Choosing a CPA Exam Review Course
A lot of people who are currently doing their studies to become a CPA – Certified Public Accountant will use a CPA review course that will make preparing for the exam a lot easier. There are good reasons for that: a quality review course is going to reduce the amount of time spent studying and also increase the candidate’s chances of succeeding in the CPA exam. While there are plenty of different CPA review courses available right now it can sometimes be quite hard to select one that will allow you to do both these things. Here are some things that you need to take under consideration when you are selecting a CPA exam review course:
The Materials of the Course
Even if all of the courses will go through the same accounting concepts, each instructor will have a different way of providing the explanations. The best review courses are the ones that are taught by instructors that are able to explain difficult topics in a way that will be easy for everyone to understand. In order to increase the efficiency of the whole course, a good instructor is one which will focus more attention on concepts that are difficult while just lightly reviewing the ones that are pretty easy to understand. Some of the best CPA review courses are going to have samples of lectures available that you can listen to before you make a decision as to whether you will buy the course or not. There are some other ways that you can check out the quality of a CPA review course: take a look at discussion forums that deal with CPA exam preparation and also sites that review products. You will then be able to read the opinion of various people and read what they have to say about a certain course.
The lectures themselves can come in various formats and media like DVDs, a USB drive, recorded webcasts or live presentations. When you evaluate the course, you should consider the media that it comes in to determine whether it would be practical for you.
When you are thinking of buying a review course, you need to check whether there is any expiry date for the course materials. In some courses, there will be parts that will only be available for a limited amount of time after you activate the course. To avoid this, you should look for software which does not require you to be connected to the internet and will therefore not expire. If you do purchase an online course and it has an expiration date, be sure that you are given enough time for you to go through all the course materials before the expiry date.
The Practice Questions
Once you are done studying the materials required for the course, very often you are provided with some practice questions that allow you to put in practice what you have learned in specific case scenarios.
There are plenty of approaches when it comes to practice questions and they will differ depending on which CPA review course you use. Some will take an approach that is more complete and will ask you to answer every question that has a possibility of being found on the CPA exam. While this will give you ample amounts of practice, it will also be quite time consuming. There are plenty of students who do not have enough time to go through all the questions and never actually finish them, which will leave them poorly prepared when the actual exam comes around.
Conversely there are certain review courses which just don’t give you a sufficient amount of practice questions to correctly prepare yourself for the CPA exam. Now this is obviously a situation that you would not want to be in either.
The best CPA review course will be one which only has the questions that are more likely to be on the actual exam. Course creators will analyze past exam questions and then include the ones that are the most frequently found on the exam in their course. That way, you will optimize the time that you spend preparing for the exam as you will be focusing on the questions which will be the most important for the exam.
Support For Students
The amount of support that you will be provided with will depend on the course that you buy. If you are someone that would like to ask questions to an instructor over the phone, you will need to select a course that offers it. There are various levels of support provided by courses, some will only give you very minimal support, some let you email questions to instructors while others have full level support that allows you to call an instructor. Certain courses make a message board available where students can share information with others and talk to instructors. Before you select a specific course, ensure that the support level provided is adequate for your needs.
How Often the Course is Updated
There are sometimes changes to regulations and laws regarding the accounting profession. Therefore, CPA exam review courses will need to be updated often to reflect these changes. Make sure that the course that you are buying is complete and up to date.
Of course, there is always the price factor. But when selecting a course, you are much better off buying a quality course rather than a cheap one. The results will pay off when you get your CPA certification. Remember that the pass rate for the CPA exam is less than 50% and you do not want to lose time having to study again and re do the exam because the course you were using was inadequate.