Sam is our first CFA exam blogger. He was born and raised in Illinois, now working in New York City. He took the CFA Level 1 exam in June.
I’m still in the resting mode these days. Thought it would be nice to write something light-hearted but related to the CFA exam.
Here are some of the CFA apps available in the market.
CFA Program Study App
This is the “default” CFA app developed by the CFAI for you to read the CFA curriculum books on mobile device (iphone, ipad, android devices). You can also work on practice questions and mock exercise.
While this is handy, there are lots of room for improvement. For example, it doesn’t fully utilize the power of a mobile app — it’s more like, as one comment noted, an “app skinned website of CFA”.
Then, the charts and boxes don’t show up properly.
Also, it lacks useful function such as saving the practice questions (as in you have to run in the middle of a mock).
If you don’t have a high expectation, this app is still useful to study on the go. Vitalsource is more practical in my opinion with some helpful features e.g. increasing the font size of the text.
Kaplan Schweser Adaptive CFA App
- By Kaplan Schweser
- Available on iTunes and GooglePlay
This is definitely more user-friendly than the official CFA app. It is a simple app feeding questions and providing immediate answer and explanation. The simplicity means it runs faster and smoother.
I also like the dashboard that summarizes the exam date, % score and competencies by sub-units.
Unfortunately it covers ethics for Level 1 only. I am more than willing to pay for this service if they expand into other sections and levels.
Apptuto for CFA Program Exam Prep Review
- By Apptuto
- Paid version (US$199.9 and up) with free trial
- Available on iTunes and GooglePlay
The paid version is a full CFA review study tool with 3,500+ practice questions, mock exams, personalized study planner and performance tracking. It is meant to be game-like, as in you can compete with other fellow candidates in terms of points, badges and gems.
I haven’t tried it but there supposedly is a (local) study group discussion that you can join.
There is a free trial with full access to Study Session 1 to 4. Nothing to lose to give it a try.
Pass the CFA Exam Level I / II / III
- By Passing Score LLC
- Paid app (US$19.99)
- Available on iTunes
This app was very popular back in 2010 when other CFA apps were not available. It is another simple app focusing on content in the form of study cards (700+ with essential definition and formulas).
The good thing about this app is that it covers the entire Level 1, with a workable search function, and simple set up (e.g. no need to log in)
Financial Calculator Smartphone App
- By Texas Instruments
- Paid app (US$14.99)
If you keep forgetting your calculator or are tired of carrying around a separate device, there’s an app version of both the TI BA II Plus (iTunes only) and the HP 12c (iTunes/Google Play). Just keep in mind that you can’t use your phone during the CFA exam.
Note from Stephanie
Thanks for the summary. I planned to write a post on this — you saved my time 😉
I like the Schweser app the most, but I don’t think they would expand beyond Ethics. Why cannibalize their own product with an app right? Unless they decide to charge $200 like Apptuto does.
Anyway, I would totally download that free app for more practice questions for ethics.
Apptuto is cool — but I am not sure if I will shell out $200 for an app vs getting Wiley CFA test bank at the same price.
For my other readers, what do you think? Have you tried any of these apps?
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