CFA® Exam Preparation – FAQs

CFA® Program Information

The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) Program is a globally recognised standard for professionals in the financial services industry. The CFA charter is given by the CFA Institute. The first charter was awarded in 1963; the program is over 50 years old.

For more information, please visit www.cfainstitute.org. Kaplan Schweser is not affiliated with the CFA Institute. Kaplan Schweser is an independent educational training firm and assists candidates in preparing for the CFA exam.

To qualify for the award of the CFA charter, the CFA Institute has the following requirements:

  1. Pass the sequence of three exams, referred to as CFA Level I, CFA Level II, and CFA Level III. These are administered once a year, during the first weekend in June. A candidate can take only one exam per year. A second CFA Level I is given the first weekend in December. You can only take the next level exam after passing the previous level exam. This means that it will take you at least three years to pass all the exams.
  2. Have a bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree, or be in the final year of your bachelor’s degree program at the time of registration, or have 4 years of professional work experience, or have a combination of professional work and tertiary experience that totals at least four years.  Part-time positions do not qualify, and the 4-year total must be accrued prior to enrolment.
  3. Fulfil the CFA Institute membership requirements, which includes membership with the CFA Institute, as well as a CFA Institute Member Society Chapter.
  4. After becoming a charterholder, the candidate must comply with the CFA Institute’s policies and other requirements.
  5. Have a valid international travel passport (required for enrolment and exam registration).

Additional details can be found here.

You can register for the CFA Program online. Contact the CFA Institute for more information.

Website: www.cfainstitute.org

Email: info@cfainstitute.org

Phone: 0011-800-8228-8820 (from Australia)

Starting from a general body of knowledge, the CFA Institute assigns a set of readings from textbooks and journal articles for different subject areas: economics, ethics, equity, corporate finance, accounting/financial statement analysis, fixed income securities, markets, portfolio management, and quantitative methods.

Each reading has a set of learning outcomes and the CFA Institute constructs these learning outcome statements to focus the candidate’s study efforts on particular topics within a particular reading.

Pass rates for the exams vary from year to year and from level to level. Visit the CFA Institute for more information.

The minimum time needed is 2.5 years; people may take longer depending on their other time commitments, such as a full time job, etc. The average time to complete the 3 exams is over 4 years. Our goal is to help you minimise this time commitment.

The CFA Institute’s Prep Provider Guidelines do not allow us to publish or communicate pass rates in any provider materials.

CFA® Exam Format

From 2021, CFA Institute is transitioning all CFA exams to computer-based testing. The December 2020 exam was the last paper-based exam; exams in 2021 will be computer-based for all levels.

Each exam will be offered in scheduling windows of up to ten days, depending on location. Please visit the CFA Institute website for more details.

CFA Institute are moving from paper-based to computer-based testing for all levels in 2021 to provide greater exam scheduling flexibility and an exam that reflects today’s digital workplace. The new change enables the exam to be offered in 400+ locations around the world.

Additionally, the computer-based testing environment and additional dates and times available means that fewer candidates will sit for the exam at the same time, which reduces personal risk compared to the high-capacity venues used for the paper-based test.

Please visit the CFA Institute website for more details.

If you were originally registered for the June 2020 exam and did not sit the December 2020 exam, you may register for any of the available 2021 windows by level for which you are eligible.

Registration is currently open for all levels for 2021 computer-based exams. The CFA Institute is also opening additional exam windows in 2021 to accommodate candidates whose exams have been postponed or cancelled.

Please visit CFA Exam Testing Schedule for exam registration options and deadlines.

You have the following options based on your registration status:

  • If you were originally registered for either the June 2020 or December 2020 paper-based exam, you may transfer to a computer-based exam in 2021:
    • Level I February, March, May, July, August or November
    • Level II May, August or November
    • Level III May, August or November
  • If you were originally registered for the June 2020 exam and have now had your exam postponed twice, you have the option to request a refund for the registration fee from the CFA Institute. The CFA Institute will contact you with further instructions. Refund requests will be accepted between 7-21 December.

Please visit CFA Exam Updates for more information.

Registrations will officially close for 2021 computer-based exams as follows:

  • Level I February: Registrations close 11:59pm ET 7 December 2020
  • Levels I, II and III May: Registrations close 11.59pm ET 23 February 2021
  • Levels I and II August: Registrations close 11.59pm ET 4 May 2021
  • Levels I and III November: Registrations close 11.59pm ET 10 August 2021

Please visit the CFA Institute website for the latest exam registration information.

If you are trying to make a decision about an exam date, be sure to check the government and health advisories in your test area. CFA Institute follows the guidance of local governments. The plan is to hold exams in any location where CFA Institute can meet public health and safety requirements.

