CPA Review Courses – Best 5 of 2018 (Big Discounts + My Recommendation)

Review of: CPA Review
Product by:
Stephanie Ng
Version:
2018
Price:
$1,700

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On July 19, 2018
Last modified:July 19, 2018

Summary:

Pros and cons of major CPA review course providers.

cpa exam review courses

In this detailed comparison, I’ve listed my favorite CPA Exam review courses on the market. I have firsthand experience with many of these courses, so I’m confident that one of them will be right for you. Please use this information to learn more about your review course options so you can pick the course that best fits your learning style. Disclosure: The I Pass Team may earn a small amount of compensation if you purchase from our links; however, our team uses these revenues to maintain the site and produce awesome free content just for you!

Most Popular CPA Exam Review Courses

CPA Review Coursewiley-cpaexcel-gold-courseroger cpa coursegleim cpa review premium versionsurgent-cpa-2Becker CPA review courses
Special OfferSave 20% site-wide w/ code CPASummerSave 15% on Roger Select Course w/ code ipass15Save 20% on Premium & 50% on Test BankSave $500 on Premier w/ code IPass500No known offers
Overall ImpressionBite-sized lecturesMost unique course & best lecturesBest MCQs and simulationsAdaptive learning technologyBiggest brand name
in the industry
# of Lecture Hours
140100+100+100+100
# of MC Questions12,0005,000+9,200+6,700+~7,000
# of Sim Questions500200+1,000+260+~300
Audio Review [1]
smallcrosssmallticksmallticksmallcrosssmallcross
Flashcards [1]smallticksmallticksmallcrosssmalltick$179 extra
Final Review /
Cram Course
smallticksmallticksmallticksmallcross$495 extra
Free Trialsmallticksmallticksmallticksmallticksmallcross
Money-back
Guarantee
[2]
smallticksmallcrosssmallticksmallticksmallcross
Access [2]Until You PassUntil You PassUntil You Pass24 months12 – 18 months
Mobile AppsmalltickComing SoonsmallcrossFlashcard App Onlysmalltick
Pass Rate9 out of 1088%Not public88%Twice non-Becker students
Financingsmallcrosssmallticksmallticksmallticksmalltick
Price$2,450 $2,083
(coupon: IPASS)
$2,999$1,599 w/ discount$2,495 w/ discount$3,393
Recommendation
and Analysis
wiley cpaexcelRoger CPA reviewbecker-cpa-button

[1] Included for free in Roger’s Elite Course.
[2] Conditions apply. Please check with the respective review course providers for details.

Top 5 CPA Review Course Comparison

Here is a more extensive and comprehensive list of the top CPA Exam review courses. I’ve also included my analysis of their strengths and weaknesses.

Wiley CPAexcel

Strengths

  • Bite-sized lectures: The Wiley lectures are just the right length for learning without getting overwhelmed or bored. The lecture length ranges from a couple of minutes to ~ 30 minutes. Furthermore, the lecturers are actively-teaching professors from various renowned universities.
  • Partner Until You Pass Guarantee: This policy is the most generous in the industry: a real, no-gimmick, no-nonsense offer. Knowing you have free online content and courseware updates until you pass means there’s no more pressure to finish within 12 months or have to pay for a retake!
  • State-of-the-art technology: CPAexcel fully utilizes the capabilities of online connectivity by churning out a personalized study planner and a collection of diagnostic charts and analyses for you. As a financial analyst by profession, I find this quality very attractive.

Weaknesses

  • A slightly confusing course catalog: When I first visited the site, I found the course catalog a little intimidating because you can apparently pick and choose what you want in your course. But when you think about it, the fact that they give you options for your CPA Exam prep can be a good thing, as you only pay for what you want. If you’re willing to spend the time to look around and learn about the various offers, you can get everything you need.
  • Better suited for e-course learners: If you need live support throughout your studies, like someone who will talk to you in person or on the phone to provide answers and explanations, you might take issue with the heavily computer-based Wiley system. Similarly, if you like to interact with your textbook by taking notes, highlighting sentences, and circling terms, Wiley may not be right for you.

Recommendations

  • Wiley has a highly recommended program. According to Wiley, 9 out of 10 users pass. Additionally, the course is endorsed by one of the Big 4 firms.
  • This course is especially suitable for busy candidates juggling work and family commitments.
  • Check out my evaluation of CPAexcel.

Roger CPA Review

Strengths

  • Most unique course technology: The new SmartPath system that Roger has developed is like no other on the market. It uses predictive technology to help you study efficiently, but what we find most exciting is the new way it helps students learn. The course tracks your progress toward targeted goals, serves you the right questions (not just more questions), adapts to you, and guides you on a clear path to success.
  • Entertaining lectures: Roger Philipp (the founder) has a very distinct teaching style — it’s entertaining and intense. Many of his students are die-hard fans.
  • Guaranteed quality: Roger writes his own notes. He also records the lectures for every class so you know who is teaching you and what their qualifications are.

Weaknesses

  • No more live classes: Roger CPA stopped offering live classes in February 2013. Watching Roger on video is a good experience, but it’s just not as entertaining as seeing him in person.
  • Not very detailed: Roger purposely skips the non-critical parts of the exam content. As a result, some students love it, but others may struggle to catch up.

Recommendations

  • The new course platform is excellent. The technology sets Roger’s course apart from any other CPA Exam prep and should be a big help to many candidates. If you would prefer an instructor who makes accounting interesting and technology that saves you study time, give Roger a try.
  • Check out my evaluation of Roger CPA Review.

Gleim CPA Review

Strengths

  • Great practice test prep software: The Gleim practice questions are tough and great for those who want to build more confidence for passing. The Gleim CPA test bank is also well-loved for the huge number of questions it has. This test prep is a good supplement to other lecture-heavy courses.
  • Thoughtfully designed: With SmartAdapt technology, the Gleim system is easy to navigate and adaptive. It also teaches you how to study effectively by encouraging you to strengthen your weak areas and learn from your mistakes. Plus, the course includes university professor-led videos lectures that go over difficult CPA Exam topics and multiple-choice questions.
  • Help from Personal Counselors: When you purchase the Gleim CPA Review System, you’ll receive access to a Personal Counselor for the entirety of your CPA journey. These counselors aren’t accounting gurus, but they are very knowledgeable, supportive, and encouraging. They coordinate with the in-house experts to get you the answers you need, and they also help you customize your study plans and stay on track for success.
  • Affordable: The full 4-part Gleim CPA Review System costs $1,999 for the Premium version and $1,599 for the Traditional version (save an additional 20%-50% here). These prices make Gleim one of the most affordable among CPA Exam prep providers.

Weaknesses

  • Limited feature availability: When the Premium course launched, some features that were once part of the Traditional course were no longer part of that package. These features include the instructor-led videos, the Access Until You Pass guarantee, and access to accounting experts.
  • Somewhat overwhelming books: The books are very detailed. As a result, some of my readers really like the comprehensiveness, but others think it’s too much. Sometimes, to get through the books, you have to pick and choose what you need to study.

Recommendation

  • Gleim is an exceptional choice for those who prefer self-study but need occasional help from a Personal Counselor and accounting experts.
  • Gleim’s test bank is a great alternative to the Wiley test bank if you’re looking for additional online practice questions.
  • Check out my evaluation of Gleim CPA Review.

Surgent CPA Review

Strengths

  • New company, familiar faces: Surgent CPA Review (formerly Surgent-Kolar CPA Review) is a relatively young brand, but their founders, Jack Surgent and Liz Kolar, are both well-respected veterans in the industry.
  • Short lectures: Similar to Wiley CPAexcel, the Surgent lectures are an excellent choice for those who hate long lectures as much as I do. Each lecture is about 10-20 minutes. Additionally, lecturer Liz Kolar has won awards such as PICPA’s Outstanding Educator of the Year.
  • Amazing adaptive learning technology: This system feeds candidates questions based on their weaker areas, so it’s super efficient for first-timers and a godsend for retakers. According to Surgent, candidates can use this tool to lower CPA Exam prep time to less than 100 hours per section. Yet, at the same time, they can still contribute to the overall 89.7% pass rate of Surgent’s user pool.
  • Free trial and pass guarantee: This guarantee is a big plus, but be sure to read the fine print. It’s probably one of the most complicated guarantees, aside from Becker’s, that I’ve ever read.
  • Very affordable: Surgent’s prices position their courses as very economical options, especially when you utilize my discount code.

Weaknesses

  • Better suited for the e-course learner. Since everything is online, the course doesn’t cater so much to social learners. Surgent may not fit your learning style if you need live support, like a real person to explain something to you in the flesh or over the phone. This course also may not be the best choice for you if you’re accustomed to highlighting and circling terms or taking notes on the side of the textbooks.
  • Very long diagnostic quiz. Surgent requires you to take a huge diagnostic quiz from the get-go: a whopping 400 questions, according to their rep and their free course trial.

Recommendation

  • If your budget isn’t too tight, Surgent has all the goodies — a great lecturer, adaptive learning, online tracking, free trial, and pass guarantee — in one nice package.
  • Check out my evaluation of Surgent CPA Review.

Becker CPA Review

Strengths

  • Excellent lecture notes, MCQs, and software: The materials are comprehensive and user-friendly.
  • Big 4 endorsement: The Big 4 recommends the live lectures and often provides the online course to employees.
  • Constantly updated materials: Becker employs a professional team to update the materials on a regular basis. Also, even with the consistent updates, there are very few typos and errors. If there ever is an error, Becker does a good job of posting the updates to their website for everyone see.

Weaknesses

  • Overpriced: If you use your own money to pay full price for this course, then you’re subsidizing the deep discounts Becker offers to companies through its partner program. Not fair!
  • Greatly overrated live classes. In the Becker live classes, the “lecturer” shows you a pre-recorded lecture in a classroom and tells you to “circle this, highlight that” for 8 hours straight. Additionally, the quality of “lecturers” (whose main job is to turn on and off the pre-recorded video) is really mixed. Check out my experience with the Becker CPA Review Course.
  • Expensive re-take: The course software license expires in 12 months, which is usually not enough time for many candidates to finish their studies. On top of that, re-taking the classes costs $1,000+ (50% of retail price) and includes a demanding attendance rate, which I find ridiculous.

Recommendation

SKIP Becker. They have great notes, but so do Roger (for lectures) and Wiley / Gleim (practice tests). Unless you are so lucky as to get a star lecturer (who tend to set up their own shops), the live classes are, in my own opinion, a waste of time.

Other Major CPA Exam Review Course Providers

These providers are not on my main list of recommended courses, but they are among the better ones on the market.

Wiley CPAexcel (Book and Test Bank Only)

Wiley CPAexcel is the overall brand, but for most of us, Wiley CPA Review is the “original” Wiley product. This product consists of (1) textbooks and (2) practice questions (A.K.A., the test bank). You can also purchase the books or test bank separately.

Strengths

  • #1 selling review book and test bank: The book and test bank (test prep software) are both very popular and have proven to be very useful for many CPA candidates.
  • Affordable: This product is a good bargain in the world of CPA Exam prep courses: the test bank costs $150 $127 for single parts and $575 $495 for a complete set (my discount is available here).

Weaknesses

  • Somewhat overwhelming books: When there is no guided review, going through the entire book can be discouraging. Consequently, it’s just too much material for me.

Recommendation

  • Get the test bank if you need additional practice questions as a supplement or if you are a retaker.
  • Check out my evaluation of Wiley CPA test bank.

Lambers CPA Review

Strengths

  • Established provider: Lambers CPA Review has been around for 45 years, although it is now part of a company called ExamForce.
  • Hidden Gem in AUD: Professor Garland is excellent, and I can feel his passion for teaching and helping the candidates. I only watched his first lecture, but what he said made so much sense.

Weaknesses

  • Good but not great: I really like the AUD lecturer and one of the lecturers in FAR, but others remind me of very average accounting professors.
  • Rather aggressive salespeople: I bet the salespeople have never taken the exam or even seen the study materials before. So, stand firm and make the decision based on your own preferences.
  • Very little brand recognition: Very few people talk about Lambers. Kaplan faced a similar issue and is now defunct.

Recommendations

  • Get the AUD module if you don’t like your existing AUD course.
  • Check out my evaluation of Lambers CPA Review.

MDS CPA Review

Formerly known as Martin, Dalton, Spettle CPA Review, MDS is now headed by Steve Martin and is based in Ohio. Steve has been teaching CPA prep courses since 1985. He is a former law update instructor and editor for the Becker course.

Strengths

  • Good local resource: If you live in Ohio and are looking for live classes, the MDS CPA Review looks like a great option.
  • Relatable lecturer: I personally like Steve’s style — he’s a down-to-earth type of guy who has experience teaching CPA prep courses. He also writes his own lecture notes.

Weaknesses

  • Limited availability: I haven’t received access to the product, so I won’t be able to comment on the features and the specific product offering.
  • Potentially high cost: At $1,895, I can’t say it has a very attractive price or product offering when compared to other major CPA review providers.

Recommendations

  • Go to this MDS CPA page for my preliminary evaluation.

Yaeger CPA Review

Strengths

  • Champion of the old-school approach: If you like someone who writes on the board and explains concepts to you in an old-fashioned way, you’ll appreciate Yaeger. I personally like the way they “hold your hand” and explain the multiple-choice questions and possible tricks.
  • Live phone support: This feature is quite unique. You can often reach and talk to owner Phil Yaeger himself.
  • Good value for money: One of the most affordable guided review courses out there.

Weaknesses

  • Old-school approach: This positive can also be a negative. People often love it or hate it.
  • Somewhat unorganized: There are times when you would expect the team to retape the recording (e.g., when a typo appears on the whiteboard or when the guy accidentally talks to his wife), but Yaeger just lets these mistakes go into the finished product. The missteps I spotted did not affect the quality of the course, but you might find them to be a nuisance.

Go to my Yaeger CPA review and detailed analysis.

My General CPA Review Recommendations

I try to keep this list of CPA prep courses as objective as I can, but since many of you ask which provider I generally prefer, I’ll tell you what I think are the best CPA review courses.

Go with Wiley to:

  • Watch short, bite-sized videos that keep you from dozing off
  • Enjoy a detailed performance tracking platform
  • Learn from a course with an impressive record (9 out of 10 passed)
  • Benefit from the free trial

Go with Roger to:

  • Experience the most innovative course on the market
  • Be entertained by high-quality video lectures
  • Study efficiently
  • Hopefully become another student that’s included in Roger’s 88% pass rate

Go with Gleim to:

  • Self-study effectively
  • Get personalized support from real people
  • Keep your CPA review affordable with a complete course costing less than $1,600
  • Benefit from the free trial and money-back guarantee

Thanks for going through this long post with me! Drop me a note below if you need a specific recommendation. And if you’re on the fence about purchasing a CPA course, check out the sections below.

What Is a CPA Review Course?

A CPA review course is a collection of self-study resources designed to prepare CPA Exam candidates to pass by teaching them about the exam content. You can access most CPA course components online. Unless they are supplements, most courses include everything you need to pass, such as:

  • Digital or physical books
  • A bank of practice questions and simulations
  • Video lectures
  • Audio lectures
  • A study planner
  • Performance tracking software
  • Customer service access
  • Limited time access

Some must-have CPA study materials from this list include books, practice questions and simulations, and a study planner. Helpful but less essential elements would be video lectures, flashcards, audio lectures, and adaptive technology. Finally, elite courses offer convenient guarantees like access that doesn’t expire. These guarantees are especially handy if finishing the exam takes you longer than 18 months (which is the length of access for some courses). You can purchase CPA prep courses for each exam part separately or as a complete set. Once you purchase a course, the only other thing you need to pass is the determination and willpower to keep studying!

Do You Really Need a CPA Review Course?

In short, yes. Almost every CPA candidate does because of the nature of the CPA Exam. The CPA Exam is a challenging test covering an extensive amount of information. The exam’s purpose is to ensure that candidates possess the knowledge and abilities required of modern Certified Public Accountants. To tackle this noble goal, the CPA Exam features 4 sections with hundreds of questions each and assesses candidates at very high levels of skill. So, unless you’ve just graduated and have a photographic memory like Sheldon Cooper, you’ll need the guidance and evaluation that only a CPA course can offer. In general, CPA study material benefits candidates in 3 specific ways.

1st CPA Review Course Benefit: Content Coverage

The best CPA review courses cover and present the exam content in a convenient and efficient way.

The AICPA does provide a free practice exam, but because this exam contains only a handful of questions, it can’t replace a CPA test bank. The AICPA also shares some very general information about what’s on the exam in the form of the CPA Exam Blueprints. However, these documents are an inadequate substitute for a review course as well because they don’t go into great detail. Consequently, filling in the gaps would require countless hours of additional research. Thankfully, a CPA prep course gathers and distills all this information you for you. A quality review course features expertly-authored materials that address every area of the exam content. So, purchasing a review course frees you to focus on mastering the material rather than compiling it for yourself.

2nd CPA Review Course Benefit: Knowledge and Skill Development

The best CPA review courses ensure that you reach the levels of knowledge and skill that you need to pass in time for exam day.

A good CPA course not only delivers the exam content, but it also measures your study progress. Tools such as performance tracking software and study planners ensure that you efficiently review all of the exam material. A review course also monitors your understanding because the CPA Exam expects you to reach certain levels of skill with the exam content:

  • Remembering and Understanding: The perception and comprehension of the significance of an area utilizing knowledge gained.
  • Application: The use or demonstration of knowledge, concepts, or techniques.
  • Analysis: The examination and study of interrelationships of separate areas in order to identify causes and find evidence to support inferences.
  • Evaluation: The examination or assessment of problems and use of judgment to draw conclusions.

The CPA Exam uses multiple-choice questions, simulations, and written communications to determine if you have reached these skill levels. To this same end, CPA review courses include test banks of practice questions. These questions let you apply what you’re learning so your skill levels increase. An exam-emulating test bank also allows you to get comfortable with the exam format and functionality in advance. This familiarity builds your confidence and minimizes any surprises you may encounter.

3rd CPA Review Course Benefit: Support System

The best CPA review courses supply a support system for additional information, advice, and encouragement.

If you’d rather not take on the CPA Exam alone, I’ve got good news: Most CPA review courses provide some form of customer service. Depending on the course, you may be able to rely on friendly exam mentors to answer your questions, help you create your study plan, coach you through the course, encourage you during study struggles, and keep you on track to reaching your goals. Your course may also come with the aid of a technical team for resolving computer or course issues. Finally, you may even get to the chance to have questions and concepts explained to you by accounting experts and professors. You can usually talk with these members of your CPA Exam team via your phone, email, or course.

How Much Does CPA Review Cost?

The cost of a CPA course varies by review provider, but the average is a little under $2,000. As you can see from the chart, some review course prices rise well above this dollar amount, but plenty of courses pack a lot of value into a $2K price tag. For the sake of your wallet, you should know that you might pay more in the end if you purchase a course that doesn’t have unlimited access. You’ll also pay even more if you start with CPA study material that you eventually realize doesn’t meet your needs. So, be sure to choose a course with a generous access policy. Also, do your homework before you buy so you can be sure you’ve purchased the course that’s best for you.

How to Pick the Right CPA Review Course

When you’re ready to pick the best CPA prep course for you, evaluate your options based on the following traits:

  • How customers have reviewed the course
  • How well the course components fit your learning style
  • Who has written the materials
  • Who presents the lectures
  • How much value you will get for the price
  • How long the course provider has been in the industry
  • What kind of customer service and support you will receive
  • How many practice questions are included
  • What guarantees and course access periods are included
  • How often the course is updated for the current exam version
  • Whether you can preview the course before purchasing
  • How well the course replicates the exam experience

This list is long and not in order of importance. So, prioritize these qualities according to your personal needs. Then, weigh each review course against your standards and preferences. Remember, different courses suit different candidates, but I believe you can find the best CPA review course for you and use it to achieve CPA Exam success.

