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On the other hand, Wiley CFA is known for making your study time as manageable and efficient as possible while providing a comprehensive exam review.
So, should you focus on the study materials you receive from CFAI or add Wiley CFA? Let’s compare study materials, features, and more to help you decide.
Wiley CFA is a CFAI Approved Prep Provider (APP) and is the best CFA prep course due to the sheer number and quality of study tools you get with your course. The biggest difference you can expect with Wiley CFA vs. CFAI is in the main study materials.
With CFAI, you will be reading through extensive coverage of exam topics included in the learning outcome statements (LOS) and answering end of chapter (EOC) questions as your main form of learning.
But with Wiley, you study with video lectures hosted by expert instructors and reinforce your learning with manageable lessons and bootcamps. You also get access to expert mentors to help you through the study process—something you don’t get with CFAI.
When you study with Wiley, you get access to so many helpful features that CFAI does not offer, including:
The main features you get with your CFAI study materials, which you also get with Wiley, are:
CFA candidate Vivek Maharajh says, “I failed Level 2 twice, then used the Wiley material and passed right away, then passed Level 3 using the Wiley material on my first try. That says it all.”
Next, we’ll compare features offered by Wiley or CFA Institute side by side in the CFA Exam Review Comparison Grid below.
So, what exactly do you get with a Wiley CFA exam review course that you don’t get with CFAI study materials? Use the Comparison Chart below to compare Wiley vs. CFAI features side-by-side.
The features provided with Wiley CFA courses (like manageable lessons) make studying more manageable, so you don’t get overwhelmed. And even if you do get stuck, Wiley also gives you access to expert mentors so you’re never alone in your preparation journey.
If you choose to study for the CFA exam with Wiley, you can choose from three different course options at three different levels of pricing. The Wiley CFA Platinum Course is the most popular because it comes with the 11th Hour Final Review Study Guide and Mock Exam (which helps make you feel extra confident on exam day).
There is also a Gold Course that gets you access to all standard Wiley features like live online virtual classes, expert mentors, and video lectures. If you’d like a more basic but still effective course, you can opt for the Self-Study Course, which provides access to all standard features with the exception of lectures and mentors.
As mentioned earlier, you get access to CFAI study materials for free when you register for the CFA exam. This includes access to the CFAI online learning system, but if you’d like a print copy of the CFA Program Curriculum reading materials for CFA Level I, CFA Level II, or CFA Level III, you must purchase those separately for $250 each.
CFA candidate Thiam Foo Cheong relied on Wiley to understand tough topics and found great value in his investment.
“The value for money is top notch with Wiley and quality is not at all compromised. Wiley has always been my number 1 source of reliance and support for understanding difficult concepts and LOS.”
When you study with Wiley, you get a pass guarantee that provides unlimited access to your course (including updates) until you pass the exam. This guarantee comes with no exceptions or terms and conditions, so you can find relief knowing you have support until you pass.
A very cool feature you get with Wiley CFA Level 1 courses is the Score Predictor tool. This tool predicts how well you will do on the exam so you know exactly where you stand and can adjust your study plan accordingly.
This feature is particularly helpful for making you feel like you have complete control of your study experience, so you can be confident when you sit for the exam that you studied adequately.
You don’t get a score predictor tool with your CFAI test prep materials.
Both Wiley and CFAI provide practice questions and a question bank (qbank). Wiley is known for providing high-quality practice materials with thousands of questions that come with helpful rationales, so you understand why an answer choice is right or wrong. Wiley questions also imitate real CFA exam questions, so you feel confident come exam day.
Ashley Landon, CFA candidate, liked the full rationales that came with Wiley practice questions. “Great study materials! Easy to understand explanations!”
Flashcards help you fit in a quick study-session on the go. You get flashcards with your CFAI study materials and with your Wiley CFA course. Both sets of flashcards can be accessed online or downloaded and printed for offline use.
Wiley CFA prep is an online course with live online classes, on-demand classes, manageable lessons, bootcamps, and more. CFAI materials are offered in an online format via the Learning Ecosystem platform, which gives you access to reading lessons, practice questions, mock exams, and flashcards. CFAI reading materials are also offered in a print format, but you have to purchase those separately.
Features that you get with the online Wiley courses that you don’t get with CFAI’s Leaning Ecosystem are:
CFA candidate Mohamed Elkayar says, “Thanks to Wiley, I passed level I on my first attempt with 0 finance background.”
In order to help you digest the information you are learning, Wiley breaks down long lessons into chapters based on Learning Outcomes. These shorter lessons help you retain more information while not getting overwhelmed.
CFAI does not offer short lessons. On the contrary, they provide long, dense reading materials that many CFA candidates actually report having trouble making it through.
“I recommend Wiley Efficient Learning to anyone who wants to pursue his CFA journey. The videos and study guides are perfect,” says CFA candidate Hussein Jaber.
Another reason to consider investing in a Wiley CFA course to supplement your CFAI materials is because you get access to expert mentors. Caring instructors answer your tough CFA questions, so you never get stuck and stay stuck along your studying journey. You don’t get this kind of support with your CFAI materials.
Mock exams are crucial for making sure you are prepared to take the CFA exam. Wiley practice tests mimic the real CFA exam interface, so you feel more comfortable when it comes time to take the actual exam.
With Wiley courses, you get two full-length mock exams, and you also get one to three mock exams with your CFAI study materials depending on which exam you’re studying for (CFA Level 1, CFA Level 2, or CFA Level 3). Practicing with these exams will make you feel more confident and prepared on exam day.
You only get reading lessons with your CFAI study materials, whereas Wiley provides video lectures you can review at your own pace. Wiley video lessons are taught by expert instructors who really care about you understanding the material. The lecturers are engaging and make learning the material fun and manageable.
Wiley video lectures were pivotal in helping CFA candidates Richard and Ashutosh understand the material.
“I used Wiley video lectures to supplement the CFA Institute material and it matched my expectations because important study areas were given a lot of focus,” says CFA candidate Ashutosh Balasubramanian.
CFA candidate Richard Alcron says, “Best CFA videos on the market. Rapidly increased my understanding of the material and core concepts.”
The Wiley Platinum Course gives you access to Wiley’s 11th Hour Final Review materials, including a Final Review Study Guide and Final Review Mock Exam; alternatively, you can also purchase the 11th Hour Review materials separately.
This final review pulls out all the stops to make sure you master all key information before you sit for the CFA exam. This feature really could be the difference that helps you pass the exam on your first try.
CFAI materials do not include an 11th Hour Final Review.
So, should you use only the CFA Institute materials for your studying or supplement with the robust Wiley CFA course?
After comparing the study materials you get with both programs, it’s clear that Wiley provides study materials and tools that make your studies much more efficient and manageable.
CFAI provides only reading lessons, practice questions, mock exams, and flashcards. With Wiley, you get all of that plus video lectures, manageable lessons, expert mentors, access until you pass, bootcamps, a score predictor, and more. These features could be the key component that help you pass the CFA exam on the first try so you are that much closer to becoming a CFA charterholder.