Best CPA Review Courses – Top 5 Chart

BryceChoosing the right CPA review course is the single most important decision you will make on your CPA journey. You will be spending hundreds of hours studying with it, so it’s crucial to find the one that best fits your learning style and background.

So here’s the good news – I have personally tested, demoed, and used every major CPA review course on the market so you don’t have to!

The chart below is aimed at helping you figure out which one is best for you. If you cannot decide which course to
take, feel free to send me an email at bryce@crushthecpaexam.com and I’ll personally help you find the right one

Helpful Comparisons + 10-25% Course Discounts

head100+ CPA Candidates Interviewed for FeedbackthickgreyThe Best CPA Review Courses on the Market
CPA REVIEW
COURSES:
CRUSH
RANKINGS
#1#2#3#4#5
WHAT’S THE X
FACTOR?
Most Interesting
and Engaging
Lectures
Bite-Sized
Lessons
Most Multiple
Choice Practice
Questions
Personalized Learning
System and Intelligent
Textbooks
Best Customer
Support
PRICE$2,095 - check for
CRUSH Discount
$1,800 - check for
CRUSH Discount
$891 - with
CRUSH Discount
$722 - with
CRUSH Discount
$1,562 - with
CRUSH Discount
VIDEO
LECTURE
HOURS
10010035 – FAR OnlyN/A132
MULTIPLE
CHOICE
QUESTIONS
4,0005,5008,7506,3274,300
TASK-BASED
SIMULATIONS
200450360247164
CUSTOMER
SERVICE
24/7 Homework
Help Center
Message Board -
24 Hour
Response Time
Personal Counselor
Phone & Email
Support
Email Support
& Community
Forum
Instructor Hotline -
Phone & Email
Support
AUDIO COURSE
UNLIMITED
ACCESS
24 Months18 Months18 Months
FINAL REVIEW
CRASH COURSE
$225-$295 per
Section
$225-$295 per
Section
MOBILE
APP
OFFLINE
COURSE
(FLASH DRIVE)
READ MY FULL
ANALYSIS
Read Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full Review
FREE TRIAL
OR DEMO

 

Quick Links to CPA Course Overviews

 

Roger CPA Review (Rank: #1)

OVERALL RATING: 

Engaging Lectures: Roger Philip teaches each lecture with an incredibly high amount of energy. His unique teaching style makes the material much more interesting and helps students stay motivated. He is passionate about helping students pass the CPA exam and is very knowledgable on the material.

Mnemonics and Memorization Tactics: Roger uses mnemonics and other memorization tools throughout his lectures which provide an easier way for students to remember many of the tedious details on the exam.

New Generation CPA Review: Roger’s 2014 review course has been seriously upgraded and includes a lot of new features to streamline your learning experience. The course textbook is fully integrated into the software so you can easily take notes, create a custom practice test, or review your scores with the click of a mouse.

Fast Paced Lectures: If you are an international student or prefer slower paced lectures you may want to consider a different course. However, many people agree that his fast paced teaching style does not allow your mind to get distracted or bored.

Check out my full analysis and review of Roger CPA Review

 

Wiley CPAexcel Review (Rank: #2)

Wiley CPAexcel Review Course

OVERALL RATING: 

Bite-Sized Topics: Each section is broken down into small 30-45 minute sections which makes the CPA exam seem much less overwhelming. This is also great for anyone who has a full-time job or children and doesn’t have large chunks of time to study with.

Lots of Multiple Choice Questions: With over 5,500 multiple choice questions and 6,200 true/false
questions, you are able to get the repetition you need without worrying about seeing the same questions repeated over and over again.

Unlimited Use: Once you buy their course it NEVER expires. This includes unlimited use of practice tests, videos, quizzes, and all other course materials.

 

Best For Independent Self Studiers: CPAexcel does not offer live classes and their student support is limited to a question board where it can take up to 24 hours to get a response. If you learn best from human interaction, or need one-on-one help, then this might not be the best fit.
Check out my full analysis and review of CPAexcel

 

Gleim CPA Review (Rank: #3)

gleimLogo

OVERALL RATING: 

Extensive Practice Tests: Gleim utilizes a variety of testing tools such as True/False quizzes, MCQ tests, Final Exam Reviews and Task Based Simulations to give you plenty of practice for the real deal. Their full review course includes over 8,750 multiple choice questions which is significantly more than any other CPA review course.

Audio Review: Gleim ‘s complete course includes an audio CPA review for each section of the CPA exam. These provide an excellent way to learn the material during non-traditional study times like driving to work and can be easily downloaded to your smart phone, iPod or mp3 player.

No Guided Review: The videos are audio-visual presentations, similar to powerpoint presentations, rather than a guided lecture where an instructor explains things in detail. If you are a good self-studier then this probably isn’t a big deal, however, if you prefer to be taught in a more formal lecture format you should check out some other options. *UPDATE: Gleim has completed their first video lectures for the FAR section only.

Very Detailed Content: The books are detailed and use quite a bit of technical jargon. While some people prefer a course that’s highly comprehensive,others feel overwhelmed from information overload.
Check out my full analysis and review of Gleim CPA Review

 

Fast Forward Academy CPA Review (Rank: #4)

FFA Logo

OVERALL RATING: 

Huge Study Bank: Fast Forward Academy has one of the largest databases of past exam questions which gives you over 6,300 multiple choice questions to practice on.  Their huge Study Bank guarantees that you won’t see the same recycled questions over and over again.