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites

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  • Joelle says:

    Thanks, your recommendations are very helpful.

  • Carrie says:

    Very helpful! Thank you for the outlines,…this is just the information I was looking for!

  • Stephanie says:

    Carrie, thanks for the encouraging words. All the best! Stephanie

  • Emma says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for!! I wish I read this article before I started studying. But lucky for me I didn’t purchase all 4 courses. Thank you very much!

  • Stephanie says:

    Emma, I am glad you find the info helpful. Feel free to list here (or send me a private email) the pros and cons of your program. I’d love to include everyone’s opinion here! Stephanie

  • Frank says:

    Thank you so much for your reviews on the CPA review courses. It’s been nearly a year and a half since my last accounting course, and I was very tentative about which review to choose. Your advice makes me feel beyond relieved about investing thousands of my very hard earned dollars on the right study material. Thanks again.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Frank, I have taken only one basic accounting course in college and I managed to pass. So you will be all right! I hope you can find a review course that best suits your need. If you have further questions on individual review course please feel free to post and I (and fellow readers) will try the best to help.
      Cheers, Stephanie

  • Elton says:

    Another fast growing CPA review source: http://www.cpareviewforfree.com.
    Pro: TOTALLY FREE FOR MORE THAN 2100 questions, save your hard-earned money. very good explanation and very inspiring partner with you.
    Cons: No Books, only online questions and PDF version questions plus explanation. But not matter because it is FREE!

  • Stephanie says:

    Thanks Elton for your personal view of CPA review for free. I actually have a page dedicated to this — I might try to move your comment to that page later, just that it will be more helpful to people who are specifically looking for their info. Cheers, stephanie

  • Will says:

    Hey Stephanie, this helped a lot. I found Yaeger a couple of months ago and was interested in taking it, anyone who answers cpa questions over the phone wins hands down.

    A question, though: For some reason I seem to still have all my textbooks from accounting. Audit from 2008, Tax 2009, Cost 2009, FAR books are the oldest from 2006, also Business law 2008. I know the CPA review tests recent updates, but it seems silly to say they’re useless for the CPA exam. Went to FSU, if that’s relevant, had a 3.5 gpa. Prefer the study solo appr0ach, with the ability to call or email someone with occasional questions. What would you recommend for someone who still has their textbooks, and can still remember most of the material somewhat? Thanks

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Will,
      If this is the case, why don’t you get a Gleim software for one section first (cheap, around $30 I think?). Study the section as if you are preparing for the exam, and hit the MC questions right away.

      If you can get say 70% of them right for the first time, then I would think you don’t need any review courses. Just keep doing it until you get a 100% correct and for the right reason.

      The alternative is to get a Wiley software; but in case you get a lower score and you sign up for Yaeger, they will give you a Wiley software so it’s kind of a waste.

      As far as I know, I don’t think there is a “tutor” who only answers questions on the CPA exam without selling the CPA review books… I guess it doesn’t make business sense 🙂 Anyway, let me know how it goes!

      Stephanie

  • Kary says:

    Does Becker’s CPA review courses count toward total credit hours and accounting hours?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Kary,
      Nope. Most states do count the credit hours of CPA review courses if they are offered by an accredited educational institution. Becker is a private business and not accredited. Same for other commercial courses I mentioned above.

      But in my opinion these courses are better than the average review course offered in the local colleges though…

      Hope it helps!
      Stephanie

  • Sab says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for this wonderful website. I got a lot of good information about the CPA Review materials from you.

    Today is July 28, 2010 already. Is it too late for me to apply CPA exam (I’m in California.)? I mean I’m just thinking about the exam these two days that maybe I should take the exam before all the changes on Jan. 1st, 2011 starts to affect. (I thought I would wait and work first to get hands on experience before taking the CPA. But, California’s unemployement rate is quite high. I can’t get a full-time job, not even an internship. So I have some free time right now).

    I think it makes good sense to take FAR first. But, I’m concerned I won’t be able to pass it in 2010 since there are only a few months left. Then, I’ll have to prepare for the new material in 2011 with extra workload/new materials. What do you think? Should I take other subjects first in 2010 or postpone the entire exam to 2011?

    My second question is: the “18 months” starts to click ONLY after the first subject is passed? Does it mean if it takes me twice to pass the very first subject I choose to take, the “18 months” starts to count from the date I pass(the second try)? I am a little bit confused by this rule.

    I just graduated in May, 2010. I think I’m just an average “B” student in accounting courses(however, I got “A” in auditing class after lots of time investment on studying. It’s just pure memorization. Maybe that’s why I got “A”). I think I’m lack of confidence to take the CPA exam. But, my accouting professor encourages students to take it once no matter what. He said if we don’t try at least once, we might be regret someday.

    Are those who passed the CPA exam usually the top accounting students ( the first half of the “A” students)?

    Even though I just graduated in May 2010, I finished all my accounting courses in Fall 2009. So it’s been a while. Does Yaeger’s material really teach us from the basic?

    Is Becker’s lecture notes a part of its product bundle or is it distributed in a live classroom setting only? I’m just thinking about to purchase an used one on ebay if I can find it. Yesterday I saw its 2010 CPA Review materialwas $699 down from $2800. But, today I can’t find it.

    Thank you very much in advance for your time and patience to read my post. I really appreciate your suggention. Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Sab,
      Thanks a lot for your kind note on my site! responding to your questions…

      (1) whether to take the CPA exam in 2010: yes, this is one of the FAQs. My personal opinion is to get rid of as many of the sections as possible given the uncertainty that you are a recent accounting graduate (while memory still sort of fresh…)
      If in case you don’t pass FAR, my understanding from various CPA review courses (notably Yaeger, Becker and Roger) is that the 2011 syllabus is more like an addition of materials rather than a change of materials, so at least your study won’t get “wasted” and all you need is to study the IFRS (international financial reporting) bit, which of course is annoying but is doable.
      So in short, yes I would encourage you to take FAR and try your best to get it passed within 2010, but if you need a retake it’s not a huge deal.

      (2) the 18-month window: yes it starts to count once you PASS your first section. In other words, if you fail it doesn’t count. So it makes sense to get rid of the toughest one first which in my opinion is FAR.

      (3) Whether only A student can pass CPA exam: oh no don’t worry CPA exam is a very different animal than the regular accounting exams in colleges. It covers a very board range of topics but it doesn’t go deep at all in most of these topics.

      (4) Yaeger only teaches the stuff required for the CPa exam, so it’s hard to say whether it is basic or not, because it’s not complete in my opinion. But it’s similar case for all the major CPA exam review courses.

      (5) Becker: I think they have an online version so you don’t need to attend live courses to get the notes. But self-study/online version costs the same I think… so you can consider the notes themselves costing $2800. For second hand notes, yes it is much cheaper but you will have the pressure to get it passed within this year because next year the stuff could be quite different and as a second-hand purchaser you won’t have any discount to buy the extra new materials you might need for the 2011 format. So it is something you need to consider.

      hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Sab says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you so much for your thorough response! Your interpersonal site could really encourage and comfort the people like me. I feel you do care. Thank you!

    Sincerely, Sab

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Sab,
      I am glad you find the site helpful. Yes, I do care because I have been there and I know it’s difficult any way you look at it. Anyway, all the best to you Sab! Stephanie

  • Ruby says:

    What is your opinion on Beckers Final review?
    I am planning to buy Gleim’s prep test, cause they are cheaper
    then get Beckers Final review two weeks before the exam. Thank you

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Ruby,
      Yes much cheaper!
      My personal opinion is that you get Gleim first (especially the software). If you can get all the practice questions right after a few times, then there isn’t really a need to get Becker. The best thing about Becker is the lecture notes. So if you get the final review you kind of miss the best part of Becker. Just my 2 cents… 🙂 Stephanie

  • John says:

    Hey Stephanie this is amazing thanks for all the tips…my question is can you elaborate you mentioned “they don’t go very deep at all in most of these topics.” in an earlier post…so if a student was still in college and taking an exam on 3 chapters of tax, a student taking the cpa would be tested on more or less half of that same material, content-wise (say you were assigned 100 pages of the textbook, the cpa exam would cut down what you’re responsible for to 75 pages or so??

    Also do you have any comment on why there is a disconnect between accounting in college and cpa exam? Why cant we just take the cpa exam after college and do away with all these review companies we should be ready then…iguess because they want us to work for a while before we actually get the license+??

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi John,
    Glad you find the site useful for you!
    I have no affiliation with the CPA exam at all, but my guess would be that since they have to cram everything they want to test you in one big exam, they have to randomly pick a little bit here and there to make sure at least you have some understanding on the important topics.

    I would think that if they are given the “luxury” to test you in multiple of exams, the format would probably be much closer to the ones we experience in college.

    Another of my guess is that since the test is now computerized, the format has to be one that can be easily graded by computers. That’s why the majority is multiple choice with the remaining a “simulation” questions (which essentially is also MCs). There is a written communication tab but it counts for only 10%.

    Because of the multiple choice format the tactics become very different from say a midterm/exam handgraded by the professor and the TA. That’s why I said it is quite a different animal than the ones we have in the college days.

    Having said that, if you spend time in college learning accounting and business you will have a much easier time tackling the CPA exam than someone like myself who has only taken accounting 101. Hope it helps!

    Stephanie

  • Vipula says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Many thanks for such a wonderfull site u have prepared for all the CPA aspirants and CPAs. and Thanks to you as an individual for helping and encouraging others.
    I would like to ask about course material of all the four papers. Is it going to be provided by the Colorado board (if i choose that state for CPA) or i will have to arrange seperately. In case they dont provide the course material then from whom i should purchase the material and how much it will cost me approximatey. If you have any other suggestion on this then please tell me.
    Thanks.

    Vipula

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Vipula,
      Do you mean the CPA review course that teaches you how to tackle the exam itself, or the accounting courses used to fulfill the educational requirements?

      The above is the CPA review course for the sole purpose of preparing for the exam and does not contribute to fulfilling the exam requirements. For this you will have to take a course at any accredited college/university and you can do it either online or offline.

      I’ve got a lot of questions on this recently so I plan to write something about it. Stay tuned! (I will make an announcement in the mini course, and probably to say something on the side bar)

      Stephanie

  • Chod says:

    Hi Everyone, there is this website http://www.cpareviewforfree.com which provides free CPA questions and all you need is just register with your email. I have been using it for a while and it is very helpful. I think, anyone who is planning to take CPA exam might benefit greatly from this site. Good luck everyone and thanks Stephanie.

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Chod! Yes I keep forgetting to add cpareviewforfree here. Glad you find them usefu!
      Here is my review of cpareviewforfree… please feel free to contribute in the comment section as well.
      Cheers
      Stephanie

  • Vipula says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    i mean to say the course materail or study material. for example in US CFA the CFA instutute send you the entire course material once you are registered. they send this in printed version. in the same way does CPA state borad also send any study materail or not; which consist all the topics, contents of the 4 papers.
    I hope u got my point.
    Thanks

    Vipula

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Vipula,
      No CPA Examination Services doesn’t do anything like that. You’ll need to rely on the CPA exam prep courses and I have outlined the pros and cons of the major course providers above. Stephanie

  • Andrew says:

    Thank God I found your site. I am still in school and planning on taking the CPA sometime next year and I am truly overwhelmed and discouraged. I am currently researching review/prep courses and it is overwhelming.
    My professors seem to always recommend the Gleim books, and although its cheap I find it, (the books at least) boring and yes too comprehensive. For awhile I thought Becker was the only (besides Gleim) review course out there, (they’re heavily represented on my campus). I am now leaning towards Roger and Yaeger,( the latter I am now researching).
    Thanks for your recommendation Stephanie.

    Sorry, first post had errors.

  • Mike says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks very much for all your recommendations!! I am thinking of using Rigos review (textbooks only) with the Wiley software for the exam. Do you think it is good enough for the exam preparation? Any comments on the Rigos review? Also, do you think the new CPA exam in 2011 will be significantly more difficult than the current one?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Mike,
      You are most welcome!
      On Rigos, actually my boss took their courses way back (like 15 years ago, and it was a live class) and got 4 parts passed on her first try. But she was the only one or two who managed to do that in her class…

      This is the only information I get on Rigos (I tried to search the term on major CPA exam forums, but not much luck). Somehow they are no longer as popular but if you can gather some good reviews from a few others, go ahead.

      As for the 2011 CPA exam, I guess my honest answer is I have no idea. In fact, I don’t think anyone has a clue including the examiners. But what I know from them is that they may adjust the passing score accordingly in the first few months of 2011 such that the CPA exam pass rate remains more or less the same (at round 50%). They promise that they will be very transparent in terms of the pass rate, passing score adjustment and so on by publishing the data on their site at cpa-exam.org.

      If you haven’t already, please take a look my writeup on the CPA exam changes in 2011.
      Cheers,
      Stephanie

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for your comment for the site and I am really happy that you find the info helpful. Isn’t it amazing that professors around the country seem to stick with Gleim…? But I guess Gleim is very academic and that back then when they were candidates themselves there weren’t that many review course providers around.

    Anyway, either Roger or Yaeger will be good! Roger is a bit more expensive starting from this year (I haven’t updated my Roger CPA page yet, but they had a pretty big price increase for the live classes) but Roger has his unique way of teaching which can be quite appealing. And of course I like Yaeger as you can see all over this site 🙂

    Don’t worry once you pick one CPA review provider and focus on it, things won’t be as overwhelming. Best of luck to the exam next year!

    Cheers, Stephanie

  • Ramya says:

    Stephanie,
    You’re doing a great job of maintaining this site. As a CPA aspirant, I am in the phase of choosing a review program and am confused. Becker, with all the negatives, on the face of it looks to me as the most prepared as regards the new changes in 2011. Besides, they are still the big name in the business. Having said that, I’m not someone who can cram and study for an exam using mnemonics. And reading these comments tell me that Becker does exactly that – plus I have bought Becker books and attended 2 classes in India in2007 (though I didn’t study anything and moved on to other things in life soon). Yaeger, on the other hand, is cheaper and carries your recommendation and thats what is making me consider this. But I’m scared – (1) its not a program heard by many people – even those in the accounting academic profession. (2) Not sure of their preparedness for changes in 2011. So, I have a question – in your review, you state that handouts are very good. Does that mean that they cover all that Becker does – in terms of content and quality of questions? Also, I would love to hear from anybody who has actually used this review course and has benefitted – yup, I read the testimonials, but we all know testimonials on the webpage of the provider may be no good. I was also wondering why there is no ‘comments’ section at the end of your evaluation on Yaeger’s review. I was hoping to find some comments from other users.

    One last question, I have Becker’s 2007 materials. Do you think I could use those in conjunction with Wiley’s & Yaeger’s notes – or you think I could just throw the becker old notes (in case I sign up for yaeger or roger or something else).

    Thanks so much for your responses in the past. You’ve been really quick. You’ve been very inspiring!

    Thanks
    Ramya

  • Ramya says:

    Stephanie,
    I’m sorry – am gonna bother you with another question. I just want to make a really calculated decision before I put the money 🙂 If Becker isn’t as good, why is that they carry the Big 4 recommendation?

    Thanks
    Ramya

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Ramya,
    Thanks for your note and I am happy you are spending time to pick the right course for you.

    On Becker, yes I agree with what you said…

    On Yaeger, I totally understand your concern as well, because I haven’t heard of them before as well.

    Here is what you can do:
    1. Go to the various CPA exam forum and search “yaeger” and you can get a collective of the program (actually, any program). Depending on how much thread you want to read, it could take a while but you can certainly get the feel from past users.

    2. Watch the demo on their site and see if you like their teaching style.

    Yes from the last time I looked at the DVDs, they should be covering the stuff you need to pass the exam.

    On 2011, honestly I think every course provider can only try their best based on the new course guideline provided by AICPA. I would think they are pretty much the same in this aspect. I will keep an eye on people’s comment though at the beginning of the year.

    Lastly, on the endorsement of Big 4 on Becker, I think there are lots of reason… part of it is that they endorse the program way before there are any choices (so there is a relationship); then, I am just blind guessing, but I am willing to bet that Becker gives a big discount to them to maintain this relationship… Becker does say they have “partnerships” with 1,500 institution. My interpretation of this is discount offers.

    Anyway, Becker’s lecture notes is still excellent as I mention above. So in the eyes of the Big 4, why not.

    Just my guesstimate and 2 cents 🙂

    Best of luck in searching the right review course for you!

    Stephanie

    P.S. By the way, I have no idea why there is no comment on the Yaeger page. I wonder myself but this is something out of my control.

    I did ask some readers who used the Yaeger review to give me comments, but they always just reply to the email instead of posting here… I will try again!

  • Jeff says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I think with your reviews I’ve decided on getting at least the Wiley software, but what about books? I have an extremely irregular schedule, so it’s impossible for me to ever attend a class. Also, I’d prefer to have some sort of books to review before I sleep in bed 🙂

    Out of the review courses…which one has the best books?

    Thanks!

    Jeff

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Jeff,
      Understand that you have irregular schedule, but is it possible for you to say watch a DVD or something? The only concern with just the Wiley books is that it can’t be integrated with other study approach so it is typically less effective.

      If you can at least watch some DVD at home, then Yaeger is a good complement to Wiley. If you can only spend say half an hour each time on the study, then CPAexcel could be good because of the bite-sized lectures. Otherwise, Lambers has a ipod course which could be handy…

      Sorry it might sound even more confusing for you… anyway my recommendation is Yaeger CPA if you want a direct answer.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  • Russell Han says:

    Hello,

    First and foremost, I must mention that you have complied much-needed, value-adding information in this webpage! It looks like you have put into words what most people like me have only given a cursory look at or, have thought about, but have not been able to break down into directly comparable bullet points. Really good stuff!

    I am composing this post to ask you about your experiences with the AICPA Ethics Exam. I plan on taking my final section of the CPA Exam, the Auditing and Attestation Section, next week. After this, the only remaining barrier left would be the (not so dreaded?) Ethics Exam.

    I understand that you can purchase either the TEXT version or the CD version from the AICPA webpage. Then you can take the exam online and see you score immediately. Could you please tell me which form you would recommend and why? I guess for me, whichever form that is easier to navigate during the open book exam seems to be the better choice, and I would also like to be able to take my exam ONLINE. At this point, I don’t even know how I should approach this exam. Should I study A LOT first then take the exam, or just skim through the material first and then answer each question while taking advantage of the open book aspect of the exam?

    I would greatly appreciate your reply. Thanks!

    p.s.
    I don’t understand why they let us take the Ethics Exam online privately; I bet the most UNethical people are loving this leeway (as they are getting together with their friends and family – just joking of course)

    • Stephanie says:

      Hello Russell, thanks a lot for your kind note! I am glad you find the site helpful.

      There is more discussion on the CPA Ethics Exam here, but I would think taking it online is more convenient. It’s only 40 questions now (back then when I took it it was 75 questions) and it’s really not that bad.

      If you go through the comment section of that page a reader mentioned that you can sort of skim through the material and hit the questions immediately. So don’t worry it’s not that difficult at all, and you can have 3 attempts (and if you contact AICPA, they will let you try again).

      Congrats on being almost done with the exam! Stephanie

  • Brian says:

    Stephanie, I noticed in one of your post said that you can not use the Becker courses for credit. Actually you can. You will take the Becker course through Keller. It cost more, but you get credit that can count towards your MBA and your CPA. Four of the credits I needed to sit came from the Becker classes. Thanks for your review, good stuff!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Brian,
      You are absolutely right – Becker (and other CPA exam review courses) can be counted if they are offered in accredited colleges. I guess what I meant is their “normal” programs that are offered in their centers, i.e. a commercial setting.