If you were registered for the June 2020 postponed exam, and the exam you subsequently registered for is also postponed, you will have the option to defer again. Or, you can request a refund for the registration fee you paid for the June 2020 exam.

We understand the inconvenience and frustration that is caused when exams are postponed or cancelled and we are committed to doing our part to mitigate the impact of the virus. In order to support our candidates, we will be extending online access until 15 June 2021 for candidates whose exams have been postponed or cancelled.

General Product Information

Kaplan Schweser offers both instructional and self-study packages tailored for your personal needs and budget. Self-study packages include our incomparable SchweserNotes and practice exams; instructional packages contain those study tools plus our renowned live online and on-demand expert instruction.

Candidates can purchase the following standalone products from 2021 season onward: SchweserNotes™, SchweserPro™ Qbank, Schweser’s Secret Sauce® and Online Mock Exams.

Every year the CFA Institute announces its new curriculum. The CFA Institute adds new readings, drops old readings, and alters many of the learning outcomes associated with old readings.

This requires a complete rewrite of the previous year’s Schweser materials. Kaplan Schweser also writes new sample exams to reflect the changes in the study guide.

Because of these changes, previous editions of the Kaplan Schweser materials are not the best source of study materials. LOS revisions and additions, new readings, and the elimination of readings make relying exclusively on past year’s products for the current year’s exam problematic.

No. Kaplan Schweser rewrites all materials in their entirety each year to reflect any curriculum changes.

Kaplan Schweser’s live online classes give you access to our expert instructors – all CFA charterholders who know what it takes to succeed. Online classes are presented live and then archived so you can review them anytime, anywhere.

Our SchweserNotes™ Video Lectures cover all the topical areas of the curriculum, provide the benefits of a review course, and are an excellent solution to understanding those difficult concepts. The video lectures can be used as often as your schedule allows; start, stop, rewind, and emphasise specific areas by viewing them in any order you want. With the On Demand Video Lectures, you will simultaneously be able to:

  • Watch the video presentation with accompanying PowerPoint®
  • Pause the presentation at any time to review the LOS explanation that corresponds with the presentation.
  • To log in click here.
  • Enter your username and password.
  • Click on “Access Your Courses”.
  • Select your current study level to access your dashboard.

Log in following the instructions in the section above. On the dashboard click the “InstructorLink” icon.

(Please note: Instructor Support is only available for qualifying package orders.)

The old study calendar has been vastly improved and transformed into the activity feed on the dashboard in the new online experience. We have further integrated our products, broken down the learning tasks into bite-sized chunks, added assessments, and provided more detailed guidance and tracking through the activity feed.

Now, when you log in to the online platform, the dashboard answers two key questions: “How am I doing?” and “What do I need to do next?” The performance metrics let you know how you are performing and keeping up with all of the study tasks needed to be successful and the activity feed lets you know what to focus on next in your study plan. You can scroll through the activity feed to see all of the required tasks, filter out what you have already completed, and move through all of the Kaplan Schweser content with ease. It’s the ideal way to stay motivated and on track throughout your study program.

Yes. SchweserPro™ QBank on a Mac computer is most compatible with Firefox.

Any errors found in SchweserPro™ QBank are updated immediately. You are always seeing the most updated version of SchweserPro™ QBank.

Yes. After accessing SchweserPro™ QBank through your dashboard, you can choose offline access with a Chrome download. You will have 100% functionality of the SchweserPro™ QBank offline.

You can also sync between offline and online access, so no work within the QBank is lost. Quizzes and tests must be completed in order to be synced. Any tests that are in progress will not carry over between online and offline access.

Multiple versions of the Adobe Reader software may exist on the computer in use. As a result, the older version of Adobe Reader will automatically load when opening a PDF document.

Download a free copy of Adobe Reader. To verify that the computer in use is loading the most current Adobe Reader software, right-click on Start > Explore > Tools > Folder Options. Select the File Types Tab and verify that the PDF extension opens with the most current version of Adobe Acrobat.

If you are still experiencing errors, please uninstall and re-install the Adobe Reader software. Re-starting the computer may also be required.

SchweserPro™ requires you to have full administrative rights on your PC. If you are using a work PC, you will need to work with your IT department, as this message is typically due to a firewall problem.

You may also need to check the following: Internet Explorer > Tools > Internet Options > Connections > LAN Settings… > uncheck “Use Proxy Server…”, put in address www.schweser.com and port number 443.

If you are using a personal PC that may connect into your work’s server, please go to Internet Explorer > Tools > Internet Options > Connections > LAN Settings > make sure to check and mark “Bypass proxy server for local address”.

VitalSource® Ebooks

VitalSource® is the preferred and most used ebook platform in higher education today, and the VitalSource Bookshelf® is the most advanced e-book software in the world. With VitalSource®, you get three-way access to your books: download, online, and mobile. Notes and highlights automatically stay in sync no matter where you take them (mobile requires online sync). In the library, at the computer lab, or even in a clinical setting, you can access your books when you need them — whether you brought your laptop or not.

