As all of our team have completed the CFA exams, we know how important choosing the right provider is to give you just enough advantage to pass. Our Review series covers the best names in the CFA provider business, combining our thoughts on providers’ latest products with independent candidate reviews.
Our detailed review for Kaplan Schweser includes:
- Details on Kaplan Schweser’s full product range
- A summary of all packages on offer and what’s included with every package
- Candidate reviews and ratings across all three CFA levels
- Our final thoughts on Kaplan Schweser as a CFA provider
Kaplan Schweser today has 12 full-time CFA-qualified faculty members, and 13 other full-time faculty members who hold other professional designations such as CAIA, CFA or FRM.
You can order products individually, but you’ll probably save more going with one of the packages. You can, of course, order a few bits extra if the package you’re eyeing is missing out something you’d like to have.
A summary of what’s included in each package is in the table below, followed by our thoughts on their product range.
Study Notes: Clear and concise
- Called SchweserNotes, the five-volume set is everything Schweser thinks candidates need to study for to pass the exam. The notes are more concise than the CFA Institute curriculum, helping candidates better process the CFA Learning Outcome Statements (LOS). There are also practice questions and self-tests at the end of each topic – although they are usually more to check that you’ve read everything, rather than testing you on the same difficulty level as the real exam. SchweserNotes are available in print form, in ebook format, and even in audio format.
Practice Exams: Six full exams, plus live and online mocks available
- Kaplan Schweser offers two Practice Exams packs (Vol 1 and Vol 2) with three practice exams each, for total of six full practice exams for each level. Each practice exam consisting of an AM and PM paper, and they are available in print or online.
- They also offer an Online Mock Exam, which is timed, taken live on a set date and includes a Mock Exam Tutorial, which is a kind of detailed, guided walkthrough the mock exam questions and answers after you’ve taken the exam.
- Live Mock Exams – fully proctored, in-person, timed 6-hour exams – are also offered in most large CFA cities. They may be free as they could be sponsored by a local society or business, so definitely check out availability in your city and register if there are still places for your exam.
Review Notes: The Secret Sauce
- The Secret Sauce is Kaplan Schweser’s compact guide for candidates as the exam day approaches. This smaller book is handy to bring around once you’ve completed the study notes. It contains concise, readable explanations of the major parts of the CFA curriculum, along with tips, strategies, plans and analyses that help inform your exam-day performance.
Question Banks: practice with thousands of questions online
- Available as an online platform, the SchweserPro QBank has thousands of multiple-choice questions and allows you to customize your own exams by topic and number of questions. Detailed answers are supplied as usual, and you can also download the QBank for offline access. Learn more here.
Classroom & Video Courses: Attend live or online
- Schweser’s classroom courses consist of weekly classes and on-demand video lectures. It includes all the material you need, although you do need to be disciplined in attending classes and watching the on-demand video lectures beforehand. Live weekly classes are currently offered in about 10+ cities, but if live classes aren’t offered in your city you can attend live online. Enrol early – but even if you miss any classes, all classes are archived online so that you can catch up on them later.
Review Courses: Varying lengths and intensities to suit all needs
- Schweser offers a range of review courses in varying duration and intensity. They’re offered in certain cities, so always check to see the latest availability.
- 1-Day Workshops focusing on one topic, such as Financial Statement Analysis.
- 3-Day Workshops covers key topics for the entire exam, practice questions, instructor tips, and includes all the materials you need plus the Secret Sauce book.
- 5-Day Workshops are intensive courses conducted over five consecutive days, with a thorough review of key topics, practice questions, instructor tips, and includes everything you need including the Secret Sauce book.
- WindsorWeek is a 7-day workshop conducted in the University of Windsor (Ontario, Canada). Consisting of hundreds of candidates from all over the world, it’s a full immersion in the CFA curriculum, with 48+ hours of instruction, all the materials you need, one-on-one tutoring sessions, a mock exam, with lodging and meals provided (different packages available).
Kaplan Schweser offers two layers of guarantees for failing candidates:
First is what they call The Schweser Commitment, which gets you off the entire exam prep package for the following year if you fail. Conditions are:
- Applicable only to Essential, Premium, or PremiumPlus packages
- You must answer at least 50% of the available questions from your QBank and Practice Exams
- You must score at least 80% correct on the questions answered from your QBank and Practice Exams. You have unlimited attempts at each question in the QBank
- Second is PassProtection, which applies to almost all their CFA study prep packages:
- 50% off if you failed on a Premium or PremiumPlus package
- 25% off if you failed on an Essential Package
- Experience: Kaplan Schweser is one of the most experienced providers in the field – and there is safety and reassurance in that
- Easy-to-read notes: The SchweserNotes are a great easy-to-digest alternative to the CFA curriculum, and might make the difference in helping you finish your studying in time for practice
- Wide range of products: You’ll be able to choose products in almost any format you can require, and tailor it to your study style and needs
- Good instructor support: Even their SchweserNotes package include instructor support, which is great
- All three CFA levels covered: Not all providers offer all three CFA levels, but Kaplan Schweser have been doing so for quite some time, and are fairly consistent across all three CFA levels
- Consistently updated: All materials are updated every exam cycle, so you know you’re always using the latest curriculum
- Price: It’s not the cheapest of options for CFA candidates, with the Essential package at USD649 (check latest offers)
- It’s not cheap, but Kaplan Schweser is probably one of the safer bets out there. It’s been around a while, the notes are high-quality and concise. Remember that you can also grab bargains and save by checking out the latest discounts, freebies and trials in our Offers section.
If you’d like to review your CFA provider, you can do so here. And if you have any questions, just drop them in the comments at the end of this page!
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