      This is a good point – I will find a way to explain it better above. Thanks again! Stephanie

  • Vicki says:

    Hi Stephanie:
    Lots of information here, will definitely help me in deciding which CPA review I should go with.
    I am going to attempt to take FAR in the middle of November and REG at then end of November. I’m going to start studying now for FAR and then plan on studying for REG at the end of September. Do you think this is a realistic amount of studying time to successfully pass both of these tests?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Vicki,
      How is your schedule and commitment? If you have a relatively “easy” job and not much family commitment, then yes you should give it a try. But if you have to take care of kids and work >50 hours per week with occasional overtime then it would be tough…

      It also depends on whether you are familiar with the concepts. If let’s say you are not an accounting major and both financial accounting and tax are totally new to you, then you might want to postpone either one.

      An alternative is to exchange one with BEC which *generally* is easier for candidates.

      And in any case please make a study plan and stick with it!

      Hope it helps, Stephanie

  • Vipula says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am planning to buy Yeager review course (Bundle Buy) for preparing for CPA exam. I would like to know do i need to buy anything from any other review course or Yeager would be sufficient to pass the CPA exam.
    I would like to apprear for all the 4 paper in one shot so based on your experience can u guide me how much time it will take to prepare for all the four papers. Currenly i m at Home and can spare alomst 5 hours a day for preparation. I m an average student in study with accouting backround.
    Thanks in Advance.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Vipula,
      Based on the feedback of my readers, it seems like Yaeger is sufficient as long as you do as many practice questions from the Wiley book as possible. If you are super diligent you can consider getting Gleim as well (but let’s do it later, only when you think you have the extra time)

      Again, if you are very disciplined, you can probably get prepared within 6 months to sit for the 4 parts in one go. Generally you might need up to 1 year to study for that… so it really depends how motivated you are. Given you have the accounting background it should be easier for you.

      Hope it helps? Stephanie

  • Mike says:

    How does your advice and suggestions change for someone that has been out of school for sometime (15+), working in CPA firm, mostly auditing, want/need CPA, so took becker review and rec’d a 68 on AU..just took BE..not sure?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Mike,
      Hmm… on AUD, do you think it’s because of lack of study time, lack of motivation or you simply get tricked by the questions? (if you work in the CPA firm, you must be very familiar with the concepts so this should be the issue).

      I would think that if you get a Wiley book, work on your weakest areas (based on the report) and see whether you are able to get them all right (and for the right reason) after a few attempts. If somehow you still can’t get it, then it’s worthwhile to get Yaeger because they explain the MC questions in detail and where the tricky areas are etc.

      Best of luck to your next attempt! Stephanie

  • Farhan says:

    HI
    would you mind telling us how flashpointcpareview.com program is ? what are pros and cons? i ‘d appreciate a lot

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Farhan,

    Never heard of it, but I have just taken a quick look with a bit of research in the CPA forums.

    I did find a couple of people talking about flashpointcpareview.com and it’s quite positive – easier to digest compared to Becker. They especially like the notecards. While this is great I haven’t got enough data points to give an opinion on this review program — if you do decide to get it, I’d greatly appreciate if you let me know what you think about it. Thanks!

    Stephanie

  • Numan says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    It is really great to see someone helping the people in such a way. I would request your advice on whether to go ahead with CPA or not? I live in Pakistan and have done CA and ACCA. I plan to move to the US in near future. What is the condition of the job market in the US/Canada for people having passed the CPA exam? Your reply will be a great help for me as I have to make a decision.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Numan,
      Theoretically, CPA is a title most applicable for public accounting (i.e. auditing) firms, but from what I heard from my readers recently, many corporations are looking for a CPA title among the candidates. So it is definitely useful. Having said that, many accountants can secure a job without the title so the CPA qualification is not like “mandatory” in order to get an accounting/finance job in the US.

      Is it a big hassle for you to go to the US and take the exam? Also, do you think you can qualify for CPA exam requirements from any state? This would be 2 important questions for you to consider whether to start your CPA journey. You may also find this page for international CPA candidates useful.

      Hope it helps – just come back if I can be helpful. Cheers, Stephanie

  • Farhan says:

    well Nauman, if you want to remain being an accountant and also moving to USA, then i would suggest you go for the CPA exam.With your background, i don’t think you will have much difficulty passing the exam. Remember much of accounting doesn’t change and the only thing that will be new to you would be US Taxation.

  • Numan says:

    Dear Farhan,
    Bundle of thanks for the guidance. I hope I am able to pass. And what are the chances of getting a job in the Big 4, or any other good organization in the US, once you pass the CPA? How much time it takes approximately to find one? I want to be on my own soon after landing. Can you please tell me about some good recruitment firms too.
    Thanks again,
    Numan

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Numan,

      Thanks for your kind note! Well it has been enjoyable (and a good break from my day job and kids) running this site 🙂

      And on the general note of using the CPA title to find a job in the state… I would think while it definitely helps, it is not a guaranteed ticket if you know what I mean. Is it possible for you to work in Big 4 in Pakistan (not sure if they have presence there)? It would be much easier for you to arrange a transfer or something like that within the organization. Alternatively, any US-based corporations in Pakistan might work.

      Anyway, if you are aiming for the Big 4, you can check out my recommendation on this book — the steps and tips to break into Big 4 / big accounting firms.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  • Numan says:

    Dear Stephanie,
    Thanks for the information. It is really amazing to see how you could spare time for people, besides doing a job and looking after 2 kids. Thank you for this. I get almost eaten up by just one kid of mine.
    Coming to US is not a problem. I have got a business visa (5 year; multiple). So I can come and go anytime for the exam. Also, i can study day and night for the exam and that is not a major problem. My concern was just that if i take the step towards attempting the CPA, will it help me getting a sponsoring employer in the US? With my current visa, I can only visit for business purpose, and not for work. I want to move to the US with my family. I hope CPA will help me in that, because my current qualifications i.e. CA and ACCA do not seem to be very useful in US.

  • farhan says:

    Nauman,
    you can sit for the exam under Colorado Board, if you are a CA from another country, they would allow you to sit for the CPA exam. Also , NASBA will be allowing candidates to take the exam outside of the US in near future. I am not sure when they will include Pakistan. But i have heard they have included Japan so far. I live in Canada but since i live at the border, for me travelling to the States is easy so i am not too concerned.

    Stephanie, i am struggling with FAR and forgetting whatever i have learned in last two weeks. I haven’t bought the Flashpoint CPA stuff yet . Since i spent thousands of dollars on material already, i feel guilty spending more on the stuff.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Farhan,
      Thanks for your help for Nauman. Much appreciated! Also, it’s good that you remind me of the new CPA exam sites in Japan. I have done a quick writeup for those who are interested.

      Yes FAR is the most overwhelming of all! Why don’t you tackle one sub-section at a time — after reading/listening to the lecture, work on the practice questions for the concepts to sink in. This tactic works for me pretty well. Yeah don’t worry about getting extra materials if you have existing ones already.

      Keep working hard! Stephanie

  • Vipula says:

    Hi Farhan,
    Thanks for the information that NASA is considering to take exams outside of USA also. I live in Canada (Toronto) and its difficult to go to US to give exams.
    I just hope that they include Canada also to take exams.
    In case you hear anything related to this, it will be great if you can let me know.
    Thanks

    Vipula

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Vipula,
      So far no news on Canada as far as I know… Actually Toronto shouldn’t be too bad if you can drive or take the Amtrak there? At least it’s much better than India and other Asian countries…
      Stephanie

  • Farhan says:

    Vipula,
    Sure , i would let you and everyone know here . Look at the bright side, it is still easier for us to go to the states to take the exam compare to people from other countries, where they have to come specially to take the exam. I am in Windsor and the prometric site is 20 minutes drive from me. Logically speaking, Canada would be included in very near future cus we are neighbors lol

  • Kontopia says:

    Stephanie:

    Is the clearance sale for $799 at CPA Passmaster genuine? I am not sure if that website, CPA Passmaster, that is selling Becker products for half the price is genuine. Can you help me here? My Becker software is expired but Becker is asking a huge amount of money plus a registration fee before they will renew the software for me as a former Becker student which, I think, is unfair. The CPA Passmaster website is offering to renew my software for $100. Is that genuine and do you know of anyone who who has done business with them? Has any of your forumers tried them? I have all the 2009 Becker Notes and the CD, the only thing I need is the MC and the simulation in the Passmaster. I am only interested in the extension of the software.

    Thank you also for the info on Wiley and Gleim. I took the live fastpass class with Becker and it’s a complete waste of time.

    Please advise me on that CPA Passmaster website and their products.

    Thank you.

    Kontopia

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Kontopia,
      You are dropping me a note at the *perfect time* because I am in the final stage of due diligence on CPA Passmaster. I don’t want to give my recommendation (or the lack of) before my full investigation but I promise to have it done by next week. So please wait for a few more days.

      If I do recommend this Becker reseller I will feature it prominently in the header at the top of my website. I’m sure you won’t miss it 🙂

      Please come back next week and have a look! Stephanie

      P.S. Sorry to hear about your experience at Becker live class. I can totally hear you. I set up this site mainly to tell people there are other options…

  • Zachary says:

    Stephanie:

    I love your website. It’s the only place I have found that gives honest, thoughtful reviews of different CPA review options. Others seem to be too biased.

    I am a recent grad, again (undergrad in accounting in Dec 08 and a MBA Aug 10). I now want to go after the CPA certification and am pretty motivated to get it. I am very disciplined … I took my entire MBA program online and graduated with a 3.9 gpa (and it was a very good, accredited university). I am unsure of which review program to go after. Everyone I have talked to has used Becker, but they took the exam 5+ or 10+ years ago and got it discounted. I know Becker is great, I am impressed with their website but they are also extremely expensive and are really out of my budget. I can not seem to find another program that strikes me as much as Becker does though. I do not want to do live classes, or online for that matter. I am better at self-study. I do not mind reading or watching lecturers at home (as long as they aren’t boring and long). Do you have any suggestions on review courses that have good self-study programs and they won’t break my poor bank account?? Maybe ones that have a good mixture of text and software even? (If there is such a thing out there for me).

    Thank you for any advice you give 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Zachary,
      Thanks for your kind note! I am honored that this site is seen as “honest and thoughtful” because this is the goal I am trying to achieve for this site.

      I would say you can focus on the following 3 CPA study material:

      If you are very disciplined and self-motivated (sounds like you are!), then Wiley should be good for you and you can get the discounted Wiley CPA books + software here.

      If you are looking for a more integrated approach, CPAexcel has bite-sized classes and you can sign up for a free trial and see if you like it. Their program has just been endorsed by 1 of the big 4, and they are considerably cheaper than Becker.

      Lastly, Yaeger is always good if you are looking for lots of explanation on the actual multiple choice questions you are working on. The lectures are presented in DVD that you can watch at home. The filming is a bit “unpolished” but that’s why you get it at a much cheaper price than Becker.

      Hope it helps! Would be interested to see which course/materials you end up choosing. And all the best to your exam! Stephanie

  • Grezze says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I appreciate all the information here in your website it’s a big help for a person like me. I found http://www.accountingcoach.com and they’re selling such accounting materials in a very low cost. Do you think it’s a good supplement materials to prepare CPA exam?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Greeze,

      I also heard from a few of my readers that they are quite good and I like the “free” materials on their site. In fact, Accounting Coach is under my list of recommendations on my newly setup Facebook page.

      If you find it necessary to clarify the accounting concepts, I would think it’s helpful. Do let me know what you think if you decide to purchase so I can let other readers know in the future. This site is helpful because of helpful readers like you!

      Regards,
      Stephanie

  • Svetlana Primacheva says:

    Hi Stephanie;

    I am very impressed with your website and am grateful that you took the time to put it together. I was a chief accountant of smb’s in Russia. I was planning to sign up for Yaeger, but they told me that I need to take several US tax courses first. ( I have taken financial and business accounting at a community college but nothing specifically on taxes.) Do you know what courses are either required by NASBA or the California Board of Accountancy or recommended before taking the CPA exam?

  • Noreen Dratch says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Just wanted to drop a quick note about CPAexcel. My story isn’t entirely unique, but somewhat different. I’ve worked as an accountant for 40 years – I’m 58 years old. I’m actually working part time and could retire.

    As a personal goal, I decided in late April (2010) to sit for the CPA exam. It’s, obviously, tough for someone with an MBA which was received 10 years ago.

    Using CPAexcel and the Wiley software, I passed BEC the first try, taken July 1, 2010 – Score 86.

    I’m so excited I can’t believe it!! CPAexcel is absolutely great. Wiley was a supplemental study tool only. The folks behind CPAexcel are intelligent and always there to help.

    Thanks for the forum.

    Noreen

  • Noreen says:

    Please feel free to use my comment(s). CPAexcel is great and the 2011 updates are terrific.

    Noreen

  • Alex says:

    Hi, Stephanie,

    I was too worried about whether I was qualified to sit for the exam, so I only visited your CPA requirement page, and left questions for you few mins ago. Now I found a even better source you are sharing with us. I cannot thank you enough for helping us save time on the CPA. Hope that more people can benefit from you web and get their licenses. ( Also hope I will be one of them 🙂 )

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Alex,
      I am very glad you find the site helpful! If you need anything else just drop a note and I’ll try my best to help. Good luck to your application and exam! Stephanie

  • Dan says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I took your recommendation and have been using Yaeger since the end of August. I’m in the middle of studying for FAR.

    I believe there are 3 teachers for this course. Cindy (who mainly teaches FAR) is excellent. She has a great sense of humor and she hammers points home so you won’t forget. On a multiple choice problem, she will go over the wrong choices and explain why they are wrong. She will also tell you for said MC question, what other questions the CPA could ask based on the topic. She really knows her stuff backwards and forwards and tries her bast to get you to her level of understanding accounting.

    HOWEVER, the other teachers SUCK. Phil is so monotone and boring. And it’s more than that. He doesn’t go into nearly the detail that Cindy does. Not only is Cindy more entertaining, but she’s a better teacher: plain and simple. Phil does not go over the wrong MC questions, which really bothers me because on the CPA exam there are often at least 2 answers that seem reasonably correct. Phil also say “all right” every 5 seconds. It’s like when a teenager says “like” all the time. Maybe not that bad but almost. He probably says “all right” as much as one of those dumb athletes say “you know” before every sentence.

    The 3rd guy I haven’t taken instruction from yet but I saw the beginning of one of his lectures and he seems worse than Phil.

    So, not having taken the other courses yet, I would recommend only taking Yaeger for FAR (Cindy mostly teaches FAR but occasionally you will get the brutal Phil and the other guy).

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Dan,
      Thanks very much for your comment. It is interesting because many readers told me they like Phil… but I can see what you mean by the “monotone”… I will mention your comment in the Yaeger page so at least ask the prospective buyers to check out Phil’s demo and see if they find him ok.

      Again, thanks for taking the time to let us know your opinion. I am sure it is helpful to other aspiring CPAs.

      Regards, Stephanie

  • Dan says:

    I haven’t experienced too much of Phil’s teaching so any reader can take my comments with that in mind. I just finished Phil’s lecture on pensions. He did a decent job explaining the material prior to going into examples but I don’t like the way he covers the multiple choice. The other teacher also seem to do a better job of teaching test taking techniques. I guess I haven’t listened to enough lectures from Phil to completely comment on his style but I definitely feel confident saying Cindy is the superior teacher.

    Now the 3rd guy I just got done listening to his lecture on leases. He is actually not bad. He also does Auditing apparently. He is pretty dry and deadpan but he is good at emphasizing certain points of emphasis.

    Does Phil only teach REG? That would be good because I think that is the section I feel most confident.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Dan,
      Again thanks for your comments and the lively desription! I think Phil Yaeger also teaches in other parts, but they may have changed from year to year and so I can’t say for sure for the latest edition… but maybe you can come back and let us know after you have viewed everything? That would be immensely helpful. Thanks!
      Stephanie

  • Kenneth says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m coming from Hong Kong, and I’ve been struggle for choosing Becker and Yaeger.

    With confirmation with Becker, there will be no live classes offered in HK starting from 2011, but we can still buy their material in HK, the cost is similar to United States. It’s no doubt that Becker is most expensive one, I don’t know is it worth or not.

    For Yaeger, I’m not sure the video lectures offer by them is update or not, as you know there are some changes for 2011 exam. And I’ve no idea about the CRAM series though I’ve read their website info.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Kenneth,
      I personally don’t like Becker live classes anyway so it’s good that you’ll be choosing Becker self-study vs Yaeger.
      I have written a page specially on becker vs yaeger CPA review. Please see if it’s helpful for you?

      By the way, your experience will be able to count if your work experience is supervised / verified by CPA from US, and possibly from Canada and Australia (depend on which state). Whether it has to be supervised or not will also be dependent on the state you apply to.

      Just let me know if you have further questions! stephanie

  • Nico IL says:

    Hi Stephanie!

    So… I’m scheduled to take REG on October 29. Using the Yeager CPA review materials, I’ve already managed to get through a significant amount of material.

    However, I’m kind of worried because Prof Yaeger seems to skip a lot of things in the Wiley Book. From my experience, I managed to pass FAR and AUD (with a reasonable margins – 94, 89) because of fine details that I studied from the Wiley Book and CPAExcel.

    Do you have any knowledge of how much dependable Yaeger is? I mean, if he says to skip that section, then is there really a “reasonable probability” that the section won’t be in the test?

    I bought the Yaeger course because of the efficiency it offers, but am worried on it’s effectiveness and scope…

    I appreciate any help or guidance!

    Thank you very much,
    Nico

    • Stephanie says:

      Hello Nico,
      Nice to hear from you again!
      Yes your concern is certainly understandable. I understand Dr. Yaeger specifically skips those parts that has lower importance in the exam. This is the way to do it for people with limited time. So I would recommend that you follow the direction and get the basic done first; then if you have more time, you can still work on the rest of Wiley, but at least for time management wise this makes the most sense and you can feel more comfortable because the most important things got covered.

      An industry expert (who works for another CPA review course) told me Yaeger is among his favorites. That’s why I feel comfortable recommending the course to my readers. If you have any other thoughts on Yaeger (good or bad) please let me know so I can get a more comprehensive view on this course. Thanks!

      And all the best to the studying and passing of REG!
      Stephanie

  • Alex says:

    Hi, Stephanie,

    Thank you for your comment about my post on the “How to qualify for PA CPA exam.” One more question need your help. Recently, I use Becker for my BEC study, and its homework seems not that hard, as the teachers cover almost all the points in the lecture. Then I find out a free website: http://www.cpareviewforfree.com . I register online, and do their test. I had to say, really frustrating, I almost got more than a half of the questions wrong. Not sure whether the questions on that web is too hard, or Becker chooses too many straight forward questions. Please let me know whether I need to use more than one material for the study. Thanks a lot.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hello Alex,
      Hmm… which BEC sub-topic did you try in CPA review for free? (by the way I wrote about the CPAreviewforfree here.) If it’s IT, then it’s pretty normal because Becker seems to underprepare candidates in this particular area. For other areas it shouldn’t be too bad.

      If you have time I’d recommend that you get a Wiley software CD and work on more practice questions… you can get a good discount at Amazon. Otherwise, many candidates do find CPA Review For Free useful.

      Keep working on the problems — this is the best way to do it!
      Regards, stephanie

  • Claudia J says:

    Hi, Stephanie,

    Wow your site is overwhelming! A lot of useful information(: Thanks for clearing a lot of questions!
    I have a question though, I’m trying to pass BEC in Nov (since its going to get harder in 2011). I was thinking of getting the Wiley book, software, and the Yaeger lecture. Is that enough? I know the schedule is tight but do you think its worth a try?
    Thanks for the advice and time!

