CPA Review Courses
CPA Review Courses – Top 10 Comparison
Thank you for checking out my comparison of the Top Ten CPA review courses. I have personally tested, analyzed, and used every major CPA Review on the market so you don’t have to!
In a market where everyone claims to be the best, it’s important to realize that there is no single review course that is “the best”. Each course caters to a different type of student so you need to find the one that best fits your learning style, budget and schedule.
That being said, a few of these companies definitely provide a better overall course than the others. To jump straight to my recommendations, please check out my comparison chart of the Top 5 CPA Review Courses!
Quick Links to CPA Course Overviews
Roger CPA Review (Rank: #1)
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, highlight important definitions, or create custom practice tests.
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.
Wiley CPAexcel Review (Rank: #2)
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. They also provide free online course updates so you’ll never have to worry about studying with outdated 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 Wiley CPAexcel
Gleim CPA Review (Rank: #3)
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 9,200 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.
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)
Huge Study Bank: Fast Forward Academy has one of the largest databases of past exam questions which gives you over 5,800 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 complete video lectures that explain the material. They’ve recently released Video Explanations which walk you through the 50 most difficult questions from each section. This is definitely a step in the right direction and should be a huge help for students who are visual learners.
Yaeger CPA Review (Rank: #5)
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 Lectures: 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
Becker CPA Review (Rank: #6)
Structured and Organized: Both live and online classes are tightly structured. This allows students to build a routine around their studying schedule. On average their sections are a bit longer than other review courses, however they are formatted in a way that makes them seem less overwhelming.
Study Materials: Becker’s software is fairly easy to navigate and the books were put together in a logical way. Their full course comes with 6,000 multiple-choice questions which is just above the industry average. They also offer 0% financing for the first 18 months with the purchase of their full course.
Very Expensive: Becker costs $3,400! This is by far the most expensive CPA review course and is DOUBLE the industry average. You will also have to pay extra fees to get updated materials or access your course again once it expires. If you can’t get your employer to pay for it, I’d definitely recommend checking out some of the other review courses that are of the same quality and much more affordable.
Inconsistent Live Classes: Their live classes have a reputation of being inconsistent in the quality of instructors they provide. Even if you end up with a good instructor, there are many places where live lessons aren’t truly “live”. Students say some of their instructors just throw on a DVD and don’t provide much explanation about the material covered. Not exactly the type of quality you would expect for over $3,300.
Check out my full analysis and review of Becker CPA Review
ExamMatrix CPA Review (Rank: #7)
More Affordable Review: You can get ExamMatrix’s complete 4-part CPA review for $899. This price is less than the industry average and gives students with a tighter budget the chance to properly prepare for the CPA exam.
Embedded Textbooks: The ExamMatrix CPA Review textbooks are embedded in the course as ebooks. Most practice questions link to the page in the book which cover the relevant content. There is also a “homework” report you can run that will generate reading assignments based on your performance.
No Video Lectures: ExamMatrix is not a guided review course 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.
Guarantee Not Clear: The pass or refund guarantee they offer their students comes with an entire page of stipulations and fine print. The complexity makes it appear as though it would be very difficult to qualify for the guarantee they offer.
Lambers CPA Review (Rank: #8)
Money Back Guarantee Program: Lambers is the only review course that guarantees you will pass or your money back. The only stipulation is that you must fail the same exam twice before you can get a refund which seems completely reasonable for this type of rare offer.
Audio Course: The Lambers Audio courseware comes in both MP3 and CD formats. Also included are their resource CD’s which include Lambers Textbook as well as the instructor’s workbooks that they use throughout the lectures. The Audio Course is great for anyone who is an auditory learner as you will listen to professors work through hundreds of questions.
Lectures: Their lectures are pretty bland and can very easily put you to sleep. However, they do happen to be very organized and teach the material well. If you are looking for a CPA cure to your ADHD then this might not be the best fit for you.
User Feedback Is Scarce: There are a lot less posts and feedback from students who use this course. This is probably because they do not market their product as heavily as their competitors. Despite the small amount of discussion though the general response to their course has been somewhat positive especially for the Audit section.
Check out my full analysis and review of Lambers CPA Review
MDS CPA Review (Rank: #9)
Steve Martin’s Teaching Style: Steve has been in the CPA exam game for almost 30 years and has a lot of teaching experience. He focuses on helping students understand the most important concepts that are likely to be tested on and doesn’t get too caught up on all the little stuff.
Video Lectures: As he teaches there are digital slides of the textbook on the screen to help you follow along. He uses an on-screen pen to underline the text as he talks which is not the most modern technology, however it does help keep to you focused more than a normal lecture.
Software Lacks Analytics: The homework software doesn’t have any analytic tools to point out the topics you score well on versus topics that you need to improve on. You are given a test score at the end of each practice exam but there are no other statistics or performance charts that break down your score into subsections.
Less Lecture Hours: The total course consists of 72 lecture hours which is considerably less than the other video review courses provide. Perhaps he is trying to focus only on the most important concepts, but there’s a chance he could be skipping over some important material here.
Check out my full analysis and review of MDS CPA Review
CPA Review For Free (Rank: #10)
Lots of Multiple Choice Practice Questions: There are over 2,400 MCQ’s to work through covering all 4 sections of the CPA exam. These are high quality questions and are similar to what you can expect to see on the actual exam. You are also able to create your own practice tests about a specific topic if you’d like.
It’s FREE!: No strings attached, just straight up free study material. I was also impressed by how there are very few advertisements on the website, being that it’s free I was expecting to get bombarded with pop ads and other gimmicks.
Not A Full Review Course: This course would be great to use a supplement to your primary study materials, however I definitely would not suggest using CPA Review For Free by itself. It’s not a guided review and there are no video lectures to help explain the material.
CPA Reviews that didn’t make the Top 10 List:
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.
I hope this overview of CPA Review Courses has been helpful. If you would like a recommendation based on your specific background and experiences, drop me a note in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you shortly :)