Best CPA Review Courses [2021 Updated]
Earning a CPA designation can give your career a major boost. Explore the best CPA review courses below to ensure you pass the first time around.
In order to earn your CPA license, candidates will need a minimum score of 75 on each portion of the CPA exam. Candidates will also need to pass all four sections within 18 months of each other.
Use our expert reviews below to make you choice based on budget, learning style, guarantees, and more.
Summary: Find and compare the best CPA review courses below. Utilize our exclusive discounts.
Table of Contents
- Our Picks for Best CPA Review Courses
- Comparison Table
- Who Needs an CPA Review Course
Our Picks for Best CPA Review Courses
scroll right on mobile to see entire table
|CPA Review||Universal CPA||Becker||Surgent CPA Review||Wiley CPA||Gleim||Yaeger|
|Best For||Visual Learners
|Visual Learners||Live Online||Readers, Flash Cards||Readers, Flash Cards|
Get Exclusive Discount
Get Exclusive Discount
|Subscription Length||Unlimited access||Unlimited access||Unlimited access||Until you pass||Until you pass||24 months|
|Guarantee||No||Pass guarantee||Pass guarantee||Access until you pass||Access until you pass||No|
|Delivery Options||Online (self-paced)||Online (self-paced), Live online||Online (self-paced)||Online (self-paced), Live classes||Online (self-paced)||Online (self-paced)|
|Videos||125+ hours||350+ hours||190+ hours||200+ hours||100+ hours||120+ hours|
|MCQ Explanation Videos|
|Support||Expert CPAs||Expert CPAs||Expert CPAs||Expert Mentors||Accounting Experts||Founder of prep course|
|Best Feature||Bite-sized videos and efficient learning||Hybrid learning style, Adapt2U Technology||Proprietary technology||# of practice questions||Personal counselors||Live resources|
The CPA exam is extremely challenging and passing is critical. CPA exam pass rates are typically around 50%. If you want to improve your chances of passing the exam, you should consider a top CPA review course.
Students who wish to refresh their knowledge on multiple topics while also learning new material should consider a CPA review course. CPA review courses will offer different strategies and test taking tips that will help students become more comfortable when taking the CPA exam.
Students who are more comfortable with the materials and concepts they will be tested on will receive higher scores on the CPA exam.
Finding your best approach to preparing for the CPA exam can be challenging. CPA review courses can be time-consuming and expensive. Do you need an CPA review course? The answer depends on many factors.
Factors to Consider
- Study discipline – if you routinely have trouble maintaining a study schedule, you’ll find that a prep course is worth it.
- Improvement needed – take a free CPA practice test to see where you stand. If your score needs improvement, a CPA review course may be a good option.
- Need for encouragement – if you need encouragement, feedback and motivation, a prep course with an instructor (either in-person or online) is a good option.
- Budget – CPA review courses are expensive. If money is tight, consider our best value recommendation, or self-study with CPA prep books.
- Learning style – if you have a history of successfully studying with books, a self-study approach with a good CPA prep book may be your best plan.
Benefits of a CPA Review Course
- Simulates actual test – the online exams included in a CPA review course do a great job of simulating the real CPA exam.
- Identify strengths and weaknesses – the best review courses offer advanced diagnostics to identify the topics you need to focus on.
- Latest information - the CPA exam is constantly changing due to changes in the accounting industry. The best CPA review courses are always on top of the latest changes.
- Quality instructors – courses that include live instructors will help you with efficient strategies, motivation, and one-on-one feedback.
- Personalized study plans – CPA review courses will help you craft, and stick to, a customized study schedule that works for you - and efficiently manages your time.
Why a CPA Review Course May Not Be Your Only Option
- Instructor-dependent – if you opt for an instructor-led course, the quality of your instructor will be a significant factor towards your success.
- Expensive – the best CPA review courses may be more than $2,000.
- Time Consuming– CPA prep courses often require significant study/prep time
- DIY alternative - self-study using prep books may be a cost-effective alternative
Bottom Line - If your career is riding on your success on the CPA exam and you have the budget, a top CPA review course is a great option.
CPA Review Course Reviews
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Best For:Visual Learners and Efficient Studying
- Price: $1,850 $1,295 (Using the Test-Guide Exclusive Discount)
- Discounts: View Exclusive Discounts
Universal CPA Feature Summary
Universal Pros and Cons
Universal CPA is our choice for best value CPA review course. Universal is an up-and-coming CPA prep company that takes efficient studying to the next level. They utilize both visual learning and application-based learning – it is truly unique and will help save students a ton of time when studying.
Their full package CPA prep course is available for $1,295 (using the Test-Guide exclusive discount) and includes review of all 4 CPA exams, 750 bite-sized learning videos, in-depth study guides (450 pages per CPA exam), 3,000+ multiple choice questions, and 50+ simulations.