    Claudia J

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Claudia,
      Thanks for your kind words – I am really glad you find the site helpful.
      Getting Yaeger + Wiley sounds like a good plan (by the way, Wiley books + software come with the standard Yaeger purchase, so no need to buy separately).
      But the more important thing is that you stick with a study plan and work on (1) the MC questions as suggested by Yaeger and (2) the rest in the Wiley software as much as you can. The more you practice, the higher the chance of success in my opinion.

      For IT, I’ll also recommend you try the free questions at cpareviewforfree.com. This is a site run by a nice guy who owned his CPA review course before selling out to Kaplan. They are really free — no strings attached as far as I know.

      Best of luck! hope you can make it before 2010! Stephanie

  • Alex says:

    Hi, Stephanie,

    I tried the Supply and Demand part. After I re-do the questions very carefully, I found out the good result of BEC homework is because I just listen the lecture, while when I do the CPA review for free, somethings get mess up. Thank you for the good tip of the IT part, I will pay attention to that. By the way, Becker have the Appendix for several charpter, how important is that? Do I need to go through these readings? Thanks a lot.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Alex,
      Great to know you score fine afterall. No worries then!
      Back then when I studied with Becker I skipped all the appendices and managed to pass. So I don’t think it’s necessary (for BEC at least). Actually, for FAR/AUD there is a page on financial ratios which can be helpful. That’s the only appendix page I referenced to.
      Cheers,
      Stephanie

  • Alex says:

    Hi, Stephanie,

    Thank you for your reply. I would like to mention an advantage of CPA review for free. For us who work and prepare the exams. It is easy to log online and take a small test while working, make sure you remember everything you study at home (using Becker or Wiley). The website making a small break at work useful for preparing the test.

    Thanks.

  • Alex says:

    Hi, Stephanie,

    Thank you for your suggestion, very helpful. Of course you can quote my thoughts about CPA Review for Free. I’m glad that I can help. Cheers.

  • Marla says:

    It has been so hard to decide between the reviews. Its like they all are apples but one is a grannysmith, the next is a gala and the last is a red delicious, same but different. I don’t have the money to spend on a review and it not work. If I havta get a loan to add to the mountain of student loans I want it to be the right one. Your site helped me so much, and I trusted your evaluations because your not a commissioned voice.

    Thanks

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Marla! I am so glad you find the review unbiased. I do try hard to make sure I include both pros and cons for each program.
      Whichever course you pick, I wish you all the best! Stephanie

  • sanjay says:

    Hi Stephaine,
    I am Chartered Accountant from India and I want to pursue the CPA course.I have my friends in US who are working there as CPA’s. I wanted to know if my CA degree would be of any use in pursuing the CPA course.Will I get any exemptions in the papers to be written or any waiver in the examination or registration fees ? What are my chances of getting a job in the US after completing my CPA degree? I am going to finance my studies on my own which coaching institute do you think will be the best for me , here in India ?

    Regards,
    sanjay

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Sanjay,
      The CA was very helpful in the state of Colorado before Nov 2009 when you get automatically qualified for the exam. But now the state requires candidates to go through the foreign credential evaluation process. They do general give ~40 credits from CA (I heard from my readers) so it’s still considered an edge.

      Michigan still allow you to get qualified with CA certificate alone, but please pay special attention to the working requirements as it is rather strict. You can find out the details for Colorado and Michigan here.

      Hope it gives you some info to start with… STephanei

  • Jeff says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Do you have a review or analysis of ExamMatrix? If not, do you have any quick thoughts about their review course?

    Thanks,

  • Farhan says:

    yes i wanna know about examatrix too
    i am studying day and night for FAR and i still not feeling well … i am physically sick from studying ( i am not kidding) .. i like exammatrix concept of keeping the material fresh by the structure of their software.. but i don’t wanna experiment by paying lol… anyone has positive results with exammatrix for FAR? they have sweet deal going on right now… please contact me if you are studying from exammatrix toronto_troubleshooter@yahoo.com

  • Dang says:

    Hello Stephanie,
    What the different between 2008 (or earlier) Becker review and the current 2010 Becker review? I can only afford to buy it on ebay and the older version is much cheaper than current version.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Dang,
      I don’t know the details, but there are accounting rule updates here and there so this should be the main changes. I personally think it is ok to use the old ones as long as you aim at a “higher” passing score yourself (like 80-85) to compensate for the mistakes made due to the new change of rules.

      Otherwise, just pick other CPA review courses — many candidates pass each year using any one of the above.

      Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • nour says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I signed up to do my financial exam on Nov 30th of 2010, and I did it the first time was on April of 2010 with Gleim material, I didn’t pass it, found it very tough lecture and too much info to learn, then I got Becker CD with the book, I haven’t started to study for my Nov exam, but I’m lost because my friend suggested me to buy Roger as his way is interesting comapre to gleim and Becker, I don’t want to spend too much ( $400) on Roger and then fail again, what do you suggest me to do, I’m really lost and almost 5 more weeks to do my Financial test??
    thanks alot for all the info and replies,

    Nour

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Nour,
      If you’ve got the Becker material, I’d stick with it. As you said, you have already invested a lot in the courses! Becker works for many candidates and their materials are pretty good. The only thing I don’t like is the price and the live classes (which isn’t applicable to you anyway).

      Just focus on studying and get it done with in Nov. Best of luck! Stephanie

  • Janelle says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m so glad that I found your website…I just wish I found it a year and a half ago! In September 2009, my friend and I decided to finally re-sit for the exam. Coming from the Big 4, we really only knew of three different sources for review materials and decided on the Bisk self study materials. Being the huge procrastinators that we are, we only re-registered last week! We briefly heard about the changes effective January 1st, but only started researching the details recently and realized that we are royally in trouble!

    I’m thinking that we have the following options:
    1. Purchase the re-vamped 2011 materials from Bisk (they will give us a slight discount)
    2. Use the 2009-2010 Bisk materials and supplement them with the 2011 materials from Wiley
    3. Make a complete switch to Yaeger (that’s really intrigued us)

    I’m wavering more with options 2 and 3. With the Yaeger materials, the text and CDs are Wileys, and the only real difference are the “old school” lectures and handouts. Is that correct?

    In any case, your input would really help us right now.

    Janelle

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Janelle,
      Thanks a lot for your kind words on my site. I am really glad you find it helpful (though a little bit late!)
      First of all, do you like Bisk or find it helpful?
      If it’s so-so or you think it is part of the reason of the retake, then yes I encourage you to explore option 2-3.

      Between 2 and 3, it would depend on whether you’ll like someone to go over the accounting concepts and explain the reasoning behind the MCs, or you are fine with figuring out yourself. If former, pick 3; if latter, pick 2.

      Yes for Yaeger old school is their style. And many people like how they explain the MC questions and that they have a “hotline” that you can call and talk to a real instructor, even after office hours. But please do check out the demo on their site first because the style is not everyone’s cup of tea. Cindy Simpson gets raving reviews from all my readers, but Dr. Yaeger and other instructors get mixed reviews (on the way they talk — content wise no problem).

      Here is my Yaeger evaluation and this one brings you directly to Yaeger CPA review site.

      Hope it helps, and all the best to you and your friend! Stephanie

  • Janelle says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Yes, I actually like the Bisk books. The last time I sat for BEC and audit (4 years ago…I scored 74s on both parts…if only I studied for another week or two! Ugh. Anyway, what I like is that they have plans for studying and preparing for the exam. For example, if you plan to study for two parts (FAR and BEC), they provide a schedule of which chapters you need to cover week by week, over the course of 20 weeks or so. They have plans for one part, two, three, or all four. It just helps when everything can get so overwhelming and you just don’t know how you’re going to accomplish everything and understand and retain it all!

    Interestingly enough, I also took the Becker’s live classes right out of college and agree with you that it is way overrated. Luckily I was a rep for them as a student and the fees were completely waived.

    After viewing the Yaeger demos, we’re most likely going to make the switch. In reality, we’ll have three sources of materials: 2010 Bisk, Yaeger DVDs and handouts, and the Wiley books/CD testbank (which comes with the Yaeger program). I know that Wiley’s books don’t provide the “plan of attack” so I’ll try to adapt the Bisk plans to the Yaeger/Wiley program and hopefully with our dedication and determination…we’ll find success!

    Thanks so much again. Your site provides us with so much hope!

    Take care,
    Janelle

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Janelle – sorry to reply late (out of country) but thanks a lot for your detailed story. I always love to know more about my reader so thanks.
      Glad to know your plan and even happier than you make the switch after doing all the necessary checking of the demo. Best of luck to you guys!

      By the way, love how you describe the “plan of attack”. You certainly need this for the CPA exam 🙂 Stephanie

  • Amy says:

    Hi Stephanie.
    Thank you so much for this creating this site. It is great! Thank you for helping us sort through the information and the hype.
    I listened to the Yaegar and Kaplan demos and I think I will learn best from the Kaplan videos. After reading the posts on this page, I have decided to also get the Wiley software and/or books. Do you think I should get the book along with the software? Will the books add much value? Also, the Wiley software has been getting bad reviews on Amazon. Users have said it contains many errors, even calculation errors. Have you heard any negative reviews from users of the software? Are the benefits significant enough to justify the purchase? Would it be better to get the books and use free online simulations?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Amy,
      Thanks for your note! From what I know Kaplan’s materials are even more comprehensive than Wiley so you probably don’t need to get a Wiley book.

      Yes there are comments on errors and typos in both Wiley books and software. Having said that, these are relatively minor in my opinion because the overall quality of the questions themselves are fine. I am not trying to pomote Wiley but the fact that there aren’t any platforms for other review books can explain the reason why there are more (good and bad) comments on Wiley vs others… you know what I mean.

      All in all Wiley is still the best selling software for CPA exam and apart from the fact that Wiley is a huge publisher, there should be some reason behind it. Alternatively, you can get Gleim’s software which I think get generally good reviews. You can check out CPAreviewforfree.com for extra questions as well.

      As far as I know there isn’t a free online simulation platform… maybe it’s something you can suggest to Joe Hoyle at CPAreviewforfree 🙂

      Cheers,
      Stephanie

  • June says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thank you for the information.
    I pretty much set for Yaeger now, but have questions about their courses. I am going to graduate this December and have pretty high GPA. This is my first attempt to study CPA exams. Yaeger has the home study course and the cram course. I wonder how those two classes are different and whether I need both or just the home study course.
    I appreciate your suggestions.
    Best regards,
    June

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi June,
      Congratulations to your graduation in Dec. And I am glad you are planning ahead. No wonder you are a top student 🙂
      Anyway, on Yaeger, I think it is better to get the home study course because the cram course is mostly for retakers who need 5-10 points to pass in the next attempt. Also, cram courses do not include the “hotline” service that they are famous for.

      In any case, either one is enough.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  • CB says:

    Hi, Stephanie.

    Your site is very helpful and I felt quite relieved finding answers. You mentioned you have a non-accounting degree , took only one basic accounting class and was qualified for the exam(not to mention you passed it on first try!). I have a non-accounting degree and currently taking my first accounting course. I’ve been searching how I can get the required 24 semester credits in accounting and eventually prepare for the exam. I’m wondering if I’m on the right track or will end up wasting my time and money taking accounting courses when I can proceed with the review courses and qualify for the exam. Community colleges have limited accounting courses and I can’t afford to go to a state university paying more than $200 per unit. I hope you can help me with my dilemma.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi CB,
      For the CPA review courses, if they are offered via an accredited university it can be counted. This is great but not a lot of universities carries “other people”‘s courses so it is hard to find one that fits your location and schedule. Please note that review courses offered in commercial setting / home-study courses cannot be counted.

      Other than that, yeah, you’ll need to take those accounting courses to get qualified… in my case, I did take one or two accounting courses from school but the rest I had to take courses somewhere else. Cheers, Stephanie

  • Dang says:

    Hello Stephanie,

    Which one has a unlimited time on DVD and/or audio lecture? Due to retrainted budget, I have turned to Ebay hoping to get a good deal. I have spent more than $300 already, but I got (except for flashcard) are boogus and expired items that didn’t even work. It’s so discourage, but I didn’t want to give it up or at least not yet. So if you know any CPA review provider out there with an unlimited lecture that I can purchase used or cheap new, then please let me know.

    Thank you.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Dang,
      Yes eBay is no good. I have another reader who had the same experience.

      I understand that Yaeger’s DVD will not get expired, but the thing is that it won’t get updated either being a DVD. CPAexcel is better in this aspect because it is online and you get free updates with no expiration date. In terms of price, Yaeger is probably cheaper, but CPAexcel has this free update advantage.

      Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Gigi,
    Thanks for your note. I honestly think the above is one of the most comprehensive presentations on the subject — I did take a lot of time thinking through and asking advices from readers and industry insiders.

    You are right I do prefer Yaeger, but as the owner of this site I need to present my opinion up-front (otherwise I’ll get too many emails for recommendations). Hope you understand.

    Anyway, what you can do is to ignore Yaeger and see who else you prefer? Or you can check out this page on how to pick a CPA review course wisely where I try to write in a different perspective as the request of another reader.

    Lastly, if I have to pick between Kaplan and CPAexcel… definitely CPAexcel, with bite-sized, more user-friendly lectures and unlimited upgrade.

    Cheers, Stephanie

  • Mani says:

    Hi Stephanie;
    I am very impressed with your website and appreciate the time you put into relying to all the questions on the various topics.

    Would you say that the Becker Review Course is enough to prepare for the CPA exam and no further courses would be required. Have you used any other additional material for your exam preparation?

    Thank you

  • Mani says:

    Hi Stephanie;
    I am very impressed with your website and appreciate the time you put into replying to all the questions on the various topics.

    Would you say that the Becker Review Course is enough to prepare for the CPA exam and no further courses would be required. Have you used any other additional material for your exam preparation?

    Thank you

  • Becker CPA Review – 3 Pros And Cons says:

    […] have summarized the pros and cons of each of these programs in this page on CPA exam review courses comparison where you can take the time to objectively evaluate all of them. I have also written more on my […]

  • Yaeger CPA Review – 3 Pros And Cons | Blog Business Accounting says:

    […] learn more about these and other major CPA review programs in general, please go to this page on CPA exam review courses where I list out their pros and cons in detail. If you are convinced that Yaeger is tailor-made for […]

  • Roger CPA Review – 3 Pros and Cons says:

    […] you’d like to learn more, you are most welcome to take a look at this CPA Exam Review Course Comparison page where I list out the pros and cons of all major CPA review programs, including Becker, Bisk, […]

  • Yin says:

    Have you heard anything about ExamMetrix?

  • Mike says:

    After evaluating several prominent CPA review courses, a Big 4 Public Accounting Firm recently selected CPAexcel’s Video Gold Medal Course as the exclusive online/offline Review Course for its staff in 2011. You can now choose CPAexcel knowing it’s the top of its class.
    I called and they told me that will release the name of the company on Jan. 1 to who picked CPAexcel as their exclusive provider.

  • Jill says:

    Hi Stephanie –

    Question: I have 3 parts passed and lack Financial. I cannot seem to pass Financial…have made between 65 and 70 the last few times I’ve taken it. I have used Becker up to this point but I guess Becker doesn’t work for me when it comes to Financial. I have a 2008 book. What do you suggest I buy as a supplement or a replacement for my 2008 Becker book? I am hoping to take and PASS in January 2011. I need to buy a book/CD soon so I can start studying again but really don’t know much about the other reviews out there. And I don’t want to pay $900 for a 2011 book/CD combo from Becker. I know about the new content and know my 2008 Becker book won’t be adequate…or it might not apply at all! What would you recommend?
    (FYI – I am good at self study, do like Becker’s concise content in the books but the audio classes are useless to me)

  • rlie says:

    Thank you, you save me from spending more than $3,000.00 with the Becker review. Good Job.

    Thanks again,
    rlie

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi rlie,
    Glad to hear that! Stephanie

  • Mark says:

    About Becker CPA review. This is concerning post # 13 & 14. I have not read every post, but I will set you straight about Becker. I graduated from Keller Graduate School of Management with a MAFM/CPA emphasis. Keller owns Becker. If you take Becker through Becker it is not accredited and you can not get financial aid. If you take Becker through Keller it is accredited and you can get financial aid.
    Keller has a MAFM/CFA emphasis. You go through the Stalla program. Keller owns Stalla.

  • Rode says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    After reading your site, I was set for Yaeger but after visiting and calling Yaeger, I realized you did not mention some key weaknesses for Yaeger. If the candidate does not pass, and they want to try out next 2 years for example, if CPA exams stays the same next year, you can use the same exact thing, but if you happen to take a long break for2- 3 years, you have to buy everything again. Customer service from the Yaeger sucks, they get frustrated very easily if you don’t jump and choose their programs. Hope you will post this so everyone can read it .

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Mark,
    This is an excellent point — I should really mention somewhere that by taking Becker through Keller you can get credits and financial aid. I will mention it at least in the Becker page.

    Hi Rode,
    I appreciate you point out the weakness of Yaeger. Noted on the point of buying everything again if you take a long break. I think this is probably the case for all CPA Review Course except maybe for CPAexcel? Need to double check.
    Then, on the poor customer service, I am sorry to hear that. Did you mean that they quickly become not helpful if you don’t sound you want to purchase their course right away? I actually would love to have you elaborate more on this because supposedly, customer service is Yaeger’s selling point and if this is not true I need to alert people on this.

    Thanks, Stephanie

  • Roman says:

    Hi Stephanie, I respect and appreciate all your insights about the various review courses. So far, I have used Becker for BEC and AUD and have passed both the first time around with scores in the 80’s.

    Anyway, two things I really appreciate about Becker (which I feel have been significant to my success so far) are the following:

    1) the Becker MC questions are timed so you can practice solving them and track your improvement by your timed results

    2) the simulations are dead on very realistic representations of what you will see on the real exam – so again, you can really get the feel of the functionalities and will have few surprises.

    How does Yaeger compare in terms of these two areas?

    However, I will probably stick with Becker for FAR and REG, but I am very intrigued by Yaeger and will definitely look into it more. I may recommend Yaeger for my friend who is trying to pass the CPA exam but has a very limited Accounting and Audit background.

    Thank you so much!

  • Bonni Yaeger says:

    Stephanie — I love the layout of your site. Very easy to navigate around. Only one small suggestion. When you list your posts and comments, it would easier if you reversed the order to show most recent to oldest posts.

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Roman,
    Yaeger uses Wiley materials (they focus on the teaching) so that would be a Wiley vs Becker comparison.

    I agree that Becker is pretty good – in terms of usefulness I would think both of them are probably the best. Becker is more user friendly so if this is put into consideration, Becker is slightly better in my opinion.

    If you have a good accounting background and don’t need much explanation in terms of someone to go through MCs with you, and don’t mind the hefty price Becker should be a great choice.

    Hi Bonni,
    Thanks for your suggestion — I am not sure if I can show this comment in reverse order but I agree that it would be more user-friendly. Will give it a try! Stephanie

  • Anthony says:

    Stephanie,

    Amazing site! I am now just re-starting this venture back into becoming a CPA and this is exactly what I needed as a guide for preparation. THANKS

    Question. I am 5 years removed from a single general graduate level course in accounting and 10 years removed from a pre-SOX accounting degree. I have been working primarily as a financial analyst and now as a senior management consultant (for a real estate firm) and have not used many accounting concepts in my day to day over the past 5+ years. I’m finally agressively pursuing certification in California and was wondering what the best prep program would be for someone like me.

