CPA review courses are required for achieving a high success rate on your CPA exam. In my previous years, some of my friends struggled to pass the CPA exams. The Certified Public Accountant position is not easy to get. However, it will be much easier for one who prepares in well-structured and planned manner.
Candidates who are looking to pass the CPA exam are searching for a review course. Most candidates augment their CPA review course with supplemental CPA study material like CPA Army (considered the best for CPA sample questions and study materials) and the Wiley Test Bank (most popular).
There are about 10 different CPA review companies to choose from which makes for a difficult choice. There is little information about which CPA companies have the biggest share of the market but it is widely thought that the largest CPA test prep providers are:
- Yaeger CPA Review
- Roger CPA Review Course
- Becker CPA Review Course
- Wiley CPAexcel Intergrated Course
- Gleim CPA Review Course
- Surgent CPA Review Course
- Lambers CPA Review
- CPA Review for Free
- FastForward Academy
- MDS CPA Review Courses
Here are the metrics that I like to use when determining the best CPA review course to use.
First of all, it is important to look at the cost of the CPA review. Each course can cost anywhere from $2000 to other courses which are offered free of charge.
Most candidates that are sitting for the CPA exam are fresh out of college with mounting student loans. The thought of springing a few thousand dollars for a CPA review when you haven’t even secured full time work is frightening for most people.
The next metric for determining which is the best CPA review is to look at the delivery method of the material. Some test prep providers provide information in giant textbooks that you have to lug around.
Other test providers have put the material into interesting video lectures. Similarly, you can find some CPA review courses that have an audio component which many people find helpful when driving in the car or exercising.
The final metric that is important to consider are the opinions of other CPA candidates. The materials are always and it’s best to read reviews and opinions of other CPA candidates in forums and by networking through Twitter and Linked In.
Your fellow CPA candidates are always posting recommendations for how to pass the CPA exam on your first attempt.
These are the three most important criteria for determining the best CPA review course for your individual needs.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the title of all the accountants in the United States that passed CPA exam. Knowing the basics of accounting nowadays is very important for everybody, regardless of job or position.
Still, some of us really enjoy accounting and probably would like to work for a big company. If you are that person, it is imperative to take your Chartered Accountant exam.
There are many CPA courses nowadays you can choose from, but before doing that you have to know their features and benefits in order to know which one suits you better.
*FACT: A Good CPA Review Course Will Maximize Your Pass Rate & Minimize Your Study Time*
Below are evaluations of the most popular CPA review courses on the market. This CPA review courses comparison will help you to choose the best cpa review course for you.
You should also review the CPA passing rates for each section in order to better understand the number of hours you should devote to each section.
If you have used any of the courses below, please kindly take a minute to share what you think of the course (by leaving your review in the comments) to help other CPA-hopefuls with their purchase decision. Good Luck on Your CPA Exams!
Yaeger CPA Review (Rank #1)
NOTE: I was able to boost my score by 17 points using the Yaeger CPA Review Course.
Yaeger CPA Review Coupons: Click Here for Yaeger CPA review coupons and Yaeger CPA discount codes.
Yaeger’s students have an 88% pass rate after using Yaeger CPA review materials (compared to the 47.49-49.10% pass rate for Uniform CPA Examination in 2015). The Yaeger team has been in the CPA review business since 1977.
Yaeger’s lecture videos are taught by Dr. Yaeger and other experienced instructors on the Yaeger team. In each video, the instructor teaches the concepts first and then goes over the MCQ’s. They identify the questions that will most likely appear on the cpa exam, so the student can focus on those and skip the ones that probably won’t be on the exam.
Included with the Yaeger CPA Review Home Study Course is the “Instructors Hotline” service, which allows the student to call their instructors via an 800 number to ask any questions. A student can speak to the instructor for the particular section s/he has questions on.
The instructor will spend as much time as is necessary to make sure the student has understood the topic before getting off the phone.
As for the price, Yaeger’s CPA Review Courses are cheaper than other CPA exam review courses in the same category, including the CPA Becker Review, Bisk CPA review, and Roger Phillips CPA Review.
Some students that use other CPA courses to learn the study material but feel the need for additional supplements, turn to Yaeger’s Cram DVDs which promise to add 5-15 points to the exam score.
Each DVD condenses an entire CPA section into 7-16 hrs (depending on the section), and is designed to help identify the student’s weaknesses and conquer them before doing the exam. Although these are also available as webinars, they expire in a month, whereas the DVD versions will never expire.
Yaeger is diligent in updating its cpa review materials. They re-film all their DVD lectures every year to ensure that the student is getting the most up-to-date materials.
To call Dr. Phil Yaeger directly to ask any questions before purchasing the materials, his phone number can be found halfway down the page.
