CFA course at UofT

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BBToronto's picture

Has anyone ever taken the CFA course at UofT? Other than it’s exorbitant price, any thoughts on the course?

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simply_put7's picture

I have taken both Level 1 and Level 2 CFA course at UofT and didn’t pass either Levels using the course. That being said, I do think the instructor really knows how to teach and having the person and the teaching assistants available most days of the week by email, phone or in person is a plus. 

Why the course didn’t work for me is because the instructor teaches using a traditional classroom, chalk board and printed 8.5 by 11 notes. If you are not good at forcing yourself to study on your own and prefer having someone their to help you along the way then the UofT course will be better suited for your needs. I knew someone who took the Level 3 with the instructor and loved having someone that dedicated to making sure she was on top of her studies every week.

I on the other hand, am a visual learner and preferred the Schweser video instruction (not online class) and slides with examples I could see in a powerpoint format, printscreen copy & paste the examples with the pen marks from the instructors into a PowerPoint slide and add my own notes to the PowerPoint document. It was also nice to be able to click and repeat certain video sections such as pensions, intercorporate investments and multioperation companies. I prefer to study on my own, if I fall behind, I know I can make up the time another week, where as the UofT instructor likes to give weekly quizzes based on last weeks study session - which I found frustrating because you are not going to learn each study session in 7 days.

If you like the traditional classroom setting and the tax deduction from taking an accreditied course - then the UofT course is for you. If you like to go at your own pace, won’t be able to committ the travel and class time for a night class (especially in winter) and are sure you can complete the work on your own - then go with Schweser.

Nitin CFA's picture

6000 $ is huge money and definitely not worth it.

mk17's picture

6k?? jesus….why not just read the book and plan your time… works for a lot of people. 

Sorry, I don’t mean to be negative but that’s steep for something you can do yourself. There are cheaper preps out there too if you really need it - prep is only as good as the effort you’re putting up…

simply_put7's picture
  1. Many of the people who take the course have their company pay for the course.
     
  2. Even if you had to pay for it yourself, the course is an accredited course and eligable for an income tax credit.
     
  3. The University of Toronto name still means a lot to people in Canada and the university was able to charge more than other prep courses based on that fact.
     
  4. Unlike other prep courses, UofT states their pass rates on their website.
     
  5. At the time (I don’t know if it is still in place) there was a written promise that stated if you fail the exam, you can take the course again next year for free. While prep courses like Schweser only offer a 50% discount.

Believe it or not, there is usually a wait list to get into the prep course.

Alladin's picture

6000 dollars is still a steep fee not just to pay but to even have the balls to ask for such a sum!

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comicbookguy's picture

Just wanted to add my two cents. I took the Level II course at U of T for the June 2012 exam. I passed the course and the exam on my first attempt. The course is NOT $6,000. It’s $3,100 plus taxes. The price definitely seems steep at first but interestingly, about halfway through the course I was thinking to myself that I would’ve gladly paid more for it.

The course maps out every single day of studying for you, from the end of October to exam day itself. The course ends one month before the exam where you’re expected to practice what you’ve learrned. From start to finish, you’re tested weekly with quizzes, and periodically with tests, a mid-term and a final exam. Every week is broken down with audio lessons, an in-class session, and readings you do on your own. Personally, I hated the ‘overhead’ that came with studying; I didn’t like planning a study schedule, identifying which topics were most difficult, and determining where I should focus my efforts. The course took all this guesswork out of the equation, and all I had to do was execute. The prof is like having a personal trainer for the CFA exam. He’s almost always available and makes himself easily accessible.

Working 50 hours a week doesn’t leave me any room for error when it comes to studying. To me, the price tag is worth it when I can study confidently and know that I’m going about it the right way. There are some minor benefits to the course as well. You can meet some people in the financial industry and network with them. Also, I enjoyed the course because I was learning new concepts in their entirety, and I wasn’t just studying to pass the exam. I really learned and absorbed the material.

Like the above poster said, the course isn’t for everyone. If you have a different style then you’re better off using some other methods. Hopefully I’ve outlined the course enough for others to make a decision.

ohai's picture

There are probably some short term benefits from this sort of course, but it’s a bad way to learn how to plan life things, in my opinion. Learning to decompose problems like the CFA exam is a valuable life skill. 

“I’m a CPA! I got money b***h!”

Alladin's picture

well i suppose if your company pays for you…i wouldn’t reject the offer!

______________________________________________________

You must be the square root of two cause i feel irrational around you

http://alphahive.wordpress.com/

simply_put7's picture

It is roughly $3,000 for each level so $6,000 for two levels and $9,000 to take all 3 levels.

Level 1

http://2learn.utoronto.ca/uoft/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&cms=true&courseId=937797

Level 2

http://2learn.utoronto.ca/uoft/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&cms=true&courseId=1204560

Level 3

http://2learn.utoronto.ca/uoft/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&cms=true&courseId=1706887

Pass Rates

http://learn.utoronto.ca/courses-programs/business-professionals/courses/passing-the-chartered-financial-analyst-exam

Please note one thing about the pass rate, this the rate of people who successfully passed the course e.g. actually attended most of the classes and did reasonably well on the quizzes and tests. It does not include the people who dropped out or failed the quizzes or tests.

mk17's picture

simply_put7 wrote:
  1. Many of the people who take the course have their company pay for the course.
     
  2. Even if you had to pay for it yourself, the course is an accredited course and eligable for an income tax credit.
     
  3. The University of Toronto name still means a lot to people in Canada and the university was able to charge more than other prep courses based on that fact.
     
  4. Unlike other prep courses, UofT states their pass rates on their website.
     
  5. At the time (I don’t know if it is still in place) there was a written promise that stated if you fail the exam, you can take the course again next year for free. While prep courses like Schweser only offer a 50% discount.

Believe it or not, there is usually a wait list to get into the prep course.

Given your rigourous defense of this course, I would have assumed you found it beneficial in your passing. Having reread your post, I am a similar studier, I need to learn concepts on my own and visually. Talking heads, no matter how good, can only help me so much. Which is probably why I reacted the way I did.

3K per level is much more reasonable especially with employer comp. The pass rate excluding those who failed quizzes (not dropped out) is a bit suspect, IMO. You have outlined a lot of good reasons to take this course, even if I wouldn’t be interested in it, this will be good information for someone deciding on whether or not to sign up.

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