Are review materials meant to substitute or complement the materials given to you by CFA?

I have a feeling that these sorts of questions were asked before, but couldn’t find the posts I’m looking for. I plan to register for CFAI exam for December 2016 and don’t really know where to begin. My undergrad background is completely unrelated to business/finance and I haven’t taken a single course in business/economics. Yikes!

I see that people use a lot of prep materials from third-party companies. I was wondering if these materials can entirely substitute the reading materials given to you by CFA when you register for their exams. Or are you supposed to study using prep books in addition to the official text books?

The providers intend them to be a substitute.

Your mileage may vary.

Even if in case you start study today, you will have around 325 days in hand and considering you study 3 hours a day, you shall have around 1000 hours to study.

Thus as you do not have a Finance background and you are actually looking forward to register for December 2016 session, then go only with curriculum, no substitutes, compliments or whatsoever.

btw… substitutes/compliments, did you already study demand and supply?

For L1 at least, providers can work as a substitute. However, at a minimum, you need to work through the EOC questions from the CFAI. They are the ones who write the test so I put more weight on their questions and then get extra practice with a providers Qbank.