Evaluating the Best CPA Exam Tutor Options

After spending years in a traditional classroom setting, many students find it difficult to transition into an intensive self study program required to pass the CPA exam.

Students that find it more challenging to adapt to this type of environment, may benefit from a more traditional study program led by a CPA exam tutor.  We take an in depth look at the best options for you to consider.

Do You Need a tutor to Pass the CPA Exam?

The short answer is no.  There are a variety of self study CPA prep course options that have consistently helped students pass all four sections of the CPA exam.

So although you don’t need a tutor to pass the CPA Exam, there are many reasons why you might benefit from using a tutor to help you pass.  We take a quick look at the major reasons why students might consider using a tutor for the CPA exam.

Auditory Learners

If you fall into the category of a auditory learner, you may benefit from a more structured tutoring service for the CPA exam.  An auditory learner learns best by listening to verbal instructions relating to new material.

Typically these students will naturally remember new information better when they hear about it verbally rather than by simply reading text in a self study format.

You might be an auditory learner if you associate strongly with any of these situations:

  • I frequently talk through a problem out load in order to solve it.
  • I would rather listen to someone talk about new material rather than read the text book myself.
  • I memorize best by repeating information aloud or to myself on a frequent basis.

Usually people don’t fall into one specific learning category, they tend to learn with multiple learning styles but usually associate more strongly with a particular style.

Struggling with Specific Topics or Exam Sections

If you encounter certain sections of the exam that just don’t click for you, you may want to consider using a tutor for that specific topic or section.  In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to use a tutor for the entire CPA exam.  However, it does make a lot of sense to use a tutor for very targeted sections of the exam.

Most students are very comfortable with the self study aspect of the CPA exam for certain sections.  Its usually just within a smaller subset of the material, you may have challenges with the material.  This is the typical scenario that most students begin to consider a tutor.

When you know which aspects of the CPA exam are most challenging for you, it puts you in a much better situation to evaluate different tutors and decide which tutor will be the most helpful for you.

Intangible Benefits

Working with a tutor that has already taken and passed the CPA exam provides a variety of indirect benefits.  Your tutor will be able to provide you with first hand experience from when they took the exam.

Usually tutors will have more recently taken the CPA exam than professional teachers that may have taken the CPA exam over 15 or 20 years ago.

A tutor that recently took the exam will be in a better position to provide you with more up to date details and strategies for taking the exam.

Top CPA Exam Tutor Options

When choosing a tutor for the CPA exam, there are a few important considerations.  The main factors include the availability of the tutor and the format of the instruction.

A tutor might be available to meet in person if you live in a large city or you might consider working with a tutor that can provide live instruction of the internet.

It also important to consider how a tutor might fit in your overall study plans.  You may want to consider working with a tutor that is part of a larger study material bundle in order to benefit from discounts that might be available when you buy your study materials in a larger package.

My Guru

My Guru was founded by graduate students that spent many years as experienced private tutors.

Since its founding in 2010, the company has steadily expanded its tutoring platform to meet the needs of busy professionals looking to advance their careers by earning the CPA license or the other professional designations in the accounting and finance industries.

We really like the highly selective approach to only using tutors that actually have extensive experience working with other students on a regular basis.

Students interested in pursuing the service will benefit from a much lower price point than other traditional tutoring options combined with a highly customized one-on-one approach to working with students.

Universal CPA Tutoring

Universal CPA is known for offering a dedicated CPA test bank product.  They also offer highly personalized tutoring as a compliment to their study material.

You can sign up for a free 15 minute consultation to find out if you might benefit from the service.

Wiley Professional Mentoring

Many students prefer to use personalized tutoring in conjunction with their existing CPA study material.

This makes sense because your primary questions are likely to be focused on issues you are having with certain topics included in your study material.

Wiley offers a really nice professional mentoring option that is included as part of Wiley’s Platinum CPA review course.  This feature allows you direct access to Wiley’s program instructors.

This feature allows you to post questions to instructors and receive direct feedback within 48 hours.

Wiley’s platinum course also includes the virtual classroom series which includes a combination of live and on-demand classroom lectures.  You have the ability to ask your instructors real time questions during the live classroom programs.

Surgent CPA Tutor

Surgent CPA is a well known self study provider with a highly customized adaptive study program for students.

What you may not realize is that Surgent offers tutoring services with the company’s bundled study packages.  The two packages that include the tutoring services are the Premier Pass bundle and the Ultimate Pass bundle.

Premier Pass Bundle

The premier pass bundle includes 3 30 minute sessions with a CPA exam success coach.  These coaches are available in an online format to help you with your general study plan or address specific content questions you might have.  Essentially its up to you how you want to utilize your success coach.

