Preparing for the CPA Exam is a large undertaking. If you’re investing between 300-400 hours of studying and sacrificing your personal and social life to pass the exam, it’s important to have a CPA Review course provider that will deliver results and fluidly get you from point A to point CPA.

Unfortunately is easier said than done. Although most CPA Exam candidates do their research to determine which review course is best for them, many won’t know if the course is actually corresponding with their learning styles until after they’ve purchased and failed one or more sections of the exam. What’s worse is that some candidates may not even attribute their failure to their provider and become discouraged from continuing to obtain their license at all. 

To avoid these pitfalls, here are 5 ways to tell if it’s time to switch CPA Review course providers:


1. It’s extremely difficult for you to retain the information. 

You’ve watched the lectures and read the textbook for each lesson and just when you think you understand the topics, you do the practice questions only to realize you don’t. You have to go back and review the lesson multiple times, but no matter how much you do this, the information just doesn’t stick. You find that you constantly have to refer back to the lesson and are always trying to put bits and pieces together.


2. You feel completely disengaged from studying and lack motivation. 

Just thinking about studying makes you anxious and downtrodden. And when you’re actually hitting the books, your focus is minimal and wanes often. You’re watching the lectures just to watch them and going through your whole study routine in a zombified state. Feelings of boredom and complacency start to creep in as you wonder whether or not this path is truly something you want to pursue and find it difficult to remember why you wanted to become a CPA in the first place. 


3. You’re memorizing concepts rather than actually understanding them. 

You feel like you’re getting exposed to the material in passing rather than really delving into it. You also find that you’re only checking answer explanations when you get a question wrong and are better at answering questions that only touch the surface of a subject matter vs. the ones that go into deeper detail. You’re good at recognizing what something is, but cannot adequately explain the “how” or “why” behind it.


4. You’ve taken the same section twice and still haven’t passed.  

After following a strict study schedule, reviewing the lectures/textbooks, and doing as many practice questions as possible, you still haven’t passed a section that you’ve already taken twice. You followed the recommended amount of time and techniques for studying and review, yet your scores reflect the same or different weak spots, causing you to feel like your passing the section will be due to pure luck. 


5. You feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the CPA Exam all the time. 

There are many things that contribute to these feelings. The examples that you’re working through are too long and complex that you eventually lose sight of what the original concept was. You’re learning from different instructors in each lesson that have different teaching methods. Or you’re having difficulty with staying motivated and following through because there’s too much content to cover. Whatever the case may be, the CPA Exam has become a dark, shadowy burden on your shoulders rather than a positive means to improve your personal and professional life. 


If you’re experiencing one or more of any of these issues, it’s time to switch CPA Review course providers. We all learn, apply, and retain information differently—there’s no cookie cutter way to pass the CPA Exam and it’s a learning process for every candidate. We know that sometimes you just need a fresh start. So make sure you know when your CPA Review course isn’t working for you and switch to one that does.