Personalized Learning System: Their course is not a one size fits all type of course, it actually caters to each student’s specific learning needs. As you progress through their course, data from your practice exams is collected and used to create personalized tests that target your weak areas.

No Video Lectures: Fast Forward Academy is not a guided review and doesn’t come with video lectures to help explain the material.  This isn’t such a big deal for those of you who prefer to self-study, but if you are a visual type of learner who learns best from having people explain things then you might want to consider another course.

Check out my full analysis and review of Fast Forward Academy CPA Review

 

Yaeger CPA Review (Rank: #5)

yaegerLogo

OVERALL RATING: 

Best Customer Support: Yaeger’s Live Instructor Hotline provides responsive personal support that is superior to any other review course. This allows students to directly contact the instructors for help with any questions that arise while studying. Yaeger is famous for his promise, “Whether by phone or email – you can contact me and the other instructors personally almost anytime.”

Easy To Follow Lectures: The lectures include step by step instructions to ensure that students are clear about the subject material. Instructors work hundreds of multiple choice questions with you and help you navigate through those tricky problems which give you the repetition needed to be successful.

Old School Style of Teaching: Students with shorter attention spans may get bored by the traditional lecture videos. They are structured very much like most accounting classes you probably had in college and move a little slower than an independent self-study type of person might prefer.
Check out my full analysis and review of Yaeger CPA Review

 

 

Other CPA Exam Reviews

These CPA courses didn’t make my Top 5 List in 2014, but I still wanted to give you a thorough overview of their pros and cons. Click on one of them to learn more:

ExamMatrix CPA Review - Good for self-studiers on a budget. Get their complete course for $539 using the CRUSH discount.

Becker CPA Review – More expensive does NOT mean better!

Wiley CPA Review – Good study materials to supplement with.

Lambers CPA Review - Has a great Audio Review Course for students who prefer to study on the go.

MDS CPA Review – Offers Live Classes, however only in the Columbus, Ohio area.

NIU CPA Review - Not a bad option if you live in Northern Illinois, other than that I would keep looking.

Kaplan CPA Review – This is a huge company that sells prep courses for over 20 professional exams, it’s obvious the CPA exam is not a top priority for them.

Bisk CPA Review – It looks like this course hasn’t been updated for decades, literally.

CPA Review For Free – Excellent place to get some extra practice questions before your exam, for FREE! However, using this as your primary study source would not be a smart choice.

Black CPA Review – This course is very new and still needs to work out some of the kinks first (video lectures). Black’s software has some promising features that will definitely help students succeed on the CPA exam once it gets through this awkward learning stage.

 

 
Best CPA Review Course
5 / 5 stars

  • debbie

    HI,
    Could you let me know which review course company provides the Hard version study books for each CPA topic(i.e. Auditing, Far, etc) and Not just the soft versions in USB or CD formats? Thanks

    • Bryce

      Good question Debbie,
      Hard copy textbooks are included already for all 5 CPA review above except Lambers in which they cost an additional $90 each.

    • Rebecca

      Lambers has hard copy books. I used them for my cpa course. One good thing I liked is they have pdf books that update free I got that vs the hard copy.

      • Bryce

        Thanks for the info Rebecca!

  • Chris

    Have you heard about Exam Matrix at all? It’s around $1000 but I am wondering if its any good?

    • Bryce

      I have heard mixed reviews about their review course but haven’t actually tried it myself. I will look into that and see what they’re all all about, thanks for the tip!

    • Serena

      I have used ExamMatrix twice now – I passed AUD on the first try with it, and using it now for REG. I will let you know how it goes. But this is why I like it:
      - you don’t have to waste time figuring out which areas you need to concentrate on- the software decides for you based on your performance.
      - when you get a question wrong, it gives you the correct answer and explains why it is correct and why the other choices are not. If you still need more explanation, you can drill down to more in depth text and relevant definitions.
      - it keeps awesome stats on your progress which is very encouraging.

      If you don’t like just diving into MCQs, without some general ‘chapter review’ first, I suggest supplementing with NINJA cpa review notes or audio (or something similar).

      If you are still on the fence about buying ExamMatrix, just buy one section at a time (I didn’t buy all four up front… and it’s about $300 per section that way – still WAY cheaper than Becker!)
      I have used Bisk also and was extremely frustrated with the software’s performance and answer explanations. I ended up having to retake the exam I used Bisk for (BEC) and supplemented with NINJA audio and flash cards.

      Hope this helped!

      • Bryce

        Thank you so much for your input Serena! This is great stuff and I will be incorporating it into my review of their course.
        Cheers!
        Bryce

  • Lawrence

    Meant to post this on the CPA study tips: “shave 100 hours off,” but can’t find the “leave a reply” box. So I leave it here.

    The “C.R.U.S.H. the CPA Exam” method:

    Concentrated efficient studying to
    Retain,
    Understand, and
    Simplify
    Hard Concepts on
    the
    CPA
    Exam

    I’ll be referring your study tip method as the “CRUSH method” as I refer your website to friends and those preparing for the CPA exam. I got this idea to come up this mnemonic for you by something called the NINJA method by another CPAreviewprep person, which NINJA means: “Nail the videos / Intense Notes / Non-stop MCQs / Just re-write the notes / All comes together.” But, your method is more concentrated efficiency so I made this up for you. Hope you like it.