Verdict: The Yaeger CPA review course is hands-down the best CPA review course you can get. Don’t just take it from me – do a quick search online and you’ll see the thousands of positive comments left on forums etc. by Yaeger students
Roger CPA Review Course (Rank #2)
Many students that have used the Roger CPA Review Course comment that Roger Philipp, CPA has a very engaging and enthusiastic lecturing style that keeps students interested and focused while watching his lectures.
Past and current students have also observed that Roger Philipp has a way of teaching that makes difficult concepts easy to understand, even for those who have graduated a long time ago and are basically learning again from scratch.
The Roger CPA Review materials are offered in several different formats: live, online, and USB. Roger Philip teaches live classes in 4 cities, and these live classes are videotaped and offered as online classes and USB course. Because online classes and the USB course are constantly being updated with each new live class, students will always get the most up-to-date lectures.
For the live classes, a student can only attend each class once; if s/he wishes to watch the lecture again online s/he’ll need to pay $10/class. For a student enrolled in the online classes, s/he can watch each lecture up to 2 times. If s/he wants to watch the lecture more than twice, additional payments are required.
However, the USB course will allow the student unlimited viewing of lectures, and may be of better value. Do note that the USB course will expire 12 months after its first install, whereas the Yaeger DVDs will never expire.
Roger’s study materials include the Roger textbook (designed to accompany the lectures), the Wiley’s book (for MCQs) and the Wiley CD (for simulations). Aside from the lectures courses, Roger also offers cram courses that are condensed forms of the regular courses.
Taking these cram courses the last few weeks before an exam can considerably increase the student’s chances of passing. Cram courses are available as online classes and on USB.
The online classes for each section will expire in two months, during which the student can view each segment once. FAR is condensed to 16 hours, with the other 3 sections condensed to 8 hours each.
Roger does not aim to cover all topics in the CPA curriculum. Instead, the course focuses only on questions that are most likely to come up in exams, which minimizes study time and maximizes exam results.
The Roger CPA Review website boasts a pass rate of 86%. This is impressive compared to the 47.49-49.10% pass rate for Uniform CPA Examination in 2015, although it is behind the 88% pass rate for Yaeger students.
Students of the Roger CPA Exam Review Program are given access to message boards and chat rooms, and may email Roger Phillips, CPA to ask questions. For students that prefer asking instructors questions directly over the phone, Yaeger’s review course will be more ideal.
When is comes to pricing, Roger’s CPA Review Materials cost about the same as the Yaeger Review (Roger costs a little bit more), but is considerably less expensive than Becker’s.
All in all, the Roger CPA Review Course is highly recommended as one of the best CPA courses on the market.
However, it is ranked behind Yaeger because Yaeger is comparatively less expensive.
Their DVDs never expire, they provide live phone help, and they have a higher pass rate (click here for a review of the Yaeger CPA review course).
Wiley CPA Exam Review Course (Rank #3)
The Yaeger course actually uses the Wiley book and the Wiley test bank software CD for questions and simulations.
Wiley CPAexcel review course materials are probably the most widely used CPA review system, and is certainly one of the oldest (over 30 years). Wiley materials used to be way too comprehensive in trying to cover all bases in great detail.
But students have noticed some improvement in recent revisions of Wiley’s review books, which have become more concise and more efficient to study from. In spite of the improvements, though, many students still find Wiley’s books to contain too much information.
However, Wiley’s still contain solid information if you know what parts to concentrate on. This is where Yaeger’s review comes in. Yaeger’s CPA review course actually includes Wiley’s review books and the Wiley CPA software, but instead of making you go through the entire Wiley books.
Yaeger will assign certain Wiley questions for you to focus on. Yaeger’s course chooses questions based on the likelihood of their appearing on the real exam, so that you can maximize your chances of passing while minimizing your study time.
Some students complain about the “newsprint-like” font in Wiley books, and that they contain too many typos, both in explanation text and in calculations. If you don’t like to read from textbooks (especially if it’s in a small font), you may want to check out Yaeger’s lecture DVDs instead.
On the plus side, Wiley’s CPA review books are a lot cheaper than most of the other CPA review courses, and they are updated with each bi-annual update so you can be sure you’re getting the most up-to-date information. If you want to go with Wiley, don’t just get the review books.
Also get the Wiley CPA online test bank which contain tons of MCQs and also simulation questions. If you don’t mind doing a lot of reading and spending time doing a lot of questions, Wiley’s review books combined with Wiley’s software CDs can prepare you very well for the CPA exam – and for a lot less money than other CPA review courses.
You can find Wiley online test bank products by clicking here.
If you’re planning to get Wiley CPA review course materials, be sure to get them from amazon (instead of the Wiley website) for much cheaper prices. Click here to check out Wiley materials on amazon.
