The Right CPA Review Course for Your Learning Style

learning style

It may sound cliché, but it’s true: everybody learns differently. We all have a unique formula for receiving, interpreting, and understanding information through tools and experiences. As a CPA candidate, you need to find your learning style so you can choose your perfect CPA review course. To help you, we’ve laid out different learning styles, questions about learning preferences, and suggestions for the study materials you’ll need based on how you learn.


What Are the Different Learning Styles?

Psychological research includes several theories about the ways we learn. A few popular theories feature two types of learning that relate to how we gather information through our interactions with others.

  • Solitary Learner: appreciates working alone and using self-study to learn.
  • Social Learner: achieves a better understanding of information when they learn with other people or in groups.

Other theories extend the learning types by focusing on how we use our senses to collect information.

  • Visual Learner: likes to see information presented in pictures, charts, and graphics so they can visualize the relationships between ideas.
  • Auditory Learner: prefers to hear, recite, or repeat information rather than look at information.
  • Kinesthetic Learner: learns more easily when they use their bodies and sense of touch to experience information.
  • Linguistic Learner: grasps concepts more quickly when they interact with text through reading and writing.
  • Logical Learner: employs logic, reasoning, and systems to help them absorb information.

You may learn best with a mix of these. Some people are social kinesthetic learners, while others are solitary visual and linguistic learners. You might have a dominant style of learning, or you may change how you learn based on the material you are studying. Learning styles aren’t fixed, so you may begin to use one of your less dominant learning styles more over time.

What Type of Learner Are You?

Figuring out what type of learner you are will help you choose the review course that best fits your learning style. If you are aware of your learning habits, use the descriptions above to discover your learning style. If you need more help assessing your learning preferences, the following questions and learning style matches may help you understand what type of learner you are.

  • Do I recall new information best when I learn it by myself?
    • If yes, you may be a solitary learner.
  • Do I need other people to join me in the learning process?
    • If yes, you may be a social learner.
  • Do I catch on faster when someone explains a concept to me?
    • If yes, you may be an auditory learner.
  • Do I move a lot when I’m trying to concentrate?
    • If yes, you may be a kinesthetic learner.
  • Do I learn best by reading a book or taking notes?
    • If yes, you may be a linguistic learner.
  • Does watching a video help solidify a concept in my mind?
    • If yes, you may be a visual learner.
  • Do I need to see the reasoning behind an idea to understand it?
    • If yes, you may be a logical learner.
  • Do I use different approaches depending on the information I’m learning?
    • If yes, you may have more than one learning style.

Your answers to these questions will help classify your learning style and lead you to the best CPA review course for you.

What CPA Study Materials Address Your Learning Style?

So what type of learner are you? Once you know, you can see which CPA self-study materials you will need in your CPA review course.

Solitary Learner: Self-study Courses

If being with others is not essential to your learning process, you’re probably a solitary learner. Solitary learners can depend on a self-study course to pass the exam. There are lots of options that enable you to study on your own time in the comfort of your home (or whichever CPA Exam study environment you prefer). These courses feature resources to account for all learning styles; some even include access that lasts until you pass. If you like to study on your own but need some guidance on where to focus your efforts, an adaptive CPA review course is what you need.

Social Learner: Live Courses

The CPA is a certification, not a degree, but you can still prepare for the CPA Exam in a classroom environment if you’re a social learner. The best CPA review course for social learners may be a live course in which a teacher and fellow students serve as some of your primary learning resources. Whether presented online or in a classroom, live lectures are similar to college courses: you show up at a designated time, attend with other CPA candidates, and receive instruction from a professor. One course usually covers one CPA Exam section and can last for a few days or a whole month, with individual sessions extending for several hours. If you feel that learning with others is worth your time, you should utilize a live CPA review course.

Visual Learner: Books and Video Lectures

If you’re a visual learner, you’ll need a review course that provides information to look at and watch. Some review courses contain books full of illustrated examples and dozens of explanatory videos. If videos are critical to your learning process, choose a review course with plenty of them. Several review courses feature more than 100 hours of video CPA lectures.

Auditory Learner: Audio Lectures

If you’re an auditory learner, seek out a review provider that offers audio lectures. Audio reviews can take longer to get through than books, but you can make the most of your time by listening to them while you travel, clean, exercise, etc. To get even more access to exam content shared via sound, you’ll want to consider a provider that offers audio lectures.

Kinesthetic Learner: Online Course with Physical Books and Flashcards

If you’re a kinesthetic learner, you’ll benefit from online courses because computer-based study reinforces what you’re learning with the sense of touch and imitates the exam environment. Flipping through flashcards further connects the exam content to feeling and moving. You’ll also benefit from a physical book you can hold and flip through, so choose a provider that will send you one.

Linguistic Learner: Physical Books

As a linguistic learner, you’ll want a CPA review course that provides physical books so you can interact better with the words. When you read digital books, your learning experience is limited by factors such as:

  • small screens
  • the lack of physical pages that communicate your progress through the book
  • the inability to flip through the pages to find information
  • the inability to highlight and take notes

These learning limitations leave your mind with minor memory handicaps. Consequently, remembering information takes longer with digital books than with physical books, so for the love of words, seek a physical-book-providing course if you’re a linguistic learner.

Logical Learner: Outlines of Exam Content

CPA candidates who rely on logic to understand new concepts will benefit from a review course that spells out exam topics in a systematic way, such as content outlines. Content outlines build new accounting information on top of the old in bulleted lines rather than packing everything into chunky paragraphs. Along with logical outlines, you’ll also want a course offering detailed answer explanations for every practice quiz question. These essential explanations help you understand the “why” behind every correct answer.

How Can You Find the Right CPA Review Course for Your Learning Style?

Once you know your learning style, evaluate each review course to ensure it will meet your learning needs. No matter which type of learner you are, there is a CPA review course that will work for you. A great way to determine if a course satisfies your learning style before you buy it is by accessing the course demo. Most review providers offer a free demo with varied access periods. Some limit your time to explore the demo to a few days or weeks, but others give you several months or even unlimited access, like Gleim CPA Review. Whether you’ve just started shopping or are deciding between your top options, you should utilize the free demos to determine how a course looks, operates, and addresses your learning style before you purchase.

Is Gleim CPA Review the Right Course for You?

Gleim CPA Review is an adaptive self-study course that offers video lectures, audio lectures, physical books, thorough content outlines, and more. And, while Gleim CPA Review does not offer live courses, it does include access to exam mentors who will encourage and advise you for the duration of your studies. In 40+ years, Gleim has helped candidates pass over 1 million CPA exams, so we have the knowledge and experience necessary to make the best CPA review on the market. Therefore, no matter your learning style, Gleim CPA Review gives you everything you need to pass the CPA Exam. Experience why Gleim CPA Review is the course for you by accessing our free CPA demo today.