    I hate the 4-8 hour lecture BUT …. I do need the structured setting to help get me re-ramped on accounting concepts. I was initially thinking Becker but was blown away by price. Through your review, I was really thinking about a combination Yaeger and CPAExcel (been getting emails from them for about 5 years now :). However, I am not sure what the best approach should be. Is Yaegar the strongest formal setting (in your opinion) and is CPAExcel the stronger supplemental for someone who has been removed from accounting for awhile? I have seen a lot of talk about Gleim and Wiley but I thought that was more directed to recent grads …. not those “old-heads” who have been working for more than a decade like myself. Any feedback would be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Anthony

  • Steven says:

    I have taken audit using Roger’s and passed. I found the lectures helpful on some of the more boring topics. On the additional audits (Governmental etc.) it was a little too short, but I passed, so no complaining.
    For FAR I started with Roger and found it to be too unorganized (Besides that, in the ifrs videos even the lecturer doesn’t understand what he is saying). I wanted a course that would neatly package the concepts, the journal entries etc.. I purchase Bisk and I am quite pleased. I think the under-prepared rap that it gets, comes from people understanding that the videos will teach it all. However that is not the case. The textbook teaches it all and the videos are there to work through the difficult concepts.

  • HITESH TILOKANI says:

    Stephanie, i so desperately need ur help and its very urgent coz i realy need to make a choice as early as possible.. cn u email me ur phone no so dt i can give u a call at the tym of ur convenience. ur help would be appreciated.. please get me back to me as early as possible..

  • Meoshi says:

    Hi Stephanie:

    Thank you so much; I found the site very informative. I came across the Yaeger review some time ago and was very much interested. However, I live in The Bahamas and no one here had heard of it. Nonetheless, I thought I had made up my mind this morning after reading your recommendations. So, I went on Yaeger’s site and looked at the products but discovered that they are using Wiley’s textbooks. This contradicts your recommendation not to purchase these texts because they are overwhelming. I’d appreciate if you would kindly give me your position on my concern. Thanks.

  • Amy Lee says:

    After taking the Becker CPA review course some 18 years ago and didn’t pass. I now wanted to try Yaeger. I’m thinking of purchasing the 4-part Home Study course and was wondering if I also need to purchase the Webcast CRAM course. I’m trying to save some money here because I lost my job. Your insight would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Rama says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I completed 3 yr Bachelor of Commerce Degree and 2 years of MBA Finance from a reputed university in India. I have 2 yrs work experience in Finance company in India. Currently I am in US on H4 visa. I am planning to sit for CPA exam. I am staying in Maryland, am I eligible in Maryland state or should I have to go to any other state that qualifies me for the exam?

    It would be great help if you can provide me some details about the CPA exam and opportunities in US after I complete the exam.

  • Peter Pan says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am on a budget, jobless, and want to utilize the Becker review courses 2009 edition. I am totally aware that the examination has changed in 2011. Are these textbooks (2009 edition) no longer useful? Moreover, If I could indeed use these textbooks to prepare for the exam, what other learning materials/tools could I purchase to supplement my form of attack? In advance, thanks for your help and God Bless!

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Peter Pan,
    In fact, I would say the Becker 2009 will still be useful but then there will be some sections that won’t be covered, especially on IFRS (international financial reporting) which is supposed to pop up everywhere.

    Maybe what you can do is to get a Wiley software CD — just work your way through these new topics and see if you can get yourself more covered.

    All the best to you! Stephanie

  • Inderjyot Singh says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    If you have finished the due digilence on CPA Passmaster , please do let me know if they are genuine or not.
    Thanks….InderJyot

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Inderjyot,
    You can get my writeup on CPA Passmaster here.

    Cheers,
    Stephanie

  • Yiquan says:

    I’ve started learning with Yaeger homestudy for several modules, the presentation of Cynthia is really good, I can learn something after her lectures.

    However, the customer service is terrible, a staff called Bonni Yaeger who has bad temper, be careful.

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Yiquan,
    Thanks a lot for the comment. I especially appreciate “negative” comments because this is something I need to alert readers if this is indeed the case. So maybe that’s what Rode meant (comment on Dec 15)… I will put a note on Yaeger’s page.

    Hi Steven,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with Roger. I especially like the way you provide the details so it is easier for us to visualize what’s good and what’s not. And I like your point on how textbook teaches many things but the video help to explain difficult concepts.

    Stephanie

  • Blake says:

    Stephanie, I plan on sitting for the FAR section within the next 6 months. So far I only have Bisk 2009-2010 book so I know I need some updated material. I have a newborn at home and I spend some time in my car. I need to make the most of my time with some type of audio material. What would you recommend? I was thinking about just getting Gleim 2011 book, MCQ cd, and audio cds. On the other hand, I could watch Yaegar dvd while I’m spending time with the baby. I find it difficult to get into my book while on baby duty.

  • Bonni Yaeger says:

    This comment was forwarded to me, so I will respond.

    If you can watch the DVD’s, that would help. As for audios’s, we are working on them. The FAR should be done by the end of the month. Listening to them is great, but we do not consider these as a “stand alone” CPA Review course. They work best when used in conjunction with our comprehensive HomeStudy course.

    Check out our demos, (HomeStudy, CRAM and audio) and see what will work best for you.

    Bonni Yaeger @ Team Yaeger

  • Chris says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have passed 3 sections of the exam within 6 months at the first time with grades around 90. But I’m struggling withe the AUD section (don’t want to mention I worked as an auditor the last 7 years in Europe and now in the US). I have just failed for a second time with the exact same result of 73. So far I have only used the Wiley books and the Wiley test bank and I have to say, I don’t feel enough prepared with this solution for AUD. Especially the opinion part and responsibilities of a CPA are somewhat short in my opinion. Reading on your excellent website I’m thinking about the Gleim practice test since I’m already so close to pass the AUD section and I don’t want to rob a bank. However I’m feeling I have some deficits in AUD and only additional questions might not fix the problem. The Gleim solution also includes a textbook. How good is this textbook? I definitely don’t want to have another review book like Wiley and I’m looking for some teaching. Based on my experience I’m better studying with an online-course or video. Studying just from a book is not my best approach.

    Thank you
    Chris

  • wendy says:

    Hi Stephanie:

    I passed the BEC and REG sections. I used to have the Becker book for review. Now I used the Bisk books which I found is too complicated and mixed as you said. I tried the Wiley online bank these periods and found it is not enough for me. My audit section failed several times and each time the simulation is weak. I don’t know which software or other materials can strenghthen my weakness. Otherwise is there any other alternatives for the Wiley on line software? By the way, If I have some individual questions, where I seek for the help? I appreciate for your early reply as I am ready to sit for the April or May exam for other two parts.

    Thank you
    Wendy

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Chris,
    On Gleim’s text book, I haven’t looked at the latest version but if I assume the writing style stays the same, it would be very much the same as Wiley (even more… intense). If you realize that the original Wiley books were written by Dr. Gleim, you will know why.

    Maybe Yaeger or CPAexcel will help? Yaeger explains Wiley’s MC in video, and CPAexcel has bite size videos which is great for busy candidates.

    Hi Wendy,
    Sorry I am a bit late on the reply – hope it still helps. Let me see… typically if you have individual questions I would recommend Yaeger because they have this hotline that you can call. Otherwise, if you take Becker live classes there is an instructor too, but the quality of their instructors vary greatly.

    If you would like to have more MC exercise for AUD then maybe a gleim CD for AUD will be an affordable choice.

    By the way, are you reworking on the MC questions that you did wrong? If you allocate time to work on the problems until you get them right every time, you probably will pass without getting additional help.

    Hope these suggestions won’t confuse you further — and best of luck to the upcoming exam!

    Stephanie

  • Rohan says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am planning to take Financial and Audit in August using the Becker CPA Review(already began my preparations) but reading the reviews and doing some research i get the feeling that Yaeger is a much better option but the thing is i dont think i have enough time to get yaeger and start from scratch… I know that you think Yaeger is alot better but still do you think if i put in the effort using becker i would have good enough chance of passing the exam??

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Rohan,
    Sure just stick with Becker — in fact Becker is pretty good if you don’t mind the price!
    Many candidates pass by taking Becker (and in fact, all the CPa review courses featured here). All of them are good — so no worries you will pass if you study hard and with the right strategy.

    Cheers
    Stephanie

  • Marie says:

    Any recommendation if you’re a Canadian CA studying for the equivalency exam?

  • Mike says:

    Hello I have a quick question. I’m only 18 and I’m just starting my freshman year as an accounting major and I was wondering should I start studying for the CPA exam now with the 2011 material? even though I wont be taking the test for at least 5 years as I still have to get my bachelors degree and masters in accounting. So is it a good idea to start studying now?

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Marie,
    Are you talking about IQEX? Can try CPAexcel’s course. I don’t know whether it’s good but for CPA exam review at least, CPAexcel is great. Please check out here

    Hi Dil,
    I would say at least work on the MCs in the video and make sure you get them right for the right reason. Then, move on to the rest of the Wiley MCs. Normally, the more MCs you tackle, the more “covered” you are. Ideally get all of them done; if not possible, work on the topics that are heavily tested.

    hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Dil says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Am using the yeager’s homestudy. For the Auditing & attestation section, Is it sufficient to follow the video and work out the MCQ’s /Simulations ? Else, Do i have to study
    the Wiley guide as well. If so, what is the level of detail i should get in.

    thanks in advance for your response

  • Simon says:

    Oh wow. I wished I had this when I wrote my exams in 2007 and 2008. I’ve used Becker and Gleim btw.

  • Hassan Ragab says:

    Thanks for the great “post”.

    Looking forward to hearing from you about the best study techniques.

  • Tyowua Iyorbo says:

    I am interested in taking the full cpa review course but can’t afford to pay all at once. Can I make partial payments or can I finance the program?

  • Tyowua Iyorbo says:

    Can I finance the cpa review by Yaeger?

  • Rajesh Gopal says:

    I was going thorough your site and found quite informative. Just to brief you, I have done BCOM from India and Post Graduation Diploma in Business Mgmt (specializing in Finance Management) from India. I am settled in Canada and have been corresponding with Leslie @ CPA excel. In your opinion who would you rate the best for classes as well as study material / online taking into consideration the price.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Rajesh, in my opinion CPAexcel, Yaeger and Gleim are on my recommended list. They all have a good balance of quality and price. They teach quite differently so the selection should largely be based on your own learning style.

      Hope it helps? If you tell me more of your learning style I can help narrow it down for you. Stephanie

  • Conrad says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Very valuable information. Please suggest which one to eliminate if I select between Becker and Yeager? I believe in understanding the concepts rather than memorizing and struggling at the test. I would like to use DVD’s, Test Banks and the text books. Appreciate your help.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Conrad, if you are more into understanding the concepts, I think Yaeger is better. They go through the multiple questions and tell you how to get to the answers, the tricks etc. I like to learn this way rather than hours of concept. Yaeger comes with Wiley’s books and test banks.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  • Thomas says:

    Thank you for your website it was very helpful. Next year I will have a degree in business management from London. Before I sit the CPA or take a review course, I want to take a full time university course that will lead me to the CPA, can you tell me what such a course would be called and which universities do them.

    Thank you

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hello Thomas, that’s good planning! I don’t really have a university recommendation in mind, because there are so many to choose from. Here is an article that helps you analyze what’s best in your situation.

      I would also say that you can first decide whether you want to go for quality or just price (i.e. don’t care much about the course itself, just want to accumulate the hours).

      Cheers, Stephanie

  • Yirelis says:

    What do you think about Black CPA Review?

  • Amei says:

    I have been using Becker. After the test, I felt like Becker review goes over a many little details (on lecture) and the MCQ is much complex than in the test. It ends up that I spent too much time on all the difficult questions when I studied and I forgot the simple questions which I had in the real test.
    I felt like I already study really hard but I still can’t pass (very discourage and not giving up). I need another material to help me to pass the tests. With my working hour and family, I need something can go to the point and I still remember the previous chapter when I move to the next chapter. I’m thinking Gleim or CPAExcel. In your opinion, which one is better for my need? Do you have any other suggestion. Thank you so much.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Amei, I hear you… sounds like you do know the concept, so why don’t you work on the practice questions? Gleim is a good one which covers both basic and tricky, out of the blue questions.

      If you want the more “mainstream” sort of questions then Wiley is a good choice.

      CPAexcel is good (and you get Wiley’s full test bank if you get it before Sep 30, 2013)… but I would think it will bore you to tears to go through the review again? Just my 2 cents. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • anil sharma says:

    I have read all ten cpa exam courses detail ,this is very interested but selection would be difficult because please tell me if i can devote everyday 5to 6 hours everyday for feb.2014 ,whether cpa excel is better or yaeger cpa is good or any other course is best

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Anil glad you find the info helpful. I think both works if you can dedicate quite a bit of hours every day, so I would pick based on your own learning style. Click on both sites and check out the demo! Both are running discounts/freebie with purchase. Cheers, Stephanie

  • Tuyen Le says:

    Now I see that CPA Review for Free is partner with Fast Forward Academy. The cost is <$900.00 for full course. What do you think? Is it a good one compare to Gleim's review course? Thanks!

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hello Tuyen, I have yet to review their products, but for now, I am happy to stick with Gleim. Gleim is more affordable among the providers but price isn’t the only factor for Gleim to get into my recommended list.

  • abbbas says:

    Dear stephani ,
    I am a strong aspirant of
    cpa. My last qualification is m.com from
    a recognized university in india

    I am not holding a b.com. In this situation
    is it posssible for me to get 120 credential
    with my m.com to sit in new hamph shire.
    Please advice me by a return mail.
    Abbas.

  • Ali Rida Mortada says:

    Thanks, very helpful

  • Laura says:

    Also as an update… I noticed that CPAexcel now allows you to choose between textbooks and ebooks 🙂

  • Anahit says:

    Stephani, thank you for detail information about Lamber’s CPA review courses, look like you really recommend the AUD part of CPA exam. I was wondering how did you manage to find out about these 10 CPA review courses, Did you buy material and really study it or you reviewed the material to write this review.
    thank you
    Anahit

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Anahit,
      I started with going through the CPA exam myself, and after I passed, I had friends and colleagues who showed me what they got so I had a general feel of what they offered.

      Recently though, after this site takes off, I got free access to these courses directly from the providers. That’s why I can tell you my thoughts in specific areas and with good enough details. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Samantha Jones says:

    Hi Stephanie
    I am very interested in getting my CPA. I am born and educated in Britain – BSc – Math/Statistics. I have lived in the US as a resident green card holder for 8 years but have never worked in Accounting. I am currently a real estate agent in Atlanta, GA. What is my best option here ? I would like to take it in a different state as according to your info here, there are easier ones to acquire it in than GA! I can study online very well.

  • Mohamed says:

    Hi,

    I noticed that you have been pushing Gleim as a good choice, but a cousin of mine from his experience says it wasn’t the best choice for him. I considered Becker but its quit expensive. So now I think I’m going for CPAexcel. This is my first time though to start studying for CPA. I am a Bachelor in accounting graduate I took one subject about taxes at university. I think I am more in to studying from books. although I wouldn’t mind studying some from an application on a laptop or some presentations. What do you think? I’m seeking some advice in here

  • Marivic says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Just would like to seek your opinion on what cpa review course will be most effective for me considering I’ve graduated from college 30 years ago in a foreign country. I would definitely need to refresh my accounting knowledge considerably. I’ve already acquired my CPA license in my previous country which has no reciprocity agreement here. Any suggestions, pls?

  • amit dave says:

    i want to know my pre qualification for CPA and like to send you my transcript.

    I have done MBA from India.

    Appreciate if you can provide your email address to send you transcript

    i WANT TO KNOW WHICH STATE ID GOOD FOR ME

    thanks
    AMIT DAVE

  • elnaz says:

    Hi Dear Stephani,

    I just came up to this website and find very useful information about CPA reviews!!
    Actually i’m accountant new to this country, it’s been 6 months that i’m looking for a review package that can help me in the best way to beat the CPA exam!i have a very limited budget! i’m very slow in studying! i’m working 9 hours a day.
    Could you plz tell me what is the best review for me?
    Have you ever heard any thing about anotherninja71?
    http://www.another71.com

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi elnaz, nice to hear from you. Yes Jeff runs another71.com. It’s a great CPA exam community there as well. His site is more for US candidates vs my site. He is selling his Ninja CPA practice questions which I believe is the same database as Exammatrix.

      As to which course is best for you, it depends on your budget, educational background learning style. The ones that I personally recommend are listed at the top of the page, each with the pricing information. Everyone wants to get the best deal, but you have to make sure that you are fine with the studying style. Otherwise, a retake will end up to be more expensive. Regards, Stephanie

      • elnaz says:

        Thank you so much Stephani,
        Actually i didn’t have any idea about US accounting till i came here and start working for an accounting firm!
        Now It’s 4 months that i start working there and learn the rules and new things.
        As i told you i’m very slow in studyng and if i want to use heavy books i should take each exam after 5 6 months.
        I need something that is understanable and summerize!
        Could you please help me in this matter?

        • Stephanie Ng says:

          H Elnaz, I see, that’s good to know! I honestly think all the books are quite hard to comprehend… but the best, in my opinion, is still Wiley’s book.

          If you are okay with online review courses, then I think CPAexcel will likely work for you, since it fits your criteria of “understandable and summarize”. You can sign up for the 14-day trial and see if you like it first: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpaexcelfreetrial

          Hope you like it! Stephanie

  • David says:

    I am working and want to start studying for the CPA exam. I was going to get Roger CPA but after watching the sample videos, this guy is interesting but talks very fast. I have to rewind over and over to catch what he saids sometimes. I was thinking about getting Becker CPA review because I heard that they got test writers for the CPA exam working for them. So they get the test bank made up very similar to the actual CPA exam. I don’t know if this is true but this is what the Becker CPA rep told me at my school.

    Now after your analysis of the different options I am thinking about the CPA excel but I don’t have much info about them.

    What do you think would be the best for me?

    Thanks

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi David, it’s good that you have doing research and which course is best suited for you. Your comment is one of the most common on Roger, and I agree with you. On Becker, honestly I am not too sure how useful that is because (1) there are lots of test writers, (2) many review courses hire them anyway (it’s not that hard to find these people to work for them), and (3) Becker’s practice questions are good but I find that they are too similar to the lecture notes, as in you may have a false sense of comfort that you have prepared so well and then when the actual exam has something off track, you really get off-guard. Wiley and Gleim may have questions that are slightly more diversified and can train you to think on your feet (it’s more painful to go through them, esp Gleim, but that’s the purpose).

      Just my two cents 🙂 For CPAexcel, I encourage you to sign up for their 14-day trial and see if you like it. It is the best way to know whether it works for you. If you have further questions please let me know. Cheers, Stephanie

  • manny says:

    I was wondering what CPA Review course would you recommend for me.
    1) I have a “reading” learning disability.
    2) I need structure
    3) When in my undergrad and grad I had a hard time focusing on the instructors in class and do not retain a lot.
    4) I do better in a smaller setting, tutors and one on one.
    5) I have to read things multiple times before I understand it.

    Thanks Manny

  • John Trussel says:

    Have you evaluated Bisk CPA Exam Review. It is a company that has been around a long time. They were recently acquired by Thompson-Reuters. Thanks.

  • Nuparth says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks you so much for the detailed guidance via your descriptive website.

    I am an Auditor working in Big 4. I gave BEC n AUD attempt in Oct last year and scored in late sixty’s. And now(this October) I scored early seventies. Wanted to know where am I lacking.

    I purchased the Beckers material last year and have gone through the entire material almost 7-8 times including the 1400 or so MCQs on the website. I also did questions from CPA review for free course content.

    I think my weak point is the simulations. So, I need your guidance about how should I proceed ahead like when should I give my next attempt and what course material should I consider(something like CPA review for free)

    Waiting for your response and direction.

  • Chat says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you so much for creating this great tool for CPA review seekers. I really got a lot of information from this. You did all the research for me and bless you heart for sharing it with us. I definitely will get back with you.

    Sincerely,
    Chat

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Chat, thanks so much for your kind words. I do spend a lot of time going through the text books, practice questions and videos (and thanks for the generosity of most providers who give me free access). Glad you find it helpful!

