Education Prep Powerhouse UWorld Starting a Big Push into CFA Exams

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UWorld CFA Provider Launch and Review

By Zee Tan

Have you heard of UWorld? Well, pretty much every US medical student has.

This medical exam prep juggernaut is now expanding into the CFA exam space, with a unique practice-led, active learning platform that is billed as ‘everything you need to pass the CFA exam the first time.’

About UWorld

UWorld CFA Provider Credentials

​UWorld was founded in 2001 by Dr. Chandra S. Pemmasani, M.D. while preparing for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). In just a few years, UWorld’s quality and disruptive educational approach made them the dominant force in the medical exam prep segment, with a reported mind-boggling 95% market share.

Following success with USMLE, UWorld has expanded successfully into new segments, including:

Industry
Exams covered by UWorld
Healthcare
  • Nursing (NCLEX for RN and PN)
  • Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
  • Physician Assistant (PANCE, PANRE)
  • RxExam (NAPLEX, MPJE, CPJE)
College Entrance Exams
  • Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
  • ACT
Legal
  • Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)
Accounting
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

UWorld’s CFA product strategy and timeline

​With their CFA announcement, UWorld is clearly looking to leverage their experience and replicate their success in the CFA exams space. They’ve already launched their product for CFA Level I after a year and a half in development, with the preliminary plan for CFA Level II to follow in 2021 and Level III in 2022.
UWorld CFA provider launch timeline

For this article’s research purposes, UWorld kindly talked us through their CFA learning platform and shared exclusive information on their proprietary development processes. And when asked about the key differentiator that made them the dominant provider in the medical space and beyond in such a short time, they had a simple answer:

Quality.

UWorld CFA Provider Content Developers

To create the highest-quality CFA learning platform possible, UWorld does not outsource any of their content. Instead, they have aggressively acquired 10 full-time content writers totaling 200+ years of experience to underpin their content development, which includes:

  • 9 CFA charterholders with senior roles in the CFA prep industry
  • Decades of CFA-specific teaching experience, content creation and financial training for leading CFA prep providers
  • Extensive experience at CFA exam development at leading CFA providers, including exam development for CFA Institute
UWorld CFA Provider Content Development Process

As they’ve developed several products across multiple professional qualifications, UWorld’s content development process is well-tuned. Focusing on quality and depth over quantity, each question goes through a meticulous 17-step development process.

Every question in UWorld’s platform is peer-reviewed and revised multiple times before being approved for professional copy editing and illustration and making it into the final product. And it doesn’t stop there – candidates’ feedback is a big part of their ongoing development process as well, bringing continuous improvement to the quality of the learning platform.

Another differentiating factor is that UWorld’s learning platform uses an active learning approach. Instead of passive learning, such as reading or listening to videos, UWorld’s products put doing and practice at the forefront, which allows them to create a platform that allows candidates to master the CFA Program and retain information as efficiently as possible.


​What is UWorld’s active learning method?

UWorld breaks down their active learning approach to 3 principles:

  1. Learn by Doing. Practice and repetition enable candidates to master the concepts tested and retain information. UWorld’s CFA platform focuses on lots of high-quality questions, configurable into unlimited variations of online practice tests that mimic the real exam. Candidates simultaneously learn the material, identify problem areas, and build exam-day confidence.
  2. Focused Learning. UWorld’s learning method emphasizes efficiency. Customizable practice tests allow candidates to control their study plans, focus on their weak topics, and reduce the risk of burning out.
  3. Simplified Learning. UWorld also focuses on making the learning process as simple as possible for the candidate. In-depth explanations, professional illustrations, and thorough explanations for both correct and incorrect answers increase retention and comprehension. The ultimate goal for UWorld’s students is concept mastery, not cramming.

What CFA products has UWorld launched?

UWorld’s focus on quality, active learning, and efficiency has resulted in a well-designed, practice-led CFA platform that is now available for CFA Level I candidates.

Does this concept work in practice? We took UWorld’s product for a spin, and here’s what we found.

You can also try out the full product for yourself right now – UWorld is offering 300Hours readers free, 15 day complete access to their full package.

UWorld CFA Provider All Digital Platform

​UWorld’s CFA learning platform is completely digital and works across all platforms and devices seamlessly through its web interface and native apps. This means you can pause your studying through the web interface on your laptop, and pick up where you left off on your mobile.

As mentioned, the platform puts practice front-and-center. Once you’re signed in, you’re brought directly to the Create Test page to start practicing.

Our review and walkthrough of UWorld’s CFA exam learning platform

UWorld CFA Provider's tests are customizable by topic, questions, difficulty, style

​Creating a test is quite straightforward – you have a choice of ‘Tutor’ mode, which walks you through the explanations and theory as you go through each question, or ‘Timed’, which more resembles a timed CFA test.

You can also choose the question difficulty you’d like to include in your test, as well as the topic areas you want to test, and the number of questions in your test.

The question difficulties came in three categories: Fundamental, Advanced, and Challenging. According to UWorld, Fundamental questions most closely reflect the exam-level of complexity, whereas Advanced and Challenging (about 13% of the total available questions) go beyond exam-level difficulty.

UWorld CFA Provider Tutor Mode and Timed Mode for Exams

You can also filter by topic area and set the number of questions for your test – perhaps topic-by-topic when you’re learning the curriculum, then mix-and-match when you want to get exam-ready.

The platform shows a total of 1,300+ questions. This is already a pretty good number, and equivalent to more than six Level I exams. Furthermore, UWorld has indicated that they will almost double the number of questions by the end of 2020.

