instructor in addition to live or on-demand class options. This function is very useful if you have a specific CFA question!

Pass protection

Kaplan Schweser recently added PassProtection! This guarantee means that Kaplan Schweser will cover the cost of your subsequent study materials if you fail the CFA Exam. (But hopefully, you'll never need to take advantage of this guarantee because you'll pass the CFA exam!)


On the expensive end of the best CFA courses

Despite having a lot going for it, the Kaplan Schweser CFA course has one of the highest prices on the market. Additionally, the cost may increase further based on the extras you choose (such as live online classes as opposed to on-demand video lectures). However, in life, you typically get what you pay for, right? Because Kaplan Schweser has created one of the top courses for CFA exam preparation, the company may charge a greater premium than some of its rivals. But still, I would rather study with the best CFA course that I could manage with my budget.


In conclusion, the Kaplan Schweser CFA Review course is best for busy candidates who have a solid understanding of finance and a preference for reviewing the exam content at a high level.

analystprep cfa exam

AnalystPrep CFA

AnalystPrep broke the mold in 2014 when it started providing high-quality, comprehensive courses for FAR less than the other providers. Today, AnalystPrep continues to expand its offering to ensure candidates have the very best materials for which to study. And, even better, AnalystPrep is still incredibly affordable. Moreover, AnalystPrep includes features that no other course dares to offer, which is why candidates have grown to trust them with their CFA studies.



For less than $500, you'll receive complete review courses for not one, but all 3 CFA levels.

Most Mock Exams

To prepare for the CFA, you'll need excellent mock exams. AnalystPrep offers 6 mock exams, the most offered by any CFA course.


Again, AnalystPrep goes where no other course does -- tutoring is included in all of its paid packages. If you get stuck somewhere along the way, the helpful and knowledgable team at AnalystPrep can ensure you overcome the challenge!


No App

Consequently, for all of AnalystPrep's strengths, they do have one weakness: there is no app. However, I don't view this as a problem, as you can study using any mobile device. The course is extremely mobile-friendly.


If you need a more comprehensive and affordable CFA study program, AnalystPrep is highly worthy of your consideration. We found their course to be straightforward to use, and the content coverage of the CFAI LOSs is very thorough. Therefore, AnalystPrep receives our recommendation.

princeton review cfa

Princeton Review

Princeton Review is synonymous with prestige, and Princeton Review's Ultimate Course is perfect for candidates who need to watch lectures in real time. In the past, the company only had CFA study materials for Level 1. However, that has changed, and now Princeton Review offers study guides for all CFA exam levels. 



Candidates can get thorough Level 1 and 2 CFA review resources without spending a fortune thanks to video lectures, a Qbank, mock examinations, and more. Additionally, Princeton Review is the only affordable course with live online instruction.

Access to CFA experts

To help you in passing the CFA exam, Princeton Review CFA has a staff of knowledgeable CFA instructors that you can access. You can be sure you're in good hands, especially coming from a company that is well known in the educational community for having some of the best CFA courses.


Smaller Qbank than the other best CFA courses

Although it is a reputable CFA course, Princeton Review only offers 1,500+ practice questions for Level I, 1,650+ for Level 2, and 800+ for Level 3 (at present moment, at least). This shouldn't be an issue, though, if you Princeton Review in addition to the CFAI resources.


In short, the Princeton Review CFA course is excellent for visual learners who will certainly benefit from the different types of lectures available. And if you're on a budget, Princeton Review CFA might be the right study materials for you.

Fitch CFA / 7City Learning

Fitch CFA Review

Fitch CFA was once 7City Learning. Under their new name, they provide both classroom and online CFA prep courses. (However, the classroom option has been suspended because of COVID-19, and the company hasn't provided an update about when in-person CFA review might continue.)


Enlightening videos

I believe the Fitch CFA Review course is better for visual and auditory learners than the Schweser course because Fitch's videos are more instructive. 

No Pass, No Pay

Conditions for this unique guarantee apply, but if you meet them, you can receive a check from Fitch if you don't pass the CFA exam. 

Learning cognition resource

Fitch Learning Cognition (FLC) is the part of the online platform that assess your strengths and weaknesses and directs you toward the most critical topics. In this way, FLC provides you with a truly adaptive learning experience. 


Lack of in-depth materials

Fitch's notes are not the most detailed, so you may struggle to find the additional explanation you need to understand a topic. 

Fluctuating class schedule

If enrollment is low enough, Fitch will cancel its classes. Consequently, this situation can lead to frustrating setbacks for candidates with tight schedules. 


