Here’s the deal: you wouldn’t buy a $2,000 used car without test driving it first–so why is your CPA exam preparation any different? It’s not. Choosing a CPA review course that fits your study style and budget is the most important thing to consider when you start studying for the CPA exam.
Some things to consider before buying:
Which study package best fits your learning style?
If you know that you need extra support and you’re someone who likes to study with a variety of formats, then you’ll want to look at an option like the Wiley CPA Platinum Course.
This course comes with everything you need to pass the first time, including lecture videos, a mobile app, expert support, and 12,000+ practice questions (more than any other provider).
Do you actually like the instructors?
Keep in mind that you’re going to be spending a ton of time with these people. If the course instructors and their mannerisms drive you nuts, you should know that ahead of time!
Make sure you check out the course demo or free trial before you purchase so you can get a feel for the instructors. Most courses have them (or at least, they should).
If you’re a visual learner, make sure the course has video lectures (and test drive this first). Do you have a short attention span? If so, make sure the course offers flashcards or bite-size lessons to help you master big concepts in as little as 30-45 minutes.
Just because you were a great student in college doesn’t mean you’ll automatically pass the CPA exam. The CPA exam takes time and serious dedication, so don’t give up if you fail on your first try.
You need to ensure you have the suitable study materials for your learning style and the time and support required to get you through the marathon of exam prep. This isn’t college and being smart isn’t going to carry you through the CPA exam (it certainly helps, though). There are a number of available CPA exam tips and strategies you can utilize to improve your performance.
Don’t let past successes in college – or even on other sections of the CPA exam – go to your head. That 90 on AUD has nothing to do with your upcoming BEC exam, so don’t take your foot off the gas. The current pass rate for any given section of the CPA exam averages between 46-60% and the south side of that 46% includes a lot of smart people.
Stay focused and study hard.
CPA review videos are great, they teach you the important concepts and everything, but multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations (TBSs) take those concepts and put them into the language of the CPA exam–which is ultimately what matters.
It’s one thing to understand bond amortizations. It’s another to understand how the CPA exam tests bond amortizations. The questions aren’t just testing to see if you know the material…the questions are trying to trick you into picking or computing bad answers that seem so correct and so enticing at first glance…yet so wrong.
The answer is obviously “B” or “$5,000” … but wait a minute … there’s that one nuance that makes the answer “C” or $6,000.
Use the Wiley CPA Online Test Bank to sharpen your skills and replicate the real test environment. The Wiley CPA Test Bank comes with full CPA practice exams, 6,000+ sample CPA questions with detailed explanations, 200+ task-based simulations and written communications, and more.
It’s not enough to have a general goal of studying for the exam and a possible timetable for setting your exam date.
Schedule your exam. Now.
Schedule your exam and book non-refundable plane tickets to go on vacation the next day. Now.
Scheduling your CPA exam is like training for a marathon.
Runners know that there are no reschedules. The marathon is happening with or without them, so they need to get out of bed and put some road work in.
CPA candidates need similar pressure because the rescheduling option is always there off in the distance if they need it.
Non-refundable plane tickets for vacation and friends/family expecting to go on vacation with you will get your butt out of bed to put in some FAR road work.
Schedule your CPA exam date now – or it may never happen.
Study software is an excellent form of CPA exam preparation. However, no study software replicates the actual CPA exam interface exactly. This is particularly true with the TBSs. These can be formatted as anything from research, to matching to multiple-choice, to document review, and more.
Time is precious on exam day – especially once you get to those simulations. You have to move, move, move. You’ll want to review the professional literature available in the AICPA practice exams and get a feel for the TBS testlets and how to enter your answers correctly. You don’t want to be slowed down because of the research tab learning curve.
Granted, it takes less than five minutes to figure it out but ask any candidate who ran out of time on their exam (they didn’t even get to click the “Exit Exam” button) if they would like just five more minutes, and you’ll get a resounding yes.