It’s important for you to pick out the best CPA exam review course.
In all seriousness, it could be the most important decision you make if you’re trying to pass the CPA exam on your first try.
It’s crucial to find CPA study materials that best fit your learning style. That’s why I’ve put together a comparison of all the top options below.
Every course provider claims to have the best product. But that doesn’t mean they’re all equally effective; picking the wrong one means you waste hundreds of extra study hours, and maybe even thousands of dollars.
You’re probably wondering..
How I do I know what makes a great CPA review course?
First off, I’m a CPA.
Here’s the even better news: I have personally tested and tried out all of the CPA exam review courses and test banks below so you don’t have to!
Here’s a quick breakdown of how we evaluate CPA exam prep courses:
- Quality vs. Quantity: Do these CPA courses have a good number of practice questions, simulated exams, video lectures, flashcards, and other materials? Are these study materials good enough to actually prepare you for the real exam?
- Staff: How qualified are the owners, writers, and teachers of these prep courses to teach you core exam concepts? Do they have a lot of experience in their profession and in education?
- Price: Do these courses cost a reasonable amount for the content they provide? Are there alternate tiers, payment plans, or other price-saving options available for students on a tight budget?
- Support: Can you contact a support team via phone, email, chat, and/or social media? Do they guarantee that you will pass the exam?
- Video Lectures: 250+ hrs
- Test Bank Questions: 9,200+
- Simulations: 580+
- Unlimited Access: Yes!
- Final Review Included: Yes!
- Free Trial: Yes!
These Are The Top Ranked 9+ Best CPA Exam Review Courses & CPA Study Materials in January 2021 :
- Becker CPA Review Courses
- Surgent CPA Review Course
- Gleim CPA Exam Test Prep Course
- UWorld Roger CPA Review Courses
- Fast Forward Academy CPA Exam Review Course
- Yaeger CPA Exam Prep Course
- Lambers CPA Exam Prep Course
- Universal CPA Review Course
Becker CPA Review Course (Rank: #1)
For 60+ years, this quality CPA Review Course has been endorsed by successful CPAs and the Big 4 accounting firms, including PwC1 and Deloitte2.
Becker CPA Online Pros & Cons 
Top Things You Need To Know Before You Buy!
Thanks to their Sana Labs partnership, Becker has extremely powerful, award-winning technology behind its adaptive learning software. As you progress through the course, Adapt2U will analyze your results and suggest easier or harder material to match your specific needs.
The instructors at Becker CPA Review have a wealth of combined experience (over 60 years!) to draw from when teaching the CPA exam. You should expect to be entertained and engaged thanks to their effective mnemonics and refreshing sense of humor.
Currently, Becker CPA Review is the sole provider of TBS-specific instructional video content for the CPA exam. Since roughly half of the exam is made up of TBS, the 500-plus videos in their SkillMaster series will be extremely helpful to you.
What’s your ideal learning experience? Whether it’s in-person, self-study, or a live-online classroom, Becker CPA Review has the ability to provide your preferred study format.
FAQs About Becker CPA Review:
Q: Can I try Becker’s CPA review course before making a purchase?
A: Yes! Becker offers a 14-day demo with over 1,400 multiple choice questions, 100 task-based simulations, video lessons, and more. This is a great way to try their content before putting any money down; you can even transfer your progress into a full course if you decide to enroll!
Q: Does Becker offer a pass guarantee?
A: Yes. Under the Becker Promise, students who complete all or most of their course material but fail the CPA exam will receive a tuition waiver until they pass.
Surgent CPA Prep Course (Rank: #2)
The best CPA exam prep course technology, hands down.
Surgent CPA Review Pros & Cons 
What Everyone Needs To Know About Surgent CPA Review
Most Innovative Technology:
In 2018, Surgent CPA Review was named one of Accounting Today’s Top New Products For Accountants.3 This prestigious award is given to only the most innovative products on the market, with the kind of data-driven technology leading the revolution of the accounting industry.
Efficient and Experienced Instructors:
Surgent CPA Review instructors created their curriculum with one clearly defined goal: having the most efficient study system to help candidates pass their exams in record time. Their experience as professional accounting instructors result in a kickass review course that will save you a ton of study time. Much like their core philosophy, their videos are concise and to the point..