  • Shaun says:

    Stephanie,

    How can Becker have double the pass rate when the others have a pass rate of over 80%?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Shaun, Becker compares their students to those who didn’t take Becker. Among these non-Becker candidates, I think some of them did’t take any courses, so the pass rate of the non-Becker candidates is probably closer to 40-ish vs 80%.

      Also, please note that Becker did their studies years back. I forgot the exact year, but back in 2005 the pass rate was in the low 40s.

      Honestly, I think Becker’s pass rate is lower than mid 80s otherwise they don’t need to present it in such an indirect way…

  • elnaz says:

    Hi Stephani.
    How are you today? I realy want to thank you for this CPA guide.
    I have a question! Now i am in a situation that i can not sit for the CPA exam toll next July Or August i’m not so sure about the exact date! I just can buy one part of CPAexcel review(if i want to buy CPAexcel review) and i decided to buy FAR! I need your help to guide me what is the best way for me to be prepared for this exam in this 9 months! what is the best way for me to study?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Elnaz, back then I had a similar issue, so I decided to study for 6-7 months straight and then took 4 parts in one go. It was pretty risky but I did it 🙂

      I don’t think it is the best way for most people but you can try prepare several parts together in these 9 months, see how prepared you are, and decide how many parts you want to take in July/August.

      • Elnaz says:

        But i have financial problem and with these price of reviews like roger or cpa excel i can afford just one part at this time!
        Could you help me which way is the best way for me?

        • Stephanie Ng says:

          Hi Elnaz, certainly you can get one part first, it’s only that you may not be qualified for bundled discount. There are often discounts at the end of the year so you might want to watch out for it.
          For example, Yaeger is currently running their course at 50% off (still on now on Nov 22): https://ipassthecpaexam.com/yaeger2

          • elnaz says:

            That’s really great job Stephanie..
            How could handle all 4 part studying in one go?
            Could you tell me how you plan, I mean you study one part each day or week or no you study one or more part in one day or week?
            What review did you use?
            i decide to study with FAR what’s your idea?

            thank you so much for all your patience and help.

          • Stephanie Ng says:

            Hi Elnaz,
            The fear of retaking and restudying the materials is enough to drive me work hard and pass the exams 🙂
            My working hours were long back then, usually back home around 8pm. So I could only study in the weekends. I did study for pretty much the whole day on Saturdays and Sundays.
            In terms of which review course to use, I took Becker live classes but I was so fed up with it that I stopped attending the classes and missed at least 1 month of the class. I switched to self-study with the help of Wiley books.

            Back then there were no other review courses in my area (and online courses weren’t available). If I were to choose again in 2014, I would choose either CPAexcel, Gleim or Yaeger. Roger is pretty good too.

  • augustine sm says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for the detailed information about various courses. I live in MA for the last 3 years on a dependent visa. I don’t have any accounting educational background; I have a bachelor degree(3 yrs) in Maths and a Masters in computer application (3 yrs) from my home country. I also don’t have any work experience in Accounting field. I know CPA is a difficult one to crack, but I have full confidence on my learning capability. I am yet to send my transcripts for evaluation. So as of this moment, I do’t know how many credits I have, and I am not sure what extra courses should I take before applying for CPA. So, can you please shed some light on that. Also, how difficult it is for a person with no accounting background to pass CPA. Yes, I was good in studies, but the last time I did any serious study was 13-14 years ago!!

    TIA.
    Sincerely,
    Augustine SM

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Augustine, thanks for your note. As a math major I think you will find accounting relatively straightforward (it’s a set of rules). But in order to get qualified for the exam, I am afraid you need to have a minimum number of accounting courses as well as a minimum 4-year bachelor degree. So for you this is more of a bottle neck because I don’t know if you are willing to take extra course for that. In fact, it would be most efficient to get a master’s degree in accounting to fulfill both the degree and minimum accounting requirements. Here is more info on the educational requirements for your reference: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-educational-requirements/

  • Paulo says:

    Hi Stephanie, first thank you for such work dedicated.

    I am a new entrant here, I am considering to take Gleim Self Study.

    My only question, what is Final Review / Cram Course that they do not have? is that crucial for being succeded on the exam?

    Thanks again,

    Paulo

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Paulo, thanks for your note! You are right that Gleim doesn’t have final review. It is basically a summary of all the topics covered, some with highlights in the heavily tested topics.

      Gleim does have a mock exam (they call it exam rehearsal) and I think it’s good enough. I personally don’t think final review is a must because I recommend spending the last week or so going through the practice questions one has done wrong previously, rather than reading the entire materials (be it the full or cram course) again. Focus on your weaker areas is the best approach in my own opinion. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Yuna says:

    Hi Stephanie!
    I’d like to know about some materials in Another 71 site. May you talk to me for it?
    I’m thinkg between Wiley CPAexcel and another 71. Wiley CPAexcel looks great systematically and Another 71 also looks good. If I choose another 71, is it enoguh for exam preparation?
    I need your advice and recommend.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Yuna, I haven’t got time to review A71 thoroughly but I like how Jeff summarizes the key points in a precise way. The Ninja notes are great as notes, but it isn’t apple-to-apple when compared to Wiley CPAexcel which is a complete review system. It is pretty obvious based on the price difference. From what I understand most candidates who have Ninja notes use them as supplement rather than the only review materials. Hope it helps! Stephanie

      • Kedar Kokate says:

        Hi Stephanie,

        Thanks for reply. Do let me know about Gleim Publications discount offer.

        Thanks in advance.

        Thanks & best Regards,
        Kedar Kokate

  • Tony says:

    Hi Stephani,

    It looks like the CPAExcel coupon does not work now. Could you verify it? Thanks!

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Oh yes you are right. I’ll need to check with CPAexcel and see if they have an updated code. Thanks for reminding me! Stephanie

  • Ning says:

    Hi Stephanie,Thanks for doing these. I have 2006 Yaeger FAR material, is it still usable if I supplement it with other updated test materials. I used it to pass FARE, but did not have enough time to pursue the whole CPA thing back then. Which one would I choose between Gleim and CPA excel if I want a safe margin to pass the test? Thanks in advance!

  • Ning says:

    In other words, do i have to repurchase Yaeger new material again?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Ning, 2006 is almost 9 years ago. You definitely need to get an updated version 🙂
      There has been one major change in 2011 and a few smaller changes in various exam sections in 2012-4.

      Gleim and CPAexcel are both good, but they teach in different styles. So it boils down to which style you like. Both of them have free trials — you might want to sign up for both of them, click around, listen to some videos and decide. Best of luck!

  • Shaun says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I think I’m going with Gleim, however I don’t see the flashcards when I go to buy with your coupon. On their website it says they’re coming soon but you have a check mark on your review. Can you please advise? Thank you.

  • Brian says:

    I would like a review class that will go over the most important materials instead of just going over the MCs, since my first accounting class was many years ago. Which onever would you recommend?

    Thanks Brian

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Brian,
      Actually most review courses spend most of the time on concepts. In CPAexcel, the lectures are grouped under “most-read” while the part on going through MCs are “optional”. Gleim also goes through the MC questions in selected study unit and only at the end of the lectures.

      Yaeger covers more MCs within the lectures so you might not want to pick that. Becker goes through examples throughout the lecture as well (but not too many). Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Kedar Kokate says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am Kedar Kokate from India. I wish to give CPA exams. I have already evaluated my transcripts from NASBA. I am B.Com. and a Chartered Accountant. NASBA has given me total credits of 160.25 semester hours and hence I qualify to give exams from Oregon State. I confirmed from Oregon Board also and they say that I qualify to give exams as far as educational requirements are concerned. Meanwhile I want to ask whether I shall go ahead with Oregon Board?. My intension of doing CPA is only for career growth which will add international credentials to my name. I dont intend to practice. Do you suggest me taking up exams from Oregon Board. I wish to give them in Oct/Nov 15. Presently I am working as a Manager-Finance & Controlling in a German MNC.

    Thanks in advance.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.

    Best Regards,
    Kedar Kokate

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Kedar,
      Thanks for your note. for Oregon the experience requirement is quite standard. The point to watch out for is that the verifier of your experience needs to be qualified for at least 5 years. Please double check as I haven’t double checked with the latest rule for a few months.
      Here is the summary page: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/oregon-cpa-exam-requirements/

      These days the state board pretty much close the CPA certificate route so you’ll need to aim for the full license. Hope it helps!
      Regards
      Stephanie

  • Kedar Kokate says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I was trying to order Gleim Books and online access from your site because it gives us a 10% discount. Also at the initial order stage it shows the discounted price of USD 1169 on Gleim site. But while one proceeds by updating address and come to a page of payment it shows us the original price of USD 1299 and not USD 1169. I wanted to know why it is so? They are not adding the shipping cost to USD 1169. I am taking the delivery in USA, Chicago. Hence within USA its free delivery cost. But when I go to payment option it asks me to pay USD 1299. Does it mean that the offer of 10% discount is not valid anymore?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Thanks & best Regards,
    Kedar Kokate

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Kedar,
      Should still be valid. Let me check with Gleim first and get back to you. Cheers, Stephanie

      • Kedar Kokate says:

        Hi stephanie,

        Thanks for your reply. I wanted to know which test bank preparation is good if I am not buying full review course of Gleim or Wiley?

        I want to practice as many questions as possible. Hence need your advice to select the test bank. Also does Gleim or wiley offer any discount on test bank if we order from your site?

        Thanks in advance.

        Thanks & best Regadrs,
        Kedar Kokate

        • Stephanie Ng says:

          Hi Kedar, sure. For Gleim, I am not a reseller and the discount I got for readers only applies to the full CPA review system. For Wiley, I am a reseller which means I have some discretion on price. Please find the discounted testbank here:
          https://ipassthecpaexam.com/wiley-cpa-review/

          It’s the same as the Wiley test bank (online version) sold anywhere. Customer service also provided by Wiley but you can always ask me for help if you need to speed things up.

    • Melissa Leonard says:

      Hi Kedar,

      My name is Melissa Leonard and I work for Gleim. The link should be valid and working. I recommend to clear your cookies and/or cache and then try the link again. Or, you can always reach me at 800.874.5346 and ask for Melissa Leonard or email me at melissa.leonard@gleim.com.

      Thank you,
      Melissa

  • José says:

    Hello Stephanie,

    First of all, thanks for this detailed review. I have a couple of questions regarding my situation and would like for you to help me if that’s possible.

    1. I haven’t worked in accounting so I don’t have much hands on experience in the field, I have worked as a Collection Rep. However I have a bachelors degree (completed in 2010) in Accounting (136 credit hours earned) and an MBA (completed in 2014) in Marketing (42 credit hours earned). My question is if my MBA credit hours would be taken into consideration on the 150 credit hours?

    2. I live on the US Territory of Puerto Rico and over here the only two CPA reviews that offer in person classes are Beckers and Lambers. Both of them cost basically the same over here so I guess that it basically goes down to content. Which one do you recommend?

    3. I honestly didn’t have any knowledge of the other reviews besides the two mentioned in my previous question. Two CPA reviews that I see you mention a lot on the comments are Yaeger and Gleim. Since I have read here that the in person classes aren’t a big asset, which one of those two or another do you recommend? Should I take advantage of the price offer Yaeger has at $997.00?

    Thanks in advance for your help!! 🙂

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Jose,
      Thanks for your note. Yes I am quite sure your MBA can be counted. If not sure, you can always apply first and so you know you are definitely qualified. The NTS (i.e. admission ticket) gives you 6 months to schedule for the exam.

      On the review courses, many candidates take online self-study courses these days, because the exam itself is 100% computerized anyway and why not practicing in a simulated testing environment at the comfort of your home. You are right I personally like Gleim and Yaeger (as well as CPAexcel), but the most important thing for you is to understand your own needs based on your learning style, background and budget.

      Yaeger generally explains well so it will help refresh your accounting knowledge. I am not sure if the $997 offer includes wiley test bank or their own beta test prep software. I do know and thorough reviewed Wiley’s (which I like a lot) but haven’t looked into Yaeger test prep yet. So I can’t comment on that particular part. You can click on the Yaeger link below and take a closer look.

      Yaeger doesn’t have free trials like the others (CPAexcel and Gleim have free trials), so please at least check out the demos on their website before buying. All the best!

      https://ipassthecpaexam.com/yaeger-cpa/

      Cheers, Stephanie

  • kambing guling di bandung says:

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    check things out. I like what I see so now i am following
    you. Look forward to checking out your web page yet again.

  • Ayesha Ashfaq says:

    hello Stephanie

    I was just reviewing CPA review courses these days. I just wanted to confirm one thing. I shall be glad if you or any other member of the group has the information on following. The basic difference between the Gold and Platinum two courses is the following three items.
    Wiley Platinum CPA Review Course:
    Online Test Bank
    Flash Cards (print)
    Focus Notes (print or eBook)
    I have read some where that the flash cards and focus notes are also included in Gold package but only in electronic form i-e prints are not available.
    I wanted to confirm whether the Online test bank is also included in Gold package in electronic form.

  • Mo says:

    I was wondering what CPA Review course would you recommend for me.

    1) I have a high level of reading learning disability “dyslexia”.
    2) I have to read things multiple times before I understand it.
    3) I need 25 % more extra time in any exam. if the exam is essay writing I need some one write for me or special soft wear cause my hand writing is difficult to
    read especially in time concern. Does the CPA exam give extra time for these kind of people has medical report?
    4) I am deep level learner and I spend extra time for that and I have MSc degree and I graduated couple of years ago.
    5) I have to read things multiple times before I understand it.

    My strategy for attempt this preparation is to spend 6 month “5 hrs. daily studying” to observe and refresh the accounting concept and then go for practise the exam. So non-limit access to review is important to me and the review should contain most of accounting concept since I graduate couple a year ago from UK.
    I read all the review but honestly I am not sure. I am thinking to have Gleim review in the beginning and Wiley CPA exam review test-bank after 6 month. what do you think about it please advice me. If it possible send me on my email. many thanks for your help and cooperation.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Mo, first of all I admire your determination to take on this challenge for the CPA exam. Understanding you prefer to communicate in email so I will make this brief, and we can have all the followups in email (given the large volume it takes me much longer to respond over there though)

      On the essay, it only shows up in one out of the four exam parts, and everything is typed on the computer. Would that actually help?

      On whether the examiner will allow special arrangement of your situation, please contact them directly because they are the one to make a decision. I think you can try contact NAsBa first and see if they have the response. It generally takes them at least a few days to get back to you.

      On which review materials is most suitable, it’s hard for me to tell but since you mention deep learning my gut feeling is that you can try gleim. They have a free trial with no time limit (but limit your access to the first module) so you can take the time to check out all features. Their team is also very customer friendly and they are genuinely nice people from my many years of contact with them. Hope it helps! You can reach me at stephanie[@]ipassthecpaexam.com

  • Ana Nabong says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for posting your detailed analysis and comparison of the different CPA review courses available out there.

    But I need your expert advice on choosing the review course that best suit my situation. I am an international candidate who recently migrated here in California with a full time job . I graduated 20 years ago with a BS Accountancy degree but haven’t practiced my degree since I went into business right after college so that means I vaguely remember my accounting concepts. My CPA friends here say that Becker is the best but upon reading your reviews I am now having doubts about Becker.

    I hope to hear from you very soon as I am planning to start my review this month. I don’t want to jeopardize my chances of making it big here by making the wrong decisions.

    Thank you so much in advance for everything! God bless!

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Ana, I suggest you take a look into Gleim Review system. They have lots of info (probably more than you need) so at least you have enough content to reference to, but at the same time, if you find out that you are familiar with some of the topics, you can skip the reading materials of that particular topic. The system will guide you along the way. They also have the largest database of test prep software which I find very helpful. And the best thing is that you can sign up for their free trial — it’s full access without time limit (but limited to the first study unit). Pretty generous offer for free trials in my opinion. Hope it helps!

      Can sign up free trial at the bottom of this page: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/gleim-cpa-review/

      Regards, Stephanie

  • Kim says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Awesome site. I already have CPA Excel, purchased that 2 years ago, but still did not have chance to study because of some family issues. First my father passed way, then last year my daughter was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and I supposed to be with her in the hospital every three weeks. I and whole my family were in shock because of her. Now after 14 times in hospital treatments she is better and I tried to back on the CPA track again. However, before that I purchased the CPA Excel program, which is until pass. At that time i started to study, but after this happened I do not remember anything. Now, I tried to motivate my self and start again. The question is together with CPA Excel am I need any other supplement, for example Gleim, because they have a lot of multiple choice questions? Now, I planning to go with FAR first. Also, before when I was learning, I noticed that I forgot everything so fast. For example, I studied the first lesson, did the MCQ and when I went to the 10th question, I did not remember anything from the first one. In that regards, I would like your opinion. I was in school 7 years ago, forgot a lot of things and do not understand some of the concepts, because of that I was thinking Yaeger, they have old school explanations. All of these courses are expensive, and that is why I am still thinking which of these courses will be the best for me as a additional supplement or maybe just go with Wiley books. I still hesitate with that. I would appreciate your tips and advices about that.

    Thank you in advance,
    Kim

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Kim, the last 2 years must be quite difficult, but I am so glad you are back on track and that your family is doing better!

      On the review courses, since you have CPAexcel, why don’t you give it a try again and see how you do first? As you said, the courses are expensive. Let’s see how you do in the practice questions and if you think you need supplement, you can always get it then. Gleim is a good choice as their questions are quite different.

      I would forget everything if I were you (2 years + difficult time!) so don’t worry let’s start all over. 7 years after graduation is not a problem at all. I recently chatted with a reader, who will take 4 parts together this coming May, and he’s 70!!

      If you need any motivation, just drop a note 🙂 You can do it! Stephanie

  • Abigail says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you knew of any live cram courses in the Orlando area? A friend of mine told me that back in the day they were able to go to a 12 hour cram course, just wondering if that’s still around. Thanks!

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Abigail,
      Maybe it is easier to narrow down your choice of review course providers, then call them up and see if there are live cram classes.

      Many candidates nowadays prefer online courses include the cram ones. Even the respected NIU CPA review course (in Illinois) will close its doors this September.

  • Thresa says:

    Hey Stephanie,

    I already have a set of Becker material for all 4 courses. But I was thinking of purchasing Wiley’s too. You think it’s a good idea to study with 2 sets of material?

    I’m planning to take up the exam around the first week of January.

    Thanks,
    Tez 🙂

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Thresa,
      Maybe you can try getting Wiley test bank only for supplement? I personally don’t think getting the full set is a good idea, since it could be quite confusing. You get plenty of time, no worries 🙂 Cheers, Stephanie

  • Christine Cuevas says:

    Dear Stephanie,

    I came accross with your website because I am searching about the best CPA Reviewer. I passed my CMA last year and now I am planning to add a CPA qualification as another credential for better career growth. I am contemplating between enrolling in a Review Institute offering Interactive classes using the wiley books which will costs me double compared to just buying any of the CPA review packages for self study which you have recommended above. I attended the orientation from this institute and as part of their service, they will guide me through the application and evaluation process of my credentials which they said I qualify for New Hampshire state board for I am a graduate of a 4- year course Degree in Bachelor of Science in Accountancy(Philippines). With these regard, I want to make sure if I am really qualify to take the exam first before anything else and what would you suggest: enrolling in a review institute or buy the full review course materials for my self study? Are these materials enough to study and pass the CPA exam?

    Thank you and all the best,

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Christine,
      Thanks for your note, and congratulations in passing the CMA exam! For New Hampshire, I honestly wouldn’t recommend New Hampshire these days. It used to be popular because it required the least number of accounting courses (which is not relevant to you anyway as a accounting major). After the change last July, it requires 2 years of relevant experience if you are a bachelor holder. It is reasonable but a slightly stricter requirement than many other states.