There might be other providers out there that may still offer more questions, but UWorld has stressed that it’s quality, not quantity that makes their platform effective.

UWorld CFA Provider Detailed Explanations and Flashcards

Going through the test was a nice experience. The platform is smooth, worked flawlessly, and was easy enough to use from the get-go without any instruction.

The meticulousness of UWorld’s content development process shows in the quality of the questions and explanations. From our testing, there were no errors or typos. The explanations were very thorough and went through the entire concept behind the questions and each individual answer options. The illustrations are crisp and are all created from scratch for each specific question.

UWorld CFA Provider Calculator Keystrokes

Other features that we particularly liked:

  • Shows how others answered. Upon checking your answer, UWorld also reveals the percentage of other users that chose each answer option. A nice touch that gives you an idea of how challenging or confusing the question was.
  • Cross out answer options. Clicking on the answer text crosses them out, which is handy when you’re thinking about the question and want to eliminate one answer option.
  • Notes. You can write and assign notes to each question as you go along. All your notes will then be accessible for review from the dashboard.
  • Flashcards. Just like notes, you can create flashcards as you go along. You can also one-click text or even formulae from answer explanations to your flashcards, which is a nifty feature to have. All flashcards are also accessible for review and practice from the dashboard.
  • Calculator keystrokes for both calculators. For calculation questions, all keystrokes are shown step-by-step for both the Texas Instruments BA II Plus and the HP 12C.
  • Mobile app. You can continue your learning through the UWorld CFA app (iOS, Android, Amazon Appstore), which is very well-built, fast, and syncs up with your progress across devices.
UWorld CFA App Available on iOS, Android, Amazon

​After you’ve completed a few tests, the UWorld dashboard populates the Reports and Graphs sections, analyzing and charting your test performance.
UWorld CFA Provider Performance Report

The Reports section shows you four main reports. Overall, I think they are sensible, to-the-point, and critical to informing and improving your exam performance:

Picture

The Performance Graphs section shows you two graphs – performance by tests taken, and performance by date. In each graph, there are three metrics:

  • Your Score: Your individual scores for your tests taken so far.
  • Cumulative Score: This seems to be a calculated average score based on your test scores, which hopefully will be trending towards 70% and above by exam day.
  • Average Score: The equivalent average test scores taken from other UWorld candidates’ performance.

Conclusion after our walkthrough

UWorld’s Level I learning platform is a great start to their push into the CFA space. It’s clear that they have built a robust, high-quality product, have great experience in course-building from their success in other educational fields, and have top-quality instructors creating their content.

It’s an excellent online learning platform and employs a completely different method from the ‘traditional’ study-and-practice approach. Their answer explanations are some of the most thorough I’ve seen, and I really do like how easy it is to take notes and make flashcards as I go along.

For some authentic candidate feedback, we did a quick outreach on Instagram to ask for feedback from those who had claimed UWorld’s launch offer. The feedback we’ve received also complimented them on their thorough answer explanations and quality of content.

UWorld CFA Provider Testimonials

​Their focus on the end result (passing the CFA exams), practice-led approach, efficiency, and all-digital delivery also allows them to keep costs down and pass them onto candidates. Their basic 90-day access package costs just USD 199. That’s it – just one price with no hidden extras.

UWorld’s CFA product pricing

UWorld CFA Exam Provider Pricing

I would personally be tempted to go for the 360-day package for USD 299 though – it’s just USD 100 extra and you get a lot more practice time. The subscription starts only when you activate it, not when you pay for it, which is nice as you can get it first without having to worry that it’ll run out before your CFA exam!

If you’re looking for an all-digital CFA learning platform to boost your prep, UWorld has certainly created a strong contender to the mix.

UWorld’s free offer for 300Hours readers

UWorld CFA Provider Free Offer

And with the launch, they’re actually giving away their 90-day package for free, so the argument to get their question bank is made even stronger!

You can get a free 15 day trial of their CFA Level 1 product – they are looking for users to put their question bank through the gauntlet. I’m not sure when this offer will end, so if you’re interested, claim your offer as soon as you can. Remember that the 15 days doesn’t actually start until you activate it, so you can claim the free offer first and activate it when you’re ready to use it.

Do you think UWorld’s made a strong impression with their launch? Let us know in the comments below, along with any questions you have!

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10 thoughts on “Education Prep Powerhouse UWorld Starting a Big Push into CFA Exams”

  1. Hello, Please confirm whether the free access is only limited to question bank, as the link provided doesn’t give access to any tutorials, it just gives access to Qbank and if you check the option it asks for various payment option or free trial for 10 days. Please confirm

    Reply
    • Hi Mamata, I was slightly confused by your questions as it is not a 10 day trial, but 90 days free trial? The 90 days is full access to all UWorld content for free. As you may have read in the article, UWorld’s approach is a method that does not require tutorials. It is a practice-led learning methodology they call active learning. The Qbank is robust in that the answers are thorough, and even the wrong answers are answered. As for the trial, they do not offer anything but a 15-day trial offer, and the exclusive 90-day which Uworld is offering. Do double check the link you’re using is correct:

      Promo Once you select “sign-up for free” on their website, you will see the below which shows the $199 regular price discounted to $0. Once the arrow is selected you just have to register. Hope this helps!

      Reply
    • Hi Franco Q, thanks for your patience. UWorld wrote back to us stating that unfortunately they would not be able to have L2 ready for June 2021, with the earliest being a soft launch in Dec 2021 ready for June 2022. They have been growing their team internally and are focused on ensuring a high quality product rather than rushing the timeline. Hope this helps!

      Reply

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