The user-interface of the course is designed very well – each CPA exam is organized by chapter concepts with specific video lectures, study guides, multiple-choice questions, and simulations.
One of the biggest differences with Universal versus some of the other providers we looked at is their focus on visual and application-based learning. The videos are short and sweet – they teach you the essential information in an efficient way.
One of the best features of this course is the way in which they set up the multiple-choice questions. Users have a video explanation of how to answer each multiple-choice question right next to each question. Users will not have to go back to their notes or a long video lecture and try to find where that question was talked about – this saves a TON of time.
Students who have questions that arise while studying can use the “Ask Joey” function. This function enables students to ask questions about the content and get actual answers from expert CPA’s.
Universal is great for students who wish to learn on a budget or are big time visual learners. The bite-sized lecture videos and video answer explanations are very different from other CPA prep providers - major pro to this prep course.
With that being said, Universal does not offer all the bells and whistles that other big name providers offer. However, if that does not bother you, Universal is a great choice.
Best Features of Universal – Bite-sized video lectures and design of course to save users precious time when studying.
Actual Screenshots from Universal CPA Course
Current Universal CPA Discounts & Coupon Codes
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Best For: Live, Online and Visual Learners
- Price: $3,499 $2,399
- Discounts: View Coupons
Becker Feature Summary
Becker Pros and Cons
Becker is one of the most well known CPA prep companies out there. They have a couple of different options for their CPA prep courses:
- Pro Version - $2,399
- Premium Version - $2,999
- Advantage Version - $2,399
Students will get unlimited access to options 1 and 2, and 24 months of access to option 3. All of these courses offer very similar features, but for our purposes, we will take a look at the pro version.
The pro version includes more than 400 SkillMaster videos, 12 simulated exams that match the CPA exam style, and more than 7,000 multiple-choice practice questions. Candidates who purchase this CPA prep course will also have up to 5 one-hour 1-on-1 tutoring sessions and 1-on-1 academic support from expert CPAs.
The course also comes with additional CPA study material including 1,400+ digital flashcards and 1,400+ printed flashcards.
When students enter the course, they will realize there is a separate dashboard for each section of the CPA exam - we really like this feature as it helps to better organize the course and avoid intimidating users.
The lectures consist of instructors talking over notes and slides. While this may sound boring, the instructors are annotating the notes which adds an interactive element to the lectures. Students can also use the technology within the course to add their own notes and highlight important concepts.
The lectures are broken down in a very logical way - there are big topics that are broken down even more into specific modules. This helps students focus on very specific concepts and figure out what they may struggle with the most.
The practice questions are an awesome feature of this course. Each question and practice session is timed and students have the ability to print out the questions (very rare). There are a bunch of additional features like an online calculator, online spreadsheet, and the "see lecture" button. The "see lecture" button allows students to find where that topic was talked about within the lecture and quickly re-learn it.
Students can create their own practice exams for more practice. Students can make these random or adaptable. Adaptable practice exams will give you questions on topics that you have struggled with before - an amazing feature. These practice exams are very customizable and helpful.
In addition to everything listed above, users will also have the ability to create their own study schedules, review flashcards, utilize the massive glossary of terms (with quick search capabilities), and view detailed score reports.
While this course is predominantly done online on the student’s own time, there is an option for live classroom scheduling. This is a nice feature and a good change of pace if a student gets bored with the traditional online learning environment. Students can access this course through their computers, tablets, or mobile phones.
Best Features of Becker – Hybrid learning style and adaptive exams and questions.
Actual Screenshots from Becker CPA Course
Current Becker CPA Discounts & Coupon Codes
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Best For: Visual Learners
- Price: $2,399 $1,399
- Discounts: View Coupons
Surgent CPA Review Feature Summary
Surgent CPA Review Pros and Cons
Surgent CPA Review Summary
Surgent offers a very solid course that is right up there with some of the best CPA prep courses. Surgent offers 3 different levels of their CPA review course which we have listed below:
- Essentials Pass - Includes A.S.A.P technology, 7700 MCQs, 400+ simulations, and 350+ videos.
- Premier Pass - Includes everything in the essential package as well as eBooks, lecture notes, printed textbooks, flashcards, and 1-on-1 coaching.
- Ultimate Pass - Includes everything in the 2 courses listed above as well as 1000 extra MCQs, audio lectures, ultimate customer support, and excel certificate course.
When you first enter the course, you are asked if you want to study using A.S.A.P. technology or a linear course outline style. The A.S.A.P. technology identifies your strongest and weakest areas to create a personalized study plan for you. The linear course outline guides you through all course study materials, section by section.
Students who decide to use the A.S.A.P. technology will be asked to take an assessment quiz to guage their knowledge on specific topics. The quiz is very in-depth and is 350 questions long. After you complete the assessment quiz, the software will devise a study plan that fits your specific needs.
