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
CPAexcel Review (Rank: #1)
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 5,100 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.
Support Lag Time: There is a message board where you can post your questions but their responses are not very timely. However, you can buy their “Professor Mentoring” service which will respond within 24 hours via email.
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
Roger CPA Review (Rank: #2)
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 new online course includes many new useful features that streamline the learning experience including integrated digital textbooks and performance metrics. Please click the link below for all the details.
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.
Yaeger CPA Review (Rank: #3)
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.
Unlimited Use of Materials: Four different course formats are available to choose from which include; DVD, USB, Online, and Mobile Device. You can download their online course onto as many computers as you would like.
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
Gleim CPA Review (Rank: #4)
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 11,000 multiple choice questions which is significantly more than any other CPA review course.
Sexy Price: One of the most affordable review course on the market. All 4 sections can be purchased for less than $900 using this CRUSH discount!
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.
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: #5)
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.
Not A Lot of User Feedback Yet: Their course is fairly new which is probably why I haven’t heard too much about it on any of the forums or blogs. The true test of a CPA review’s quality is how effective it is at helping CPA candidates pass their exams. So until I get confirmation on this, I’m going to stay a little bit skeptical.
MDS CPA Review (Rank: #6)
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 that the 100+ that most other review courses provide. This might be because he wanted to focus on only the most important concepts but I can’t help but think that he’s skipping over a lot of important material here.
Check out my full analysis and review of MDS CPA Review
Becker CPA Review (Rank: #7)
Structured and Organized: Both live and online classes are tightly structured. This allows students to build a routine around their studying schedule.
Study Materials: Becker’s software is fairly easy to navigate and the books are formatted well. Their full course comes with 6,000 multiple-choice questions which is just above the industry average.
Very Expensive: Becker costs $3,360! 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
Wiley CPA Review (Rank: #8)
High Quality Software: Their software includes 4,300 questions to practice on and comes with online support. Their practice tests are formatted just like the real CPA exam and include simulations.
Many Formats: Wiley CPA Exam Review products are available in print, CD-ROM, online, and as mobile apps for your iPod, iPad, Android, and Nook.
No Guided Review: If you misunderstand any of the concepts there is nobody to guide you back in the right direction. The course material is progressive and if you don’t fully understand the material every subsequent section will be more difficult to understand.
Complex Textbook: Even though the textbook contains a ton of good information it is not very easy to understand. Many students say that the information is too complex to navigate on their own and usually ended up purchasing a review course to help explain the material.
Check out my full analysis and review of Wiley CPA Review
Lambers CPA Review (Rank: #9)
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 not the most exciting, however, they are 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
CPA Review For Free (Rank: #10)
It’s FREE!: You don’t really have a lot to lose since it is 100% free.
Easy to Sign Up: The website is easy to navigate and signing up is fast and simple.
Multiple Choice Questions: There are a total of about 2,400 multiple choice questions spread across all 4 sections. These questions are formatted similar to ones on the exam and most are of the same caliber as the paid review courses.
Testing Format Different than CPA Exam: The tests are presented in a different computerized format than the actual CPA Exam. Most other major review courses are presented in the exact same computer format which helps students get familiar and feel comfortable with what to expect on exam day.
Limited Reporting: The lack of diagnostic reporting to tell you which subjects you need more help on is very limiting. Once you move on to the next exam you can only see your previous scores rather than the previous questions you missed.
Check out my full analysis and review of CPA Review For Free
Kaplan CPA Review (Rank: #11)
Online Support: Kaplan’s Instructor-led Office Hours allows students to ask questions about specific problems to their instructors. This type of support is better than a lot of the other reviews but is still very limited when compared to something like Yaeger’s Instructor Hotline.
Standardized Test Experts: Kaplan has a lot of experience preparing students for professional exams and preparatory courses. and has been in the industry a very long time. However, there CPA program doesn’t get talked about a lot and they are much better known for their CFA and CMA review courses.
Bad Presentation Of Information: Kaplan’s textbooks are formatted in a way that overcomplicates the material and doesn’t teach in an effective way. There is a lot of information on subjects that are very unlikely to be tested on which make it hard to drill down on the important information.
Very Few Practice Questions: Kaplan offers less than half of the practice questions and simulations other CPA courses have. This means you will be forced to either take the exam unprepared or to purchase additional practice questions from one of Kaplan’s competitors.
Check out my full analysis and review of Kaplan CPA Review
You made it to the bottom of the list, you are a champ! 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 :)