    • Bryce

      Lawrence you rock!! Seriously, Thank you so much for your comment. I love the acronym and know that students sitting for the exam will too!

      Cheers,
      Bryce

    • Tasha Barnes

      Great acronyms!!!! I love this site; thanks all for the post and thank you Bryce for the site.

  • Saul

    Are there any passing rate statistics?

    • Bryce

      Each company has passing rate statistics but the problem is they each make up their own rules so I don’t trust any of them. For example, “Becker students pass at twice the rate of all CPA Exam candidates.” If this were true this would mean their pass rate is over 93% which I find highly unlikely, yet they don’t disclose how they came up with this figure.

      I would download all the demo’s and see which one best fits your personal learning style Saul. That will help you to pass the CPA exam more than anything else.
      Cheers!
      Bryce

  • JD John

    For what its worth I used Becker initially and passed AUD & REG. I had difficulty with FAR and tried Cpaexcel. I then passed FAR & BEC. I prefer Cpaexcel mostly because of the small by topic lessons and the fact that I could do everything on my iPad as well as my Mac. The Becker program had good instruction but was way to expensive for what you get.

    • Bryce

      Thanks for your comment JD! I completely agree with you, most people assume that Becker is the only good option since that’s what the Big 4 uses, way overpriced compared to the rest.

  • Chung

    Thanks Bryce, your information is quite helpful to me. But, how about the quality of MCQ and SIM from these various Review Courses? Practice is the king.

    • Bryce

      Hey Chung,
      Honestly none of the review courses have practice SIMS that will fully prepare you for the SIMS on the CPA exam. This is probably due to the fact that they can be structured in so many ways. The Best way to prepare for them is to 1. understand the main concepts, and 2. do a ton of practice MCQ’s. All of the reviews provide MCQ that are similar to the ones on the exam so the main thing is to do as many DIFFERENT ones as possible. Supplementing with other courses like CPA Review For Free is a good way to get more practice and see a new set of questions.

  • Muhammad

    Bryce I must say that you did a fantastic job by creating this blog. This article really helps me in deciding the Review course to start my CPA studies. I think I would go with CPA Excel because of two reasons, 1- its been along time since I did my bachelors and Certification in cost & management accountancy and 2- I have a full time job and a wife and three small kids.
    I have a foreign qualification and currently in the process of getting registered with Colarado becuase I’ve already completed the semester hours which was short as per FACS. What do you think how many hours of study would you recommend I should do daily in the evening after coming back from office? As I told you I’m planning to go with CPA Excel. will it be a right choice?

    • Bryce

      Thanks Muhammed!
      Wow, you are a very busy guy, CPAexcel is definitely the right choice. I would recommend studying around 2 hours before or after work depending on when you can find some quiet time away from distractions. I have always been a night owl and do my best studying after all my daily commitments were done around 9-11 PM. However, I don’t have any kids so you will probably have to fit in small study sessions whenever you have time throughout the day (CPAexcel is great for this).

  • Muhammad

    Thanks Bryce! I think I would also go with the night schedule because I think I can put extra time over 2 hours if required. So as per your suggestion after taking a day off, 18 hours a week seems pretty good. I will keep posted my experience.

    would CPA excel be good in replying your queries related to any problems arises during studies or can you suggest any good blog of professionals for that purpose?

    • Muhammad

      I was caculated 3 hrs per day :) infact 12 hrs a week is pretty good.

    • Bryce

      Hey Muhammed,
      CPAexcel doesn’t have the most extensive customer support, however, if you buy the Professor Mentoring you should be able to get the help you need via email. If it is important to you to be able to talk to someone in person about your questions then Yaeger has a great Instructor Hotline where you can talk an expert on the phone.

      Cheers,
      Bryce

      • Muhammad

        Thanks Bryce, I’ve read your derailed review on CPA Excel and I’m pretty satisfied because im also kind of self study guy and as you have mentioned in your review that you asked one question through professor mentor during your studies. I prefer not to go with CPA excel without professor mentoring option and take it later if i feel the need instead refering wiley textbooks seems to be a better option as you did during your studies.

        I again thank you on providing this useful info through this website!!

  • mohamedi

    Hey everyone, I have plans to take the cpa exams, can you tell me which ones are the best reviews? Thanks you guys.

  • John R.

    Hi Mohamedi,

    The chart above explains pretty well which CPA reviews are the best. I am an international student and just bought Yaeger CPA review and like it a lot. It is very good at going over questions to help you understand the topics and they offer an Instructor Hotline so you can call them and get help on any questions you are having problems with.

  • Mesfin

    Even though I have taken 18 credit hours ( Intermediate Accounting II, Auditing, Individual Taxation, Corporate Taxation,Accounting Information System and Government Accounting) last year with MSU Denver to fulfill the education requirement, I did my bachelor 11 years ago in Ethiopia. I am now approved by Colorado Board of Accountancy to take the CPA exam. I have already scheduled FAR for end of July/13 and plan to study full time. My question are 1. Which course review is good for me? 2. Once I decide on the course review should I purchase the full course review or one at a time?

