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Be careful though – free CFA exam materials floating around the internet can be outdated or inaccurate.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 good resources we’ve identified for you!
- Free CFA Exam Study Planner
- CFA Exam Calculator Guides
- The 10 Commandments (All Levels)
- Free Probability Distribution Tables
- Free CFA Practice Tests & Mock Exams
- Kaplan Schweser
- Salt Solutions
- Fitch Learning
- CFA Institute
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 30,000 happy candidates. Try it out!
CFA Exam Calculator Guides
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:
The 10 Commandments (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 from previous candidates and charterholders here for you:
Free Probability Distribution Tables
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:
- These full statistical tables would not be provided in the exams. However, you need to know how to use and read them correctly.
- 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.
- However, for the exams you need to memorize these 6 critical z-values for confidence intervals of:
|One-Tailed Test||Two-Tailed Test|
|95% (1.645)||68% (1.0)|
|99% (2.33)||90% (1.645)|
Free CFA Practice Tests & Mock Exams
Level 1 Practice Tests
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 II 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 III exams. This is a proper mock exam, using the item-set and vignette format that’s the same as the actual Level III exam PM session, rather than independent question-bank-type questions.
Kaplan Schweser’s is giving away their new SchweserPro Qbank specifically for 2021 Level 1 CBT candidates, with over 3,500 practice questions and better analytics.
All you need is use the code KS-QBL1 at check out. It’s definitely worth getting this if you’re considering CFA Level 1 this year.
We don’t know how much longer this offer is going to be going for since it went live around Q4 2020, so worth getting it now for extra practice!
For L2 and L3 candidates, Kaplan Schweser is offering candidates a free taster package via Jumpstart, which includes:
- 2021 SchweserNotes Book 1 (L2/L3 eBook)
- Week 1 of Schweser Online Class, which starts on 6 Jan for L2 and 21 Jan for L3
- Full access to the online SchweserPro QBank (L2/L3)
- Online topic quizzes
Sign up by 29 Jan 2021 to get the offer, although access to study tools expire by 9 Feb 2021 (further purchase required).
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 15 days, mainly focused on 1,900+ 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, so definitely worth checking them out!
Salt Solutions’ CFA exam platform Beta is now live, has great early feedback, and is available at no cost.
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. It’s currently a little light on practice questions, but this is something Salt Solutions is working to add on in the next few months.
That said, it is currently L1 only, with L2 and L3 coming soon.
Fitch Learning has also launched free study guidance webinars for all 3 levels.
For each level, the videos hone in on useful, actionable tips that you can apply during the CFA exams and brushing up on key concepts that you need to know in various topic areas.
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
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:
- CFA Level 1 Topics: What Is The Best Study Order?
- CFA Level 1: How to Prepare & Pass CFA in 18 Months
- CFA Level 2 Topics: What Is The Best Study Order?
- CFA Level 2: How to Prepare & Pass CFA in 18 Months
- CFA Level 3 Topics: What Is The Best Study Order?
- CFA Level 3: How to Prepare & Pass CFA in 18 Months