Sign up for a 5-day free trial of Surgent CPA review to get familiar with it before making any buying decisions. They also offer a Money Back Guarantee, so if you complete their course and end up failing you eligible for a full refund. This shows just how confident they are in their product and that they are willing to put their money where their mouth is.
Surgent clearly prides themselves on having the strongest adaptive learning technology available, and many students appreciate the support this feature provides. However, some students might be annoyed by the way this software provides extremely specific study schedules, right down to the amount of study time you should spend each day. If you’re a self motivated student who doesn’t need a lot of guidance, these features might be more frustrating than helpful.
Popular Questions About Surgent CPA Review:
Q: Is Surgent CPA Review compatible with smartphones and tablets?
A: Yes, all of Surgent CPA Review’s course features will work on most modern tablets and smart devices (except for Nook tablets, Kindle Fire tablets, and E-Readers).
Q: What is adaptive learning?
A: Adaptive learning is a term for the learning technology Surgent uses in its CPA prep course. The purpose of this software is to quickly reveal subjects you need to study the most. Then, it automatically generates a unique study plan focusing on those specific sections.
Gleim CPA Review Course (Rank: #3)
Highest number of practice questions and simulations backed by powerful SmartAdapt learning tech.
MCQs and TBS:
Gleim is another comprehensive course that prides itself on covering all possible subjects that may be encountered on the CPA exam. This extends into their practice materials, which is why they currently offer the highest number of multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations out of any other CPA prep course!
Gleim’s course comes with a variety of resources like audio lessons, practice exams, a Simulation Wizard, and access to a personal counselor for all 4 sections of the CPA Exam. The use of SmartAdapt technology to sift through detailed information and target important areas is also extremely helpful.
It’s a lot easier to justify paying for an educational course when you get the chance to try it first. That’s why Gleim offers free study materials, including a 40-question multiple choice quiz and a sample of their Task-Based Simulations per section.
Very Detailed Content:
The books are detailed and use a significant amount of technical jargon. That makes this especially helpful as a refresher for students who struggled with many of these concepts in school. And while this may appeal to these types of students, others may feel overwhelmed by the information overload.
FAQs About Gleim CPA Review:
Q: Is there a guarantee for the Gleim CPA review course?
A: If you’re enrolled in a Gleim course, you receive their Access Until You Pass guarantee. Don’t worry about paying any extra fees for updates or retakes; you only have to pay once and can keep your study materials until you pass the CPA exam.
Q: What’s the difference between the Traditional and Premium courses?
A: The Gleim Traditional CPA Review is their basic package that offers several features similar to their Premium course. However, it doesn’t come with their Access Until You Pass Guarantee or their Accounting Experts feature. The Premium review adds tutoring through Accounting Experts, their Gleim Instruct Video Series, and some more helpful features.
UWorld Roger CPA Review (Rank: #4)
SmartPath, Quick Access, and other great tools to keep you engaged.
UWorld Roger CPA Review Pros & Cons 
What Everyone Needs To Know About UWorld Roger CPA Review Prep
Roger Philip is a teacher with a unique blend of energy and enthusiasm. If you struggle with motivation when watching CPA video lectures, you won’t have worry about losing focus when watching one of Roger’s lectures. He is passionate about helping students pass their exam with the best CPA review course available. Best of all is how knowledgeable he is about the material thanks to all his teaching experience.
SmartPath Predictive Technology:
UWorld has made several changes under the hood of this prep course. Now, all students can take advantage of their newly designed SmartPath tech to create a customized study schedule based on powerful predictive learning algorithms. In layman’s terms, you’ll be able to study faster and more effectively!
UWorld Roger CPA Review’s Elite-Unlimited package offers access to their content that never expires. But even if you opt for a course with a 12 or 18-month access period, you’ll still receive all AICPA Blueprint-related updates for free.
The good news is that all students who sign up with any UWorld Roger CPA course can read over 17,000 questions submitted to their Study Hub. These academic questions are answered by real CPA’s, but you can only submit questions of your own if you enroll in their highest-price Elite-Unlimited course.