    Thanks,

    Mesfin

    • Bryce

      Hi Mesfin,
      Since you completed your bachelor’s degree 11 years ago, I would recommend going with Yaeger CPA Review. Their course is more comprehensive than most and they explain how to solve problems in their video lectures very well. Most international students are very successful with their course.

      By buying all 4 sections at once you would save quite a bit of money, however, if you’d rather pay a little extra and buy the single course to make sure it’s a good fit then that is up to you. Personally, I would just buy Yaeger’s complete review course and save some cash since the CPA exams are quite expensive (all 4 sections will be close to $1,000 depending on the state). You also don’t have to worry about their course materials ever expiring and you will have access to them forever.

      Cheers,
      Bryce

      • Mesfin

        Thank you so much Bryce for your valuable advice. BW,My brother and his friend who live in another state also are planning to take FAR in July as me. Since Yeager has unlimited access and never expire,Will it be possible for us to use the material simultaneously using the same code once I purchase it?

        WBR,

        Mesfin

        • Bryce

          Thanks Mesfin,
          No, since you have to login to Yaeger’s online portal to access their material you would not be able to use it simultaneously.
          Cheers,
          Bryce

          • Mesfin

            Dear Bryce: Thank you again for your prompt reply. God bless you.

            Mesfin

  • Sheri Stack

    I have a question. I graduated from college in 1989 and have been employed as an Enrolled Agent (Tax Practitioner) since then. I would like to take the CPA exam….which review course would you recommend or has it been too many years for me to consider this?

    • Bryce

      Absolutely NOT Sheri, it’s never too late! If you want to be a CPA bad enough, and work hard at it, I have no doubt that you will become one. In fact, You will be able to use much of what you learned as a tax practitioner on multiple sections of the exam (specifically FAR and REG). Because it’s been a while since your wild college days, I would recommend using Yaeger CPA Review. They offer the most comprehensive course and also give you access to their Instructor Hotline, which you can call and get help over the phone with any specific questions you have.
      Cheers!
      Bryce

      • Sheri Stack

        Thanks! I’ve been looking at them…. Which course would you recommend me to start with?

        • Bryce

          I think you would do best with Yaeger from what you’ve told me about your background. I would check out the free demos from all the top review courses though and make sure you like it before you spend a bunch of money!

          • Sheri Stack

            Thanks!! What I mean is, which of the four parts would you recommend
            that I start with?

            • Bryce

              Ohhh, I would go with the section you feel most confident about and are most comfortable with. This blog post explains about this topic in detail,

              http://crushthecpaexam.com/first-cpa-exam-section/

              I would go with the section that most closely relates to your work experience, if you are knowledgable about taxes then you might want to take REG first.

  • http://Mandmtax.co Bilal

    Thank you so much Bryce for the blog, I almost bought Becker until I read your blog, you saved me money. I sat for REG and got 72, I used Glelim, you MUST be a self study person to use Gleim otherwise DON’T you will end up wasting a lot of time studying and forgets everything at the exam.
    I have a question, I have no kids and I’m self employee, which is mean I have a lot of time to study, Can you help me decide between CPAexcel and Yaeger?

    Thank you again for your help.

    • Bryce

      Both are good options so you can’t go wrong either way. If you learn best by watching video lectures then go with Yaeger, but if you prefer to have more practice questions and SIMS go with CPAexcel.
      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • Ashley K

    Hey Bryce,

    Thanks for the thorough analysis! I decided to go with CPAExcel, and recently sat for AUD (keep your fingers crossed for me!). Just an FYI, CPAExcel offers free flashcards via its iPhone app for those who’ve purchased their program. I think CPAExcel offers the biggest bang for your buck, and allows me to study anywhere – online, offline, and even on my iPhone!

    P.S. Have you done any comparison/evaluation for Another71?

    • Bryce

      Thanks for the extra info Ashley! No I haven’t tried the Ninja CPA Review yet but I will definitely look into it.
      Cheers!
      Bryce

  • Susan

    Hi, Bryce -

    Thanks for all your great information. I really appreciate this site! I purchased Becker in 2011, passed the BEC, accepted a fulltime job and stopped studying. Long story short, I am currently unemployed, my BEC credit expired, and so have my Becker materials. I have decided to use this downtime to begin again, and I wonder if my hardcopy Becker materials and flashcards combined with the CPA Free materials would be sufficient?

    Thanks for your input,
    Susan

    • Bryce

      Hi Susan,

      There have been a lot of changes to the CPA exam since 2011 so I wouldn’t recommend using your outdated Becker books and material. The CPA review for Free questions are great for extra practice and serve as a good supplement, however I wouldn’t rely on them as a primary learning source. It’s also important to know that the content covered on the Audit Exam will be changing again on June 1st, 2013 so be sure to get the updated materials for whichever CPA review you decide on.

      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • Erin

    Hi Bryce,

    Awesome website! I am currently trying to decide between CPAExcel and Yaeger. I have a flexible learning style so I could really be fine with either one. However, I work full-time and am about to schedule my exam date for FAR and really don’t know when to schedule it. Is one review generally better for “quicker” learning? I would really like to try and get as much accomplished before the end of the year before next busy season!

