CPA Exam Review: 5 Things To Know

CPA Exam Review Courses are the Key to Exam Day Success and Becoming a Licensed CPA

CPA Exam Review Introduction

You’ve already invested a significant amount of time and money to earn your CPA license, so it only makes sense that you want to ensure that this credential will be worth all of the hard work and dedication that you’ve put into the path to licensure. The most effective way for you to do this is through careful study preparation with a quality CPA Exam review course.

Unfortunately, many CPA candidates make the mistake of assuming that taking the exam will not require additional methods of practice. They may mistakenly believe that because they earned good grades in college and have worked as an accountant for several years, they are already prepared enough on knowledge and experience alone. This could not be further from the truth – without proper CPA review prep, even those with extensive professional experience in auditing or tax could not just fail to pass the CPA exam, but fail in an embarrassing fashion.

The truth of the matter is that even the most well-qualified CPA candidates are not guaranteed a passing score on their first attempt. According to NASBA and the AICPA, the first-time CPA Exam pass rate hovers between 25-30%. This means at best, 70 people who walk into their first exam, will fail at least once before they are done. It behooves you to get yourself ready for every possible exam-day scenario through the use of a quality CPA Exam prep course.

1. CPA Exam Prep is Hard Work

This also means that you should be prepared for an extensive amount of studying in order to get into your best mental state for testing day. Knowing that you’re prepared and have put in the work does wonders for your confidence as you walk into that Prometric Testing Center. Many things can go wrong on exam day, but adequate preparation cures many CPA Exam ills, so make sure you’re ready. It is imperative that you understand exactly what you can expect from the CPA study process and how much work will be needed on your part before attempting the CPA certification. Otherwise, you will quickly burn out and decide that the CPA Exam “just isn’t for you”, when the more likely culprit is that you just weren’t ready to dig in, sacrifice for a short period of time, pass the CPA Exam, and become a CPA.

Luckily, there are many excellent study sources available to CPA candidates who want to see real success on their exams! Some great examples of these study tools are CPA Exam Review books, notes, audios, test banks, and full CPA Review courses. These sources provide the most comprehensive set of information that you can use to get ready for your upcoming test date. Supplementary study tools like notes, audios, flashcards, and tutoring can even enhance your knowledge in certain areas where your main CPA Review course might be lacking.

CPA review prep tools like these come in many different varieties – some excellent products offer long-term access to materials via online streaming while others provide printable PDFs or hard copies which you can take with you virtually anywhere.

2. CPA Exam Review isn’t Like College Accounting

What makes CPA Exam Review different from your regular college accounting textbooks is the fact that CPA Review courses assume that you already understand accounting at a basic level and “teach to the test” so to speak. They aren’t going to teach you auditing. A quality CPA prep course teaches you how to answer auditing questions on the CPA Exam. Your CPA review instructors won’t teach you tax or how to fill out an 1120S, but they will teach you how to answer corporation tax questions on the CPA Exam.

Some CPA Exam review courses even provide unlimited retakes for a certain period of time, which allows you to truly practice as if this were a real situation. You can take all of the tests until you are satisfied with your results! At some point, though, this feature may charge extra fees or expire – make sure that you read through any potential restrictions before signing up for one of these products.

What’s Often Included?

CPA Exam review books vary by subject matter and student needs, but many of them include everything that you will need to get yourself ready for the CPA exam. This includes things like outlines, study tips, task-based simulation walk-throughs, and even AICPA-released review questions similar to what you can expect on exam day.

It is important to remember that studying with only one method of learning is unlikely to be enough to ensure your success! Make sure that you select materials that reinforce each other so that you can strengthen your knowledge in all areas instead of just a few areas at a time. This is where CPA Exam study supplements come into play, which will be crucial to your success in becoming a CPA. Study supplements that are mnemonic-heavy might not work well with all courses, so be sure to do free trials before you invest in a set of study notes to complement your main course.

3. CPA Review Packages Vary in Cost and Features

CPA Review courses premium packages are often used by students who want more personalized feedback than they may find in a “base” study course. Courses often have a “silver / gold / platinum” (or the equivalent) package, with the “platinum” package containing more hands-on services like one-on-one coaching or CPA tutoring.