In addition, to the CPA Exam success coach, the Premier Pass bundle includes the following features:

  • Adaptive learning software which is designed to evolve your customized study plan based on your actually learning progress over time.
  • Printed textbooks and flashcards for all 4 sections of the exam.
  • Over 4,000 multiple choice questions, 400 task based simulations, and 350 bite sized video lectures across all 4 sections of the exam.

Ultimate Pass Bundle

The ultimate pass bundle includes all the same features of the Premier Pass package, but includes 4 full hours of virtual tutoring with an Accounting professor.

So when you include the 1.5 hours with the CPA success coach and 4 hours of tutoring with the Accounting professor, this package provides you with a total of 5.5 hours of CPA exam tutoring.

What makes these packages really nice is that you get access to all of the CPA self study material and specific tutoring hours for one price.  It would cost much more to purchase study material and tutoring services separately.

When you can purchase them as one package, you can access the material for a lower combined price.

Major benefits and features of Surgent include:

  • Purchase a full set of study materials and tutoring services as part of one single package at a lower combined price.
  • Both packages offer unlimited access until you pass the CPA exam.
  • Access to printed study material in both packages.
  • The Ultimate Pass option includes 4 hours of tutoring with an accounting professor.
  • Both packages include access to the adaptive learning test bank software for all 4 sections of the exam.

For more information, see our Surgent CPA review article.

Yaeger CPA Tutor

Yaeger CPA was started in 1977 as a traditional class room based CPA review course.  The company has evolved its classroom program for a wider audience, but its comprehensive program retains its traditional classroom style learning roots.

Yaeger offers a full self study review program with the unique benefit of unlimited instructor access.

Unlimited instructor access includes contact by phone, email, or message board.  Students even have the ability to directly reach out to the program’s creator, Phil Yaeger, by phone.

The nice part about Yaeger’s study materials is that you have the option of purchasing all 4 sections or just individual sections of the exam.  Instructor access is included with either option you choose.

Yaeger All Access Course

Yaeger’s all access course includes full access to all 4 sections of the CPA exam.  The plan includes unlimited instructor access as well as the company’s self study materials that include textbooks, test bank software, and video lectures.

Students can purchase 1 single bundle or they can purchase individual sections.

Notable benefits include:

  • Unlimited instructor access by phone, email, or message board.
  • Optional printed textbooks available for the price of shipping.
  • 120 hours of in depth video lectures.
  • Test bank software with over 4,000 questions and detailed analytics measuring your progress.
  • Flashcards.
  • Audio lectures.
  • Ability to purchase access for all 4 exam sections or individual sections.
  • 18 months of access with the ability to extend for a total of 24 months.

You can also find out more information from our in depth Yaeger CPA review.

Tutor the People

Tutor the people offers an innovative and customized platform that matches students with tutors.  Tutor the People’s platform offers tutors that are available for in person meetings or online meetings.

In person meetings are more likely if you happen to be within a major city, but online meetings are available with all tutors on the platform.

What is unique about this platform, is the company hires tutors around the country based on a strict application and interview process.  Students that are interested in a private tutor are asked to complete an initial intake form describing the specific areas of the exam that student would like to improve.

Tutor the People will then select a tutor based on the specific areas you would like to improve and will design a custom study plan to address those needs.

Tutor the People offers four tutoring plans:

Quick Review Plan

The quick review is an ideal option for students looking for a very targeted plan to address a few weaknesses with the CPA exam material.

This plan is available for $83.25 per hour and includes 12 hours of tutoring.  When you include the free hour of initial planning, the per hour rate is approx. $76 per hour.

In Depth Review Plan

The in depth review plan offers 24 hours of tutoring time.  This plan allows students and tutors to take a more comprehensive approach to their study plan.

Tutors are available for a rate of $74.95 per hour under this plan or for approx. $71.96 with the free hour.

High Achiever Plan

The high achiever plan offers the lowest per hour tutoring rate and the most comprehensive study program.  This plan includes 36 hours of tutoring for a rate of just $66.64 per hour.  When you include the free initial tutoring hour, the rate declines to just $64.84 per hour.

It’s important to keep in mind that students can refund any unused tutoring hours.  So it may make sense for you to consider a larger package with a lower per hour rate and then request a refund for any unused hours.

Custom Plan

Students also have the option to request a custom plan of their own design.  Students that have very specific needs in terms of the number of hours, availability, or want to only use a specific number of tutoring sessions would benefit from a custom tailored plan.

If you contact Tutor the People directly, they will help you customize something to fit your specific needs.

Notable features and benefits of Tutor the People include:

  • All tutor plans include 1 free hour to diagnose your problem areas and formulate an appropriate study plan.
  • Unused study plan hours can be refunded free of charge at any time.
  • 2,000 free CPA review questions included free with every package.
  • Optional payment plans so you can pay for your tutor over time.

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