Best CPA Exam Prep Course Guide for 2019 - Financial Analyst Insider

Best CPA Exam Prep Course Guide for 2019

Studying for the CPA exam is a significant decision.  Between keeping a full time day job and studying for the test, it really requires dedication and time.  One of the most efficient ways to prepare for the four exams is to utilize a CPA prep course that offers a high quality study program.  When I studied for the exam, I followed a self study program.  I found that the single most effective method was to regularly practice test questions from a software program that offered adaptive question algorithms.

By regularly using practice questions and paying attention to the results, it was much easier to identify my weaknesses.  Once I identified areas of improvement, I use the the video lessons and study notes to improve.  In between I would regularly use the practice questions in those topic areas to make sure I retained the necessary information.  

Additionally, by using practice questions, it was also far easier to identify sections that I didn't need to spend as much time studying.  With so many available CPA prep course options, it can be overwhelming to identify the right program for you.  I created a detailed chart highlighting the major differences among the best prep course providers so you can make a more informed decision.

We will continue to update the page over time with more CPA prep course providers.

Best CPA Study Materials

(note: if your viewing the chart on a mobile phone, use your finger to scroll the chart to the left of your screen to see all columns).







$3,487 to $3,393

$99 to $299


$1,599 to $2,899

$2,100 to $2,800


2 primary / multiple supplements

2 choices

1 primary / multiple supplements

3 choices

3 primary / multiple supplements

Practice Questions

Over 6,000

Over 4,200

Over 6,000

Over 6,000

Over 6,200

Mock Exams

2 per exam section (8 total)





Study Notes

Online & Hard Copy



Online & Hard Copy

Online & Hard Copy

Course Access

Becker Promise


18 months; optional 24 month extension 



Online Video Lessons

Over 100 hours


Over 120 hours

350 Videos

Over 140 hours

Audio Lessons












Access via Mobile & Tablet






Downloadable App






Free Trial






Optional Payment Plan






More Information

Wiley CPA


Becker is probably one of the most well known CPA review providers on the market.  Based on their reputation for quality products, Becker is able to charge a premium compared with other CPA review course providers.  For students that are not as comfortable with the underlying material and might be interested in the most comprehensive study solution available, Becker might be the right choice. 

Becker offers two primary comprehensive self study options: the CPA Review and the Becker Bundle.  You also have the option of purchasing a single course for each of the 4 section of the exam.  

For more information, see our full Becker review.

CPA Review

Comprehensive Self Study Package


Option of choosing self study, live online, or live program options

Curriculum fully integrated across your computer, tablet, or mobile device

Adapt2u technology customizes a learning plan and tracks analytics based on your skill level

100 hours of lectures with printed and ebook textbooks

Over 6,200 multiple choice questions and 300 task based simulations

Becker Bundle

Self Study Package + Final Review


All features included in the CPA Review course

Digital Flash cards

Online final review designed to assess your readiness prior to exam day


Universal doesn't directly compete against the other providers included in our chart.  Universal is unique in that it is offering dedicated test bank product at a very competitive price point.  One of the best ways to retain information on the CPA exam is to regularly practice test questions from as many different sources as possible.  

Since most of the larger CPA prep course providers bundle their test bank product with larger packages, it can be cost prohibitive to purchase a supplemental test bank.  Universal's new test bank product is designed for people that might benefit from a supplemental test bank product, but haven't found a competitively priced option.  You can purchase individual sections for $99 or you can purchase a database that covers all 4 sections for just $299.

For a full review of Universal's new test bank product, click here.

Comprehensive Test Bank

Includes all 4 sections


Covers all 4 sections

Online based

Over 4,200 questions

Test bank practice question and full exam simulator access

Unlimited Access

Individual Courses

Choose any individual course


Online Based

Individual section questions range from 1,050 to 1,200 questions

​​Test bank practice question and full exam simulator access

​​Unlimited Access


Surgent's CPA review program is focused around advanced adaptive learning technology combined with leading instructors focused on only the most relevant topics covered on the exam.  Surgent backs up its curriculum with a Pass Guarantee.  If you use the Surgent program and fail the CPA exam, Surgent will refund your tuition to the course or continue to provide access to the study program until you pass.  Another notable element of the Surgent program is free access to coaches.  

Surgent offers three main courses that cover each part of the CPA exam.  You also have the option of purchasing single courses for each of the 4 CPA exam sections separately.  Click here to see our full review of Surgent's CPA prep course.


