Preparing for the CFA Level 1 exam is no easy feat, and choosing the right study materials is essential for success. The CFA syllabus is vast and covers a broad range of topics, so selecting the right study materials can significantly affect how well you perform on the exam. The CFA Institute books are the most comprehensive, but their length can make studying them challenging. This is where Schweser notes can come in handy. Schweser notes are designed to help students prepare more efficiently and serve as an excellent supplement to the Institute books. 

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of choosing the right CFA study materials and answer the question, “Is Schweser good for CFA Level 1?”

Importance Of Choosing The Right CFA Study Materials

When it comes to preparing for the CFA Level 1 exam, choosing the right study materials is crucial for success. With a vast syllabus that covers a wide range of topics, studying can be overwhelming without the proper guidance. This is where the importance of choosing the right CFA study materials comes into play.

The CFA Institute books are undoubtedly the most comprehensive and authoritative source of information for the exam. They are meticulously written and cover each topic in-depth, leaving no stone unturned. However, these books can be quite lengthy and time-consuming to read through.

This is where Schweser notes come in handy. They are well-known study materials designed to help students prepare more efficiently for the exam. Schweser notes cover the essential concepts, formulas, and practice questions in a concise and easy-to-understand manner. As a result, they can help students grasp the concepts more effectively.

But the question arises – Is Schweser good for CFA Level 1? The answer is yes; Schweser is good for CFA Level 1. However, it is essential to note that Schweser notes should be used as a supplement and not as a replacement for the CFA Institute books. Students must use the Institute books to develop a solid understanding of the concepts and then use Schweser notes to reinforce their knowledge.

Choosing the right study materials can make or break your success in the CFA Level 1 exam. Hence, investing in high-quality study materials or courses is crucial to ensure that you are adequately prepared for the exam. In addition, investing in the right CFA books or study materials will help you save time, stay focused, and achieve your goals.

Choosing the right study material isn’t enough. You need a mentor to help you stay on course. Checkout IMS Proschool’s CFA Prep Course

Now, let us understand what is the CFA Level 1 exam? The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) program is a globally recognized professional qualification for finance and investment professionals. The Level 1 exam is the first of three exams that must be passed to become a CFA charter holder. It covers a wide range of topics related to finance, including ethics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, economics, and more.

Exam Structure And Format

The CFA exam is a six-hour computer-based test divided into two three-hour sessions with a lunch break in between. Each session consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. The exam is offered twice a year, in June and December, and candidates must pass each level in sequential order.

Now let’s take a closer look at the exam structure and format. As mentioned, the exam consists of two sessions, each with 120 multiple-choice questions. The questions are equally weighted, and candidates have 90 seconds to answer them. The exam is computer-based and delivered in English.

Read – 5 Tips on passing CFA Level 1 with ease

Key Topics Covered In The Exam

The exam is structured into ten topic areas, with varying questions per topic. These areas are:

  • Ethical and Professional Standards
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Economics
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • Corporate Finance
  • Equity Investments
  • Fixed Income
  • Derivatives
  • Alternative Investments
  • Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning

Each topic area is equally weighted, and candidates must demonstrate competency in each area to pass the exam.

Importance Of Selecting The Right Study Materials For CFA Level 1

The CFA Level 1 exam is challenging, and a candidate’s success in the exam is directly proportional to the quality of the study materials they use. CFA books, prep courses, and study guides are some of the commonly used study materials by candidates. Selecting the right study materials is crucial as it can significantly impact the candidate’s performance in the exam. Conversely, poor quality study materials can lead to sufficient preparation, clarity, and low scores in the exam.

Different Types Of Study Materials Available

  1. CFA Books: CFA Institute provides official CFA books for all three levels of the CFA program. These books provide comprehensive coverage of all the CFA Level 1 exam topics. In addition, industry experts write books and cover each case in-depth.
  2. Prep courses: CFA prep courses are designed to help candidates prepare for the exam. These courses are available online or in person and include comprehensive study materials, practice questions, and mock exams. Prep courses benefit candidates who prefer a structured approach to study and benefit from interaction with instructors and other students.
  3. Study guides: Study guides like Schweser Notes are popular among CFA candidates. It provide a condensed version of the CFA curriculum and focus on the key concepts likely to be tested in the exam. They are an excellent supplement to the official CFA books and can help candidates save time by focusing on the most important material.

