How to Study CFA Online – Explore the Benefits of Internet in passing CFA Exam

About studying CFA online

Let your preparation for CFA online. Explore how you can study CFA online with three most popular and effective options in this post.

CFA online


This era is no longer the time when CFA candidates stuck to their books all the time trying to pass the exam. There are several CFA online options that works. Check out three of the most popular CFA online variations below: an online course, online material, and online study group.

Take CFA Online Prep Course

Traditional CFA material providers like Kaplan or Wiley are joining younger ones to provide CFA online class, workshop, and course for candidates. They come in all formats and offers.

The pros and cons of taking CFA online courses


  • Can learn whenever and wherever you want.
  • Be able to access online course where difficult concepts get explained by CFA
  • May have a new approach to the CFA program.


  • You may need more time to study because some video courses are very long.
  • Many courses have a massive amount of contents that can be confusing to learners of what are important to focus on.
  • Online courses are usually expensive ($500 – $1,000+)

What to consider when taking a CFA online course

CFA Online courses are proving to be the top choice for learners. It has its pros and cons as above. However, if you know how to choose the most suitable one, you will get the best out of it. Below are what you may want to take a look at.

  • Price: choose the options that you can afford and have the best offer. Some providers include everything they have into the course. They can be overlapping and leave you confused if you have to study all or not.
  • Format: Does the course come in video course, online class, self-study, materials, or the combinations of all? The format and content will decide how you arrange your studying schedule. The CFA exam is not your mid-term that you can study in 2 weeks.
  • Course length: evaluate how long it takes to go through all contents of the course. Some courses offer up to 150+ hours of video course, with a pile of reading materials, workshop, study group, mock exam, practice question, etc. You do not want a course that is so long. You need time to self-study, too.
  • Study Guide: does the course have a clear and logic study guide? If it doesn’t, you should consider other options. A course that works must be able to show its learners how to get the most out of the course while saving time and hard work.
  • E-books/Print Books: some courses let you choose to get print books, e-books, or printable e-books. Ideally, you should get the printable e-books to be able to study them both way. If not, choose the one that you are most suitable studying.
  • Mobile access: check if the course is accessible on mobile devices. You may think “I bring my laptop everywhere I go.” Trust me; you will want a course with mobile accessibility for the unexpected situations. I was there.
  • Expiration: “after the course” or “until you pass” are the two post popular expiration If it is the former one, you will lose your access to the course after the exam ends. If it is the second, you can study the course until you pass. We all want to pass the exam on the first try, but just for the worst case, a redo without any extra fee is better. Of course, if the course content is not the failure reason.

Some popular CFA online courses

  • Willey’s CFA Course
  • Schweser’s CFA Exam Study Package
  • Fitch Learning’s Online Learning Course

Here are three top CFA online courses. They are available with various editions to match different budget, needs and wants.

Buy CFA Materials Online

The pros and cons of buying CFA materials online


  • CFA materials are cheaper than CFA courses.
  • You can use them the way you want.
  • Most of the CFA materials help you save time with CFA curriculum because they are usually shorter than the official books.


  • Some CFA books do not have information.
  • Not all CFA materials teach you to memorize for passing the exam, not understand the content.
  • There might be scams CFA online materials

What to consider when buying CFA materials online

Nobody can be 100% sure if a CFA material works for him/her. It is almost impossible. However, appropriate criteria can help you minimize the risk of choosing the wrong one.

  • Price: a CFA online material is usually cheaper than a course. But some are quite expensive, compared to its quality. Do your research to decide if it is worth the investment!
  • Length: There is no answer to the question “How long is ideal?”. It depends on your needs. If you want something short for review later, you may want to choose a short option like CFA Mind Maps.  Click here to download some CFA Mind Maps Sample. If you prefer the longer product, the SchweserNotes™ is half long of the CFA curriculum
  • Mock exam and questions: how many exam and questions does the provider include in the package? You will need as many as possible because practice makes perfect.
  • The method of learning: it can be understood as how the provider presents the content. Most of CFA online materials now are in summary or paraphrasing form. The SchweserNotes™ is a paraphrasing material. The Wiley’s guide book is a summary. The CFA Mind Maps is the only one in mind map form. Choose what works for you.
  • Format: most CFA online materials are available in print book, e-book, and printable e-book, or all with an extra From my experience, you should choose the printable e-book one. You can bring it anywhere as an e-book. And if you need, you can print it and have a print book with a small amount of money spent.
  • Sample: make sure to check the sample of the book to see if it is well-written, accurate, and worth your money.
  • Review from other users: Read from people who has used it. But do not realize on comments like “It’s good!” or “It’s terrible.” Find the ones with details description of the experience. Nothing works for everyone.

Some recommended CFA materials

  • CFA® Curriculum by CFA Institute
  • SchweserNotes™ by Kaplan
  • Wiley’s CFA Study Guide
  • CFA Mind Maps

The first three products are familiar to all CFA candidates. They are well-known, long and expensive. The CFA curriculum is a must-have item that every former CFA candidates will recommend you. The aid tool is up to you. The Kaplan’s and Wiley’s product are traditional. The CFA Mind Maps is new, but it has its own strengths that are worth its price (mind map, length, price, etc.)

Start CFA Online Studying Group

The pros and cons of joining an online studying group


  • Have other people to discuss with.
  • Can ask for help with what you do not know and offer advice with what you are sure. By doing so, you are learning a lot.
  • Have groupmates to push and motivate you to study.


  • Weak members can slow down the whole group.
  • Demotivated members can spoil the group.
  • Hostile environment by over-competitive people is dangerous.

What is important when studying CFA online in a group

To make sure you have a group where everyone wants the best for the team, you should make sure to:

  • Choose people with the same CFA level: it is obvious that three levels of CFA have different materials, test forms, so there is no point studying with people from another level exam.
  • Only study with determined people: You will be working as a team, and you won’t want anyone with a mind full of failure to pull the team backward. Find determined and active
  • Build a clear schedule for the study group: while you are studying as a group, you will need to self-study as well. Discuss with your groupmates to find a time when everyone is ready to learn together.
  • Share to learn and do not hide your findings from groupmates: If you find any tips, or answers that you think is going to work, share it with people. There is no limit of pass rate so that it won’t affect you.


Many people think of CFA exam as an impossible one. Some even quit without starting. The secret to passing the exam is not only you but the material you choose, the plan you build, etc. Now, we have various options for CFA online materials beside the CFA curriculum. Utilize this advantage and pass the exam!

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