Preparing to take the CFA exam is a daunting challenge.  One of the most effective study tools is to use a CFA exam prep program from one of the many providers.

Today we examine the Kaplan Schweser CFA exam prep program and provide a first hand review of the program.

Also see our guide to the Best CFA Exam Review Courses.

Preparing for the CFA Exam

The big question you should have is how to prepare to make sure that you pass on the first try. It is estimated that the total time needed to cover each level of the curriculum is around 600 hours, and you definitely don’t want to invest 600 hours into a failing idea.

Just think what other skills you could develop in that amount of time, or how much you could grow your professional network if you were strategic about it.

I assume you have considered the opportunity cost and still decided to pursue the Charter. I would say it is essential to create a plan that will ensure you do have enough time to prepare without destroying your family relationships, your health, or your interest in the field.

Plan to spend 600 studying, whether you only use the official curriculum, or an additional test prep provider.

Start as early as possible and aim to be done about a month before the exam, so that you can spend the last month reviewing your notes, catching up on sleep, and taking CFA practice exams.

Program Options

CFA candidates can choose from a wide variety of prep course options to suit their natural learning style.  Options range from comprehensive product bundles to individual study tools.

Essentials Package

The Essentials course is best suited for students comfortable structuring their own study course.  The package includes the following features:

  • Qbank access.
  • Study Notes.
  • Practice Exams.
  • Quicksheet formula list.
  • Available for $649.

Premium Package

Students interested in a more structured study program will benefit from the premium features included in the Premium package.

  • All features included in the Essentials Package.
  • Over 40 hours of video lectures.
  • Access to Instructor Link (instructors answer student questions).
  • In person or online weekly classes.
  • Available for $989.

Premium Plus Package

Premium Plus represents Schweser’s comprehensive product featuring an intensive final review course before you sit for the exam.

  • Includes all features from the Premium option.
  • Live online or in person final review workshop.
  • Secret Sauce final review notes.
  • Available for $1,349.

Individual Course Products

Another nice feature with Schweser is the ability to purchase study products individually.

This means that you can purchase extra study notes or access to more practice questions.  This can be handy if you already purchased core study material and just need access to a few extra materials.

Notable supplemental products include:

  • Schweser study notes.
  • Audio version of the study notes.
  • Qbank practice questions.
  • Additional practice exams.
  • Flashcards.
  • Quicksheet formula list.
  • Final Review Course.

How Does Schweser Compare?

Schweser has a long history of successfully preparing CFA candidates for the exam.  That strong reputation does carry a premium market price, but there is no question that Schweser offers a high quality product.

Schweser most directly competes with the Wiley CFA prep course.  Both companies offer a wide range of product choices with similar price points.

If you are looking for a lower cost option, AdaptPrep offers a very nice CFA exam prep course.

Final Thoughts

Schweser offers a high quality CFA prep course with a great range of course options applicable to a wide range of study preferences.

The course does come with a higher price point, but that cost is clearly supported by the superior value proposition.

Make sure to check with your employer, because they may be able to reimburse you for the course cost.

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