The Best CPA Exam Review Courses of 2020

CPA Review Courses Updated: June 1, 2020 You’re our #1 priority.
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Best Overall CPA Review Course

Best Technology

Best Videos

Choosing the best CPA review course is the most important thing you can do to help you 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 all the best options below!

Every CPA prep course company claims to have the best product, yet picking the wrong one could cost you hundreds of extra study hours and thousands of dollars. I have personally tested and used all of the CPA exam review courses, study materials, and test banks below so you don’t have to!

This CPA prep course comparison guide is aimed at helping you figure out which review course is best for you. If you can’t decide on one of these CPA test prep options, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll personally help you find the CPA exam prep materials that best fits your learning style, study plan, budget, and needs.

Compare The Top 6 Best Rated CPA Review Courses Side-by-Side
[Comparison Chart]

The Top 9+ Best CPA Exam Review Courses & CPA Study Materials in 2020 (Updated: June):

How do you rate Becker CPA Review ?

Becker CPA Review Course (Rank: #1)

This quality CPA Review Course is backed up and endorsed by Big 4 accounting firms


Becker CPA Online Pros & Cons [2020]

Top Things You Need To Know Before You Buy!


  • Mobile App:

Not every test prep provider offers a mobile app, especially not one that’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Even if they do, they don’t offer anything even close to the features and overall quality provided by Becker’s mobile app.

  • Flexible Format:

Becker CPA Review provides students with an accessible and flexible study routine thanks to their Study Roadmap and Study Planner toolkits. When used together, students are able to plan out the ideal study routine that is sure to accomplish all of their goals!

  • Instructors:

Once you buy their course, you don’t just get access until you pass: it NEVER expires. This includes unlimited use of practice tests, videos, quizzes, and all other course materials. Wiley also provides free online course updates, so you’ll never have to worry about studying with outdated materials.


  • Audio Content:

Wiley CPAexcel does not offer live classes and their student support is limited to a message board on which 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 course might not be the best fit.

Becker is one of the most known companies for CPA candidates since it is sponsored by most accounting firms (including the Big 4) and universities. While this is great for name recognition, it’s a problem because Becker has no incentive to implement adaptive learning software or update its content since it is guaranteed to get customers from accounting firms and newly graduated accounting majors.


With this secure customer base, Becker has no problem being the most expensive course out there. This option is two to three times more expensive than other courses out there, but its a trusted name in the industry. So if you have been told by a boss, professor, or fellow CPA that Becker is “the only way to go,” I strongly suggest you check out your other affordable options before paying the price for Becker.

FAQs About Becker CPA Review:

Q: Can I try Becker’s CPA review course before making a purchase?

A: Yes! Becker offers a 21-day demo with over 150 multiple choice questions and 20 task-based simulations. This is a great way to make sure Becker is the right choice for your study needs before spending your money.

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 tuition reimbursement.

Bottom Line: You should use Becker CPA Review only if someone else is going to pay for it. If not, check out the other CPA exam prep courses.

Surgent CPA Review Course (Rank: #2)

The best CPA exam prep course technology, hands down.


Surgent CPA Review Pros & Cons [2020]

What Everyone Needs To Know About Surgent CPA Review


  • Most Innovative Technology:

Surgent CPA Review has been named one of Accounting Today’s Top New Products. 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.

  • Experienced Instructors:

Surgent CPA Review instructors Liz Kolar, CPA (25 year CPA exam prep instructor) and Jack Surgent, CPA (leading CPE course provider with 20+ years of experience) created Surgent CPA Review with the vision of making the study process more efficient than other established CPA exam review courses. They offer insightful strategies and study tips in their video lectures that they have accumulated through many years of teaching. Their videos are concise and to the point which makes it easier to absorb and retain the information learned.

  • Money-Back Guarantee:

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.

  • Intuitive Dashboard:

This CPA review course is extremely easy to navigate and you’ll be cruising in and out of lessons with ease thanks to the revamped dashboard design that Surgent created. This is something with which other courses struggle, so it’s great to see one course put a lot of money and effort into making the prep program easy to use and intuitive.

Popular Questions About Surgent CPA Review:

Q: Is Surgent compatible with smartphones and tablets?

A: Yes, all of Surgent’s course features are compatible with most smartphones and tablets. The only devices that don’t support Surgent’s software are Kindle Fire, Nook Tablets, and E-Readers.