Fitch is decent at just about everything, and they may really appeal to you. But due to their lack of any outstanding features, I struggle to recommend Fitch over other courses.

My General CFA Study Material Recommendation

The CFA is one of the most (if not the most) daunting professional exams. What's more, the different exam levels build upon one another by expecting a deeper understanding of the concepts from Level 1 to Level 3.

Consequently, it's crucial to study with the best CFA test review course that also works within your price range. The top-rated CFA study guide on this website is Kaplan Schweser CFA, which is what I suggest for my readers. The reason Kaplan Schweser is the best is that it provides all the learning resources you need to pass the CFA exam. You'll have the best chance of passing if you complete the course, take part in the live online CFA classes, interact with the instructors via InstructorLink, read all of the SchweserNotes, practice the CFA questions in the Kaplan Schweser QBank, and pass the mock exams.

Additionally, the Kaplan Schweser online platform features a performance tracker, allowing you to identify your weak content areas and optimize your study time. This tool is very handy because it helps you determine when you're ready to pass.

Best CFA Course Video Lectures

Watching a video while you study is usually a great way to waste precious review time. But if you're watching a video lecture that comes with your CFA prep course, then this activity is actually a perfect way to prepare for the CFA exam. Your CFA prep course's video lectures can help you learn a lot of important CFA exam content. Furthermore, you can also process the information faster and retain it longer, deepen your understanding, engage with the concepts more enjoyably, and complete more convenient study sessions, all from viewing video lectures. To me, that sounds like plenty of really good reasons to value CFA course video lectures! And here's even more good news: every CFA prep course has them.

Amount of CFA Lecture Hours

Clearly, the CFA prep course market presents a lot of variation in CFA video lecture hour numbers. But conveniently enough, nearly all CFA courses include video lectures. In fact, the best CFA video lectures on the market not only come with plenty of hours, but they're also well made and cover the exam content exceptionally.

Plus, it's important to consider quality as well as quantity. Would you rather watch a limited number of videos and really learn from them? Or watch a bunch of really boring videos and waster your time? For example, the Kaplan Schweser on-demand videos are excellent, in our opinion. They are instructive without being overly dry. You don't have to feel guilty about watching a video during your CFA exam study sessions because there are so many instructional lectures available.

Best CFA Course QBanks

You need to answer plenty of practice questions in order to be completely prepared for the CFA exam. Why? Because Level 1, Level II, and Level 3 each have hundreds of questions about hundreds of topics. So, the CFA exam could ask you about anything relating to finance at any time. So, where can you find all the practice questions you need to answer? In a CFA course Qbank. 

A Qbank is an assortment of practice questions written to represent real CFA exam questions as accurately as possible. When you have a Qbank, you can increase your exposure to the exam content, improve your weak areas, and develop your familiarity with the testing environment. And when you have a particularly large Qbank, you can also decrease your chances of memorizing the questions, which is the best way to go.

Number of Qbank Questions in CFA Prep

As you can see, the CFA review course industry features a lot of variance in Qbank size. However, CFA candidates have reported that the Kaplan Schweser CFA has the most challenging practice questions, so it's the best Qbank on the market. 

Best CFA Course Mock Exams

Missing the CFA exam passing score and failing even one CFA exam can really set you back. That's because the CFAI has made several different CFA exams, and you can only take them on particular CFA exam dates. You have a better chance of avoiding this annoying situation if you're familiar with how the exam looks and operates before you sit for it, but how can you acquire that familiarity without taking an actual exam? Three words: CFA mock exams. 

CFA course mock exams introduce you to the exam format and functionality during your studies so you are super ready for the L1 CFA exam ahead of time.

Number of Mock CFA Exams

To side-step the hassle of sitting for even one CFA exam twice, you'll want to take as many mock exams as you can get your hands on. And remember that quality counts, too. You want to use a CFA prep course that mimics the look and feel of the real CFA exam. Therefore, we prefer the mock exam included with Kaplan Schweser CFA Review.  

This course also keeps you well-stocked with CFA mock exams from L1 to L3, with several mock exams for each level. With so many mock exams available to you, you can hit the ground running toward the L1 exam with advance knowledge of the testing experience. Then, you can ride that knowledge high all the way to L3 success by perfecting your testing performance. 

You certainly won't be set up for CFA exam success if you don't take any mock exams. Having plenty of CFA mock exams gives you an essential head start to passing each test, and you'll get all the CFA mock exams you need from Schweser CFA Review. 

Best CFA Prep Course Performance Tracking

Because you can't take the CFA exams whenever you want to in a year, and because you have to pass 3 exams to become a CFA, finishing the CFA exam process takes time. But it doesn't have to take any more time than necessary, and CFA course performance tracking can help you keep your study time at a minimum while still ensuring that you're ready to pass. 