FAQs About UWorld Roger CPA Review:
Q: How do I watch the UWorld Roger CPA review course on my mobile devices?
A: If you enroll in UWorld Roger CPA Review, you’ll be able to access Roger Philip’s lectures on your smart device or tablet of choice. We recommend watching these videos while connected to a wireless network instead of using your phone data; this will improve streaming quality and prevent a large phone bill.
Q: What happens if I have a question about anything on UWorld Roger CPA Review?
A: UWorld Roger CPA Review has a Study Hub to answer any and all CPA exam questions. Either Roger himself or one of many other qualified instructors will be on call to help you with any issues you encounter. Feel free to take advantage of this supplemental feature if you enroll in their Elite-Unlimited course.
Fast Forward Academy CPA Review Course (Rank: #5)
Fast Forward Academy is one of the best CPA review courses if you’re trying to avoid spending too much money. Their course selection page offers customers the ability to only pay for video lectures, practice questions, or similar materials related to specific CPA exam sections.
Not sure if you’re going to be able to pass the exam in the time frame you expected? Fast Forward Academy will ensure that you still have full access to their review course no matter how long it takes.
No Mobile App:
Without a dedicated mobile app for Android or iOS, you might be disappointed if you’re planning on accessing Fast Forward Academy on your phone or tablet. However, their website is designed to accommodate these devices, so it’s not so bad!
FAQs About Fast Forward Academy CPA Review:
Q: Does Fast Forward Academy offer additional study materials besides their prep course?
A: Yes. For students who are already enrolled in a CPA review course that are looking for some extra learning material, they offer a set of physical textbooks for $600.
Q: Does Fast Forward Academy have a money-back guarantee?
A: Yes! Students have 30 days to request a refund on anything they’ve purchased through Fast Forward Academy’s website.
Q: Does Fast Forward Academy offer financing?
A: Yes. Students have the option of enrolling in a 3, 6, or 12 month payment plan when enrolling in one of Fast Forward Academy’s CPA review courses.
Yaeger CPA Prep Course (Rank: #6)
Best Customer Support:
Yaeger’s Live Instructor Hotline is one of its best features. You can use this resource to receive nearly instant help from a real person with any of your CPA exam questions or course issues. 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 [UPDATED 2021]:
Yaeger has recently updated their course and broken up lectures into short 15 minute videos.
Unfortunately, Yaeger doesn’t offer any kind of guarantee or refund policy for any of their study materials. That means if you use their course and still fail the exam, you’re out of luck!
Yaeger CPA Review – Reviews and Most Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Does Yaeger CPA Review work on mobile devices?
A: Although you can access Yaeger CPA Review’s study materials on most mobile devices (including the student portal and flashcards), they don’t currently offer dedicated mobile apps for Android or Apple devices.
Q: Does Yaeger offer personal support for its course?
A: Whether you’re struggling with a specific CPA exam practice question or you need some help navigating Yaeger’s dashboard, you can get extra help. They provide phone support through an Instructor Hotline and a dedicated support email address.
Lambers CPA Prep Course (Rank: #6)
Optimized Study Content:
Lambers offers one of the best ways for a CPA candidate to identify their weak areas and drill them down into strengths. They’ve recently revamped their study materials — 5,000 practice questions and 90 hours of video — to be optimized for this express purpose.
Have you taken the CPA exam once before and failed? If so, Lambers is an effective and inexpensive way to get that extra boost you need to earn a passing score. You can pick a specific section, like FAR or BEC, and then use their adaptive learning tech to learn what you missed.
When compared to the top courses on our list, Lambers doesn’t have the same amount of content or competitive extra features. With that being said, it’s still a viable learning resource if you want something very stripped-down.
Universal CPA Study Materials (Rank: #7)
What makes Universal CPA Review so interesting is the way it’s designed for supplemental studying. Their test bank, audio lectures, and additional content have been designed from the ground up to offer unique perspectives on the CPA exam, building off other courses.