    Thank ya,

    Erin

    • Bryce

      Hey Erin,

      CPAexcel would definitely be your best bet since you are working full-time. Their course is less comprehensive than Yaeger’s (more to the point) so you would be able to get through the material quicker. I would give yourself at least 2.5-3 months to prepare for FAR since it’s the longest section.

      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • Aaron

    Hey Bryce,

    I was hoping to bounce some more questions off of you. I just read your review on Rogers CPA review and CPAexcel. I decided to give up on Fast Forward Academy and will be picking either Roger’s CPA or CPAexcel. How were Roger’s multiple choice questions and task based simulations compared to CPAexcel? Is Roger’s the same format where each section is broken down into subsections and then multiple choice questions broken up per subsection?

    I really appreciate your insight. I think you have started something awesome!!!

    Thanks again!
    Aaron

    • Bryce

      Hey Aaron,

      CPAexcel is a more comprehensive review course and their textbooks explain things better in my opinion. Yes you can filter out review questions that you answered either correctly or incorrectly as well as by subject/chapter. I would recommend going with them if you are currently working, have kids, a wife, or any other serious time constraints as their course is catered to those with busy schedules. Roger’s course is good as well but is more fast paced, their software is also broken down into subsections so you can review the MCQ you missed in each one.

      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • Han

    Hi Bryce!

    In term of textbooks, is CPAexcel better in explaining things than Yaeger?

    • Bryce

      Hi Han,

      CPAexcel’s textbooks are more to the point and broken down into smaller sections. Yaeger actually uses Wiley textbooks which are more detailed and comprehensive. It really depends on what you prefer as they are both good.

      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • Calla

    Hi, Bryce,

    Thank you so much for coming up with this website. It helps me a lot when I am choosing the review class. I am about to order the material from CPAexcel. I have a silly question to ask. Should I apply for the exam first (get the approval and set the exam day) or buy the review material first? Thank you.

    Calla

    • Bryce

      Thanks Calla,

      I would do both at the same time (Today!). This way, by the time you get your notice to schedule and approved to sit for the exam, you will be half way through the study material for whatever section you decide to take first. I would definitely not wait to order your review course since this is valuable time you could be using to get started and be done sooner!

      Cheers,
      Bryce

      • Calla

        Thank you, Bryce. I will order it today, because the promotion of CPAexcel ends today. I feel so good to have someone to talk with about the exam. Thanks a bunch.

        Calla

        • Bryce

          So glad to hear you are taking action and making moves Calla, let me know if I can help with anything else!
          -Bryce

  • Kyle

    Recommendation? I’m 39, just finished several higher-level accounting classes (necessary me me to qualify to sit), so some of my academic accounting is fresh/recent. Audio (only) lectures will be of no use to me as a visual learner. Mobility/multiple-device features are fine, but I will be able to carve out large chunks of time sitting at a desktop computer, so portable lectures may be a feature with less value to me than to some other students. I’m uncertain whether video lectures are a key feature for me or not, but a structured study plan would be VERY useful to me.

    My projected strongest sections: FAR, REG
    My projected weakest section: AUD

    Price is not my primary consideration as I value my time saved by studying efficiently and passing the test on the first attempt more than I value saving a few bucks on the price of a review course. Recommendation?

    • Bryce

      Hi Kyle,

      If you are uncertain that the video lectures will be helpful at all, I would say that they probably won’t be. With your current situation and background I would suggest CPAexcel. The software and content is very well structured and organized in a very clear format. Their course never expires and is accessible on multiple-devices, including their free smartphone app.

      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • Beth

    Any opinion on Bisk review?

  • ROB

    Bryce, great site and information. My MBA was 22 years ago. However, I am currently in an accounting certificate program so my knowledge will be “book fresh.” I will be taking the exam in 9 – 12 months so I don’t need a cram course. Which review program’s content do you think covers the most pertinent material necessary to have a shot at the 95.5 Sells award? Or, will it take a composite of course offerings to really be prepared?

    Thanks

    • Bryce

      Wow Rob, that is very ambitious of you! I can’t really give advice on how to score in the top 4% since that was never my intention and my study habits reflected my goal, to pass all 4 sections the first time through. I would imagine that to win the Sells award you need to be a) a genius accountant, or b) use multiple review courses and study non-stop.

  • ROB

    Thanks Bryce. Ambitious is being kind. Based on my research and your reviews and recommendations I am going to select CPAexcel as my primary study course. I plan to supplement it with live prep classes offered through the UC extensions. UCLA and Berkeley offer them.

    One other question, “Do you know the percentage of examinees who sit for all four sections over a two day test window verses those who “pass the first time” but take the test sections over the course of 2 to 4 testing cycles? I think Sells uses either to determine awards. Don’t know why I’m stuck on that. Does the AICPA test result book break that down?

    Thanks again.

    ROB

    • Bryce

      Sounds like a solid study plan Rob. No I’m not sure how they determine those awards, wouldn’t think it would matter though for either situation.
      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • Calla

    Hi, Bryce,

    I have been studying FAR for about 2 weeks now, using CPAexcel of course. So far so good. I am making progress everyday. I like the fact that they divide the courses into bite-size lessons and I can also set the course to have some idea when I can finish the books. When I am taking the exam questions, I feel that I have enough time for the conceptual questions but barely enough time for the questions involving a lot of information and some computations, especially TBSs. Is time an essential problem in the exam? There are 4 testlets. Are there breaks between them, and you can’t go back to the previous testlet after the break? Thanks, Bryce, and happy 4th of July!

