Congratulations! You’ve decided to become a CPA! Now that the hard part is over—it’s time for the more difficult part to begin: taking the CPA Exam. If you’ve done your research, you know that the AICPA states that it takes at least 400 hours’ worth of study time to adequately prepare and pass all 4 sections—and that’s just the bare minimum.
So when you’re choosing which CPA Review course provider to go with, make sure you’re choosing one that you don’t mind spending a whole lot of time with. That being said, you should choose one that not only fits your personality and learning style—but also helps you stay motivated and engaged.
As you make your decision, here are the top 5 things we believe your CPA Review course provider should do for you.
Sees you as a human being first and a CPA Exam candidate second
Embarking on the CPA Exam journey requires a lot of sacrifice, time, dedication, and hard work. There will be days when you score 80% on your practice quizzes and feel like you can conquer anything; and there will be no-so-great days when you realize you’ve only scratched the surface of your FAR course and it feels like a month has gone by.
Therefore, while it’s important to keep yourself motivated, it’s equally important to get that motivation and encouragement from your CPA course as well. Which is why it’s imperative that your provider sees you as a human being first and a CPA Exam candidate second.
Your provider should constantly remind you about why you want to become a CPA; give you inspiration; tell you that it’s okay if at first you don’t succeed; and help you rediscover your passion for accounting. We as humans need this affirmation first, and that will help you put your best foot forward as a CPA Exam candidate.
Uses a holistic approach
The CPA Exam covers a vast amount of topics and subjects in accounting. Even if you’ve just graduated with an accounting major, you will encounter concepts on the CPA Exam that you didn’t learn in school. On the other spectrum, if you’re a nontraditional CPA Exam candidate who has been out of school for a while or decided to switch your career to accounting from a different field, there may be a lot of information you have forgotten or will be learning for the first time as you study for the exam.
Therefore, you want to make sure your provider uses a holistic approach throughout their CPA review course. They shouldn’t assume that you have prior knowledge to the topics—rather, they should teach each topic from the ground up. Your provider should build upon each lesson and show you how each topic is interconnected to everything else you have learned or will learn. Being able to see how each individual part fits into the whole, bigger picture is crucial for comprehension and retention.
This holistic approach won’t only better prepare you for success on the exam—but life as a CPA on the job.
Teaches you the information rather than just how to memorize it
On the CPA Exam, it’s significant to really know and comprehend the material through and through. And this is because you will be asked to apply that knowledge to many multiple-choice and task-based simulation questions from different angles in different ways. Therefore, really understanding and learning the material is the key to being successful on the exam.
So make sure that your provider is actually teaching you the material rather than just teaching you how to memorize it and matching it to a correct answer. Your provider should break down difficult concepts, and give you guidance on how to apply what you’ve learned effectively so that you can answer any question on that topic no matter how it’s thrown your way.
Gives you all the tools and resources you need to succeed
It can be easy to get lost in your CPA Exam studies—such as trying to remember formulas or when you’re having difficulty grasping a concept. This can lead to feelings of frustration or being overwhelmed. Which is why your provider should give you all the tools and resources you need to enhance your study experience, making it as intuitive as possible.
So make sure your provider has course features such as note-taking, highlighting, bookmarking, closed captioning, and etc. Another must-have is diagnostics that show you granular statistics and information about yourself and your progress within the course. This will give you the capacity to really break down your performance and understanding to continually improve your study techniques and leverage your study time.
Lastly, other resources your provider should give you access to is a forum or help center where you speak to your fellow peers and expert CPA Exam moderators when you’re struggling with certain topics or to simply be part of a community that understands what you’re going through.
Makes you look forward to studying
If you’re a working professional, student, raising a family, or doing a combination of these things, the last thing you may want to do at the beginning or end of the day is spend a few hours at your desk listening to accounting lectures and doing practice questions. Especially when you know that this is the time to really sharpen your focus and get down to business.
Therefore, one of the most important things that your CPA review course provider should be doing for you is making you look forward to studying. We know this may sound crazy, but it’s absolutely true. You don’t want to sit down to your studies dreading it, especially since it will be part of your daily routine for a major part of your life. So at the end of the day, it all comes down to the course’s lecturing style.
Are the lectures engaging and interactive? Are they broken down into sections that are easily digestible? Is the lecturer passionate about what he/she is teaching? Are the teaching approaches and styles consistent? Are they delivering the information in a way that’s easy for you to understand? Are you having a good time learning? Do you feel motivated by the lectures in such a way that reminds you of why you’re becoming a CPA in the first place?
Answering yes to all these questions will make the biggest difference between passing and failing the CPA Exam.
So make sure your CPA Exam course provider checks each of the criteria above
Of course, your own hard work and dedication are key components to success on the CPA Exam; but with the additional help of an excellent course provider, your road to licensure can be fool proof.
At Roger CPA Review, we pride ourselves in providing every candidate with the above features. If you're currently in a situation where your provider isn't doing these things for you--check out our Fresh Start discount!