Access Until You Pass:
Students who wish to supplement their study materials with Universal CPA Review will only need to pay once. Thanks to their unlimited access policy, you’re free to consult these materials only when you need them without any time pressure.
In addition to the thousands of multiple choice questions and hundreds of task-based simulations, this course offers something more. Students stuck on a particular question can consult detailed answer explanations in both video and audio format.
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.
Factual statements made above are based on the following sources:
What’s the Best CPA Prep Course?
It can be hard to pick between so many great CPA courses. Each have their own strengths, but the key to picking the right one lies in exploring how each one fits their studying niche.
Becker vs. Wiley
Becker has a strong emphasis on flexibility when studying. It offers both Study Roadmap and Study Planner toolkits so you can fine tune a personalized study routine. They even emphasize flexible payments with their multiple financing options.
On the other hand, Wiley is designed around bite sized lectures. Each lecture is 30-45 minutes so that they don’t overwhelm you. Because of that, they’re great for anyone who needs to study during work or school breaks.
What’s most important to note is the difference in overall quality. With Becker, you’ll be getting a far better experience than Wiley, especially when it comes to mobile support. Wiley’s got to fix some of their nagging issues if they want to keep up!
Surgent CPA Review vs. Becker CPA
Surgent and Becker are both built around their innovative technology. Becker is one of the few courses to offer a competent mobile app, but Surgent has a very intuitive dashboard design. Because of their focus on accessibility and quality, Surgent’s course was named one of Accouting Today’s Top New Products.
Becker also has fantastic Adapt2U learning technology, which offers similar benefits to Surgent’s A.S.A.P. tech. However, there are several other benefits Becker provides that overshadow Surgent, such as their near-universal adoption by the top accounting firms and their Accounting for Empires mobile game.
UWorld Roger CPA vs Becker CPA Review
When it comes to instructors, Becker and UWorld Roger have very different doctrines. While Becker’s program is taught by a host of instructors, Roger’s lectures are built around their teacher and namesake, Roger Philip. This is done so that the course has a solid through line. Roger Philip delivers his lectures with a characteristic enthusiasm and energy that really draws you in.
However, I actually prefer the variation that comes from Becker’s larger group of instructors. Instead of trusting one teacher to understand all four sections, four teachers that specialize in each of the four exam sections offers much greater depth and educational value.
If you can afford the higher price tag, I would recommend Becker. However, UWorld Roger is still a good value option if you can’t.
Gleim CPA vs. Wiley CPA Review
Both Gleim and Wiley’s greatest strengths come from their wide breadth of content. Gleim offers over 10,000 multiple choice questions while Wiley’s platinum course offers 12,000 questions. Furthermore, Wiley takes their questions from previous CPA exams so you can focus on certain areas without having to repeat the same questions. In contrast, Gleim focuses on having more types of questions such as true/false questions, TBS, and MCQ tests.
Unfortunately, Wiley misses out in one key area. Although they offer a mobile app for students who wish to study on phones and tablets, it’s received hundreds of negative reviews due to many problems and glitches. On the other hand, Gleim foregoes an app and simply optimized their entire site for all mobile browsers, resulting in a much better experience that’s nearly identical to studying on your home desktop.
Gleim CPA vs Becker CPA Review
Gleim offers a great deal of versatility in their prep courses that should appeal to a specific kind of student. The addition of audio lectures is helpful for those who prefer to study while doing other things, like commuting or exercising.
On the other hand, Gleim’s lack of a mobile app can frustrate these same students. Fortunately, Becker provides a full mobile app that will work on both Apple and Android devices. This is a big deal for students who are constantly on the go that need to study in short bursts.
Although both CPA review courses offer a suite of appealing features, Becker is the ultimate winner in this comparison. Thanks to their accessibility in both content and mobile resources, it’s just a better option overall for modern students.
Fast Forward Academy vs. Gleim CPA Review
The biggest advantage that Fast Forward Academy provides to students when compared to the Gleim CPA review course is its price. If you’re a student with a tight budget that wants to stretch it as far as possible, you may want to choose Fast Forward Academy.
However, if you have even a few hundred dollars more to spend on your review course, Gleim is a much better option. It offers nearly double the amount of review material for students while also providing helpful support options and excellent personalization features.