Comparison Of Study Materials Available For CFA Level 1 

  1. CFA Books: The official CFA books are comprehensive and explain each topic included in the exam. However, they can be lengthy and challenging to navigate, making them a less attractive option for candidates with limited time.
  2. Prep courses: CFA prep courses are an excellent option for candidates who prefer a structured study approach. These courses provide access to instructors who are experts in the CFA curriculum and can provide guidance on complex topics. However, prep courses can be expensive and may not be suitable for candidates who prefer to study independently.
  3. Study guides: Study guides like Schweser Notes provide a condensed version of the CFA curriculum and are an excellent supplement to the official CFA books. They are beneficial for candidates with limited time and need to focus on the essential material. However, they may provide similar depth and detail to the official CFA books.

Read – Top Job profiles & 5 tips to get a job after passing CFA level 1

Introduction To Schweser Study Materials

Schweser Study Materials is a series of study guides and textbooks designed to prepare candidates for the CFA exams. Schweser was founded in 1990 and has provided study materials for CFA exams for over 30 years. They are among the most recognized names in the CFA exam preparation industry.

Overview of Different Schweser Study Materials Available

Schweser offers a wide range of study materials for CFA Level 1, including:

  1. SchweserNotes: The SchweserNotes is a condensed version of the CFA Institute curriculum. These study notes summarise the key topics covered in each reading and include practice questions and examples.
  2. Quicksheet: The Quicksheet is a 6-page laminated sheet with important formulas, key concepts, and other useful information.
  3. Practice Exams: Schweser offers multiple practice exams, including full-length mock exams and shorter quizzes.
  4. Study Packages: Schweser offers study packages that include the SchweserNotes, Quicksheet, and practice exams.

Benefits of Using Schweser Study Materials

Schweser study materials offer several benefits for candidates preparing for the CFA Level 1 exam:

  1. Condensed and Easy to Read: SchweserNotes are a condensed version of the CFA Institute curriculum, making them easier to read and understand.
  2. Practice Questions: Schweser study materials include practice questions and examples, which help candidates prepare for the exam and improve their understanding of the material.
  3. Time-Saving: SchweserNotes are designed to save candidates time by focusing on the most important concepts and topics.
  4. Comprehensive: Schweser study materials cover all the key topics and concepts that candidates need to know for the exam.

Common Criticisms Of Schweser Study Materials

Despite their popularity, there are some common criticisms of Schweser’s study materials. For example, some candidates feel that Schweser Notes are more condensed and do not provide more detail on some topics. A newbie cannot just rely on Schweser notes to pass the CFA Level 1 exams.

Others think the practice questions could be more representative of the exam questions.

It is important to remember that Schweser study materials are designed to supplement the CFA Institute curriculum, not replace it. Therefore, candidates should use Schweser materials in conjunction with the CFA books to ensure they have a comprehensive understanding of the material.

Alternative Study Materials For CFA Level 1

CFA Institute Books

  1. The CFA Institute provides official books for each level of the CFA exam. The Level 1 books are comprehensive and cover all topics in depth. The biggest advantage of using official books is that the creators write them for the exam, so you can be sure that the information is accurate and relevant. However, the books can be quite lengthy and time-consuming to read.

IMS Proschool’s CFA Prep Program

  1. IMS Proschool CFA Program is a learning platform that offers study materials and regular classes by CFA charter holder faculty for CFA, FM, and IB exams. In addition, Proschool CFA Program provides a customised study plan, classroom training in 10 cities, Exam pass commitment and 250+ Hrs of training for CFA Level 1. The most significant advantage of the ProSchool CFA Program is that it offers unlimited classroom and doubt-solving sessions in case you fail CFA Exams, unlike traditional study materials or institutions.

Did you know, Proschool’s CFA Prep course is now updated according to the latest CFA Institute guidelines

All of the alternative study materials mentioned above can be effective in helping you prepare for the CFA Level 1 exam. However, the ProSchool CFA Program is the best option for you as they simply the content of CFA Institute books which are the most reliable and comprehensive source of information. 


Thank you for reading this comprehensive guide on CFA study materials, where we explored the different types of study materials available, compared and contrasted them, and provided an objective assessment of their effectiveness.

To answer the question, “Is Schweser the right material to prepare for CFA Level 1?” – the answer is that it depends on the individual’s learning style and preferences. Schweser study materials are widely used and effective for many candidates but may only be suitable for some. Therefore, it’s essential to consider all of the available study materials and choose the ones that work best for you.

If you’re considering using Schweser study materials for CFA Level 1, we recommend starting with their Essential Package, which includes study notes, practice exams, and video lectures. We also recommend supplementing with the Proschool CFA Program, particularly for the Ethics and Professional Standards and Financial Reporting and Analysis topics.

Ultimately, the key to success in the CFA program is dedication, hard work, and a thorough understanding of the material. Therefore, whichever study materials you choose, give yourself plenty of time to study, practice, and review the concepts covered in the CFA books.

We hope this guide has been helpful in your journey towards becoming a CFA charter holder, and we wish you the best of luck in your studies!