CFA course performance tracking enables you to monitor your study progress and strengthen your weak areas all the way up until exam day. With such helpful analytics about your exam preparations, you can maximize your study time and be completely sure that you're ready to pass.

Both Fitch CFA and Kaplan Schweser CFA prep utilize adaptive technology; AnalystPrep CFA features a study planner, online dashboard, and progress metrics.

What's more, performance tracking integrated with adaptive technology lets you take your study productivity to the next level. A course equipped with adaptive technology adjusts to your learning style and speed. So, if a certain concept isn't sticking for you, the course will suggest you approach that topic using a different study resource. Furthermore, as you answer practice questions, the course will give you harder questions about the topics you know well and easier questions about the topics that are still tricky for you. Performance tracking with adaptive technology is clearly a CFA review game-changer. Additionally, Kaplan Schweser offers a "Activity Feed," which is a weekly list of study suggestions that help you stay on pace to finish all of the required reading before the CFA exam. 

Best CFA Course Pass Guarantees and Access Lengths

I know you want to pass the CFA exam as fast as you can. That's a great goal, but sometimes, the unexpected interfere. For example, you may not get the testing appointment you wanted. Or, you may fail one level of the exam. In case anything delays your progress, you'll want extended access and regular updates to your CFA prep course at no extra cost. And you can get these features when you purchase a CFA review course with the right policies and guarantees. 

Specifically, you'll want a pass guarantee, which prevents you from paying an additional penny for the course no matter how many times you fail. An access until you pass guarantee is also desirable, as it promises constant updates to your course until you finish the exam. When you secure course perks such as these, you also ensure peace of mind through the entire process of passing the CFA exam.

CFA Prep Course Guarantees

Thankfully, most CFA prep courses include some kind of pass guarantee and access until you pass. Therefore, we need to evaluate these policies further to determine which ones are the most customer-friendly. Therefore, we have to give a shout out to Kaplan Schweser - with their PassProtection guarantee, they will cover the cost of your subsequent study materials if you fail the CFA exam.

Does CFAI Provide Review Materials?

The organization that creates the CFA exam and awards the CFA designation is the CFA Institute (CFAI). The CFAI also wrote the Candidate Body of Knowledge, the foundation for the CFA exam curriculum. This document delineates the CFAI's expectations for what candidates must know to pass the CFA exam. 

The CFA Institute gives candidates online access to the curriculum readings after the candidates register for the CFA exam. If you want to receive the printed versions of the readings, you must pay $150. If you fail a CFA exam level and the CFAI lets you sit for the exam again within that same year, the CFAI won't send you another curriculum, as it would be the same as what you received before. But if you sit for the exam again the next year, the CFAI will send you the most recent edition of the curriculum, as the curriculum may have changed by then. 

Because the CFAI gives you the exam curriculum for free, you could rely solely on the curriculum to prepare for the exam, and some candidates do. But on its own, the curriculum actually makes an ineffective study option for many candidates, as they find it overwhelming and boring to get through. And of course, the curriculum doesn't include practice questions, mock exams, or performance tracking, so it can't really help you improve your understanding or perfect your weak areas. Therefore, 70-80% of all CFA exam candidates combine the curriculum with a full CFA review course so they can study more efficiently and effectively. 

What Is a CFA Prep Course? 

A CFA course is a set of materials discussing the CFA exam content. CFA candidates can prepare for the exam by completing a CFA course. While some CFA review courses involve attending a live class in person, many are resources you access online, thereby allowing you to study for the exam on your own time and at your own pace. You can continue to review the CFA exam curriculum as you work through your CFA course. But because your CFA course addresses the entire curriculum, you usually don't need to refer to the curriculum once you have a CFA course. 

Do I Really Need a CFA Prep Course?

Theoretically, you do not need a CFA review course because you will receive the CFA exam curriculum, which tells you what you need to know. But relying on the CFA exam curriculum alone is risky, as doing so leaves so much up to you. And, with CFA exam pass rates averaging 44%, skipping out on a CFA prep course is not worth the risk. And if you don't already feel super familiar with every exam concept (which most of us don't at the beginning of our exam journeys), then supplementing with a CFA review course is essential. 

You should also work with a CFA review course if you want to be absolutely certain that you know the exam content as well as necessary. Finally, if you'd like to see and interact with the exam format and functionality before you take the exam so you face fewer surprises on exam day, you need to take a CFA review course. 