Q: What is adaptive learning?

A: Adaptive learning is a learning technology that Surgent CPA Review incorporated into their software so it can quickly reveal your areas of need and automatically create a customized study plan that focuses on where you need the most help. The goal is to reduce study time and increase efficiency.

Bottom Line: Surgent and its impressive adaptive software will help you pass the CPA exam as quickly as possible.

Roger CPA Review Course (Rank: #3)

The most exciting CPA Review Course designed to keep you engaged.


Roger CPA Review Pros & Cons [2020]

What Everyone Needs To Know About Roger CPA Review Prep


  • Entertaining Lectures:

Roger Philip teaches each lecture with a lot (and I mean a lot) of energy and enthusiasm. His unique teaching style makes the material much more interesting and helps students stay motivated. He is passionate about helping students pass their exam with the best CPA review course available. Best of all he is very knowledgeable about the material from his years of experience helping students pass the CPA exam.

  • Mnemonics and Memorization Tactics:

Roger CPA Review uses mnemonics and other memorization tools throughout his lectures to provide an easier way for students to remember many tedious details that often appear on the exam.

  • Financing Options:

Roger CPA Review now offers financing plans for students on a budget. This is a fantastic opportunity because anyone who can afford to pay $149 a month now has access to the best CPA exam review course on the market!

  • Unlimited Access:

Roger CPA Review now offers CPA candidates UNLIMITED access to their online study materials so you’ll never have to worry about having them expire. They also offer free course updates to ensure you’ll always be studying with the most up to date content when any changes are made to the exam.

  • SmartPath Technology:

This new feature provides you with recommendations on where and how to focus your efforts by comparing your progress and performance to those that have passed the CPA Exam.


  • Disappointed Customers:

Although Roger has made several impressive changes to their CPA review course, a few of these changes have frustrated their customers. In particular, their newly redesigned UWorld mobile app has attracted negative criticism from many users due to frequent crashes and a needlessly complex interface.

FAQs About Roger CPA Review:

Q: How do I watch the CPA review course on my mobile devices?

A: If you get the course, you’ll have access to the lectures on your cellular phone, tablet, or mobile device. Many times, the videos are too large for 3G or 4G, so you’ll need to be connected to a wireless network.

Q: What happens if I have a question about my course—either the concepts or homework?

A: Roger CPA Review has a Homework Help Center to answer questions regarding the CPA exam. Moderators are available to help, as they can provide assistance on conceptual issues or topical questions. This service is meant to be a supplemental support to the content that’s covered in the lectures.

Bottom Line: Roger CPA Review is still one of the best options available to CPA candidates who are looking for engaging video content to help them study. However, they’ve had a noticeable decline in quality recently that needs to be addressed. Until they address numerous concerns left by paying customers, you’re better off with Surgent or Wiley.

Gleim CPA Review Course (Rank: #4)



  • Excellent Refresher Course:

Gleim is another comprehensive course that prides itself on covering all possible subjects that may be encountered on the CPA exam—this is another great option for those who have been out of school for awhile.

  • Varied Curriculum:

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 unlimited access and free course content updates make this option pretty great too!


  • Very Detailed Content:

The books are detailed and use a significant amount of technical jargon. Although many students prefer a highly comprehensive course, others may feel overwhelmed by the information overload.

FAQs About Gleim CPA Review:

Q: Is there a guarantee for this course?

A: With Gleim, you get an Access Until You Pass guarantee. This means that you’ll have full access to the entire course, without needing to buy an extension, until you pass the CPA exam.

Q: What’s the difference between the Traditional and Premium courses?

A: The Gleim Traditional CPA Review offers less student support and doesn’t come with the pass guarantee. The Premium review comes complete with the Gleim Instruct Video Series and a more built out support infrastructure.

Bottom Line: If you haven’t been in a classroom for a number of years and want a personal counselor to help you throughout your studies, Gleim is the course for you.

Fast Forward Academy CPA Review Course (Rank: #5)



  • Affordable Pricing:

Fast Forward Academy is a terrific resource for supplementary study materials if you’re trying to avoid spending too much money. Their course selection page offers customers the ability to only pay for study materials related to specific CPA exam sections.

  • Worry-Free Guarantees:

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:

Although Fast Forward Academy’s learning platform can be accessed from most mobile devices, including iPads, iPhones, and most Android phones, there is no dedicated app to make studying on your phone or tablet more streamlined and convenient.