      If you don’t have a graduate degree, then all you need to do is to make up for the remaining required 30 credit hours in non-degree, ad hoc courses. Once you have the required 150 credit hours, it’s much easier to pick a state that works also for fulfilling your experience.

      Here is more info for your consideration. It may sound complicated, but you don’t need to rely on others to make a decision that may or may not work. There are source documents that you can refer to in the posts below. And you can always come back with more questions 🙂

      https://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-educational-requirements/
      https://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-experience-requirements/

      • Christine Cuevas says:

        Hi Stephanie,

        Thank you for your reply. I found out that Guam is offering some flexibility with regards to the Education and Experience requirements for International candidates like me as long as I don’t mind having an “inactive license” afterwards. Can you explain this? Do I need to get some Federal Taxation courses in order to sit for exam?
        I graduated with a Degree of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy(4yr course) and been working as an Accountant for 10+yrs. I am currently living in UAE.

        Thanks!

  • Illa says:

    Hello Stephanie,

    I am very glad that i came across our site. It is really helpful in getting to know about CPA exam. I have couple of questions.
    I have earned a Bachelor’s degree from University of Washington. And i applied for Montana state to sit for CPA exam in July and August 2015.
    However, they said that i am not eligible to sit for CPA because of Education deficiency of 1 quarter hour in accounting.
    Can i sit for CPA exam in July and August 2015 simultaneously while registered for accounting course to fulfill the education deficiency? I mean can i show Certificate of enrollment(COE) as proof of enrollment. Or should i complete the education requirement of 1 quarter hour first, to sit for CPA exam?

    In case, if they don’t accept the COE for Montana state, is it possible for them to transfer the application from Montana to Alaska state? I am thinking Alaska state because the education requirement can be fulfilled after taking the CPA exam.

    Thanks in advance,
    Illa.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Illa, thanks for your note! I believe Montana does want to you complete that particular course first if it says you are not eligible to sit for the exam without it.

      I am not sure how to transfer an application… because usually people transfer exam credit (after passing the exam but don’t want to register there). It is best to ask Alaska State Board on this directly. You will likely need to pay extra fees because I can’t see how one state is willing to hand over its revenue (registration fee) to the other states…

      I would instead get that 1 credit hour done and then take the exam. By the way, Montana does require 150 credit hours to get the certificate or license. Just want to make sure you know that. Regards, Stephanie

  • Curtis says:

    Hello Stephanie,

    Question for you. I have a BS in Business Admin. I worked my degree that I have plenty of accounting credits (36) so that I am eligible to sit for the CPA exam. However, I do not have the required credit hours to be certified (as the state I want to be certified in is PA which requires 150). Which of the following paths would be better for me to take: take the CPA exam and, hopefully, pass it, then go for more education (go for a MBA), or go for the MBA first and then take the exam?

    I was leaning toward the CPA first as I graduated from college in 2014, so many of the concepts are still fresh in my mind enough. However, I’ve heard that there is a limited amount of time between passing the exam and being certified that I don’t want to run up against if I took the exam first.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Curtis,
      Either way works fine in the logistics point of view, but your second point of taking the exam as a fresh graduate makes a lot of sense. So, sure, go for the exam first! By the way, if you are only lacking some random credit hours, you can take anything you like without going through a degree. I’ve readers taking intro to Gulf and some cooking classes at community colleges 🙂

  • manny says:

    I have a learning disability, and it is hard for me to retain a lot of information. I also get distracted very easily.I used Gleim and Yeager and scored very low on Quizzes and test.I feel like sometimes I’m going backwards any suggestion?I been study for FAR for more than 5 months and its not working need Help.

  • Pauline Operiano says:

    Hi, Stephanie!

    I would like to ask for you advice on what online Review School to enroll to for the CPA Review Exam? I’m not very familiar of these schools because I am from the Philippines, and I am also having my part-time job. Your response is highly appreciated 🙂

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Pauline, any of the ones highlighted in the table at the beginning of this post is good. Or you can tell me a bit about your preferred learning style and I can help you pick. Also, whether you are tight in budget or money isn’t a big consideration. Thanks! Stephanie

  • senere says:

    Hi, Stephaine
    Have you heard Nanja CPA review course? If so, how is it?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Senere, yes, it’s from my fellow blogger Jeff. From my understand with Jeff, while there are people who rely on the notes alone to pass the exam, most use them as supplements (that’s why they are called “notes”). Same for the audio. As for the practice questions, I have a short write up here: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/ninja-cpa-review/
      Regards,
      Stephanie

  • Priscilla says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for your detailed comments on those CPA reviews, but my case is kind of special, and I still don’t know which reviews is suit for me most. And would you please give me some advises.
    I was graduated from Cleveland State University major in Accounting in 2002. And then I back to Hong Kong to work till now. I am planning to take CPA exam and thinking to get the CPA certificate in Delaware State Board. Since I left my school life more than 10 years, I am wondering which review courses works best for myself as I lost most of my accounting knowledge. (My job is regarding Internal Audit).

    Regards,
    Priscilla

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Priscilla, thanks for your note. Understand some accounting may have gone rusty but it should come back to you once you start studying, no worries. I think most of the ones listed above would be suitable give your work still involves accounting/auditing. I encourage that you sign up for those with free trials (namely Gleim, CPAexcel and Roger) and see which one you prefer. It is a much better learning experience if you like the materials and the video instructors. Please let me know if it works; if not you can always come back to me. Best of luck!

      By the way, why Delaware?

      • Priscilla says:

        Hi Stephanie,

        Thanks for your advises and support.
        I choose Delaware just because I dun have 150 credit hours. In your opinion, which state is better?

        Cheers,
        Priscilla

        • Stephanie Ng says:

          Hi Priscilla,
          Delaware does need 150 credit hours to get the license. In fact all states require that as of this month, July 2015.
          The only one that *could* work is the inactive license from Guam. Regards, Stephanie

          • Priscilla says:

            Hi Stephanie,

            What do you mean for ‘inactive’?
            And actually, I just need the certificate, not for practicing, so am I suitable to do so?
            Thank you very much.

          • Stephanie Ng says:

            That’s their technical name of a license that is not active… I won’t say this is preferred as you cannot call yourself a CPA within Guam jurisdiction or call yourself a Guam CPA anywhere. But if it is a temporary solution, sure.

            The good thing is that all you need is to pass the exam and you can apply for this inactive license. You do need to pay the license fee and fulfill the CPE requirements thereafter.

            Regards, Stephanie

  • Priscilla says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    This is Priscilla again. If I wanna get the extra credits in Hong Kong, do you know any University or organization could let me to do so? If I really fulfil the 150 credits requirement, which state is good for me then.

    Thanks again for your information

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Priscilla,
      I know of this Tak Ming College but it’s not really a place for you to learn about accounting, but strictly to fulfill the requirements:
      I am not endorsing this school by any means but FYI: http://www.takming.edu/

      Maybe HKU Space, Open University etc may also work.

      The experience requirement is a potential bottleneck as well. You might want to take a look at this page before settling with a state board: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-experience-requirements/

      Hope it helps! Just let me know if I can helpful in anything else.

      • Priscilla says:

        Thank you Stephanie.
        I plan to take Guam one. They could get a license if I have 2 years of working experience even I dun have 150 credits.

        • Stephanie Ng says:

          Is it? I thought 150 hours is required for a license… anyway, as long as you double check the latest rule with Guam State Board rep 🙂 Regards, Stephanie

  • heidi says:

    is becker the only course that can be used to satisfy licensing education requirements? i believe taking all 4 parts of becker gives you 9 semester hrs of credit. at least according to their website. and i’m lacking 2 accounting hours………

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      No it is not Heidi, but it’s true that the major providers don’t really run such programs. Roger used to have it but not anymore. Alternatively, there are many ways for you to get it done if it’s just 2 accounting credit hours. UNA has a popular program designed for candidates to fulfill accounting requirements; and you can also do that in community colleges. I have this page that you might find useful:
      https://ipassthecpaexam.com/extra-credits-for-cpa-exam-requirements/

  • Jing Monta says:

    Hello,
    I just moved in New York last February. I recently passed my CPA examination last October 2014, but it was in the Philippines. I also want to take CPA examination here in New York for my better future. But the problem is, i don’t know where to start. I do not have friends here whom i can ask about this. I also heard that i need to get my credentials evaluated first if i am eligible to take the exam since i took my bachelors degree in the philippines. Can you help me? Thank you and i really appreciate it.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Jing, yes, you do. Please check out these two pages for details, and you are most welcome to ask me questions again:
      https://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-exam-application-process/
      https://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-application-for-international-students/

      Regards, Stephanie

      • Jing Monta says:

        thank you so much. i appreciate your help. really:)

        • Stephanie Ng says:

          Most welcome!

          • Jing Monta says:

            by the way, if incase that for example the result of the credentials evaluation is not favorable and i need to get the 30 credit hours for me to qualify for the 150 credit hours req, how long will it take for me to finish that 30 credit hours?

            i also get my bachelor’s degree of accounting with a 5-year curriculum program. do you have an idea if my credentials will qualify for the 150 hours req?

            and there is also a plan that my brother and i are moving to nevada in 2 yrs, what if i get my license here in new york, does that mean i also need to get license in nevada and start the process from the very start again? i mean the evaluation procedure as i am an international candidate.

            thank you so much for the help, i really appreciate your website:) Godbless!

          • Stephanie Ng says:

            Hello, 30 credit hours approximately equals one year of study. You can speed it up or slow it down depending on how many courses you want to take at the same time. With 5 year degree, you might be able to get 150 credit hours, so I suggest you get an evaluation report and know for sure.

            Both NY and Nevada are substantially equivalent state so it shouldn’t be a problem of transferring licenses, but you might want to check with Nevada in advance, just to make sure. Hope it helps! Stephanie

          • Jing Monta says:

            the moment i receive the NTS, i have 6 months to schedule my exam. for example, i receive the nts on january, i have until june to schedule my exam right? but can i schedule my first exam on january 2017? or i should take the next exam period right away, july-aug. (the next exam period after june). thank you. sorry for my questions, i am scheduling my plans for nextyear and see if i can manage it. thanks for the help. your effort to reply to each one of us is really a great help. Thank you:)

          • Stephanie Ng says:

            Sure! For most states it is valid for 6 months, so in your scenario, you cannot schedule your exam way in advance in Jan 2017. Cheers, Stephanie

          • Jing Monta says:

            okay i’ll just get first my evaluation report thru Josef and Silny Assoc. thanks. but im also confused with the $377 license fee and the $800 fee that covers the registration fee and exam fee. i sent an email to my state board but as of now i havent received replies yet. do you have an idea of these fees? on which is the one i should be paying first. im nervous, i fear that i might do some actions which are not right. and paying fees which are not really required. thank you so much.

          • Stephanie Ng says:

            Hi Jing, don’ worry. They won’t disqualify you because you haven’t paid the corrrect fees, but it’s prudent for you to check it out first.

            Some state boards don’t respond until a week later (sometimes need a follow up email).

            The $800-ish fee should be the one that needs to be paid first. Different states have different ways to pay this (some directly to NASBA, others through state boards) so I can’t generalize. The $377, if it is license fee, is the one you pay once you become a CPA, that is, after all the exams and verification of your experience. Don’t worry about that for now.

            You should be able to check online (for some states at least) to see the application status. If not, you can email them and see if you have filed everything. Regards, Stephanie

          • Jing Monta says:

            Hi Stephanie! thank you for all the replies:) just in case i need to take additional courses before sitting for a cpa exam. i also take into consideration of getting a CMA certification. as what i read on your article about it, i figured out that my school is listed in their list of accredited schools around the world, and i came up to an idea of getting cma exam first. what do you think?

          • Stephanie Ng says:

            Sure that can work too! There are quite a bit of overlap, esp on BEC, and some in AUD and FAR. Regards, Stephanie

          • Jing Monta says:

            hello Ms Stephanie!
            I am glad to tell you that im approved already for my application to take the US CPA Exam. I couldn’t do it without your help. Thank you so much Ms Stephanie! May God bless you always and hope you could also help others who need guidance especially for the international candidates like me. Thank you.

          • Stephanie Ng says:

            Wonderful news Jing!! Stephanie 🙂

  • Utpal Megha says:

    Hi,

    I am sooo confused between Wiley Cpaexcel and Gleim. I have been purchasing the Wiley books since 2009. I graduated my MBA/ACC from the university of phoenix. I want to sit for my cpa exam in 2016. I would like to start my review asap, but am worried that the textbooks in either courses right now will be from 2015. I am a person who likes to self study. Also, I have a full time job. So, any feedback in which course to take and when to start my review will be greatly helpful. I have found this website extremely helpful in at least boiling down my choices to the 2 options. Please advise. Thanks.

    Utpal

  • Y.J. says:

    Hi,

    I got a little confused after reading your article (which is very helpful by the way).

    How are these two different: Wiley CPA excel vs Wiley CPA Exam Review? The first time I read your article, I thought they were the same thing, but it seems not?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Thanks for the note YJ. Yes this is great questions, because the answer is yes and no.
      Wiley CPAexcel is the overall brand, but for most of us this refers to the premium, fully-integrated product that Wiley is offering. Major products are textbook, practice questions and video instructions. This is the basically the package from the original CPAexcel, which Wiley acquired in 2012.

      Wiley CPA review is the “original” Wiley product, consisting of (1) text books and (2) practice questions, known as the test bank, and (3) focus notes which is like a spiral-bound notes for final review. This is now sold under an official name of self-study pack.

      Please note that the CPAexcel and Wiley text books + practice questions are two different sets. However, if you are to get the “platinum” version of Wiley CPAexcel, they include the Wiley test bank and Wiley focused notes in the package. So for this platinum course you have a combination of the two.

      I will try to rewrite the above with clearer explanation. Thanks for your questions and feedback. Hope it’s helpful for you for now! Regards, Stephanie

  • Ritika says:

    Thank you so much for this write up. I am a big believer in learning in class.

    Are there any course preps offered for Canadians that want live lectures?

    Could you advise if Roger CPA is available to answer questions and provide support?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Ritika,
      There could be courses offered by local universities, but it’s hard for me to recommend live lectures because I can’t keep track of the lectures. Lecturers are the reason why we like live courses, but they switch around… that’s why I generally prefer online courses where I know for sure who’s teaching and that I have personally reviewed the courses.

      On Roger, yes they do have a chat room called the Homework Help Center with several technical staff (CPAs) answering questions. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Meha says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I plan to the the CPA exams in 2016 and have the 2014 Becker books/2015 Wiley books. Will this be adequate or do I need to obtain the 2016 versions? Does the content in the exam change from year to year?

  • Lily says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I was hoping to get some advice from you. I’ve tried to take the CPA exams over and over again but haven’t passed. I know this is due to my lack of discipline. I plan on making a real gung-ho approach this time around. I’ve only done Becker in the past. Although I no longer have access to the lectures, I still have the 2014 Becker books for FAR, AUD, BEC, and REG. Do you think this would be sufficient in terms of reading material? If so, would you suggest only purchasing test questions? Which software would you recommend for me if I can use the Becker 2014 books but need practice questions and simulations? Thanks so much for your help!

    • Lily says:

      Could you please also comment on Fast Forward Academy and whether you believe they would be a good CPA exam review course? Thanks so much!

      • Stephanie Ng says:

        Hi Lily, I heard of but don’t know enough about Fast Forward Academy to comment. I stand by my recommendation on the review courses listed in the chart above. The ones I mentioned on this page is also good enough to be my Top 10. Regards, Stephanie

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Lily, yes in many case, the most important factor is ourselves (our self-discpline). It’s better to get one that you like so you are more motivated to study, but people pass the CPA exam with all kinds of courses.

      In your case, you can try getting a separate set of practice questions e.g. from Wiley Test Bank or Gleim or Exammatrix, and see if it works? 2014 version isn’t ideal but good enough if budget is a concern. Regards, Stephanie

  • John Lee says:

    Hi Stephanie:

    Thank you very much for putting out the reviews. It’s very helpful and unbiased.

    I have two questions:

    1. I graduated in 2004 with a BS degree in accounting in CA, but I didn’t do any accounting related jobs since then. now, I’m planning to take CPA exam. Which CPA exam review course do you suggest?
    2. do I have sufficient credits to sit for the exam in CA?

    Many thanks in advance for any advice you can give to me.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi John, thanks for your note! You should be able to sit for the exam with a BS degree but ultimately you need 150 credit hours (i.e. 30 more credit hours) to get the license. You can get them as non-degree courses in any community colleges nearby, or through an online course. So this shouldn’t be an issue.

      For CPA review course, as an accounting major you are pretty ok in any of these! I suggest that you sign up for the free trials (Wiley CPAexcel, Gleim and Roger have it) and see for yourself the one that fits you the best. They all have great pass rates among their students so any one of them are good choices. Regards, Stephanie

  • Luzuann says:

    Hi Stephanie:

    I have the same question that John Lee. I have a BS degree in accounting in CA, but I didn’t do any accounting related jobs. I’m planning to take CPA exam. Which CPA exam review course do you suggest?

    Thanks,

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Same answer Luzann: I think all of them would work! But it is best to see which one you find most comfortable. Simply sign up for their free trial and decide 🙂 Regards, Stephanie

  • Kevin S says:

    Hello, I would like to thank you for the wonderful and helpful website you have. I have a bachelor in accounting and I graduated in 2011. I am ready to tackle the CPA exams but I am not sure about my strategy. I have decided to take BEC as my first exam by the end of February so that I would have a less challenging start. I have few questions and I would greatly appreciate your opinion. 1. What if I pass some parts of CPA before the changes on 2017 and some after? 2. How many hours would you suggest it is needed for each specific part? 3. What study material would you recommend for me? (I have been out of school for few years and I have a full time job. I need something good and affordable and preferably does not get expired). Finally, what was your method of studying? Did you watch lectures? Look forward to your response.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Kevin,
      Thanks for your note, and it’s great to know you’ve decided to give CPA a try! Sure, do pick the part you are more comfortable with.
      1. On your question, it’s totally fine that you pass some parts before 2017. The only difference is that you have to be tested in a new format. Looking at what happened in the last big update (in 2011), the pass rate of the very first window did drop a bit, but after that, it went back up again.

      2. Typically people spend 100-150 hours on the longer parts (FAR and REG), and 50-80 hours on AUD and BEC. But it largely depends on the expertise and knowledge base of each candidate. Overall you can expect to spend 300-400 hours. Actively practicing auditors or tax accountants would spend less time than that.

      3. The exam is increasingly focus on the application of concepts (rather than the memorization of concepts) so the fact that you have been out of school for a while is less of a concern these days. You may need more time in the memorization but you will likely do better in the simulation questions given your real-world experience. In terms of picking a review course, I encourage that you sign up for the ones with free trials, that is, Gleim, Roger and CPAexcel. They happen to be my 3 favorites anyway (partly because they are confident of their projects and don’t mind giving you free trials).

      They are all good but the teaching style is different. It’s very important to pick a style that you are comfortable with. Best of luck! Stephanie

  • Nouca says:

    Stephanie,

    Thanks Stephanie for the wonderful site.

    But I have one questions:

    If you have an option to choose between Becker and Rogers (free of charge with prorated reimbursement) which one will you go for?

    Regards,
    Noucas

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Nouca, for me, definitely Roger. Becker’s videos bore me to tears. But if you skip all the videos, then more or less equal. Cheers, Stephanie

  • Tim says:

    Heard great things about Surgent CPA Review. Any thoughts?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Yup Tim, currently reviewing Surgent as we speak. So far so good. I’ll likely put them on my recommended list but I need to complete all my checklist first. Cheers, Stephanie

  • Omar says:

    First of all many thank for the help full website really it is grateful.