    Calla

    • Bryce

      Yes that’s correct Calla, 4 testlets and you can’t go back to the previous one once it’s completed, the break is optional but yes there is one in between testlets. I only ran out of time on 1 of the CPA exams. I didn’t remember to pace myself for each testlet and got stuck on a couple problems for wayyyy too long which left me hardly anytime at the end. I would set aside a specific amount of time for all 4 testlets and make sure you leave plenty for the end because the SIMS are worth morth than the MCQ!

  • Josh

    Great review! One thing I would add is each course’s compatibility with tablets/smartphones. This feature is becoming huge! CPA Excel (which I currently use) has apps with their course and the main website runs great on any mobile device. I didn’t have the same success with another one of the listed courses, because they’re incompatible with “non-Flash” devices (i.e. Apple products). Being able to study on my iphone/ipad with either MCQs/flash cards/lecture videos/etc. packs in just that much more time. I can’t speak for the others, but I highly recommend CPA Excel for their app and website performance on mobile devices.

    Josh

    • Bryce

      Thanks Josh,
      That’s an excellent suggestion and I will definitely be adding the CPA reviews smart phone and app compatibility options as well as what they are offering and price ranges.
      Cheers!
      Bryce

  • Mylin

    Hi Bryce,

    Thank you for the CPA review information. I am torn between CPA excel and Yaeger. I would appreciate your opinion on this one. I work full time married with no kids. I graduated from college in 2001. I finally finished the certificate course in accounting which makes me eligible to sit for the CPA exam in VA. I will be done with my last class this summer. I plan to sit in November for FAR but can’t decide what review class would fit me. I more inclined to take CPA excel because of the flexibility but am just worried that the notes/lecture. Hope that they are comprehensive enough for the exam. I know Yaeger explains the concept very well but feel that it might be too detailed. Your thoughts on this one is appreciated.

    Mylin

    • Bryce

      Hi Mylin,

      If you feel comfortable with the basics of accounting then CPAexcel should work out just fine. The flexibility their course offers while working full-time is really a game changer (at least it was for me). Yaeger is also a solid choice but like you said, it can come across as too detailed for some people and particularly favors those who feel like they absolutely need someone to explain things to them.

      Good luck on your CPA journey,
      Bryce

  • Zelalem Kebede

    Dear Bryce,

    Thanks for all the information. It is very helpful in comparing among the CPA review providers. I have Bachelor in Business Administration and MSc in management. I am good in accounting course works, however I have never worked in accounting, tax, or finance field. Recently, I moved to the USA and would like to take CPA exam. Which provider do you recommend me and how to start the study.

    Many Thanks

    Zelalem

    • Bryce

      I would recommend Yaeger CPA Review for you since that is the most comprehensive course that is very good at explaining things in detail. You need to decide which state you want to take the exam in and make sure you are qualified to take it with the proper education requirements. Foreign evaluation agency services are available in each state and can help you with this.

  • Jim

    If you are in NYC try Park Avenue CPA Review. They provide all live instruction using the Wiley CPA review courseware. In addition, they have an online component for test review and practice. They also offer an unconditional two free repeats.

  • Zelalem

    Dear Bryce,

    Thank you for your reply. I will check with the evaluation agencies. I am planning to take the exam in California but I will move to Texas in a couple of years. How would I be able to work in Texas?

    Thank you

    Zelalem

    • Bryce

      Some states allow you to transfer your CPA license from another state without any hassle. The Texas State Board of Accountancy can give you all the details about your specific transfer.

      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • Zelalem

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for that I am in LA.

  • Abigail

    Hi Bryce:

    I graduated in 2012, so I think I’m fresh in the materials, but I tend to forget quite fast everything :/, nonetheless my goal is to become a CPA. I have a full time job from 7am to 4pm, i was thinking that the best option for me would be an online course so I’m undecided between Yeager and Gleim. I tend to learn more when i have examples of what is being taught, that i can compare and understand the logics of the procedures. So I wanted to ask you what review would you recomend??

    * I’m from Puerto Rico, sorry if there is some mistake in my grammar

    • Bryce

      Hi Abigail,

      From what you told me I would recommend going with Yaeger. Their course is more comprehensive than Gleim and goes into more detail about how to solve problems an the logic behind it. Sounds like you got your hands full with your work and children but stay consistent with your studies and you’ll be fine!

      Cheers,
      Bryce

      • Abigail

        Thanks for your reply, I really like your page!!…. by the way I don’t have children :/…. just a dog

  • Gop

    Hey Bryce

    Thanks for your info, excellent work and very useful

    i would prefer to go for CPA excel or Yaeger, but before that i wanted to know my eligibility to CPA

    i have completed BCOM a 3 years full time degree, from India, i checked the state wise eligibility requirements bit tired and confused because of credit hours and semester hours.

    which state i will be eligible for CPA, can u guide me?

    • Bryce

      Hi Gop,
      With your background the only way to be sure is to go through a credential evaluation agency from your state. They usually charge a small fee but it’s definitely worth it before you get started.

