When I took the CFA Level 1 exam in 2010, I had been through a long odyssey of trial and error to find the right study material. In this article I will give a short review about what I found out, it's actually quite surprising, as you will see!
First of all, I still think that the original CFA material is the best study material there is if you're serious about the CFA exam. Really nothing beats the content in my opinion. The more popular ones like Schweser Study Notes and Stalla are just copycats of the original CFAI readings, and there is no need in my opinion to spend another $1,000 on study material you already have. The QBank and practice exams from Schweser are good though, but only for level 1.
For level 2 and 3, you just have to bite the bullet and read the material, take notes, and practice them. There is however one tool that I actually liked, even though it's very obscure: The Financial Analyst Exam Study Notes, made by Andy Solnik, are a summary in Q&A format of all the learning objectives that CFA Institute wants you to know for the exam. It's only available for level 1 at this point I think, but it's a very good help to refresh the material from level 1, or practice it if you're still at the beginning.
Also, CFAI has very good practice exams that you should take. They are expensive ($40 per exam), but it's well worth it. For level 3, you have plenty of original review questions available on the CFA website, so make use of these.
All in all, I think CFA Study Material is overrated. If you can get a good review solution like the Financial Analyst Study Notes (link below), you spend a mere $30 and this is really all you need. The rest is already included in your CFA Exam fee.
I hope this helps you prepare for the CFA exam with the right study notes!
Financial Analyst CFA Exam Study Notes:
<a href="http://www.financialanalystexam.com">CFA Study Notes</a>
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