CPA Self-Study Materials: Should You Try Them?

CPA Self Study

So you’ve decided to take the CPA Exam. Now, how do you plan to prepare for it?

To give yourself the best chance at passing the CPA Exam on the first try, you should use CPA review. However, when it comes to exam prep, you have options: live review courses or CPA self-study materials. A live review course involves meeting with a professor and other candidates to learn the exam content together, while CPA self-study materials allow you to work through a course on your own time. The benefits of a live review course are apparent because they’re similar to those of going to school. Therefore, in order to pick the best option for your circumstances, discover the advantages of CPA self-study materials.

The Benefits of CPA Self-Study Materials

A live review course demands a structured schedule and regular interaction with people, but CPA self-study materials provide a plethora of tools to utilize at your own pace. While CPA self-study materials may seem like more work due to a required level of self-motivation, their benefits demonstrate that they may be the best choice for you. CPA self-study materials are

  • More efficient

    With live review courses, your completion of the material depends on the class schedule. This timeline may move too fast or not fast enough for you. If you’re not able to finish the homework in time, you’ll fall behind. If you find yourself flying through the material, then the class will just waste your time. Also, whether the class is online or in your area, review providers usually only offer one class at time, so you must take the exam sections in the order in which the review providers offer the live courses. Furthermore, the set schedule doesn’t account for possible life interruptions. If your lifestyle is adjustable enough to accommodate every session, you’re in luck – but if something comes up, you’ll miss out on that time to learn and the money you paid for it. With CPA self-study materials that sync up with your agenda, you can study on your own time and work with whatever may come your way. You can also plan your study sessions during the times when you are the most mentally and physically ready for them; you don’t have to force yourself to be awake and alert when class begins. Finally, you don’t have to let the lineup of the classes determine the order in which you take the exam sections. This freedom enables you to organize your exam sections in the way that works best for you.

  • More economical

    To account for expenses such as the classroom space and the professor’s time, live review courses can be fairly costly. Some cost over $1,000 per part, so when you purchase live courses for all 4 exam sections, you end up paying almost 3 times as much as the price of an online course covering all 4 sections — not to mention any supplemental study tools that will cost you another couple hundred dollars. CPA self-study materials provide everything you need to prepare for the CPA Exam without breaking the bank. When your online CPA review course includes assistance from exam mentors and accounting experts, it’s just like getting the help of a professor at no extra charge. The added bonus of an Access Until You Pass® guarantee ensures that you make the most of your investment by preserving and updating your CPA self-study materials for as long as you’re studying.

  • More flexible

    With a live review course, you get the instructor you get, no matter what his or her teaching style may be. If you find that your professor doesn’t share a lot of additional explanation or insight, you’ll have to depend on yourself to fill in those gaps anyway. If the quality of live review courses is a gamble and only implements one form of learning, you may have better luck with CPA self-study materials that include a variety of resources to meet your learning needs. Along with help from exam mentors and accounting experts, CPA self-study materials can include books, video lectures, audio reviews, and CPA test questions. You can turn to any of these study aids whenever you need to answer your questions, clarify any confusion, and increase your comprehension of the content.

  • More focused

    A live review course certainly has a strict format for your CPA review, but this format doesn’t get personal by adjusting to your strengths and weaknesses. Again, the live classes will plug along as planned, whether or not you can keep up. If you find that you need to concentrate on different areas of exam content for varied periods of time, then CPA self-study materials can meet your needs – especially when they include adaptive technology. Adaptive CPA review assesses your knowledge to determine your strengths and weaknesses before it generates a customized study plan just for you. As you work through the study plan, an adaptive course lets you apply what you’ve learned to practice questions. A truly adaptive CPA review course then continues to serve you questions on your troublesome topics to ensure mastery. The final review of an adaptive CPA course goes one step further than a live review course by using your practice exam results to advance your proficiency with all content areas. When you use a CPA course with adaptive technology, your review revolves around you, so you can learn, improve, and excel at your own pace.

  • More exam-emulating

    A live review course can help you become very familiar with the testable content of the CPA Exam, but it can’t help you be as familiar with the format and functionality of the exam. Only an exam-emulating online review course allows you to get completely comfortable with the look and feel of the exam as you study for it. When you answer practice questions that replicate those on the actual exam as much as possible, you can minimize the number of surprises you face on exam day. Familiarizing yourself with the testing process prepares you for every part of the CPA Exam, so extensive interaction with exam emulation is another feature that sets CPA self-study materials apart from live reviews.

The Best CPA Self-Study Materials

If you’re ready to enjoy the advantages of CPA self-study materials, then choose the CPA course that comes with all the best ones. To give you the most efficient, economical, flexible, focused, and exam-emulating study experience, Gleim CPA Review contains our proprietary, innovative SmartAdaptTM technology. SmartAdapt leads you through a personalized learning path by adapting to your knowledge, targeting your weak areas, guiding your studies, and monitoring your performance. SmartAdapt also pulls from the largest test bank on the market to give you plenty of practice questions that look almost exactly like real exam questions. Finally, our course uses an interactive study planner and sophisticated performance analytics to keep you on track and moving forward. With our guided approach, it’s almost like you’re not using CPA self-study materials at all! See for yourself by accessing our free CPA demo today.