  • Josh

    Hi Bryce,

    I really appreciate your reviews of the various CPA products. I had purchased Kaplan’s review course in 2011 and use for a few months. I thought the product was comprehensive, but agree with you in that it seemed a little unorganized (especially the book layout). Nevertheless, life got in the way and I did not sit or pass all of the sections. From reading your reviews it seems like Yaeger (6 years out from my undergrad) or CPA excel (Full time job, child on the way) would be best. I am leaning toward CPA Excel due to my time restraints. One main question I have for you is, what would you recommend as far as the different programs CPA Excel offers? There is the Classic self study ($1,050) that doesn’t include the video lectures or slides and the Online Self Study ($1,455) in which they are included. Do you believe these are necessary? I am trying to go easy on the wallet but don’t want to sell myself short.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Bryce

      Hey Josh,
      The videos didn’t provide much value to me except on the sections where I was weak. However, I did find them nice to have as a backup plan when things just weren’t making sense. Given that you’ve been out of school for 6 years I think they would be useful to you, but it really comes down to your learning style and if you’d prefer to watch video lectures over just reading the text. Given your busy schedule and the fact that your about to be a father (congrats by the way!) I think CPAexcel would be a much better fit for you than Yaeger. Hope that helps a little bit (BTW, I just announced my CPAexcel giveaway which includes the all the videos, there will be 3 prizes announced next Friday, be sure to enter your timing is perfect!)
      Bryce

      • Josh K.

        Thanks Bryce I appreciate it. Your site is awesome and extremely helpful.

  • padma

    Hi bryce,
    This page that u have created is so informative. Just had a couple of questions in my mind.I have completed my masters in india in 2003 in fnancial accounting and taxation .have not been in touch with studies since then so it feels like i have forgotten all that i had done. .have got a 7 and a 5 year old.planning to go back to my studies again.Have got my transcripts evaluated and now i am eligible to sit for the cpa exam.which course would you suggest that i should take …was thinking of roger cpa review earlier but now after going through the posts on your page…i am confused with cpa excel or yaegar or roger…plz suggest which one would be more helpful to my need in the present scenario where i am going back to books after almost 10 yrs…
    Thanks,
    padma

    • Bryce

      Hi Padma,
      Given your background I would recommend going with Yaeger. Their course explains things in more detail and goes over problems step by step which will be especially helpful since it’s been almost 10 years. The Instructor Hotline will also be very useful since you can call in and talk to someone over the phone about any questions you have.
      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • Denise

    Hello, I started my CPA journey last year while living in the UK so having to travel to take exams made things a bit more complicated and expensive. I passed BEC on the 1st try and AUD on my 2nd attempt. i have now taken REG twice without success (scored 68 and more recently 66). I am now looking into purchasing a review course. All along I have been using the Wiley books along with the Wiley test bank and ninja study materials. Im living in NY now. i dont have a job at the moment but i hope to be working before year end. which review course would you recommend for me? I am married but I dont have any kids. I finished my 1st degree in management since 2005. I love to read but for the more difficult concepts i think i need assistance breaking them down.

    • Bryce

      Hi Denise,
      I would suggest Yaeger CPA review since they break down the questions step by step in an easy to follow way. CPAexcel would also be a good choice since you prefer to read, however their videos are not as good as Yaeger’s (not sure how important that is to you).
      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • Wendy

    Hi Bryce,

    I have passed my Financial, Auditing and Regulation on my first try. Unfortunately, I failed BEC three times. I only have one more chance to take before my next credit is expired. Each of my BEC scores is 72, 73 and 67. The third time is a disaster. It is even more difficult than my first and second try, some of the multiple choices never show up in Becker review book.

    I quit my job today in order to focus on my BEC exam. I have a question, how should I prepare my BEC exam? Apparently, using Becker review material is not good enough. Which review material is good for BEC?
    I really appreciate your help.

    Thanks,

    Wendy

    • Bryce

      I would go with Yaeger CPA review to pass BEC. Yaegers course is the most comprehensive and the videos are more detailed and explain things better than Becker’s. Their course uses Wiley textbooks so you will get a lot of high quality practice questions that should be much more similar to what you’ll see on the actual exam.

      Good luck knocking out this last section Wendy!

  • Seife

    Hi Bryce,
    I have just received my NTS today. I will take AUD in the coming four months. I am just comparing the CPA review courses of Roger, CPAexcel & Yaeger. I want to support my self study with video presentations. And I also need to practice the exam questions with the same computer system format as the actual CPA exam. Though I am an international student, I am leaning to Roger CPA review. Please advise.

    Thank you

    • Bryce

      Hi Seife,
      I recommend doing sort of a “test run”. By that I mean watch one of Roger’s lectures and taking notes during it. If at the end of the video you were able to stay on top of all the information and don’t feel overwhelmed from his teaching style, it’s a good match and you’ll do well with it.

      Cheers,
      Bryce

      • Seife

        Hi Bryce,
        I really appreciate your prompt professional feedback and your devotion to help others.. I think you are right, I have to reconsider my choice over Roger. How about between CPAexcel & Yaeger?

        thank you so much

        • Bryce

          Hi Seife,
          It depends on your learning style and your education background. If you like to self study or have a busy schedule, then I would go with CPAexcel. If you prefer to learn from watching video lectures then I would go with Yaeger since theirs are more in-depth and explain things in more detail.

