Kaplan vs Wiley

Which do you prefer for Level III? I used the basic Schweser notes package for Level I and the Silver Wiley package for Level II. I am more of a visual learner and benefited greatly from the Wiley videos for Level II, however, I have heard that the videos for Level III from Wiley were subpar in 2017.

Or do I just stick with the CFAI provided materials?

Everyone seems to agree that LevelUp is the way to go… however I cannot justify the price tag and Marc’s personal conduct while at Creighton (I had him for class) was questionable.

Personal opinion: CFAI books are way much better than the notes.

I only studied from CFAI official materials and never touched third-party notes/mocks for L3, though I passed L1/L2 on first attempt with Schweser notes. From what I’ve read and heard, the notes don’t cover every angle, this is crucial in L3. In L1 and L2 it doesn’t really matter that much because the exam is all about multiple choice questions and calculations with formulas play a huge part, as long as the notes cover the logic and formulas you are safe. But for L3 you really need to understand every concept and are likely to be asked surprising questions on them during AM session, in this case if you’ve never seen them in the notes then you are bombed.

(Note Passed 2017 L3 AM 0/2/8 PM 0/1/8)

Time is an issue for me given my job, so I went with Schweser for the readings and one of their books of mocks. However, I used CFAI materials for EOC questions (which I did twice), topic tests, and mocks. I passed on the first attempt, however, my matrix was no where near TakeiFinale’s.

I passed this year on my first attempt, and I only used Schweser materials. I did very little EOC questions and never looked at CFAI books. I see a lot of people on this forum saying Schweser is no good at level III, but this was not my experience at all - I felt very prepared for the exam and walked out confident. I just didn’t have the time to read all of the CFAI material and do 10-20 mocks. I feel like Schweser does a great job of keeping the material simple and focusing on the most important areas.

I didn’t use Wiley for level III, so I can’t offer any input there. Although, I also used Wiley for their level II videos.

I went with Schweser for L3 because their material is delivered on time and with fewer errors than I had experienced with Wiley at L2. However, people pass with all sorts of providers. I think the real key is to use the questions provided by CFAI (EOCs, topic tests, mocks) to test your understanding. If something is missing you supplement with the CFAI readings or search for it here on the forums or elsewhere.

Passed all 3 first attempt with solely reading kaplan-scheiwser so can’t speak for quality of other sources. But clearly it’s possible to pass with the scheiwser material. I read the material and watched the chapter questions (didn’t have the time to participate or watch any of the live class videos). I went to town on practice questions from q-bank and CFA website and did every mock I could get my hands on. My score matrix got worse per exam, but I’m probably somewhere middle of the road of the passes for level 3. AM: 2/5/7 PM 1/3/5

With that said there was one concept on the AM exam that didn’t look familiar at all. I think scheiwser didn’t touch it. But if you don’t need to use the CFAI to pass. Scheiwser does a thorough enough job on the material to enable you to pass.

For those of you that chose Schweser would you recommend the premium or essential package?

Level Up

Another personal opinion–

Schweser worked for me and does a great job in terms of coverage of 95% of what you might see on the exam. With that said, you could potentially find one or two questions on test day that Schweser did not cover. Also, like another user said, i think Schweser L3 doesnt cover every angle in the way a question can be asked, which i think is huge–could make the difference between a pass and fail. How do you fix this? the same good advice people on this forum constantly relay–review blue book example questions in the curriculum books. I didn’t touch on all of the blue boxes, but the ones i did, luckily, paid dividends and the ones i didn’t probably amounted to be being SOL because i didnt have practice on tackling a question from one particular angle.

Not divulging exam content but here’s one example i noticed that schweser did poorly on content coverage-- again, not saying it was or wasn’t on the test…im using this topic example because it serves as premise of my opinion of Schweser’s shortfall in topic coverage.

The CFA curriculum books went through examples on how to calculate net payment cost index versus surrender cost index for insurance. No where in the schweser material did they run through this calculation example. maybe for the sake of brevity, Schweser excluded that calculation walkthrough because they felt it wasnt necessary for you to fullfill the LOS. if thats the case, everything i wrote is moot.

Good luck!

P.S. If S2000magician somehow comes across this post and reads this-- personal shout out for your contribution to this forum. Too many times in the past 3 years have i searched for " cfa topic" + “s2000” to get your explanation on a finance concept. Your explanations were always the best. You definitely played a instrumental role in my CFA success and if I owe you several beers if our paths ever cross.

lol. its easy study cfa books when you dont have a full time job, wife, and or kids.

then you can spend 8 hours a day reading the cfa books.

for others thats not possible.

uncle jack studied like that and went 0/0/19

pay up

Schweser essential package

(I used SchweserNotes for level 1 & 2 but bought essential only because i got reimbursed this time :slightly_smiling_face:)

It’s good enough. I never used CFAI books for all 3 levels.

I used Kaplan for all three levels and found them perfectly adequate to pass comfortably. Never read the CFA books at all - though I am going to have a look now I’m through with the exams. I did do the end of chapter questions at levels one and two though.

You are done with this exam get back to supporting your gooners :wink: first game of season today woop woop… You live in London? I am heading there over xmas to watch two home games at emirates agaisnt Liverpool and Chelsea… would love to grab a pint with fello AFers if you fancy one pm me,

Schweser is better except for "Risk management for individual " furthermore Wiley L3 contains many typo mistakes. I bought both and used them both :wink:. I passed at the first attempt.

I did not use CFA books, I used only the CFAI exam and vignettes which is a MUST. L3 is a different beast and I recommend the premium package.

I liked the Wiley 11th hour for L1 but never went through with the full package. Every time I tried to order something, it either wasn’t available or the site seemed to be down. Probably an unfair POV because I didn’t look that hard beyond schweser, but I couldn’t put my future in the hands of a company that wasn’t releasing material well in advance.

I used Wiley for L2 and liked it very much, especially the 11th hour. Switched to Schweser for L3. Reason was that Wiley’s reliabilty was bad. They didn’t stick to their timetable, delivered late and provided printed versions in March or April. I also had to purchase a separate Wiley book with questions as Wiley didn’t provide any kind of questions (neither EOC nor any other questions) as part of their study guide.

To sum it up: I liked how Wiley prepared the material, I hated their lack of reliability. I therefore used Schweser for L3 and for FRM part I (and nor for part II). I was totally happy with Schweser. They delivered on time, the quality was as expected (good) and I passed L3 as well as FRM part I with good results (Level 3: AM 2/3/5, PM 1/0/8). I personally would always prefer Schweser.

I used Schweser for all 3 levels (and passed dec 15, jun 16, jun 17) keep in mind that I have an MBA in finance and I work in wealth management. I did utilize CFAI’s books for end of chapter exercises and for additional elaboration/color when i felt like it was lacking in Schweser. I found the mix of schweser and CFAI to be an excellent way to go about it. Keep in mind that different people have different experiences and optimal learning methods. oh and I didnt scrape through in any level really, my matricies where pretty solid. (L1 0/3/7 - L2 0/3/7 - L3 3/2/5 and 1/1/8)