If you don’t mind the fact that their study material is a bit more difficult to parse, Gleim is a better choice in terms of overall exam preparedness. Alternatively, Fast Forward Academy is a decent choice for students who just want something simple and less stressful.
Other CPA Review Courses & CPA Study Materials to Consider
These CPA review courses didn’t make my Top 7 List for 2021, but I still wanted to give you a thorough overview of their pros and cons. Click on each one to learn more:
- Ninja CPA Review Course – Not comprehensive enough to use as a primary study source, ok as supplementary study material on weaker sections.
- MDS CPA Study Materials– Has recently overhauled entire course to get a much-needed upgrade in technology, overall it looks very promising.
- CPA Exam Tutoring – Compare the top rated CPA exam tutoring companies and find a CPA tutor to help boost your scores.
Compare 2021’s Top CPA Exam Review Courses By Feature:
- CPA Review Course Video Lecture Content
- Multiple Choice Questions
- Task Based Simulations
- Discounts and Financing Options
- Student Support
Best CPA Prep Course Video Lecture Comparison
CPA video lectures are great for people who miss the classroom setting and prefer to learn by watching a teacher go over the important accounting concepts. Video lectures are one of the most important parts of any CPA review course, as many students prefer this style of learning. UWorld Roger CPA Review has some of the best video materials in the industry with his engaging talks, while Surgent CPA Review has the most knowledgeable instructors.
Bottom Line: UWorld Roger CPA Review will likely occupy this spot until the namesake retires—he’s the most engaging instructor in the industry.
Most Multiple Choice CPA Exam Practice Questions – Comparison
Multiple choice questions are the bread and butter of the best CPA review books, as these mirror the exam content and are an amazing way to practice for the test.
The number of MCQs isn’t always the most important metric for these questions, as some are harder and more like the actual exam than others. Wiley has a ton of great questions, but Surgent has very targeted multiple choice questions that may help you prepare for the test more efficiently.
Bottom Line: Surgent’s use of targeted multiple choice questions make them the perfect combination of quality and quantity.
Comparison of CPA Review Course Task-Based Simulations
Task-based simulations are increasingly important because of the 2021 CPA exam structure. Because of this new test, many of the CPA review courses listed here place much more emphasis on helping you understand and pass TBS questions. Becker is the top provider of TBS materials for CPAs; they’re optimized for the new CPA exam blueprints and include over 400 step-by-step videos taught by expert instructors.
Best CPA Courses Discount Prices & Financing Compared
Why pass full price for a CPA review course? There are plenty of great CPA discount codes that are available to students and candidates. Take hundreds of dollars off Becker CPA Review, UWorld Roger CPA Review, Surgent CPA Review, and many more with our great CPA Prep Course promo codes. If you can’t put a bunch of money down upfront, check out the financing options from Surgent or UWorld Roger CPA Review.
Bottom Line: Becker CPA Review offers great financing options with Flexpay, allowing you to enroll in 3, 9, or 12 month payment plans.
Best CPA Review Course Student Support
After using the top 5 CPA courses thoroughly, I found that certain prep courses deliver on their student support promises better than others.
Which CPA course provider answers questions in the fastest amount of time?
How easily can you access these courses’ student support software?
Which course provides responses to support inquiries that are the most personal and detailed?
Here are the Top Rated CPA Review Courses for Student Support:
- Becker – Onboarding assistance, dedicated Success Coaches, student & tech support available through email/phone/dashboard
- Surgent – Onboarding, dedicated coaching, email & phone support
- Gleim – Assistance from Accounting Experts and/or Personal Counselors
- UWorld Roger – All instructors accessible through Homework Help Center
- Yaeger – Email and phone support, exclusive student-only message board for direct instructor access
Check out my in-depth article and case study to learn more here: Which CPA Course Offers The Best Student Support?
Best Supplemental CPA Study Materials
Best CPA Exam Test Banks
#1: Becker CPA Test Bank
One of the most popular supplements in the CPA exam industry includes the ability to generate a limitless amount of customized practice tests. Becker’s Adapt2U technology pulls from its library of over 9,000 practice questions and 500+ task-based simulations to meet your exact study needs.
