Printed study material or Online material?

Just enrolled for August 2022 today. Returning to L3 after a long hiatus of almost 5 years! Appears that the entire structure has been transformed with the CBT pattern :slight_smile:

Anyway, wanted to get opinions on which mode - printed or online - to go with? Have always preferred printed material over peering at the screen in addition to the advantage of note-taking. Also, I am based in Dubai and would love to get hold of a study partner. If anyone is interested, please PM me


Greetings friend! The answer to your question is largely based on how best you learn. In my case, I took printed versions of the CFA materials to keep for both reading and posterity’s sake. I also printed out the practice exams so I could take notes on my weak areas and flag them for a shortlist of repeatable study questions I focused on during the final weeks.

The large bulk of my “practice questions” during the topic review stage (pre-mock stage) were the MCQ questions on the CFA Learning Ecosystem. I focused almost exclusively on those MCQs versus a prep provider’s because the Institute is the exam writer that matters most, and wording can differ across test writers.

I personally suggest videos for L3, taking copious notes on them, versus reading Kaplan or a similar provider. My personal experience was with Chalk & Board and it was absolutely super (at least for me). I really felt prepared for the exam and the actual exam (May 2021 CBT) felt a bit anti-climactic even, which was the first time I ever felt that way on a CFA test. So maybe look into videos and a good cross-selection of mock exams (I did written ones mostly) to prepare. Kaplan offers a CBT exam based on the Prologic software platform about a month before your exam - it’s the same exam they used to give in person via your local CFA society. That exam is a good example of how the exam actually feels on exam day in my experience at least, but it’s NOT a very difficult exam either compared to other ones either. Whatever your choice of prep provider, try to take about 10 mocks then you’ll be solid. I split each mock into multiple days so I didn’t burn out. I spent the last week just reviewing all the (many) mock questions I routinely struggled with. On game day it all comes together!

Cheers - good luck - you got this :+1:

Hi @unni1114,

I study with a mix of printed and online study material. Printed study material helps to reduce the strain on the eyes resulting from studying too much on digital devices.

At the same time, ensure that you practice enough using online practice questions, mock exams to feel comfortable in the CBT format exam.

Thank you so much for your response and detailed advice! Really appreciate it :slight_smile: :smiley:

Have already gotten my CFA printed box set delivered and proposing to kick-off in the coming week. Even I find watching videos way more effective than poring through text and am evaluating few providers and shall finalize one shortly. Shall certainly look up Chalk & Board too! Really need to actively weave in the Learning Ecosystem in my prep

Once more, heartfelt thanks for the guidance


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Thank you, sydneyguy. Have purchased the printed version of study material :smiley:

Yup, the real challenge is to get accustomed to the CBT format and the only way is practice, practice and more practice!

Anyway, good luck to you and hopefully, we are able to emerge victorious in the end :+1:

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Good luck - you totally got this :+1:

I already studied online. Now I think it’s better to do it offline. simply because I could never focus on my studies. There was always something to distract me. and there was no time to relearn the material. in short, I found and just ordered a job writing there. thank them very much.
I don’t know if this would be appropriate here, but based on my experience, I would like to help you