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Be careful though – free CFA exam materials floating around the internet can be outdated or inaccurate.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!
- Kaplan Schweser
- Salt Solutions
- Bloomberg Exam Prep
- 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 50,000 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!
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
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 questions & mock exams
Level 1 practice questions
Besides simply identifying free stuff, we’ve taken it one step further.
We worked with IFT to create a completely new 90-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 new 2 hour and 15 minutes, 44-question mock exam, 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 item set session, rather than independent question-bank-type questions.
Free trial of Kaplan Schweser’s core study tools
Not sure if Kaplan Schweser is worth it?
You get to check out samples of Schweser’s QBank, Notes (eBook 1), videos, topic quizzes and resource library.
Free CFA fundamentals eBook
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’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.
Free trial for all CFA Levels
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. Try it out yourself!
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.
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
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.
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