Basic Study Plan


Full Access to online curriculum until you pass

Over 6,000 multiple choice questions and 400 task based simulations

Over 350 video lectures with study notes

Detailed analytics and personalized study plan

E-books for all 4 exam sections

Flashcard based app

Online, phone, and email support


Comprehensive Study Plan


All features included in the Essential plan

Printed textbooks for each of the 4 sections of the exam

Printed flashcards

Three half hour sessions with a CPA coach


Self Study and Tutoring Plan


All features included in the Premier plan

4 hours of tutoring from an Accounting professor

Additional Excel course


Purchasing a CPA review course is a major time and money investment.  Yaeger has positioned itself as a more cost effective alternative to the larger CPA study material providers.  Rather than overwhelm you with multiple options that include different features and benefits, Yaeger offers one simple comprehensive program that includes all available features at an extremely competitive price point.  Students also have the ability to purchase individual sections of the main course for each of the 4 main sections of the exam separately.

Click here for our full review of Yaeger CPA.

Primary 4 Course Bundle

Comprehensive Self Study Package


Covers all 4 sections

Online & print textbooks

Over 120 hours of video lectures

Test bank practice question and full exam simulator access

Flash cards & Cram Course

Audio access to course lectures

18 month access with the ability to extend to 24 months

Individual Courses

Customized to your needs

4 Individual Comprehensive Courses limited to the material for each of the 4 exams - $425 each

Test Bank Access - $97 or $350 for all 4

​Audio Lectures - $125 each or $445 for all 4

Cram Courses - $275 each


Wiley entered the CPA prep course market through its acquisition of Efficient Learning System's CPAexcel prep course.  Since the acquisition, Wiley has retained the original CPAexcel brand name and dramatically expanded the core course offerings.  

Students have the ability to purchase 3 core study course programs or they can purchase individual courses related to the specific section of the CPA exam they are taking.  Wiley also offers a wide range of supplemental products like flash cards, focus notes, and extra practice questions.  Wiley has a strong reputation for quality products and a long history of students successfully passing the CPA exam.

For more information, see our full Wiley CPAexcel review.

Silver Course

Premium Course Option


Access to core learning platform with diagnostics, bite sized lessons, performance metrics, and unlimited practice exams

Over 6,000 multiple choice questions and task based simulations

Digital and Physical textbooks

Pass Guarantee

Gold Course

Enhanced Course Option


All features included in the Silver Course

Access to Professional Mentoring

Platinum Course

Premium Course Option


All features included in the Gold Course

Virtual Classroom Series

Supplemental Online Test Bank with 6,000 additional questions

Focus Notes & Flashcards


Gleim Exam prep is a well known provider in the prep course industry.  The Company creates detailed and comprehensive courses for a variety of subjects including accounting.  The Company's CPA review course offers three options based on your preferred study habits and confidence levels.  With over 40 years providing accounting prep materials, you can be confident that the study materials offer a great combination of successful results driven by efficient material and updated technology.

Test Bank

Practice Question Access


Full Access to online test question database

Over 10,000 multiple choice questions and task based simulations

Digital or Physical textbooks


Comphensive Study Plan


All features included in the Test Bank

Proprietary Smartadapt technology that designs a study plan based on your knowledge

Digital and Physical textbooks

Audio lesson access


Enhanced Self Study Plan


All features included in the Traditional plan

Over 100 hours of video lectures

Access to Gleim Accounting Experts

Access until you pass


The Roger CPA review program was founded on the basis of making studying for the CPA exam more effective by creating a more engaging and fun learning environment.  This approach to studying for the CPA exam ultimately became the Roger Method.  Roger's CPA courses are designed to help students make connections within the curriculum, retain information, and apply that knowledge in the real world.   

Roger offers three primary CPA review courses: select, premier, and elite.  Students also have the ability to purchase a range of supplemental course options which include: a cram course, multiple choice question app, digital & print flash cards, and audio lectures. The three primary course options all include an optional monthly payment plan.

Select Course


Electronic & Physical textbooks

Proprietary Smartpath for personalized guidance

Over 100 hours of lecture videos

Read only access to help center

6,200 multiple choice & task based simulation questions

Unlimited full length practice exams

18 month access

Premier Course


Includes all Select course features

Offline access to all study materials

Ability to read and post questions in the help center

Includes CPA flashcards

24 month access

Elite Course


Includes all Premier Course features

Lectures available in audio format

Cram course access

Additional customer support available via email, phone, and chat

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$600 Discount on Surgent CPA Premier Pass!