Other courses have awesome mobile apps that makes quick study sessions easy and simple. It helps to have an app that you can use to quickly fit in a topic or two on-the-go.

Fast Forward Academy is relatively new to the CPA Review arena and the course is still proving itself. The feedback is mixed, but it’s certainly a fine course for passing the CPA exam.

If you are on a tight budget, Fast Forward Academy is one of the least expensive courses on the market and will give you what you need to pass the CPA Exam.

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 any study materials 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.

Bottom Line: Fast Forward Academy CPA Review has some of the best technology out there, I would recommend this course for students who prefer to self-study and have a smaller budget.

Fast Forward Academy CPA Discount Codes & Promos

Yaeger CPA Prep Course (Rank: #6)



  • 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 [UPDATED 2020]:

Yaeger has recently updated their course and broken up lectures into short 15 minute videos.


  • Refund Policy:

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!

Phil Yaeger has been teaching CPA candidates since 1977. His focus back then was customer service, and that tradition continues to this day. So if you are nervous about starting this solo CPA exam study process and want a course that will have all sorts of student support, Yaeger would be a solid fit for your learning style.

When Yaeger updated its course for the new 2020 CPA exam, it added several new features to make the course more up to date in terms of technology. The exam questions and other course content is also quite comprehensive and closely tied to the AICPA blueprints, making this course ideal for those who have been out of college for a while and want more information and easy access to instructor support.

Yaeger CPA Review – Reviews and Most Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Does Yaeger CPA Review work on mobile devices?

A: With Yaeger, you can access the materials via a browser that adapts well to mobile devices. The student portal can be easily entered via any mobile phone or tablet. The flashcards can be accessed via mobile devices, so you can take studying on the go! What’s the difference between the Traditional and Premium courses”

Q: Does Yaeger offer personal support for its course?

A: Yaeger offers a unique combination of support services: there’s an instructor hotline and phone and email support. The instructors who field questions have years of experience in the industry.

Bottom Line: Yaeger is a good fit for you if you want a comprehensive course that gives you more than enough information to pass the CPA Exam.

Yaeger CPA Coupon Codes & Special Promotions

Universal CPA Review Course (Rank: #7)



  • Unique Curriculum:
What makes Universal CPA Review so interesting is the way it’s designed for supplemental studying. This set of study materials has 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.
  • Multimedia Course:
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.


  • Poor Standalone:

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.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a new take on CPA study materials, Universal CPA Review isn’t a bad choice. However, it shouldn’t be your first choice; instead, go for a more established and comprehensive provider like Surgent or Roger.

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.

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 price between the two. Becker is the most expensive course on the market, so unless someone else is covering payment for it I would recommend Wiley.

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 mobile app, but Surgent just has a stronger offering in terms of content. They show this through their concise video lectures and 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 once again loses out when it comes to their price tag. Not only is Surgent cheaper, they also offer both a free five day trial of their service and a money back guarantee. Hence, picking Surgent is a bit of a no brainer here.

Roger CPA vs Becker CPA Review

When it comes to instructors, Becker and 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.

If you can afford the higher price tag, I would recommend Becker. However, 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, task based simulations, and MCQ tests.

Unfortunately Gleim does miss out in one key area. Many of their books tend to slip into technical jargon that’s great for an expert, but not so much for a beginner. If you’re worried about information overload, I would recommend choosing Wiley instead

Gleim CPA vs Becker CPA Review

Gleim offers a great deal of versatility in their CPA study materials 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 2020, 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.
  • Lambers CPA Review Courses – Has a comprehensive Audio Review Course, that’s pretty much it, though.
  • 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.

Get the Complete CPA Exam Review Course Ranking list HERE!

Compare 2020’s Top CPA Exam Review Courses By Feature:

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. 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: 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: Wiley CPAexcel has more multiple choice questions than any course, so you’re not going to run out of CPA study materials.

Comparison of CPA Review Course Task-Based Simulations

Task-based simulations are increasingly important because of the 2020 CPA exam structure. Because of this new test, CPA review courses now place more emphasis on these questions, ensuring you can pass after practicing the TBS section. Surgent and Wiley are the top two courses that have included up to date TBS materials and have optimized these sections for the new CPA exam blueprints.

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 Roger CPA Review, Surgent CPA Review, Wiley CPAexcel, 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 Roger CPA Review.

