Best CPA Exam Review Courses 2017-11-03T19:45:16+00:00

Best CPA Exam Review Courses of 2017

By Brandon Vagner, CPA, PhD, & Former KPMG Manager 

Brandon Vagner CPA

My name is Brandon Vagner, CPA, former KPMG manager, PhD, business advisor, and founder of CPA Exam Success and Test Prep Store.  Knowing what features and approaches to learning each CPA exam review course has to offer is critical to your success.  Not every company is the same, and there are drastic differences in terms of user experience.

Use these CPA exam review course reviews to your full advantage!  Selecting a prep course is a BIG decision, and I want to make sure you select one that fits your learning needs.  I do receive compensation from affiliate partnerships, but that minimal compensation is at no added cost to you and is what keeps this great resource growing and available to people like you.

2017’s Best CPA Exam Review Course Picks (Discounts + FREE Trial Access)

CPA Review Course Best Fit Assessment

Take this custom best fit assessment that I personally developed and see what CPA review course best fits YOUR needs.  Take the guess work out of it.

Surgent CPA Exam Review – Speedy Review

Speed!  That’s what you get with Surgent CPA Review.  They don’t believe in having you sit through hours of lecture before you move through practice problems and get a gauge for your strenghts and weaknesses.  There is no reason to study concepts that you already know from either your recent education or work experience.  Let me first say that you need to fully understand what you need out of prep course.  If an accelerated approach such as this really  might benefit you, then check out my In-Depth Surgent CPA Exam Review Analysis.  I will say that their course does currently look like it’s straight from the 1990’s.  I’ve personally spoken with the company and they have confirmed that the design is going to be drastically updated soon, but for the time being you will have to be ok with a subpar aesthetic design.  For many people this is NOT a deal breaker, because they know content delivery is key to their success.

There is no reason to guess on whether or not it’s for you.  Check them out via this FREE TRIAL access.

Surgent CPA Review


Wiley CPAexcel Review – Extremely High Quality

If high quality is what you’re looking or, then Wiley CPAexcel Review might be the course for you.  They are well known within the industry as being one of the absolute best CPA exam review courses on the market.  That’s in large part due to their world class instructors, 12,000+ practice questions, bit sized lessons for easy learning, and 9 out of 10 pass with them (statistic stated by Wiley).  That’s an incredible track record and it’s clear they are doing things right.

You can check out my In-Depth Wiley CPAexcel Review Analysis and learn more about their features and what I have to say.  It’s the best way to get a quick inside look.  If you’re interested in their product, I highly recommend you sign up for the Wiley CPAexcel FREE Trial Access.  You’ll get 14 days to test drive their course and see for yourself if you like them or not.

Wiley CPAexcel Review


Yaeger CPA Exam Review – STRONG Contender

Yaeger CPA Review has been in the CPA exam review game for a long time, but they have recently really made a strong push to innovate and take their courses to the next level.  They set out to create one of the best designed courses on the market and they delivered.  The design quality and functionality of Yaeger CPA Review is excellent.  Keep in mind that almost every providers definition of adaptive learning technology is different, but I go over the Yaeger CPA Review adaptive technology in great detail within my full In-Depth Yaeger CPA Exam Review Analysis.

Overall, I highly recommend that you consider Yaeger CPA Review.  If you’re interested in Yaeger CPA Review, make sure you check out their FREE Assessment.  You’ll be able to see how you stack up against other CPA students, and you’ll get to experience their course design.

Yaeger CPA Review


Gleim CPA Exam Review – Industry Dinosaur

Gleim CPA Exam Review has been around for decades and over 1,000,000 people have PASSED the CPA exam with the help of Gleim products.  Gleim has embraced learning technology and implemented adaptive learning within their courses.  Their SmartAdapt technology will help identify an optimum study path based on your knowledge within certain subject areas.  This will allow you to take full advantage of their 10,000+ practice questions.  Check out my full In-Depth Gleim CPA Exam Review Analysis.

There is no reason to guess on whether or not the Gleim CPA course is for you.  Try their course out at no risk with this FREE TRIAL access.

Gleim CPA Review


Becker CPA Exam Review – Overall Excellent

Becker CPA Exam Review is probably the course you’ve heard everybody talk about throughout school and during your internship.  There is good reason for that!  Becker has dominated the industry for decades, and that has allowed them to continually invest in their product and maximize it’s benefit.  In my Becker CPA Exam Review In-Depth Analysis you will discover all the great features Becker offers and get insights into why they matter.

I always recommend trying a prep course out before fully committing yourself to that company.  Check out the Becker FREE TRIAL access, and be confident with your decision.


Choosing the Right CPA Exam Review Course for Your Needs

Understanding what drives success for you is extremely important. Think back to your college classes. Did you perform better with live instruction, online instruction, in-depth books, high energy instructors, neutral energy instructors, etc.? Well, understanding the answer to that will help you understand which CPA exam review course is going to best fit your learning needs. I recommend doing a self assessment of your learning needs before you read my in-depth CPA exam review course reviews. That way, as you’re going through the reviews you will have a clear understanding of what is really going to make a difference for you!