The good news about CFA review courses is that they are worth the money due to how many materials CFA review providers pack into them. CFA review providers design all of these study materials to address your various learning style needs and enable you to strengthen your weak areas with the exam content. For example, CFA review providers almost always supply you with digital or physical books, or both. They also enhance their courses with Qbanks, which contain tons of practice questions representing those on the real exam. Another study bonus CFA review providers offer is a collection of mock exams you can use to develop your testing strategy and time management. And the most tricked-out CFA courses also feature performance tracking and/or adaptive technology. 

What Are the Benefits of a CFA Prep Course?

Investing in a CFA prep course is truly worthwhile for several reasons. When so many CFA exam study materials are within your reach, you can enjoy the following benefits: 

  • Understand all of the exam content before you take the exam.

The CFA exam focuses on a lot of financial information. What's more, the CFA exam curriculum is pretty dry. Reading it is beneficial, but if you're not a linguistic learner, learning from it can be quite challenging. Thankfully, a CFA prep course compensates for the limitations of the CFA exam curriculum by supplying plenty of study material options, such as videos, books, question banks, mock exams, and more. These resources equip you to create more customized study sessions that fit your learning style. On top of that, mixing up your review materials allows you to maintain your focus and deepen your understanding. So, the more study materials you have available to you, the better chance you have of being completely ready for each exam and passing them the first time. 

  • Deepen your knowledge levels and sharpen your skills.

An additional advantage of study material options is the opportunity to level up your knowledge and skills. If you just read through the curriculum several times, you won't be able to assess your understanding or analyze your abilities. Yet, a CFA review course gives you those chances with practice questions and mock exams. When you have performance tracking and adaptive technology as well, you can be certain you've mastered even the most difficult concepts and can answer any question about any topic. Finally, you can also experience the testing process prior to exam day and enjoy the major confidence boost that interaction brings. 

  • Enjoy exam support in the form of live online classes, instructor help, or study forums.

The CFA exam is one of the longest professional exams out there, as finishing the whole thing takes candidates an average of 3-4 years. But you don't have to be on your own that entire time. Rather, you can get help for your journey from your CFA course. Some courses include live online classes that you can join to enjoy an interactive educational environment. Other courses offer instructor assistance to recreate student-teacher interaction or host study forums so candidates can ask each other questions and work together to understand the exam topics. You'll find that as you endeavor to pass multiple exams over multiple years, a support system such as these is just what you need to stay motivated and encouraged. 

Can You Prepare with Just CFA Books?

If you are already very well-acquainted with finance and need little extra instruction to prepare for the CFA exam, you could consider pairing the CFAI curriculum with a CFA book from another provider. This strategy can save you a lot of money on your CFA exam prep and be just as effective if you're a good self-studier. 

There are a number of CFA Level 1 books to choose from, and you can easily analyze them using our detailed comparison. 

How Much Does a CFA Course Cost? 

The most popular providers have a CFA course for each exam level, so you must buy 3 CFA courses in total.  

The most basic courses available from CFA course providers usually include study guides, practice questions, mock exams, performance tracking, and, occasionally, short videos. Prices for these courses range from $149-$695.

The reality is that preparing for the CFA exam costs quite a bit of money. You not only have to pay for a CFA prep course, but you also must cover the CFA exam fees. However, you can keep your CFA exam expenses to a minimum by using our CFA course discounts to get a great deal on your CFA exam prep. 

Is Kaplan Schweser CFA the Best CFA Course? 

Yes! Kaplan Schweser is at the top of our list of best CFA review courses! Why? Well, the company gives candidates amazing features at a great price point.

Is Schweser CFA Review Worth It?

As we begin to assess Schweser CFA Review, we must acknowledge that Schweser is the leader in the CFA review industry. Throughout its history, Schweser has been able to acquire several different companies, build an empire of sorts, and encounter little competition until recently. At the same time, Schweser has distinguished itself as the most expensive course on the market. So, the question is: are you getting a high-quality CFA review course that really is worth every cent, or are you simply sponsoring a brand name? 

Kaplan Schweser’s CFA Review - Final Thoughts

We can't deny: Schweser has a few things going for it other than the big name! And that's why it's constantly rated so high.

First of all, Schweser's videos and notes are very precise. They summarize the CFAI curriculum to an extent that makes the content quite a bit more bearable and beneficial for some.

Secondly, Schweser seems to hold the best supply of mock exams of any course in the business. And this is important, as mock exams allow you to perfect your testing performance while interacting with the exam format. 

Kaplan's courses are some of the best on the market. In fact, we also rank the Kaplan GRE course highly too.

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst are trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

About the Author Stephanie Ng

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!

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