SchweserNotes (Levels I, II, and III), Schweser’s Secret Sauce®, and Schweser’s QuickSheet are supplied as VitalSource® e-books (in addition to hard copy versions). The e-book provides access to your study materials in a digital format for use on a personal computer, Apple® mobile device (including iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®), Android mobile device, and the Kindle Fire.

When you purchase a study package containing SchweserNotes, Secret Sauce®, or QuickSheet, you will get access to view the e-book versions of them online. You can also access and download them on up to two personal computers and up to two mobile devices.

Features of the SchweserNotes ebooks, Secret Sauce® ebook, and QuickSheet ebook include:

  • Electronic notes and highlighting: When you make notes and highlight sections, the changes are stored on the VitalSource® server, meaning they will be available if you access the e-book from another computer or device. Additionally, notes and highlights can be automatically synchronised between the web version of your products and your downloaded version (this requires that the computer containing your downloaded file be online). You can also share your notes and highlighted content.
  • Ability to export notes: You can copy/paste curriculum text and export your notes to a text file.
  • Advanced search function: You can search either a single volume of the SchweserNotes or every volume of the SchweserNotes for your exam level.
  • Flexible print options:  You can print up to two pages at a time.

When you purchase a study package containing an e-book product, you will receive an email with installation instructions and a unique registration code to activate your ebook. With a compatible browser, you will be able to access your ebooks via the internet at online.vitalsource.com or from a file you directly download.

Bookshelf Online Browser Support Policy

Download the VitalSource Bookshelf

The ebook version provides access to the curriculum in digital format for use on a personal computer, Apple® mobile device (including iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®), Android mobile device, and the Kindle Fire. When you purchase a study package containing an ebook product, and it is assigned to your account, you will receive installation instructions and a unique registration code to activate your ebook.

2020 candidates: You will have online access to your eBooks through VitalSource® until December 31, 2020. You must download your eBooks prior to that date. You can continue to access your downloaded materials for an additional year.

Yes, there are some limitations to the mobile apps in comparison to the desktop version. Please see the important notes regarding your e-books on mobile devices.

  • The functionality of the mobile device app is limited in comparison to the personal computer version of the VitalSource Bookshelf® software. For example, notes and highlights are viewable, but users cannot make new notes from the app at this time. The app does, however, have search capabilities.
  • The ebooks are not optimised for mobile devices and, therefore, the text on mobile phones is very small. The app has zoom capability, but at the expense of easy navigation.
  • Use of the app will not affect your ability to download the e-book onto a personal computer. Students can download their SchweserNotes, Secret Sauce®, or QuickSheet to a maximum of two compatible mobile devices, in addition to two personal computers. Additionally, candidates can access the online version of the e-book through online.vitalsource.com from any compatible internet browser.
  • The app itself installs very quickly, but individual SchweserNotes books may take several minutes to download because of the large file sizes.
  • Users can only download their materials when WiFi access is available.

For immediate answers to common technical support issues, please review the VitalSource Video Tutorials for the answers to several common questions.

If you require further assistance, visit VitalSource Technical Support or contact the VitalSource Support line. They will connect you with a VitalSource Bookshelf® Expert who specialises in your exact question. The US-based support center is open 24/7 to accommodate your schedule.

  • PC: Latest Windows Version 6.9.2, Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (32/64 bit)
    • Microsoft .Net 4.5
    • DirectX 10 compatible graphics card
    • Internet Connection for registration and downloading of e-book
  • Mac:  Latest Mac Version 6.9, Mac OS X 10.8 or later
    • Internet Connection for registration and downloading of e-book
  • Apple: iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch using iOS 6.0 or greater
  • Android: Android 2.2–4.4
  • Kindle Fire: Kindle Fire 1, 2, HD, or HDX model

Try clicking ‘Update Book List’ in the ‘My Account’ section. If you continue to experience difficulties, please contact VitalSource Technical Support (refer to resources listed in Question 9).

Shipping Information

Shipping Method: Australia Post eParcel

  • Upon shipment, you will be emailed the eParcel tracking number so you can track your delivery.
  • Please allow 2-5 business days for delivery within Australia, depending on location order is being shipped to.
  • Please allow up to 10 business days for delivery outside Australia, depending on location order is being shipped to.

 

Please note:

We cannot guarantee the above delivery times when transportation networks are disrupted due to conditions beyond Australia Post’s control, such as weather, natural disaster, facility delays, etc. Delivery of your order may also be delayed due to national and state public holidays observed by Australia Post.

In addition, we cannot guarantee the above delivery times in the event materials go into back order. When this occurs, approximate dates for product availability will be noted on the relevant product pages.