Bottom Line: Surgent CPA Review offers great financing options, with 0% and a low monthly rate thanks to an affordable price point.

Best CPA Review Course Student Support

CPA Prep Course Student Support Rankings

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 the fastest?

How easy is it to use the student support software?

Which course gives the most personal and detailed response?

Here are the Top Rated CPA Review Courses for Student Support:

  1. Surgent – Dedicated coaching and onboarding, live chat, student support, email & phone
  2. Gleim – Personal Counselors, assistance from accounting experts, email & live chat
  3. Roger – Homework Help Center, expert instructors
  4. Wiley – Live chat, student discussion board, team of accredited university professors
  5. Yaeger – Email, phone, student-only message board, direct access to instructors and CPAs
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: Wiley CPA Test Bank

One of the most popular supplements in the CPA exam industry includes 4,500+ CPA Exam practice questions with detailed answer rationales and 160 task-based simulations, including new Document Review Simulations (DRS).


#2: Gleim CPA Test Bank

With more than 10,000 exam-emulating multiple-choice questions and simulations of the largest test bank on the market, Gleim tests your knowledge and skills at the levels of the CPA Exam to ensure that you’re completely prepared.

Best CPA Course Printed Flashcards

#1: Roger CPA Flashcards 

Roger offers hundreds of print flashcards that come in one convenient spindle. Each card has two definitions on the front and detailed explanations on the backside.


#2: Wiley CPA Flashcards

Wiley CPAexcel includes more than 250 printed flashcards for each section of the CPA exam with their Platinum course. You can also buy them a la carte to supplement your primary review course studies with which is a great way to boost your memorization skills.

Best CPA Exam Mobile Apps

#1: Surgent CPA Review Mobile App

Surgent is offering a completely free Flashcard app for iPhone and Android giving you the chance to study 2,200+ CPA exam terms and definitions on your smartphone. Every candidate should be taking advantage of this offer while it lasts!


#2: Roger CPA Review Mobile App 

Roger offers two iPhone apps to students. The first one is a multiple choice app with over 3,400+ questions and the second is a flashcard app.

Best Audio CPA Review Course

#1: Roger CPA Review Audio Course

If you have a commute or want to make time in the gym more efficient you can download the Roger CPA Audio Course for listening on the go. This is by far the most engaging audio course that almost makes accounting fun.. almost 😉

Best CPA Course for Visual and Auditory Learners

#1: Roger CPA Review Elite Course

This is the absolute best option for visual & auditory learners. Roger Philip, the instructor, is extremely animated and his genuine passion is obvious in his interesting lectures. The Elite course also includes an audio version of the CPA course.

Top CPA Review Course on a Budget (Less than $1200)

#1: Yaeger CPA Review

Get all 4 sections for less than $1200 with our exclusive CRUSH coupon code. Yaeger launched their new software platform and the organized, user friendly interface is truly impressive. This great all around course is the best bang for your buck!

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.

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.

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 your learning style, and set aside enough study time to ensure you go over all the material covered on every exam section.

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 $3,393 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?

The benefits of being a CPA are both tangible and intangible. With that designation next to your name, you get a better career trajectory, a higher salary, respect from similarly accredited peers, and the potential to secure corner office positions. Over the course of their careers, CPAs make $1 million more than their non-certified counterparts.  The C-Suite is more likely to be made up of people who are CPAs than those who lack the title—executive search firm Spencer Stuart noted roughly 45 percent of CFOs have a CPA.

What Are the CPA Exam Requirements By State?

The requirements to sit for the CPA exam aren’t especially varied from state to state, but there are certainly some outliers. Understanding these CPA exam requirements is necessary, however, as the first step to becoming a CPA is being able to sit for the exam. For the most part, you’re going to need 150 credit hours of accounting education, along with some work experience. There’s definitely more to the requirements than just 150 credit hours, but you’re going to have that as a basic educational foundation to sit for the exam.

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 carry on with studying after a failed test is heartbreaking for many people. However, if you can make the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel a tangible goal or event, it will ease the process of starting over. Many people fail at least one section, so it’s certainly possible to keep studying if you know WHY you’re taking the test. Failing a section also doesn’t mean you’re not cut out to become a CPA—many people who occupy corner offices of Fortune 500 companies have failed one section of their exams. The important thing with regard to failing is to make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.

How Do I Recognize My “Learning Style”?

