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 Wiley includes:
- Details on their full product range
- A summary of all packages on offer and what’s included with every package
- Candidate reviews and ratings
- Our final thoughts and recommendations on Wiley as a CFA provider
John Wiley & Sons acquired Elan Guides in January 2014, rebranding it as Wiley Efficient Learning and rapidly expanding their offering to the current three-level CFA suite. Shajani continues to be strongly involved through his current position as Editor-in-Chief for CFA Prep Materials.
Specific products can also be ordered individually, but you’ll probably find best value-for-money through one of the packages. You can of course top up with individual purchases if you’d like to add something to your package.
The five packages Wiley offers and their components are compared below. We’ll also go through each of the components and whether they will be suited for you.
Study Guide: Five volumes of concise notes
- Available in five printed volumes or as an ebook, this is Wiley’s study notes on the CFA curriculum. It goes through all the fundamentals, concepts and Learning Outcome Statements (LOS) needed to pass each CFA exam level, so you can use this as your primary source to learn the CFA curriculum. The format, summaries and reference systems make it more easily digestible than the official CFA curriculum – it’s a significant advantage because it allows you to finish your studies sooner and keep you fresh for your practice exams.
Practice Exams: Two or three Mock Exams available per CFA level, more on the way
- Wiley offers two (or one in Level III) Mock Exams for each of their study packages, and an additional 11th Hour Mock Exam if you purchase the 11th Hour Final Review or Platinum Packages. This means that you can get a maximum of three Wiley Mock Exams for Levels I and II, and a maximum of two Wiley Mock Exams for Level III.
- For the serious candidate, we think that you should supplement this with additional mock exams – we recommend that candidates complete four or more practice exams for each level. Wiley also offers two additional mock exams for CFA Level I through their Mock Exams ebook, which you can buy separately. Don’t forget that you also will have a free mock exam from the CFA Institute, which you should definitely complete.
- We reached out to Wiley specifically on this point, and Wiley have also assured us that they are constantly enhancing their products and working hard on adding more mock exams for future offerings.
Review Notes: 11th Hour Review Guide
- The 11th Hour Review is Wiley’s one-book final review guide to each CFA exam level, condensing all readings and key formulae to help ‘top up’ your knowledge as you work through your mock exams. As this is just one book, it’s handy to bring around in the final month and on the actual CFA exam day, if you’re keen on doing some last minute reviewing before the morning and afternoon exams.
Question Banks: Thousands of practice questions for Level I and II
- The Wiley Test Bank as thousands of questions – 4,000+ questions for Level I and 1,200+ questions for Level II, and includes answers and explanations for each. It also includes a quiz planner that allows you to create customised exams and filter by topic if you wish. The Test Bank is accessed online, so you’ll need a computer and internet access for this.
Classroom & Video Courses: Live Online Classes, topic-based Video Lectures and Online Mentoring
- Live Online Classes are a new addition to the Wiley CFA product range. It’s a set of 16 weekly instructor-led classes lasting about two to three hours and consists of a lecture, worked problems, and a Q&A session. The class is also recorded so you can catch up on it later if you can’t attend the live ones.
- You can also work through the entire curriculum through Wiley’s Video Lectures, going through all fundamentals and concepts needed to pass each level. 50-90 hours of video per level are included. As per most video lectures, the instructors explain the concepts, work through examples, and work in exam tips along the way.
- Wiley also offers something called Online Mentoring, which is basically an online Q&A. If you need something clarified or a question worked through, just post it up and you’ll get a response in 24 hours or less.
Review Course: 11th Hour Final Review Course
- Wiley’s 11th Hour Final Review Course is their knowledge-booster course, meant to be taken closer to the actual CFA exam day. Unlike Schweser’s review courses which are scheduled at certain dates, you can take Wiley’s review courses at any time, as the material is already prepared. It consists of:
- 40 hours of review-focused video lectures
- A full-length mock exam and seminar
- The 11th Hour Review Study Guide (which we went through in a previous section above)
- Formula sheets
- Wiley’s Pass Guarantee is simple – you can keep access to your course and repeat as needed until you pass, no questions asked.
Additional Perks: Adaptive Planner, Formula Sheets, Performance Dashboard
- A few additional features included in Wiley’s packages are worth a quick mention:
- Formula Sheets: All packages include formula sheets which summarise the basic concepts and formulae needed for each level. This is a great tool – it should be used and annotated as you work through the curriculum and mock exams.
- Adaptive Planner: Wiley’s adaptive planner helps you schedule your CFA studies, helps you stay on time, and is flexible enough to accommodate if your commitments or schedule changes.
- Performance Dashboard: A significant advantage of online exams and online prep material is that your performance can be automatically calculated, summarised and compared. Wiley’s Dashboard and Performance Metrics helps you evaluate your performance, and highlights problem areas where you should focus more attention.
- Price: Wiley’s prices have increased slightly recently, but they are a cheaper alternative to Kaplan Schweser, and now has an expanded offering. You can check their latest offers here.
- Great notes: The Study Guide and 11th Hour Review Guide have consistently been well-reviewed by candidates for its digestibility
- Wide range of products: Wiley’s packages cover most candidates’ needs, and you can top up with additional supplements if you need them
- Top-notch instructors: High-quality instructors like Basit Shajani and Peter Olinto really make the difference to your understanding of more challenging CFA concepts, especially in video lectures and online classes
- All three CFA levels covered: Not all providers offer all three CFA levels. Wiley does offer a complete product offering for all three levels, although their Level III offering has less material.
- Consistently updated: All materials are updated every exam cycle, so you know you’re always using the latest curriculum
- Pass guarantee: Wiley’s pass guarantee is simple, covers everything you’re concerned with, and no questions asked
- More mock exams please: Candidates are likely to require more than the two mock exams included as standard in their packages. We recommend at least four, so although candidates can combine this with the Final Review mock and the free mock from CFA Institute. Wiley has stated that they will bring more mocks to their CFA offering so this will only improve in the future.
- Wiley offers a comprehensive set of materials for you throughout all three CFA levels at reasonable prices. The quality of their notes, guides and videos are excellent, but you may need to supplement with an extra mock exam or two. Remember that you can also grab bargains and save by checking out the latest discounts, freebies and trials in our Offers section.
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