Product Availability

Available Now

  • Checkpoint Exams
  • SchweserNotes™ Videos
  • QuickSheet (ebook)
  • SchweserNotes™ (printed and ebook)
  • SchweserPro™ QBank
  • OnDemand Class Package
  • Diagnostic Exam
  • Practice Exams 1-4 (online)
  • Secret Sauce®(printed and ebook)
  • OnDemand Class Workbooks
  • Review Workshop Workbooks
  • OnDemand Review Workshop
January 2021

  • Online Mock Exams 1 & 2
  • Live Online Review Workshop

 

 

 

 

Note: Product availability dates are subject to change without notice.

Available Now

  • QuickSheet (printed and ebook)
  • SchweserNotes™ (printed and ebook)
  • Checkpoint Exams
  • SchweserPro™ QBank
  • SchweserNotes™ Videos
  • SchweserNotes™ (online)
  • Quicksheet (online)
  • InstructorLink™
  • Resource Library
  • Diagnostic Exam
  • OnDemand Class Package
  • Schweser’s Secret Sauce® (ebook, printed and online)
  • OnDemand Class Workbooks
  • Practice Exams 1-4 (online)
  • Review Workshop Workbooks
  • OnDemand Review Workshop

 

January 2021

  • Online Mock Exams 1 & 2

 

April 2021

  • Live Online Review Workshop

 

 

 

 

Note: Product availability dates are subject to change without notice.

Available Now

  • SchweserNotes™ (ebook, printed and online)
  • QuickSheet (ebook)
  • Checkpoint Exams
  • Online Mock Exams 1 & 2
  • Diagnostic Exam
  • SchweserNotes™ Videos
  • InstructorLink
  • Resource Library
  • OnDemand Class Package
  • Schweser’s Secret Sauce (ebook, printed and online)
  • QuickSheet (printed)
  • Practice Exams 1-4 (online)
  • OnDemand Class Workbooks (printed)
  • OnDemand Review Workshop
  • Review Workshop Workbooks
  • SchweserPro™ QBank

 

April 2021

  • Live Online Review Workshop

 

 

 

 

Note: Product availability dates are subject to change without notice.

Available Now

  • SchweserNotes™ (audio)
  • QuickSheet (ebook)
  • Checkpoint Exams
  • Diagnostic Exam
  • SchweserNotes™ Videos
  • SchweserNotes™ (Online)
  • InstructorLink
  • Resource Library
  • OnDemand Class Package
  • SchweserPro™ QBank
  • Schweser’s Secret Sauce® (print)
  • OnDemand Class Workbooks (print)

 

January 2021

  • Live Online Review Workshop
  • OnDemand Review Workshop
 

 

 

Note: Product availability dates are subject to change without notice.

Available Now

  • SchweserNotes™ (printed)
  • QuickSheet (printed)
  • Checkpoint Exams
  • InstructorLink™
  • SchweserNotes™ Videos
  • Resource Library
  • SchweserNotes™ (ebook)
  • QuickSheet (ebook)
  • SchweserPro® QBank
  • Diagnostic Exam
  • Weekly Class Workbooks (printed and online)
January 2021

  • Weekly Classes (live online and on demand)

 

February 2021

  • Schweser Secret Sauce® (printed and ebook)
  • Review Workshop Workbooks (printed and online)

 

April 2021

  • Review Workshop (live online + on demand bundle)

 

May 2021

  • Online Mock Exams 1 & 2

 

Note: Product availability dates are subject to change without notice.

Available Now

  • SchweserNotes™ (print & eBook)
  • QuickSheet (print & eBook)
  • Checkpoint Exams
  • InstructorLink™
  • SchweserNotes™ Videos
  • Resource Library
  • SchweserPro® QBank
  • Diagnostic Exam

 

February 2021

  • Schweser’s Secret Sauce® (ebook, print & online)

 

 

 

Note: Product availability dates are subject to change without notice.

Available Now

  • Checkpoint Exams
  • SchweserNotes™ (printed and ebook)
  • SchweserNotes™ Videos
  • QuickSheet (printed and ebook)
  • InstructorLink™
  • Resource Library
  • SchweserPro® QBank
  • Diagnostic Exam
  • Weekly Class Workbooks (printed and online)
January 2021

  • Weekly Classes (live online and on demand)

 

February 2021

  • Schweser Secret Sauce® (printed and ebook)
  • Review Workshop Workbooks (printed and online)

 

April 2021

  • Review Workshop (live online + on demand bundle)

 

May 2021

  • Online Mock Exams 1 & 2

 

Note: Product availability dates are subject to change without notice.

Please note there may be a delay of one (1) business day from time of purchase before online access can be granted. Product release dates for online, ebook and printed study tools vary. Product availability is correct at the time of publishing. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, product availability dates are subject to change without notice.

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