Gleim has over 10,000 simulations and multiple-choice questions that replicate the real exam accurately. They’re hands-down the largest test bank on the market; if you’re interested in learning through repetitive practice, this is the one you’ll want to choose.
Best CPA Course Printed Flashcards
UWorld Roger CPA Review comes with several hundred print flashcards. They all have two definitions on the front with corresponding explanations on the other side: a simple yet effective format for quick study sessions.
Best CPA Exam Mobile Apps
#1: Becker CPA Review
Becker offers two different mobile apps that are tailor-made for students who want to learn on the go. Use their course app to access all your practice questions and lectures from your smartphone or tablet, then take a break with their Accounting for Empires mobile game.
#2: Surgent CPA Review Mobile App
While many CPA review courses don’t offer full mobile support, Surgent provides a flashcard app for iPhone and Android that’s completely free. It contains over 2,000 CPA exam definitions and specific terms: perfect for bite-sized study sessions.
#3: UWorld Roger CPA Review Mobile App
UWorld Roger offers two iPhone apps to its CPA exam candidates. One offers full access to their library of flashcards and the other provides access to practice questions and video lectures.
Best Audio CPA Review Course
#1: UWorld Roger CPA Review Audio Course
There are some students that want to learn while doing other things. If you’re a fan of multitasking, Roger CPA Review offers a fantastic audio-only component. This can free you up to do chores around the house or go for a long jog while you study for the CPA exam!
Best CPA Course for Visual and Auditory Learners
#1: UWorld Roger CPA Review Elite Course
In my opinion, Roger Philip’s passion and energy results in the best CPA review course for visual and auditory learnings. Definitely pick up the Elite package to take advantage of their audio-only lecture content!
Top CPA Review Course on a Budget
#1: Yaeger CPA Review
Yaeger might not stand toe-to-toe with the top CPA prep courses, but they’re still a fantastic study resource for any aspiring public accountants. Best of all is that you can take advantage of discounts to save even more money on their course catalog!
#2: Lambers CPA Review
Unlike most of the other CPA review courses we’ve covered, Lambers allows you to pick study materials for individual sections of the CPA exam. This means you can grab some helpful lectures and practice exams for ¼ of the price!
Best CPA Study Combo for Self-Studiers
Wiley CPAexcel Platinum Review Course + Gleim CPA Test Bank
Wiley’s Platinum course comes fully loaded with over 12,000 multiple choice practice questions, more than any other CPA Test Prep company. This course is ideal for those who don’t need to have their hand held while studying.
Self-studiers tend to learn very well from drilling thousands of multiple choice questions, analyzing the answers they got wrong, and then doing more practice questions. Combined with Wiley’s Platinum course, Gleim’s CPA Test Bank is ultimate combo for self-studiers.
CPA Review Course Frequently Asked Questions
Who Is Eligible to take the CPA exam?
Candidates will need to meet eligibility requirements set by their regional board of accountancy before they take the CPA exam. There are 55 different jurisdictions in the United States, each with their own specific requirements. You can find out more about your local state accountancy board on the NASBA’s website.1
How Hard is the CPA Exam?
Although some sections of the 4-part CPA exam are easier than others, all of them are notoriously difficult. On average, roughly 50% of people who take the exam earn a passing grade.2
How do I Prepare for the CPA Exam?
The best way to ensure you are capable of passing the CPA exam is to identify your unique learning style, find CPA review courses geared toward it, and set aside enough study time to ensure you go over all the material covered on every exam section. For more information on different learning styles, we recommend reading more about Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences.3
How Much Is Becker CPA Review Self-Study?
Becker CPA Review’s Self-Study course is currently the most expensive online CPA review course. The price is $2,299 for their full course which covers all four parts of the CPA exam. Other CPA review course companies like Roger CPA Review, Wiley CPAexcel, and Surgent CPA Review offer very similar study materials and software features for about half the cost of Becker with prices starting around $1,500 for these top notch CPA Review Course materials. All of them also offer financing options and special discounts so CPA candidates have the chance to start studying at a much lower cost or with a small down payment.