    Just I want to inquire about the best material and smoothest one for Non-English speakers. In middle east the most common material is Becker but really it is expensive, when I saw the comparative above between the material I am starting to think not to buy Becker Material especially when I saw the number of the questions available in other material like Gleim and Wiley in addition it will cost me less than Becker material,

    Now I am confusing which is the better to take Gleim (No pass rate available) or Wiley (has pass rate 9/10)

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Omar, these review course providers are actually as well known as Becker in the US, it’s just that they don’t spend as much marketing budget outside of the US. It is quite clear that I recommend these two (and Rogers) vs Becker. Money is a big consideration, but it’s also about their quality. There are more and more international candidates using their products so I think they work for everyone including non-English speakers.

      For example, one of the limitation for Roger (to non-US candidates at least) is that Roger speaks a bit fast. So now they have a tool to adjust the speed of the lecture. It doesn’t distort the sound. It works perfectly when I tried it a few months back.

      And unlike Becker Gleim and Wiley (and Roger) have free trials. You can sign up and give them a try. There is no obligation at all so I do encourage everyone including non-US candidates to check them up before making this big decision of buying the review course.

      If you have further questions just let me know. Regards, Stephanie

  • Douglas Jimenez says:

    Hi my name is Douglas Jimenez and thank you for your respond few days ago.

    I am not citizen from US but I would like to attend (in classroom) some preparations courses in US. Which ones do you recommend me? I am planning to take the CPA exam this year, so I will focus since January in 2016 only for my CPA test.

    If I take this preparation courses in US my visa B1/B2 could work?

    Thank you so much again

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Douglas, I can’t really answer visa related questions, but there are non-degree courses covering the CPA exam that is available in universities. I don’t cover them though, so I suggest that you pick a review course provider that you like, then ask them specifically where these live classes (using their materials) are offered. Then you ask if a B1/B2 visa is fine with your stay. Regards, Stephanie

  • Yuna says:

    Hi!
    I’m interested in CPAexcel. I know the difference between Platinum and Gold course from your comments. But I would like to know about proffessor mentoring in Gold course but exlcude in Silver. How much is useful? I tried to see it in free demo but I could not find it. Have you used it during preparation for CPA EXAM?
    Regards. Yuna

  • Heidi says:

    Hi, I’ve heard that the Becker review can actually count towards Accounting education requirements. Do you know anything about this and if so, do you have to purchase all 4 parts to receive credit? I need 4 more hours to be licensed (not sit for the exam. i’m already qualified for that.) and this could be a determining factor in which review course I choose.

    Thank you!

  • Andy Park says:

    Hello Stephanie,

    Does the Gleim Review, either Premium or Traditional, come with printed textbooks?

    How would you rate textbook materials of Gleim and that of Wiley CPAexcel? (As for self-studying friendliness as a current college student studying accounting, btw many of my accounting courses have incorporated using wiley textbooks..)

    Thank you.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Andy,
      I think you can request for a printed book but there might be extra postage (not too sure as it depends on where you live). In my opinion, Wiley CPAexcel is easier to read, but I haven’t got the Gleim printed books myself to give an apple-to-apple comparison. My impression is based on the ebook version which you get as a Gleim CPA review system customer. Obviously ebooks are harder to read.

      I encourage that you sign up for the free trials for both CPAexcel and Gleim — they won’t send you a book for free trials but at least you can have access to their ebooks and see how for yourself the format, content and usability. Cheers, Stephanie

  • Morgan Marcel says:

    Hi. I am getting ready to purchase a review course; however, I am having trouble choosing from Becker, Wiley, and Roger. In your opinion what should I choose. Just a little background I graduated in 2014 with my Accounting degree- so there has been a little time gap. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Morgan

  • René says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    May I ask your advice? I am an older guy, say 10,000 BC, living in W-Europe, got a BSc Techn.Bus.Mngt and MBA Executive degree, the latter partly combined with uni in Washington DC. Curious for CPA options I search the internet and foud your very useful site, so thank you for that. Now the questions are:

    Q1) Recommendation best CPA course (for me) for 100% distant learning at affordable price?
    Q2) Is USA the only location to attent for a CPA exam, nothing in W-Europe?

    Thanks in advance, regards, René

  • Manoj Mothy says:

    Hi,

    I have a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the US, I am interested to become a CPA I would like to know if it is possible with my education and background.

    Thanks!

  • Mona sh says:

    Hello stephanie i used to study from wiley and becker i feel wiley is more detailed but i think cpa needs practicing questions what do u recommend to me wiley test bank or another source of mcqs and sim ?

  • mark says:

    IQEX Exam- I am a CA From Canada. I only need to write the Regulation exam. pls guide me best course. I live in Canada so need to study on my own.

  • Mona says:

    I tried to find the cpaexcel gold course in egypt but i didnt find it just found the book and test bank cd have now idea from where to buy it any help ?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Mona, we all buy it online… can you do that? The course (and the exam) itself is 100% computerized so it makes sense to get the online version. Stephanie

  • Joel C. says:

    Considering buying Surgent CPA Review. Do you hear good things since it’s fairly new.

  • Gustavo says:

    Hi. I am planning to take the CPA but not clear on requirements considering the fact that I have my Bachelors Degree from Universidad de la Republica here in Uruguay.
    Wonder if you can provide some comments.

    Regards,

    Gus

  • Yaz M. says:

    Hello Stephanie! Great information. I am person who feels like they did not retain anything in college. I’m basically starting from level 0. I need refresher courses (strengthen fundamentals) and something that is simple/non-intimidating. Oh yeah and cost efficient. Do you have a specific recommendation? Any help or advice would be great. Thank you so much!

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Yaz, Gleim is the most cost efficient in my opinion, but they are not designed to strengthen your fundamentals. In fact, none of these review materials do that because they are designed for CPA candidates who are in default major in accounting. But no worries, you can try going through them first. When I went through the practice questions I was appalled by how badly I did, but things started to click as I pushed on. So you may want to try that, or if you have the extra time, get a few introduction to accounting books and whenever you have a concept that you don’t remember, read through those examples. It works for most of my readers in this situation. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Rashad says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Let me first thank you for this great job. You made our lives so much easier. About me, I come from a decent accounting background and have lectured accounting for a UK based professional qualification. I am planning to go with GLEIM Premium as you mention it is ideal for candidates with an accounting background + the cheapest of your reviewed courses. I prefer the hard copy study material. Do they provide this? Please advice on my selection.

    Many thanks,
    Rashad

  • Jaime says:

    Hello Stephanie- is Surgent CPA Review the best course for someone who is trying to reduce the amount of time needed to study?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      I think so Jaime. This is one of their strongest selling points. They do this with the adaptive learning technology which feeds you questions in weaker area. The idea is that you don’t need to waste time in what you know, should only focus on what you don’t know or not good at.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  • Arlan Barvilla says:

    Hi Stephanie!

    I am Arlan. I have been following your site since 2015. I am planning to take the CPA exam with this year. And your site has been very helpful. I am looking for a review center which has a setting of more like a classroom where there is an actual lecturer. Thank you. Your help is truly appreciated.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Arlan, I don’t cover live classes because I can never keep track of the quality of instructors, which to me is critical to the course. For online self-study courses I have the opportunity to review them so I am comfortable recommending them, plus you all can sign up for the free trial to see it for yourself. So in short, sorry, can’t really help on that front, but you can ask around and make sure the lecturer is good enough. They can make or break your experience in the CPA exam journey. Regards, Stephanie

  • Deepshikha says:

    Heyy Stephaine,

    I am a Chartered Accountant from India recently moved to US…..I qualified CA in 2011 & worked for 1.5 years and after that I have been out of touch from studies for almost 3 years.I am planning to do CPA …but I am not able to decide which online course I should go for whether Roger,Gleim or Wiley…I am a mother to 19 months old boy.Roger is good but 18 months access is a problem…Wiley I took a trial…& their first lecture about Circular 230 I didn,t liked the video lecture at all…I took the same lecture in Gleim…I liked it….So I am a knd of confused…Pls can u guide me…its like a fresh beginning for me…

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Deepshikha, this is all good, and we can talk about the details. Just want to make sure you have applied for the exam or quite certain that you are qualified right? The state board generally requires at least a 4-year bachelor degree. Regards, stephanie

  • Vanessa says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I attempted the CPA exams about 8 years ago right out of college. I passed BEC & REG at that time. Then I just stopped studying. Now I am ready to get back into the game. At that time, I used Roger’s review course. I liked the lecture videos, but I did not like the Wiley practice MC questions that the review course used. The Wiley practice MC questions were way more complicated than what is actually being tested on the exams. I felt like I wasted too much time trying to understand all the complicated practice questions while the very basic was being tested for most subjects.

    I work full time with two little kids. So not having a lot of time is an issue. And I’m the type of person that always have to read the textbook after the lectures to fully understand the material. I think I’ll have to rule out Becker due to high cost. I will probably rule out roger if he still uses the Wiley’s practice questions. Out of the remaining review courses, which review course do you recommend for me?

    Your information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Vanessa

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Vanessa, Roger has its own practice questions now, although in general people seem to like Wiley more 😉 (but maybe Roger’s questions are exactly what you are looking for).

      They offer free trials now. Maybe you can take a look again and see?

      Otherwise I find Surgent offers something similar with more features. They are new to the market and have just lowered their pricing. Good deal in my opinion. Also have free trials 🙂

  • Moon says:

    Hey Stephanie,

    Your post are really informative. I will soon start my CPA journey and look forward to your suggestion. I am basically a book person and personally don’t like sitting on laptop much. I am thinking to take Gleim CPA review course . However can you please suggest me some good books to refer and from where can I get the latest books.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Moon, Gleim sounds good! They come with “real” books as well but you may need to call them up to get them arranged 🙂
      Wiley is another obvious choice but if you take Gleim, it gets you better prepared. Stephanie

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  • Kaushik says:

    Hi, I am a fairly experienced tax advisor from India and need to get a better grip on US corporation tax since most of my work is for US based clients. I currently use the book Federal Taxation Comprehensive topics (Smith, Harmelink and Hasselback) and the bare text of the IRC on the cornell law school website. But it is turning out to be too complicated to tackle on my own. I plan to join a CPA review course in India (only for REG) – is it preferable to join someone who uses Becker material as against their own material (I know you probably can’t comment on that). Which CPA review material for REG should I additionally use – Wiley? Is the text book in Wiley CPAexcel better than the one in Wiley CPA review course? Thanks.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Kaushik, thanks for your note. If you plan to study to learn more about US taxation, I suggest that you take US taxation online courses rather than these exam review courses, because the focus is different — the REG course is understandably geared more towards passing the exam , including study tactics and covering only the exam syllabus, while the taxation course is focused on the actual knowledge.

      I have suggestions on these courses here:
      https://ipassthecpaexam.com/us-federal-taxation-course-online-for-cpa/

      • Kaushik says:

        Thank you very much, Stephanie. Appreciate the feedback. I will get back in case I have any more questions.

  • Justin says:

    Great site. I have been out of school for about 4 years and want to sit for the CPA exam. I’ve been working in finance during that time but feel apprehensive due to it being so long since school and lack of having to remember all the details. I had a hard time in grad school as much of it was online where I had to read textbooks and really learn a lot on my own.

    I do well with listening and writing down notes but have a shorter attention span – less than 1hr.

    Which course would suit me best?

    Thanks!

  • Marwa says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Your review above is very useful. Thank you!

    Im in Canada and was wondering whether those cpa reviews cover the same content of the exams here in Canada.

  • Alexis says:

    Please do a review on the NINJA CPA review from another71.com!
    I have already purchased Surgent, but am using NINA notes and MCQ as a supplement, and I think it is something that definitely deserves to be shared!

  • Rick R says:

    Stephanie,

    Any thoughts on Pederson CPA Review? I need to prep for AUD in about 4 weeks.

  • Tina says:

    Stephanie,

    This was so helpful! I am confused on your pass rate comment for Becker; “twice non Becker students”. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Please elaborate.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Tina, I am as confused as you are! That is a direct quote from Becker, whatever it means.
      Honestly I think it’s just a gimmick… The average pass rate for all candidates is ~50%. Don’t tell me their students get a 100% pass rate.

      My gut feeling is that the pass rate is not as high as the others (88% for Roger and 9 out of 10, or formerly, 88% for CPAexcel). Otherwise they might as well state it. Just my two cents… 😉 Stephanie

  • Ritesh mital says:

    how’s Miles CPA review???

  • Michelle says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    If given NINJA MCQ and Wiley Test Bank, which one would you choose? and why?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hmm… probably Wiley, because I like the explanation in the answers better. But Ninja (or Exammatrix)’s adaptive technology is cool.

  • Jui Buch says:

    Hi Stephanie ,

    I am Jui Buch .I am equivalent of CPA in India. I a Chartered Accountant from India.
    I want to become a CPA in USA. I live in USA.
    I want to know which is the best review course available right now ? I did go through Becker with a friends login who was sponsored by the Big 4 and I liked it but I cannot afford it on my own . Does the Wiley offer the same type of online course ? Is it ok if I choose Wiley instead of Becker ?

    Please advise .

  • Donna Lewan says:

    Can you tell me the success rate on the schools listed here for CPA test?

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  • Jaye says:

    Hi, I graduated with a B.B.A. in Accounting in 1999. I then went on to get a M. Ed. and began teaching middle school. In 2012 I became an Enrolled Agent by passing the EA exam. I have worked in the taxation field off and on part-time while teaching middle school. I now want to become a CPA and would like to know which course you would recommend for someone who has been out of school so long.

  • RAVI SINGH says:

    Hi there,

    Can you please help me with review about miles CPA ,hows there performance and comparison with other brands.
    I am want to do CPA from india which is the best brand for me?
    Your help on this will be much appreciated

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Ravi, Miles is not on my recommended list (or even mentioned here) because I am not able to comment on their live classes. The lecturers/teachers are crucial to the quality of the live class but since they tend to move around quite a lot, and that I have no way of tracking them, it is not possible. Also, Miles are based in India. This is a US exam. I usually prefer US course providers.

      Before you sign up, make sure you ask the reputation of the current lecturer. Otherwise you can still select one of these online courses and self-study in India. Good luck!

  • Ravi Singh says:

    Hey Stephanie, thanks for your reply.
    They provide wiley material in addition to their text book and classes and charge around 1500 USD for it.
    I prefer to do self study but I don’t know following things for which they provide assistance:
    1. How to register for exams?
    2. How to get my education certificates get evaluated?
    3. How to arrange Visa for travel to USA?
    4.from where to get hard copy text books apart from online materials.
    5.which review course you recommend for self study?
    If you can help on these points i guess many students from my country can do this course through self study.and it will help many of international students.
    Waiting for your revert

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Oh I see Ravi. This would be a great idea for a series of blog post. But to quickly answer your questions:
      1. The registration itself is straightforward. The more complicated part is which state board to choose. To pick the right one, you’ll need to understand the education requirements. You may start here: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-education-requirements/

      2. You can pick one of the evaluation agencies approved by your state board. This takes time, but straightforward (it’s a matter of filling out a form): https://ipassthecpaexam.com/foreign-credential-evaluation/

      3. You can apply for tourist visa. I don’t think I am qualified to provide further advice but I don’t think it is terribly difficult?

      4. There might be Wiley books in major bookstores.

      5. I have a page on the pros and cons here: https://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-exam-review-courses/

      But then, if they are going to help you with all these and charge only USD1,500… it’s quite a good deal I have to say… I just don’t know the quality of teachers.

  • Rick says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Do you have a site like this for PMP? That would be helpful since you make these the best.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Rick, thanks for your note! Not at the moment, but I will keep this in mind. If I do launch a new site, it will be mentioned on my facebook pages 🙂

  • It’s an amazing paragraph in favor of all the online visitors; they will obtain advantage from it I am sure.

  • Lie says:

    Dear Stephanie,

    It is really helpful resource, thank you very much.

    I just have a quick question about a software (adoptive learning) product offered by Ninja and Pederson if you know about them.. Do they offer same product or different? Do they include DRS in addition to MCQ and SIMs?

    Thank you!

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  • Dr. Kishore Babu Kota says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Your work is highly appreciated in providing various details about CPA. It is really helpful for all the people who are enrolling into this course. I spent couple of hours on this website going through all the details. It is very much helpful

    I am Kishore, residing outside US. I am planning to attend for the CPA Course. I did my Bachelors Degree & Masters Degree in Commerce from India. I did my MBA in International Business and Doctorate in Business Administration. I am a working professional. I am planning to take the examination in UAE as an International Student. Because of personal commitments & professional requirement, I may not able to spend long hours every day on this course. So I am planning to take the exams in 2 phases (Each time 2 subjects).

    Can you please suggest which order should I follow in taking the exams? I am planning as FAR & AUD and after that REG & BEC. Please suggest whether this pattern is fine or should I alter any subject?

    How much time / how many hours do I need to spend on each subject to be ready to take the examination?

    Also I prefer doing my study on the paper rather than on computer. So which CPA review course you recommend for me?

    Thanks

    Dr. Kishore

  • Shane Maher says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Firstly, I would like to thank you for your comprehensive support in all of the above comments. All of your information regarding the CPA courses has been extremely helpful.

    I am from Ireland where I graduated with a Bachelors (Honors) Degree in Accounting. I moved to New York 4 years ago to persue my career in finance but I choose a completely different to finance while travelling a lot in between. I am finally ready to follow my heart and complete my CPA exams in New York. While I was studying in Ireland it was very much so hands on lectures and I felt it was when i learnt the most.

    I plan on sitting 2 exams at a time since I have been out of studies for such a lengthy period of time. Have you any suggestions as to which order I should sit my exams?

    I have looked over and reviewed all of the CPA courses but I would like to know your course recommendation best suited for me personally?

    Many Thanks,

    Shane

  • Raed says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    For you offer regarding wiley test bank, is the software is a real exam simulator?

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  • Mohanna Eljabaly says:

    Hello,

    Hope you’re doing well. I am really in desperate need for your help here. I come from Yemen, so the only available option is online study. Can’t study here (in Yemen) as we don’t have any electricity because of the ongoing civil war and because of that I have been out of work for around 2 years so I forgot all about accounting. Due to this situation, I am planning to leave to Egypt and I’ll be completely free and I have one thing on my mind and that is to pass the CPA exam ASAP.
    I need your advice, for a 100% free student and can study up to 8 to 10 hours daily. What review system that I should purchase that will help me to pass and I don’t like surprises during the exam – if you know what I mean 😉 – I’l like a detailed material, videos and an excellent question bank.

    One last thing, how much time do you think I’ll need to pass each part?

    Thanks a million for this article.

  • Anthony Osuji says:

    Dear Stephanie
    For an international candidate to be qualified to write the cpa exam what accademic qualifications do I need to have say for instance bsc in accounting of what else. Finally in your opinion what combination of the cpa reviews can guarantee a one time pass of the cpa exams.

  • Majed says:

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  • kennett says:

    Hi,

    I am an average student. I get bored easily and cannot sit for more than 45 minutes for a reading. I have tried passing the CFA Level 1 five times and failed at it as I am never able to complete the course.

    Tell me which course pack should i take. I am confused about a choice as they all seem to have some pros and cons.

  • Aditi Parakh says:

    Hi, I need practice questions and no study material. What would be the best option for me quality and cost wise?

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  • Cassandra Hinton says:

    I graduated with my MSA of accounting in 2011(online) in. Due to extenuating circumstances I was not able to pursue my CPA license. Will the review/refresher course be helpful as I am now able to begin pursuing my CPA license?

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    Hi Stephanie,

    I just found your website which is a very knowledgeable for what to pick as right course. I have a lectures,notes etc. which is bought from Becker in 2009, however I never had a chance to touch those books, Now we are in 2018, I was just wondering If the books might have been changed since then? If I started to work the lectures Am I going to waste my time? I really am confused and don’t know what to do! Thank you so much, Angelina

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