Recognizing your learning style is the key to cutting hours and hours off of your studying time. Once you know what works with regard to specific types of prep tools—videos, audio content, or practicing by doing via test banks or books—the whole process becomes easier and each minute of studying becomes more valuable. If you’re wondering what your learning style is, I suggest you check out the above post and determine exactly how you process and consume information. Not knowing how you learn best before you invest in a CPA review course is basically burning money!

What Are the Different Testing Windows For the CPA Exam?

The test is broken down into the quarterly fiscal schedule on which all businesses rely. So, for the first quarter, you get to take the test within the first two months and an additional ten days into the second month. Once this testing window is over, the schedule simply repeats that pattern. Basically, there’s a 20-ish day period per quarter in which you cannot take the test. If you’re able to plan your studying and schedule your exams correctly, you’ll be able to knock out the CPA in roughly a year!

How Do I Create a Study Schedule?

Creating a CPA exam study schedule is reliant on you making an honest assessment of how many hours you can devote per week. If you’re working full-time, you’re going to want to study a certain amount per day, with somewhat longer sessions on the weekend. If you’re not working, you can devote larger chunks of time per day—the key is to keep a consistent level of studying, as you don’t want to do too much on one day and none on another. Knowing how to study for the CPA exam will be the difference between passing and failing each individual section.

Which Section Of the CPA Exam Should I Take First?

Your first CPA exam section should be the one that you feel most confident about passing. Check out the video below to find out why!

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.

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 Wiley CPAexcel first.

  • Shiv
    Posted at 20 June, 2019 23:50 PM Reply

    Yes, Wiley CPAexcel would be a great option based on the info you've given.

    • Ashley Thurston
      Posted at 4 March, 2019 12:59 PM Reply

      I have been agonizing over which review to buy between Gleim and Roger. The more reviews I read, the more confused I become. I would almost say, I need to learn everything from the beginning. I have been out of school for about 9 years and I am a mom of two. I currently work in state government as a senior accountant in the Financial Reporting Section. I am a very average student that needs to be physically shown how to do things. I also need in depth explanations. When working on day to day reports and year end adjustments, I follow the previous work papers and piece together the process, if it is not clearly outlined. I believe the lectures of Roger would be the best because I get bored easily but I think the practice from Gleim would be best too. As you can see, I am really torn. I currently have both reviews on the checkout screens online and cannot make a decision. HELP!!

      • Lianora
        Posted at 18 December, 2018 01:57 AM Reply

        Thank you for the coupon code! So excited to start studying! I decided on the elite Roger!

        • Brandie
          Posted at 20 November, 2018 14:58 PM Reply

          I work for a bank, as the Assistant Controller, but in order to move up, I have to get my CPA. I'm trying to decide which review course would work best for me. I graduated with my Accounting degree back in 2004 and my MBA in 2010. I am a full time working mother, with 3 small children. I feel my learning style is a combination of Visual and Experience. I'm not strong in Audit or Tax, as I do not directly perform those in my current job. I feel Wiley might be best because of the smaller lessons, does it have the in-depth lessons I need since I have been out of school for several years? Can you please help me determine which course would fit me best? Thanks in advance for your help!

          • Bryce Welker, CPA
            Posted at 15 January, 2019 09:17 AM Reply

            Hi Brandie, Yes Wiley CPAexcel would be a great option based off the info you've given. I would recommend to download a free trial of Wiley, Surgent, and Roger and study with each of them for a few days to learn which one best fits your learning style and preferences. Cheers, Bryce

          • c
            Posted at 7 November, 2018 12:50 PM Reply

            Bryce, I took the exam about 15 years ago, with the Person and Wolinsky live class. It wasn't my type of learning style. I am back into trying to pass, you know, life happens. They basically gave us a bunch of books to read but no real instruction or test questions. It was also the old written format and FARE, ARE, LAW and AUDIT. Which review class do you think suits me best. I have a pretty busy schedule, and a little rusty but more mature and committed. I worked for CPA firms as a senior accountant/auditor full time for about 7 years, before changing careers. I have been preparing tax returns the entire time and just confirmed I can still sit for it. What do you think?

            • Bryce Welker, CPA
              Posted at 15 January, 2019 09:42 AM Reply

              Hi, do you prefer learning from video lectures, textbooks, or doing lots of mulitple choice questions (or a combo of which ones)?

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