If you are in the world of finance then you know the benefits of becoming a CPA. While it might not be the right career move for everyone it is a very lucrative career. But it’s not easy to get there. In addition to the education and experience that you need, you also have to pass a very challenging test.
In fact, only about 45% of those who the exam pass it on the first try.
Yikes! That means that being prepared is critical.
The good news is that there are lots of study programs to help you prepare. The bad news is that there are so many options it can be hard to choose. Not only are there many companies that offer these review programs, but there are both in person and online options. If you’ve taken any classes or done any training lately you know that it can be hard to decide whether or not to take them in a classroom or online.
Of course, the benefit to taking the review course online is convenience. You can study when the timing is right for you. And the benefit to taking it in a classroom is that you can work directly with the instructor. There is no “right way” or “wrong way” to do this, you just need to decide which option is best for you.
More importantly than the delivery method is the quality of the program.
While there are plenty of free resources available online, most of them will either be too basic to provide and real help, or be outdated. And since requirements of the CPA exam do change, you need to have the most updated study materials.
There are also quite a few commercial CPA review programs to choose from – Yaeger, Becker, Wiley, Roger, Gleim, Kaplan, and Bisk are some of the more well-known names in the industry. These programs vary considerably in price, and in service. So it is good to check out each program and review it carefully. See how they deliver the material, what type of sample questions you get, how often it is updated, what type of guarantee they offer if you don’t like the program once you get it, and what level of customer service you get when you have questions. All of these are important considerations. You can also get recommendations from others you know who have used the various programs.
And while everyone is on some type of budget, you should try not to let price be the determining factor in choosing a study guide.
Instead, you should make sure that the program you choose meets your needs. Having a good mix of written materials, audio and video, sample questions, a discussion forum should provide you with different methods that match your particular learning style.
Obviously, there’s a lot at stake when preparing for the CPA exam. And while each study program is different, and has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, in the end they all work. So the key is to make a commitment to study hard, study smart, and approach this process with determination and a positive attitude!
If you do, then you’ll great increase your chances of passing the CPA exam.