The Free CFA Study Materials List [2021 Edition]

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The CFA program is a lot cheaper than other postgraduate qualifications, but hey, every little helps, right?

Be careful though – free CFA exam materials floating around the internet can be outdated or inaccurate. So we’ve compiled the best available free CFA study materials just for you, so you can get straight into exam preparation mode.

Constantly updated, here are all the latest free yet awesome resources we’ve identified for you!


Free CFA Study Materials 300Hours

Free CFA exam study planner

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” – so clichéd but true especially in CFA exam preparations.

A study plan is a must for all CFA candidates to track progress, manage time and target improvements. 

We have created and shared our free, personalized CFA Study Planner tool which has been used by more than 40,000 happy candidates. Try it out!

CFA exam calculator guides

The Free CFA Study Materials List [2021 Edition] 1

It can quickly get confusing and overly complicated when it comes to choosing the right calculator for your CFA exam preparations. Whilst majority of candidates use BA II Plus, those who use HP12C are ardent fans. 

No worries, we are here to help!

Whether you’re unsure which calculator to choose, or just want to learn more BA II Plus or HP12C calculator tips – we’ve got it covered with our CFA calculator guides:

CFA exam tips – Our 10 commandments for all levels

Being charterholders ourselves, we totally get – and shudder at the thought of – the painful process of studying and passing all 3 levels of the exams.

Back then, we wished others have told us what to expect, what to focus on, and just simply how to prepare for each level to maximize our chances of passing. 

Thankfully, we have collected and summarized all these advice and tips from previous candidates and charterholders here for you:

Free probability distribution tables

CFA Passing Score for Level 1, 2 and 3

Common probability distributions can be a nightmare for some, especially if you’re new to statistics. 

However, with lots of practice and grasp of concept, it can easily be one of your stronger topics once you get the hang of it.

We have compiled the following list of probability distribution tables that you would need to learn how to use for Level 1 and 2:

  • Z-Table (Cumulative)
  • Students T-Distribution
  • F-Table at 5%
  • F-Table at 2.5%
  • Chi-Squared Table
  • Durbin-Watson Table

Before that, a few important things to remember:

  1. These full statistical tables would NOT be provided in the exams. However, you need to know how to use and read them correctly.
  2. You do NOT need to memorize any values from the T-distribution, F-distribution, Chi-squared distribution or Durbin-Watson table. If you need such information for a question, an excerpt from the appropriate table would be given in the exams.
  3. However, for the exams you NEED to memorize these 6 critical z-values for confidence intervals of:​​
One-Tailed TestTwo-Tailed Test
95% (1.645)68% (1.0)
99% (2.33)90% (1.645)
–  95% (1.96)
–   99% (2.58)

Free CFA practice questions & mock exams

List of free CFA practice exams

Level 1 practice questions

Besides simply identifying free stuff, we’ve taken it one step further.

We worked with AdaptPrep and ExamWhiz to create a 60-question online practice test, weighted to the actual exam.

The practice test is free for all readers to take online, and upon completion you will receive a detailed answer and performance report, including a comparison to the rest of the sample that have previously taken the exam.

Level 2 mock exam

We’ve previously worked with BPP to create a Level 2 practice test. 60 questions, 10 vignettes, fully explained answers and performance report instantly generated upon completing the exam. And again, free!

Level 3 mock exam

A 3-hour, 60-question practice test, weighted approximately to the topic guidance set by the CFA Institute for the Level 3 exams. This is a proper mock exam, using the item-set and vignette format that’s the same as the actual Level 3 exam PM session, rather than independent question-bank-type questions.

Kaplan Schweser

Free CFA Material Guide - Kaplan Schweser

Free trial of Kaplan Schweser’s core study tools

Not sure if Kaplan Schweser is worth it?

Why not trial it for free for a week? This offer is available for all CFA Levels.

You get to check out samples of Schweser’s QBank, Notes (eBook 1), videos, topic quizzes and resource library.

Free CFA fundamentals eBook

Considering the CFA program?

Kaplan Schweser’s is giving away their free CFA Program Fundamentals eBook for new and aspiring candidates.

This is a great introduction to the main topic areas of the CFA Level 1 exam. Each chapter concludes with a sample of multiple-choice questions, complete with answers and explanations.


uworld cfa practice exam

Free 90 day access to CFA Level 1 learning platform

UWorld’s all-digital learning platform is highly focused on passing the CFA exams via practice questions. 