Becker CPA Review Course (Rank #4)
Consumer feedback on the Becker CPA Review Course varies widely from very positive to negative. Becker is endorsed by the Big 4, so that if your employer is reimbursing the cost of your study materials, Becker would be a good choice because it is recognized as one of the better cpa courses.
However, if you’re paying for a CPA review course out of your own pocket, know that there are other review courses that cost much less, that may be comparable in quality (or exceed it, depending on who you ask) to the Becker course.
The main Becker CPA exam review comes in three formats: live, online, or self-study CD. Becker CPA classes are taught at 200+ locations worldwide. The Becker CPA online course enables students to participate in weekly online classes, then watch repeats whenever they like for however many times they like.
The self-study CD allows the student to learn at his/her own pace by watching the lectures for any number of times s/he need to. All three formats cover the same materials and questions.
The live and online classes are probably better options for less disciplined students and/or students that like to study at a consistent pace, whereas the self-study CD should be ideal for self-motivated individuals that prefer to go at his/her own pace.
Becker also offers Final Review courses, to past and current Becker students ONLY, to help with final reviews during the last days before the exam. The cost for this Becker Final Review is $600 for current Becker students or $750 for past Becker students, for all four parts.
Also, Becker CPA flashcards are available for $225 (current students) or $299 (past students). Opinions are mixed as to whether or not the final review courses or the flash cards are helpful.
People who have used the Becker review course to pass all four sections at the first attempt will obviously vouch for Becker, and many people belong in this category.
However, for those of us who failed one or more sections after using Becker (I unfortunately belong in this category), Yaeger has helped many of us to pass on the second try.
Some students comment that the Becker CPA course do not cover all areas, and that some areas are not covered in enough detail. The general consensus is that if you have a solid background in accounting and are familiar with most of the concepts, then Becker will provide a good review that will adequately prepare you for the exam.
Otherwise, you may be better off choosing a CPA review course like Yaeger’s, which clarify difficult concepts in greater detail.
I personally prefer Yaeger over Becker. Another plus for Yaeger is that it’s cheaper than Becker. A complete Becker’s course (all 4 sections) costs around $1200+ more than the Yaeger Complete Home Study Course.
Another thing you should know about Becker’s course is that their course software expires one year from installation, whereas the Yaeger DVDs can never expire. Unless you’re committed to doing all 4 exams within 12 months, purchasing all 4 parts of the Becker course at one time is not recommended.
Instead, you are advised to only buy one section at a time, and only buy materials for the next section after passing the exam for the previous section.
Yaeger also allows students to call a hotline where they can talk directly with the instructors on the video, including the owner (Dr. Phil Yaeger). This type of personal approach is unmatched by any CPA review course currently available on the market.
However, when it comes to pass rate, “students who prepare with Becker CPA Review pass at double the rate of non-Becker candidates” (source: BeckerCPA.com).
Seeing that the pass rate for Uniform CPA Examination in 2015 was 47.49-49.10% (depending on the section), Becker CPA pass rates would need to be 94.98-98.20% to uphold that statement. This would make the Becker CPA pass rate higher than both Yaeger (88%) and Roger (86%).
The CPA Becker course is no doubt a good program and has worked for a lot of people, but the catch is you may need to already know your accounting principles well, and be willing to shell out more money to make it work for you.
Alternatively, if you want to pay less, cut down your study time, and focus on materials that will most likely appear on the exam, then I would highly recommend that you try Yaeger.
Gleim CPA Review Course (Rank #5)
The Gleim CPA review course materials are available through an entire line of products delivered in different formats. There are the Gleim CPA review books, the audio reviews, the Gleim CPA test prep software, the simulation wizard, the Gleim online program, and professor-led reviews.
Of all of the materials available, the Gleim CPA software test-prep CD is the most-praised by students that have used Gleim. The questions in the Gleim CPA test bank will identify any weaknesses you have so that you can concentrate on weak areas when studying. Included are over 1,500 questions in each of the four exam sections.
Because this software mimics the actual exam, if you’re able to score well using the test-prep CD you’re likely to also do well on the actual exam. In fact, many students find the mock exams harder than the actual exam!
There are students that complain that the Gleim materials go into way too much detail at times by attempting to cover every possible question that could potentially come up in the CPA exam. Others complain that the lectures do not explain concepts clearly enough.
I would recommend that you purchase learning materials from another CPA review course (such as Yaeger’s CPA review) and get Gleim’s test-prep CD if you need to go through more practice questions.
The good thing about Gleim CPA review course materials is that they cost less than many of the other CPA review courses out there. Plus, you get discounts if you buy multiple products. If you’re fresh out of school and only need good practice questions before taking the exam, then by all means consider Gleim.
If on the other hand you need to re-learn the concepts from scratch, then I would suggest that you check out Yaeger’s CPA review course.