  • Billy

    Hi Bryce
    I wanted to know your opinion regarding Black CPA Review. I took a look on their book sample and it looks good and concise. I was also considering fast forward Academy. Can you please tell me your thoughts?

    • Bryce

      Hi Billy,
      The only part of Black CPA Review I’ve seen is the videos and I wasn’t very impressed. Their course is fairly new to the CPA review market and I think it needs a couple years of refinement before it will even be close to the quality of CPAexcel, Roger, and Yaeger. Fast forward academy has some great technology integrated into their course but their books were very dry and I felt like I was reading something straight from the IRS website.

  • Billy

    Hi Bryce,

    Thank you for the quick response. I’m going for my second shot at FAR this November and I was looking for a course that will contain journal entries explanations (a lot of journal entries actually) and some good simulations practice. Do you think that Roger Cram for FAR will be a good idea?

    Thanks

    • Bryce

      Hi Billy,

      That’s great man I’m glad to hear you’re getting ready to tackle that section again. I’m not sure if Roger’s Cram course would be enough for FAR since it’s such a large section.. How did you score on your last exam? Do you feel like you retained a lot of the information you’ve already learned? If you were very close to passing last time and feel like you remember most of the main concepts, then the Roger Cram would be a good option. Otherwise I would look into getting a single section review course. It’s about twice the cost as the CRAM course but it definitely is worth it if it’s the difference between passing and failing.
      Cheers,
      Bryce

  • billy

    Hi Bryce,

    I got 74 on my past exam and the concepts are in mind. I believe I only need more practice on the journal entries and the sims.

    • Mesfin Almaw

      Hello Bryce,

      Per your advise I was using Yaeger Course review but I only got 46 on my FAR exam. I’m going for my second shot at FAR at end of this January and I was looking for a additional material that will help me prepare in a better way. Do you think that Yaeger CRAM for FAR will be a good idea? Also please advise me some strategies that can help me focus on my studies. I have plenty of time to study but totally unable to concentrate.

      Thank you for your friendly assistance.

      Mesfin

      • Bryce

        Hi Mesfin,

        If Yaeger’s full course wasn’t effective then I definitely wouldn’t suggest purchasing their CRAM course as this is going to be a condensed version of what you’ve already seen. My advice, find a new CPA review course that better fits your learning style. If you were unable to concentrate with Yaeger then I would definitely suggest checking out Roger CPA Reviews new 2014 course. His lectures are very entertaining and make the material much easier to get through. Many people who struggle with Yaeger ending doing much better with Roger because they have opposite teaching styles.

        Cheers,
        Bryce

  • Mark

    Hi Bryce,
    I noticed that Becker isn’t among your top five. The CPAs I have spoke to about study guides strongly suggest Becker. What are your thoughts?

    • Bryce

      I would give Becker the #6 spot based on their overall value. My thoughts, if your company is going to pay for it then by all means take them up on that offer. It covers the material well enough to pass, but there is nothing special about their course and it costs twice as much as the others.

  • Daniel

    I am torn between Yaeger and CPAexcel… I am working full time but I am pretty committed to study hard during the evening and weekends. I think I remember some or most of the accounting basics but will be nice to refresh. I will be supplementing with Wiley and Ninja notes. Which would you recommend?? I have checked out both demos but still really unsure which is better.

    • Bryce

      Both are very good options, but it really depends on which way you prefer to learn: would you learn more from following along with the video lectures (Yaeger) or by reading the text (CPAexcel)?

  • Genevieve

    Hi Bryce,
    I have been out of school since 06/12 with my Masters/ Bachelors in Accounting. Im a single parent of 2 children and a full time worker. I have been approved to reduce my days from 5 to 3 in 30 days. I am a INTJ personality type that relies heavy on organization and tight schedules. I’ve tried Becker but I believe it was the wrong time for me with my grandfather being sick. I do disgess alot in studying due to high concentration of the quietness and my brian creating unneccesary thoughs/ideas. My plan is to study 2 whole days and in the evenings. I really do want to pass this time the first time and move on with my CPA career. Reading right now includes skimming and short articles which holds most of my attention. Ive been anti books since 2012. :) Which material do you prefer? Would love some audio for the car as well 40 min commute each way?

    • Bryce

      Hi Genevieve,

      It sounds like your would do well with Roger CPA Review. His high energy lectures make it hard to get distracted and zone out and are the best out there for keeping you focused during long periods of study. As far audio courses your options are Lambers, yaeger, and gleim. Based on previous students feedback, Lambers seems to have the most complete and comprehensive audio course.

      Cheers,
      Bryce

    • neha

      Genevieve,

      Please let me know if the becker program worked or not. I have been out of school for 4 years.

  • Neha

    Hi Bryce,

    I just read all the recommendation you have provided for the years to other people. I need some guidance on how to attack and clear the CPA exam. I graduate in 2010 with accounting degree. I consider myself as the new student (non accounting background) because i have out of school for 4 years and mostly have forgotten everything. I have a full time job 7am -4pm. please recommend which course should I buy in order to start my preparation for exam. please help!

    • Bryce

      Hi Neha,
      I would recommend going with Yaeger CPA review because their course is the most thorough and is best for people with non-accounting backgrounds.
      Cheers!
      Bryce

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