You will see that each section of the CPA exam has a dedicated dashboard. This is nice as it helps separate the different sections and makes studying a little less overwhelming. You will see a couple of different things on your dashboard including number of questions you have answered, study sessions you have in progress, number of hours studied, your study schedule, and more.
While studying, you will find the course is split up into various topics and subtopics. Each topic can be expanded to see the subtopics associated with it. This is where you will do the majority of your studying. The topics include study questions, lesson videos, and readings to help you learn.
The videos consist of an expert in the bottom right corner talking over some slides. The vidoes tend to be in the 10-15 minute range, so they are good at keeping your attention.
Throughout the course, you will find practice questions scattered around. The questions are associated with topics and you can choose how many questions you want to practice within your study session.
Another cool feature is the ReadySCORE feature. As students complete the course, their ReadySCORE will improve and it will tell the candidate when they are truly ready to pass the exam.
Finally, you can take full-length practice exams to get a great feel for how you will do on the actual exam. The practice exams are timed and make it feel like you are taking the actual exam. After submitting your exam, you will get a results page that shows you different insights about your exam. You can review answers and see why something was correct or incorrect.
Best Features of Surgent – Proprietary technology like ReadyScore and A.S.A.P.
Actual Screenshots from Surgent CPA Course
Current Surgent CPA Coupons & Discount Codes
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Best For: Live, Online
- Price: Starting at $1,799
Wiley CPA Feature Summary
Wiley CPA Pros and Cons
Wiley CPA Summary
Wiley offers three different CPA prep courses ranging from $1,799 to $2,499. All courses are available to candidates until they pass the CPA. For the most part, the courses have similar features, but we will be taking a look at the platinum CPA course that is offered for $2,499.
The platinum course includes over 200 hours of video lessons and lectures, 2,200+ pages of online CPA study materials, and 500+ task-based simulations. Wiley also offers 12,000+ multiple-choice practice questions and 5,000+ true/false practice questions.
The course also has more than 5,000 digital and printed flashcards to help candidates learn and retain as much information as possible. Wiley updates their CPA study guides twice a year and makes sure they align with the latest CPA exam layout. Students can feel confident they are studying the right material when using this prep course.
Like Becker, Wiley also offers a hybrid learning setting. Most of the material will be learned via on-demand videos, but candidates have the option of learning via live online CPA classes led by top accounting instructors.
On top of that, candidates also receive exclusive help from expert mentors throughout their time using the prep course. Wiley was one our choices for best CPA prep courses that have an live, online aspect.
If candidates are looking for specific study materials for the CPA exam, Wiley offers those materials individually as well. Candidates can purchase study guides, focus notes, flash cards and more separately if that is all they are interested in.
Best Features of Wiley – Continuously updated content and number of practice questions.
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Best For: Readers
- Price: Starting at $1,999
Gleim Feature Summary
Gleim Pros and Cons
Gleim offers a variety of different prep course options. The options range from $999 for their Mega Test Bank all the way up to $1999 for their Premium Review System. The Premium Review System is their most popular course - we will be looking at the prep course for our review.
The Premium Review System includes over 10,000 multiple-choice practice questions, 1,300 task-based simulations, 100+ hours of video lectures, audio lectures, and digital flashcards. This course also lets candidates seek guidance from personal counselors and assistance from accounting experts.
The personal counselors are there to support candidates throughout the whole CPA exam process – these counselors will help track your performance and help plan your studies in conjunction with the SmartAdapt tool.
Like the other courses, Gleim offers a tool called SmartAdapt that helps candidates study more efficiently. This tool detects weaknesses and recommends a personalized study plan. The tool also shows candidates detailed visual analytics.
Best Features of Gleim – Personal Counselors.
- Test-Guide Rating:
- Best For: Readers
- Price: Starting at $1,649
Yaeger Feature Summary
Yaeger Pros and Cons
Yaeger offers two different options when it comes to prep courses. They offer a single part course bundle that is available for $449 while also offering a 4-part course bundle for $1,649. We will be looking at the 4-part course bundle for our CPA prep course review.
The course includes 120+ hours of in-depth video lectures, downloadable PDF textbooks, audio lectures, and flashcards. Also included in the course are 5,000+ multiple choice practice questions, practice tests, and custom study plans. This CPA prep course reviews all 4 parts of the CPA exam and follows the blueprints laid out by the AICPA.
Yaeger offers 1-on-1 instructor access for candidates. This access is important for candidates that get hung up on certain topics or questions and allows them to get the help they need. On top of that, candidates also get two 15-minute phone calls with the found, Phil Yaeger. Phil will help you set up a personal study plan and will also provide a progress review.
Best Features of Yaeger – Live resources offered – 1-on-1 instructor access and meetings with Phil Yaeger.
CPA Review Courses FAQ
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Last update: 11/11/2021