How we chose the best CPA exam review prep courses

Through our expertise knowledge and consultation with many CPA industry experts, we select the best CPA review course companies to review and provide expert insight.

What CPA exam review course attributes are most important

CPA Exam Review Course Flexibility

Like any prep course, the absolute most important feature for most people is the flexibility of course content delivery. Historically, live in-person prep courses were the only option available, but technology has made online options available. For people with busy schedules, either a live online or self-paced course are great options. Having the flexibility to miss a class when needed and easily watch the recorded class during your own time is extremely important to your success.

Most critical CPA exam review course flexibility attributes
  1. Online Recorded Video Access – This is HUGE! It allows students the ability to access a pre-recorded video lesson so they can schedule their review based on their busy schedules.
  2. Live In-Person Courses – Students can take advantage of pre-defined class structure and the instructors knowledge and expert insights.

CPA Exam Review Course Content

Most would assume that content, for the most part, is the same across prep course companies. That’s not necessarily true. So, here is how it works. The AICPA releases a CPA exam content outline every year for the prep course companies. This outline is at a very high level and acts as a content creation guide for the prep companies. From year-to-year not much changes, but the prep course companies pay very close attention to it. With that said, it’s up to the prep course company to determine how in-depth they will go on each topic area. Some prep course companies hit the content creation right on the nose, and others miss the mark. You want to ensure that the prep course you purchase is not giving you information overload (i.e. wasting your valuable time), but you also want to ensure that you’re not getting too little information.

Most critical CPA exam review course content attributes
  1. Books – The company provides quality prep books that display an appropriate level of content delivery.
  2. Flashcards – The company provides quality flashcards that appropriately compliment the prep course content and student CPA exam prep needs.
  3. Online Course Content – The online prep course material follows the prep books from a content perspective, and no prep area is neglected.

CPA Exam Review Practice (Question Banks & Tests)

Having a sufficient amount of practices questions is HUGE! Even more huge though, is how in-depth the prep course company explains not only the right answer, but also the wrong answer. We can’t stress enough how important this is. Now, lucky for you, most all CPA exam review course companies license the same historical practice questions from the AICPA. The key though is that the AICPA does not provide answer explanations to the prep course companies. Thus, it’s extremely important that you select a CPA exam review company that takes pride in going through those questions in detail and providing detailed answer explanations. Also, there are companies that go above and beyond to create practice questions in addition to the questions they license from the AICPA. So, there can be MAJOR differences between CPA exam review course companies.

Most critical CPA exam review course practice attributes
  1. Practice Question Banks – The company provides an appropriate amount of practice questions with a high level of care put toward providing detailed answer explanations.
  2. Full-length Practice Tests – The company provides multiple full-length CPA exam review practice tests that not only look similar to the official CPA exam, but also that are of equivalent or higher difficulty level.
  3. In-depth analysis reports – The prep course provides the student with a detailed analysis of their practice question and test results. The results analysis reports at a granular level that allows the student to focus their studies to areas of weakness.

CPA Exam Review Course Instructors

Having an understanding of the review course instructor personalities is CRAZY HUGE! You are going to be glued to your chair for 100’s of hours listening to these instructors. You better make sure that the prep course instructor personalities match your learning needs and/or your personality preference. There is a MASSIVE difference between the CPA exam review course personalities, and choosing the wrong one is detrimental to your chances of success. The personalities must meet your needs!

Most critical CPA exam review course instructor attributes
  1. Matches Your Learning Needs – The company has instructors that match your learning needs. Some people need and/or want extremely high energy instructors. Others have a preference for calm, cool, and collected content deliver. Some even want their CPA exam review instructors to be similar to their college professors. Whatever your preference is, make sure you verify that the instructors of the review course you’re interested in meet those preferences!
  2. Engaging – Company review course utilizes engaging instructors what students will actually want to sit and watch for hours at a time.
  3. Knowledgeable – Company review courses utilizes instructors that are a wealth of knowledge in their designated subject areas.

CPA Exam Review Course Student Support

A high quality CPA exam review course should always incorporate exceptional student support features. Whether you’re a CPA exam student looking for technology support or one just looking to bounce a quick question off of an instructor, the support should be there.

Most critical CPA exam review course student support attributes
  1. Phone – Students can easily pick up the phone and get their questions answered.
  2. Live Chat – Students can easily send a quick message online to a live support representative.
  3. Email – Students are guaranteed to receive a response to their emails within a 24 hour period of time.
  4. Passing Guarantee – Students who can evidence completion of every course module receive the ability to repeat the course if needed at little to no additional cost.

Note:  I realize there may be other quality prep courses available on the market.  I will continually be working to add those reviews to this webpage.

Other courses for consideration: Roger, Wiley, Fast Forward Academy, & ExamMatrix

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