All CPA study courses include access to their own test banks and mock exams, which can be critical for providing feedback on what areas you need to work on before taking the actual exam! The more information that you have about your performance at certain points during the review, the easier it will be for you to pinpoint your weaker topics and improve upon them before test day comes around. In 2022, all mainstream CPA Review courses utilize Adaptive Learning Technology for this very reason.

4. Researching CPA Exam Review Courses is Critical

You should do some research online in order to find out exactly what is available when it comes to preparing yourself for this type of exam (and remember that there are many different varieties of review materials). There are some specific questions that you can ask yourself which will help you figure out if a certain CPA Review course is the right choice.

First, make sure that any program you choose covers all of the topics which are included on your test! If it’s a supplement, this isn’t an issue, but if you’re shopping for a full CPA Review course, if it doesn’t provide you with enough information to truly prepare yourself for what’s coming up, then it probably isn’t worth your time or money.

CPA exam courses often come in two different formats: live online interaction or recorded online instruction. As of 2022, there are no in-person “live” courses. Both have their advantages and disadvantages depending upon your learning style. Live interaction allows you to be more flexible because there are usually several hours per week where you can access the instructor(s) – this makes it easy to get in touch with them if you have any questions or concerns.

On the other hand, recorded instruction doesn’t have any time constraints attached to it, so you can watch CPA prep videos at your own pace and go back to review specific areas as often as you’d like! One example of this is Becker CPA Review, which has hundreds of long-form video lectures that are perfect for students who prefer self-paced study sessions.

The bottom line is that there are program options available for every learning style – you just need to do some research before making a final decision. If possible, try out different products before investing your money into one company because this will usually give you the clearest picture of what you can expect from each product.

Live CPA Exam Review Instruction vs Recorded Lectures

  The most important thing that you can do in order to prepare for your exam is to make sure that the program that you are interested in offers a real financial learning experience. When I say this, I mean that it should be focused on more than just offering practice tests and review questions – these things are necessary components but they shouldn’t be where all of your time is spent!

It’s also worth mentioning how helpful live lectures are because they allow you to interact with expert instructors who have years of teaching and professional experience under their belt. They are able to provide real-life accounting examples which help students understand difficult CPA Exam concepts more easily. In addition, since the lectures take place weekly, they act as “refreshers,” which ensure that the information you’ve previously learned is still fresh in your mind.

CPA Review Course Comparison

 CPA Review CourseBecker CPAWiley CPARoger CPAGleim CPASurgent CPANINJA CPA
Retail Cost$3,799$2,499$3,399$1,999$2,999$67
Video Lectures🚫
CPA Book
CPA Test Bank
Study Guide🚫🚫
Audio Review🚫🚫
Cram Course🚫
Live Tutoring🚫🚫🚫🚫
CPE Included🚫🚫🚫🚫
EWS Award Winners
Top-5 Rank by Investopedia🚫
30-Day Returns🚫🚫🚫🚫

5. Pick the Best CPA Review Exam Course for You

If you want the Best CPA Review course for you, it comes down to:

✅ Budget (What can you afford? Debt vs. No Debt?)

✅ Learning Style (Powerpoint lectures? “Dry Erase Board” lectures? No lectures? Test Bank only?)

✅ 5 AM Test (Can you stomach studying with this course at 5 am, or will you most likely hit snooze for the next 2 hours until you really have to get up?)

CPA Exam Prep Courses: The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that CPA exam review courses are designed to prepare students for the various formats of questions that they will encounter on test day. They are not supposed to be a substitute for actual studying! If you’re someone who wants to get through test preparation quickly, then this may not be the best option for you because there’s no way around putting in consistent work outside of class or course time.

Now that you know the difference between “CPA Exam review courses” and study programs, there’s no reason why you can’t choose the right path to help you pass your upcoming exam. Just make sure that after joining a CPA review course that you while you are focusing on learning new material, you’re also reviewing what you’ve already learned – this will be especially helpful to remember as exam day approaches!

Best wishes to you as you pursue your CPA license. The CPA Exam is the best thing you’ll never want to do again. This will make sense in a few years. Pick a CPA Review course, study, pass, and we’ll see you online as we’re both scrambling to meet our CPE continuing education deadlines.

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