Why Should I Become a CPA?
There are both tangible and intangible benefits to becoming a CPA. If you want to advance quickly in your career, beat other applicants for competitive jobs, and land a corner office, this is the certification to pick. When comparing the average salary of an uncertified accountant4 with a CPA5, the latter earns roughly 30% more annually.. Basically, you should become a CPA if you want to achieve the greatest possible success in professional accounting!
What Are the CPA Exam Requirements By State?
For the most part, all 50 US states share requirements to sit for the CPA exam— with a few notable exceptions. However, you should still consult your local state’s board of taxation to learn the specific requirements you’ll need to meet.1 Typically, you’ll need to accrue some work experience and around 150 credit hours of education; but you should also anticipate more than just that!
How Do I Apply for the CPA Exam?
Applying for the CPA exam is a complicated process, especially given the date restrictions and many requirements. Understanding how to apply will help with scheduling and time management, so make sure you cover all of the bases.
The basic application process involves school transcripts, submitting the fee and application, receiving the ATT from your state board, getting your NTS from NASBA, going to the Prometric website to schedule the exam dates, and then finally studying and taking the test. The CPA exam application process is very specific and can be confusing, so make sure you follow every detail exactly to a T.
How Do I Stay Motivated After Failing a CPA Exam Section?
Finding the motivation to try again after failing the CPA exam is difficult. If you need a few days to mope, I understand— but you need to pump yourself up to retake the exam as quickly as possible. The longer you wait before a retake, the less fresh exam knowledge you’ll have ahead of time. Therefore, a great way to motivate yourself for round 2 is to think about how much more effective you’ll be with that prior experience!
How Do I Recognize My “Learning Style”?
If you ascribe to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences3, recognizing your learning style is key to getting the most out of any educational pursuit— including passing the CPA exam. Ask yourself some introspective questions and be honest: do you learn best from a video lecture, an audiobook, a textbook, a collaborative study group, or through tons and tons of practice questions? Once you’ve identified your learning style, put it to work and you’ll have a much easier time getting a passing score on all your exams!
What Are the Different Testing Windows For the CPA Exam?
In the past, the CPA exam testing windows followed the quarterly fiscal year structure— four windows of time for taking the exam each year. However, in 2020 the AICPA, NASBA, and Prometric rolled out a continuous testing model, which allows you to effectively take the CPA exam year-round.6
How Do I Create a Study Schedule?
Creating a CPA exam study schedule is important and requires you to be honest about your motivation, energy, and availability. If you’re struggling to figure out the perfect CPA exam study schedule, consider signing up for an adaptive learning CPA review course like Surgent, Becker, or Gleim; they gather data from you to generate a personalized schedule that’s easier for you to follow.
Which Section Of the CPA Exam Should I Take First?
You’re going to hear many different answers to this question, but the truth is that there’s not one specific exam section you need to take before all the others. Instead, figure out which part of the test you feel most confident about and make that your first CPA exam section.
Which is the easiest part of the CPA exam?
The AICPA reports AUD being the statistically easiest class. The FAR, AUD, BEC, and REG respective pass rates are 45.42%, 45.82%, 55.54%, and 48.41%, with the lowest cumulative passing rates on FAR.7
How Should I Study for the CPA Exam?
You should focus on completing the exam sections that you feel most confident with first and then move on to the ones that you need to work on more. The general rule is that you should study about 80-100 hours for each section of the exam. This might be overkill for some candidates. It might not be enough time for others. The best thing you can do is work through your CPA study materials and see where it takes you.
If you get through the materials before you reach the 80 hour mark, good for you! A lot of college students and grads ask which course is best for them since they are freshly out of school, and already in course mode. Keep in mind that there is not such thing as “the best” course. The most important thing about picking a course is finding one that fits your learning style.
You should try out each course you are interested in by taking advantage of free trial offers. Test them out and see which one you like the best. I’d recommend looking into Surgent, Roger, and Becker first.
How do you rate this review ?
The answers to the above questions are based on information from these sources:
Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created CrushTheCPAexam.com to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. As Seen On Forbes