They are offering full access to their Level 1 package for 90 days, mainly focused on 2,000+ practice questions accompanied with detailed explanations, calculator keystroke cards, and the ability to make flashcards and notes easily as you practice.

We think it is a solid source of practice, and they are well reviewed so far, so definitely worth checking them out! Level 2 is expected to launch soon in 2022.

Salt Solutions

salt solution free beta

Free Level 1 & 2 trial

Salt Solutions’ CFA exam platform is now live for Level 1 and 2, has great early feedback.

It’s a full CFA exam product, so you can use this to prep for your CFA exam fully. We particularly liked the short, succinct videos with high production value, accompanied with study notes, which provides flexibility on study mode.

That said, it is currently L1 and L2 only, with L3 coming soon in early 2022. Try it out yourself!


IFT free cfa study materials

Free essential concepts for Level 1 and 2

IFT is founded by Arif Irfanullah, a CFA charterholder himself who has been helping CFA candidates pass the exams since 2011.

IFT is famous for its no nonsense, comprehensive yet concise video lectures that are highly effective, significantly reducing your study time. Many candidates particularly liked IFT’s concept-focused teaching approach which goes through lots of example questions to aid understanding.

IFT has a really good free resource called Essential concepts for Level 1 and Level 2, which they are giving away for free! They are like mini notes that cover the core CFA concepts in Level 1 and Level 2 that you can refer to during your studies.

Free trial of IFT’s core study tools for all levels

IFT is also running a free trial of its core CFA study product, with hours of free sample video lectures, study notes, question banks (plus essay questions for Level 3) and lecture slides for you to evaluate and try out.

Check it out yourself, and see whether it works for you as IFT has a free trial regardless which CFA level you are!

Bloomberg Exam Prep

The Free CFA Study Materials List [2021 Edition] 2

Free 14 day trial

Bloomberg’s CFA products focuses on online learning, splitting learnings into micro lessons, accompanied with tons of practice exams – their basic package alone comes with 7 full practice exams!

They cover online learning for all 3 levels of the CFA exams, although there are some complaints of quality issues for Level 1 which they are working on ironing out.

Try out the 14 day trial and see if it works for you.

CFA Institute

CFA Institute Free Mock Exams

Practice questions

Practice questions are based on curriculum topics, designed to help strengthen your understanding of the curriculum as you study.

They are 100% free, straight from CFA Institute, available to all registered candidates of all levels. Check out the Learning Ecosystem.

Mock exams

All registered candidates have access mock exams by CFA Institute. This can sound obvious to some, but there are quite a number of candidates every year that don’t even know they have a free material from CFA Institute. The number of mock exams and formats vary from year to year, but do not miss this opportunity to get some practice direct from CFA Institute.

In fact, CFA Institute create these mocks from unused past year questions, so this is as close to the real thing as you are going to get.

The mock exam is structured with approximately the same topic area weights, time per question and format as the actual exam. Multiple mocks are released per Level in the Learning Ecosystem about 2 months before your exam date.

When preparing for the CFA exams, everything counts. Do not waste precious resources – definitely make sure you use the resources above to help you prepare!

Meanwhile, you may find these articles on CFA study preparations useful:


11 thoughts on “The Free CFA Study Materials List [2021 Edition]”

    • All free quality CFA materials have been listed in the article above. We don’t cover, ahem, ‘naughtier’ ways of getting free materials.

  1. Hello,

    I downloaded Kaplan Schweser’s free CFA Fundamental Ebook as recommended through this article. The ebook that downloaded is from 2012. I want to confirm that this version is still up to date with the CFA coursework currently.


    • Hi Kima, thanks for your patience!

      I’ve reached out to Kaplan Schweser directly on this and they have said that the foreword and intro information in the eBook regarding the CFA exam is outdated and they are working to get it updated. That said, the actual content of the book (formulas, terms, concepts, etc.) is still accurate.

      Hope this helps

  2. Good day.

    I used the study planner for level 3 last year, unfortunately my exam was postponed.
    I have tried requesting another study planner since yesterday but have been unsuccessful.
    If you could kindly email to my mailbox ( this would be much appreciated.

  3. Espero iniciar mi preparación este año para dar mi examen a inicios del 2022. Cuento con su atención. Muchas gracias por su tiempo.


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